15 Screwed Up Catholic Ideas That May Affect Your Sex Life Even If You’re Not Religious

Nun scoldingI thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty. ~John Waters

The Catholic hierarchy is obsessed with sex: who does it, when, how, with whom, and for what purpose.  In fact, I might argue that one of the most fundamental ways conservative religion hooks people is by creating deep psychological hang-ups about sex, for which it then claims to offer a solution.

Sexual intimacy and sexual pleasure are two of humanity’s most cherished experiences. A recent study showed that sex makes people even happier than religion does. The Church knows that. It also knows that forbidding something we crave—making it taboo—can make the craving even stronger. It’s the perfect set-up for an institution trafficking in guilt and redemption.

Most people, including most lay Catholics and many clergy, recognize that the senescent men running the Vatican hold some archaic and ignorant notions about sex. People also know that (mercifully) some toxic teachings have gone by the wayside. What we often don’t recognize, though, is how many of our own sexual hang-ups come from religion. Even if you are secular you likely have been infected with noxious ideas that come straight from the Ancient Near East and Medieval Europe by way of the Catholic Church or derivative Protestant sects.

If you want to live by your own values when it comes to sex, it might help to ask yourself which of these ideas and messages have gotten inside you in some form–and then check them against reality.

1. Sex is for procreation, which means sex for “mere pleasure” is bad and safeguarding against ill-conceived pregnancy makes you cheap. If you don’t want a baby in nine months you should keep your legs together or your zipper up.

Catholic “pro-life” theologian Monica Miller recently earned herself a Facebook meme when she said that Planned Parenthood should get no federal funding because “the kind of sexual ethic that Planned Parenthood promotes is sex for recreation, sex for mere pleasure.” If Miller spent more time studying biology instead of theology, she might not have made herself a laughingstock. Research shows that sex for “mere pleasure” improves mental and physical health, strengthens pair bonds and eases conflicts between partners, and it does so in a wide variety of species, not just humans.

2. Sex without marriage is “fornication”—the kind of evil sin that, if you are unrepentant, can send you straight to hell.

I honestly don’t know how adults can think eternal torture is a proportional punishment for anything, let alone consensual sex.


Some Christians need to get a handle on their warped moral sensibilities. Morality is meant to prevent harm and promote wellbeing. Our moral emotions and intuitions evolved because we humans are social animals. To survive and thrive, we need to get along with each other. Maybe in the Iron Age sex without a legal contract risked real damage to social structures that helped people survive in the fragile desert environment of the Ancient Near East. (See Point 3.) Or maybe it just threatened the power of patriarchal males who wanted to control female sex for the same reasons lions and chimps do. Either way, it’s worth asking yourself which is the greater evil:

  • A teen having sex with their high school sweetie.
  • Telling a high school kid they are going to be tortured forever because they had sex with their sweetie.
  • Actually torturing them forever.

 3. Girls should stay “pure” until they get married.

Abstinence till marriage was designed for the Iron Age, when our ancestors had no other way to manage their fertility and society was structured around paternal genealogies. “Mama’s baby, Papa’s maybe” didn’t cut it. So, it makes sense that Iron Age males came up with a model of marriage that treated a fertile female the way dog breeders treat a purebred bitch: Keep an eye on her till she’s sexually mature. When she’s ripe and ready, sell her. Keep her away from stray males. If one rapes her, make him keep her. You break it, you buy it. That’s the model in the Bible.

Mercifully, a few things have changed in the last 2,000 years. We no longer think of a woman’s womb as an economic asset belonging to first her father and then her husband. We also have far better options for preventing pregnancy—abstinence sure, if you like, but also condoms and Pills, and even IUDs and implants that effectively flip the fertility switch to “off” till you want it on. Unlike our Iron Age ancestors, we can enjoy sexual intimacy and still ensure that babies get born into families that are ready to welcome and care for them. It’s true that sex can be emotionally complicated, and sometimes abstaining is wise. But the sex rules in the Bible were designed for a technologically-primitive society that no longer exists.

4. Sex is dirty. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then what could possibly be less godly than cum or period blood and vaginal goo.

Sex is nasty when you’re not into it (and sometimes even when you are), and the people who made up the sex rules for the Church lacked access to modern hygiene, so it was even more slimy back then. They couldn’t shower or douche or rinse with a bidet. They lacked deodorants and wipes. The sheets, or whatever passed for bedding, had to be washed by hand. Rubbers weren’t rubber. Even Cleopatra had to rely on shoving crocodile dung up her vagina to prevent pregnancy.

So what. Something can be squicky and still be a pleasurable, cherished, important, or admirable part of life. Giving birth, for example. Breastfeeding. Cooking the flesh of other animals. Drinking from a cow. Composting. Doing surgery. Caring for a sick child. Having an abortion. Organ donation. Cremating the dead. Whether or not something triggers our “yuck factor” has little to do with moral virtue or the value that it adds to our lives.

5. Masturbation is degenerate and damaging, and Someone is watching every time you get off.

Hair on your hands? Warts? Blindness? Like God doesn’t have anything better to do than hide in a dark corner with a stick and wait for us to wank or twiddle?

Masturbation is a very normal part of what it means to be a sexual being. It is the first way that most children experience sexual pleasure and a part of life for over 90 percent of people. It can help relieve stress, migraines, insomnia, or menstrual cramps.

That said, it does mean less time thinking about Jesus. Or maybe not. How did Jesus get to be so hot?  

 6. Anal sex is called “sodomy” for a reason—God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by raining down fire from heaven.

As odd as it might sound to a modern audience, many Bible scholars think that the fatal sin in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is inhospitality, not anal sex.

But theological debates aside, we’re talking about a story from a sexual dark age. In the Old Testament, a man can freely fuck his wife’s slave or keep a harem of his own, including girls he acquired as war booty. Israelite soldiers collect foreskins the way renegade soldiers collected trophy ears during the Vietnam War. Women who can’t get pregnant eat mandrake roots, like in Harry Potter. A guy gets his descendants permanently cursed by seeing the dick of his passed-out-drunk father.  God is cool with a clan of Semites deceiving and then killing all the men from another tribe because one is too interested in their sister.

Is that really where you want to look for guidance on anal sex or queer love?

7. Virginity is a thing. In fact, it’s the thing, since only a girl with a pristine vagina could possibly be good enough bear the Son of God.

According to the Cult of the Pristine Vagina, your first sexual encounter changes you as radically and permanently as a grub’s metamorphosis into a dragonfly–only in reverse. Dragonfly or grub, lollypop or licked lollypop, gum or chewed gum. Virgin or slut. Take your pick.

The Catholic obsession with virginity has all manner of unintended consequences: Evangelical and Catholic youth, desperate to keep those vaginas immaculate, are turning to the lesser sin of Sodomy, hilariously spoofed in the Garfunkel and Oats song, “God’s Loophole.”

In Quebec, most Catholic girls are given the middle name of Marie, in honor of a possibly mythic female who, we are told, was impregnated by God at age 13 without ever having done the nasty, and who has been known for at least 1,500 years as “The Blessed Virgin.” But what does the Virgin Birth Story say to our daughters about the relative value of their brains (or character) and their hymens? It sure doesn’t communicate what I want to say to mine:

Sexual purity is a made-up social construct—far too small to define us. You are your ideas, your values, your dreams and your loves. You are your sorrows and joys. You are what you experience and what you create. You are how you live and who you serve. Sticking something in your vagina has about as much power to define you as sticking something in your ear.

 8. Women come in three models: Virgin, Madonna, and Whore; she’s a cherry ripe for the picking, a beatific mother, or a slut.

The Garfunkel and Oat song about Catholic virginity, “God’s Loophole,” may be funny, but for generations the cult of female virginity has devastated lives. The Irish used to commit “fallen” women to institutions called Magdalene Asylums where inmates provided slave labor for profitable laundries run by the Church. The movie, Philomena, starring Judi Dench, is based on the true life experience of a teen who was sent to one of these institutions and later spent years hunting for her son. By the time the practice ended in 1996, over 30,000 women had been imprisoned, some for life, simply because they were raped or unmarried and pregnant, or judged promiscuous.

No, that date wasn’t a typo. The last Magdalene laundry wasn’t closed till 1996. How old were you? I was 36, with a graduate degree, two healthy daughters, and a husband I loved—living the life of my dreams in part because I had been free to explore my sexuality, manage my fertility and end an unhealthy pregnancy without being disowned or imprisoned.

9. In men, sexual abstinence is a moral virtue and a sign of a good spiritual leader.

The idea that sexual abstinence confers virtue isn’t unique to Christianity—think Buddhist monks or Hindu sadhus—but it is messed up any way you look at it. We have absolutely no reason to believe that men who don’t have sex are more compassionate, or smarter, or wiser than other men; or more kind or curious or discerning; or more devoted to love and truth (the two virtues most esteemed in the Bible). And we certainly have no reason to think they are better positioned to help guide ordinary people through the practical moral complexities of everyday life. In fact, we have every reason to think that priestly abstinence fueled the Catholic Church’s pedophilia scandal.

Denying yourself pleasure (or causing yourself pain) has little to do with caring about the pleasure or pain of others. In fact, it can be distracting, creating a false sense of virtue when none is actually merited. Teetotalers of various kinds have a reputation for being self-righteous and judgmental, and sexual teetotalers have a remarkable track record of hypocrisy—not exactly spiritual virtues.

10. If a man is really devoted to God, then abstinence is no problem.

Yeah, right.

For the record, clergy who exploit their power and authority to molest children must be held accountable for their own behavior, and stopped. Even so, at some level, pedophile priests, along with the tens of thousands they have molested or raped, are victims of cynical Church teachings motivated at least in part by greed.

In the Middle Ages the Vatican saw priestly abstinence as a way to prevent the offspring and wives of clergy from being entitled to support or inheritance from Church coffers. Absent contraception, sex with adult females is financially inconvenient because, when women get pregnant, resources get divided among their offspring. The Church may be willing to impose this financial cost on desperately poor families, but God forbid that the Vatican’s vast wealth and real estate holdings get dispersed to the children of clergy.

11. Female consent is not a big deal: A virgin should be given in marriage by her father, a slut always wants it, and a married woman has no right to deny her husband his due.

Why have Christians and Christian-dominant cultures gotten mutuality and consent so wrong for so long? One reason is that the Bible never says that a woman’s consent is needed—or desired—before sex. In fact, like many ancient myths, the Bible accepts and even condones nonconsensual sex. Imagine how different Christian history (and derivative modern cultures) would be if the Ten Commandments said, “Don’t have sex with anyone who doesn’t want to.”

The fact that a modern man can’t trade his daughter for a goat, as happened in Old Testament times, does mean things are moving in the right direction, but that’s exactly why we need to keep talking about consent.

Our cultural agreements and norms are in flux, and that garbles social signals: A father may not hover over his daughter, but that doesn’t mean her body is up for grabs. A teen may dress like a hooker; that doesn’t mean she is asking for sex. The fact that a college student agreed to Netflix doesn’t mean she has agreed to “chill.” A sexually-experienced woman can be just as traumatized by rape as one with no experience. And nothing kills arousal—or turns attraction into revulsion—faster than service station sex; so if conservatives want people to stay married, recommending that women simply roll on their backs is a really bad idea.

The only way to navigate the evolution of sexual norms with a minimum of harm is to talk—a lot. Even then people are going to get things wrong, but that doesn’t mean we should retreat into the Iron Age.

12. As a woman, if sex or menstruation or childbirth hurts or a pregnancy test comes back positive at a bad time, accept your lot in life. Que será, será. Go with the flow. Let go and let God. And blame the misery on that uppity female, Eve, who just couldn’t resist eating from the tree of knowledge.  

No. No. No. No. No.

Sex shouldn’t hurt, painful periods can be treated, childbirth doesn’t need to be hellish, and you are right to have dreams and aspirations. Being born female is not a punishment. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean simply accepting your lot in life; it means shaping it.

This world needs women who are strong and visionary, inventive and courageous, playful and bold—not women who are hobbled by miserable monthlies and unmanaged fertility that make their future (and that of families) a crap shoot.

13. Having sex under less than ideal circumstances is going to ruin your life as well as your afterlife and vagina because you reap what you sow.

Virtually every adult has had sexual contact they regretted. Sometimes it hurts, physically. Sometimes it messes with your head—and a really bad sexual encounter or relationship can do damage that needs healing. Sometimes—afterwards—we need a good scrub or a good cry or STI treatment, or the morning after pill or an abortion or a therapist. But bad sex, stupid sex, or even assault doesn’t have to ruin your life. Most of the time we learn from our mistakes and heal our traumas, and then we move on to experience intimacy that feels wholesome and right for us.

14. Sex is sacred, even sacramental—so important that it’s worth scripting your life around having the right kind and avoiding the wrong kinds.

Yes, sex is wonderful. Orgasm is a pleasure unlike any other, and sexual intimacy releases powerful feelings of wellbeing and connection. There’s a good evolutionary reason for that. But honestly, life offers many other forms of intimacy and pleasure. Those of us who aren’t jacked on adolescent hormones or else devoting major psychic energy to sexual repression have better things to do most of the time—things like being kind, curious, imaginative, industrious or nurturing—or savoring one of life’s other delights. Just because the Church is obsessed with sex doesn’t mean we all are.

15. Children born outside of wedlock are illegitimate bastards. This means, biblically speaking, that they are not real sons (Hebrews 12:8) and that their mere presence can somehow taint their surroundings (Deuteronomy 23:2).  

Enlightened societies judge a person by character, not paternity, and modern people generally think it’s wrong to punish a child for something their parent did wrong, even something so horrendously bad as having sex without marriage.

For 200 years Americans have been fighting to bring our society into alignment with our founding ideals—that all of us are created equal—regardless of the circumstances of our birth. No child is illegitimate. Nobody’s birthright should depend on the marital status of their parents.

When the moral consciousness of the Church lags behind civil society by centuries, maybe that should tell us something about where to look for inspiration.


When it comes to sexuality, many religious authorities are stuck in a set of scripts optimized for the Iron Age, literally, and adapted during the Dark Ages. Some Church teachings about sex, like priestly celibacy, are so harmful that they threaten the whole institution, while others simply harm us as individuals. But the old conservatives at the top are terrified of change, afraid that if they lose their grip on sex and reproduction they will lose their grip, period.

Religious authorities will adapt only if forced to do so by empowered women who take charge of their own bodies and destiny, and men who cherish creative equality, and queer folk who invalidate archaic binaries simply by living and loving. So, be one. Or partner one. Or raise one.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org.  Her articles about religion, reproductive health, and the role of women in society have been featured at sites including AlterNet, Salon, the Huffington Post, Grist, and Jezebel.  Subscribe at ValerieTarico.com.


About Valerie Tarico

Seattle psychologist and writer. Author - Trusting Doubt and Deas and Other Imaginings. Founder - www.WisdomCommons.org.
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140 Responses to 15 Screwed Up Catholic Ideas That May Affect Your Sex Life Even If You’re Not Religious

  1. Maenad says:

    This is spot on. I was not raised Catholic, but I have Catholic friends and attended a Catholic college. I am very glad my kids were raised with logic and reason rather than fear or guilt.


  2. Arkenaten says:

    Brilliant post, Valerie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill West says:

    I would hope that this blog could reach every knuckle dragging mouth breathing religiously infected parent in America because it is so spot on. Sadly…….
    One well known ‘abstinence until marriage’ religiously impaired man is our favorite Seahawk QB, Russell Wilson. And he seems so well informed about everything else.
    All the best and keep these wonderful blogs coming. Can’t wait to see what the commentors have to say at Alternet.
    Bill West

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jo garceau says:

    You may have missed the most important result of the church attitude toward sex. As a child of the thirties, I learned to shut my thoughts off because they were impure and would result in mortal sin, etc, etc. In my early forties, I realized that training had been so effective that I still did not think creatively.


  5. John Garrett says:

    I’ve never enjoyed boxing, but when I read this, I find myself yelling “good hit!” at all the punches you throw.


  6. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Even Cleopatra had to rely on shoving crocodile dung up her vagina to prevent pregnancy.

    Was this before, after, or during –? It makes a difference – for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.


    • wostraub says:

      It probably made no difference to Cleo’s partners (which included Caesar and Antony). As Valerie noted, personal hygiene in the old days was so bad that folks had to either get used to it or go without. Considering the nature of crocodile dung, I’d have probably been celibate.


  7. wostraub says:

    So many good points in this article! I think Valerie has exposed every crazy or misguided rule that has been set down over the millennia involving sexual behavior, either religiously motivated or not. Mark Twain once remarked that humans have taken all the things they love and put them in hell, while all the things they hate are in heaven. Sex is one of the good things, but its importance beyond reproduction has been misunderstood since Day One.

    One point Valerie might have touched on more is the connection between religious authoritarianism and sexual behavior. Yes, the Bible makes some negative statements regarding same-sex relationships and sex with animals, but all the other stuff that authoritarians believe today were completely made up by the Monica Miller types and the church. The patriarchal nature of these rules also stands out when one considers the different “impurity” rules for men and women — lady parts are invariably treated much more harshly than men’s junk (unless he “pisseth against a wall,” a topic that Mark Twain also addressed). And if a woman should grab the testicles of a man other than her husband (Deuteronomy 25:11-12), then she’s in really big trouble.

    Again, great article.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Sex is one of the good things, but its importance beyond reproduction has been misunderstood since Day One.” – Only among those, I find, who don’t do it well.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Beth Caplin says:

    Regarding point #12, isn’t it true that some women just can’t enjoy sex, for whatever reason? Not every woman’s body is able to experience pleasure the same way, right?


  9. Valerie,
    You have outdone yourself with this article. It is incredibly complete and I enjoyed the bits of humor. I think religion’s views on sex is one of the most egregious points in its subjugation of women.
    Karen Garst

    Liked by 1 person

  10. elfkat says:

    More than a bit hetrosexist


  11. RS says:

    I’m disturbed by how much of this article is just invented, how much is wildly out of date for Catholic teaching — I’m not Catholic, but it’s easy to recognize how much bigotry is here. It’s absolutely true that you can find Catholics who have pushed these ideas or taught this stuff, and it’s absolutely true that lots of Catholics don’t know Catholic teaching from tradition (in Québec decades ago the notion went around that if you missed seven Easter Masses in a row you’d turn into a werewolf), but it’s just bias and prejudice that lets someone write all this nonsense with an authority as if it were thought-through or reasoned.
    The Catholics don’t teach that enjoying sex with your spouse is bad, but they teach that sex isn’t so simple, and easily can be used to degrade; they don’t teach that you do something and it sends you to Hell, they teach that some ways of living or treating others our yourself takes you to heartache and horror, but that it’s never too late to make a U-turn and that then none of that can be held against you; they don’t teach that sex is dirty, it’s considered a gift, when right; they don’t teach what you say about masturbation — the sin of Onanism was for Onan to have pulled out at the last moment, when God had sent him to give a child to his brother’s widow, once Onan became responsible for providing for her and protecting her as required in that day.
    I’ve never met a priest who thought abstinence was easy, at all, as you claim. Lots of people believe fasting helps them to see more deeply into their own spirit, and that’s one part of it.
    But mainly there’s so much Old Testament stuff trotted out here, so little concept of what the Christ part of Christianity is about — I’m not sure whether that’s just laziness or being sneaky and devious to paint false pictures to push some damaged goals. I just don’t buy that anyone could cherrypicking to suit an aim, so disingenuously, and claim it as honestly held belief.
    As I say, I’m not Catholic, probably couldn’t be Catholic (though Pope Francis sounds pretty significant…).
    I really just can’t stand what’s dishonest in this kind of juggling and manipulation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are absolutely right that many Catholics reject one or more of these attitudes and teachings. That said, I think you might be dismayed to read what is written on Catholic websites about official doctrine. It is mercifully easier for lay Catholics to evolve in their moral consciousness — by contrast to the Church hierarchy, which is often stuck defending positions taken decades or even centuries ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        It was 1999 before Galileo finally got his apology from the Vatican.


      • Paul Boucher says:

        The Church doesn’t teach that sex with your spouse is bad, but it absolutely does teach that it is bad if pregnancy is not a possibility. That is the official position of the Catholic Church even if many Catholics reject it. Otherwise, why would the Church be so vehemently opposed to having employers pay for contraception for female employees. RS is wrong in criticizing your article. Most of what RS says is his/her opinion and contrary to facts. e.g. the comment on the Churches’ position on masturbation.


    • So what are your thoughts on limbo? For a *non-catholic* you seem rather well versed.


      • Ah, unfortunately i know next to nothing about limbo because as you said I grew up Protestant and it pertains little to my core area of focus, namely the evolution of the family and gender roles and how we can attain a higher, healthier degree of babies coming into the world when parents feel ready. What can you tell me?


      • Oops, I must have clicked on the wrong reply button. My comment was to RS who seems oddly defensive of Catholicism for someone who claims to not be Catholic.


      • Paul Douglas says:

        RS sounds like a typical romanist apologist. For a non “catholic” he’s too well versed in their talking points. He’d fit right in with the Blue Army crowd. The stuff Valerie is talking about is mainline roman theology, its just that everyday american romanists in the pew are notorious cherry-pickeers.
        Valerie, you were spot on!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bob Shine says:

      I am a Catholic, and I appreciated your comment, RS. I am a Catholic who will readily admit that present magisterial articulations about sexuality, gender, and relationships are problematic. I work professionally for LGBTQI+ justice within the Catholic church.

      Unfortunately, this is a hit piece against Catholicism. I was so disturbed when I read it at RawStory that I clicked here and began poking around Valerie Tarico’s website. Besides misrepresenting or outright fabricating what Catholic teaching is, this post blurs the line between Roman Catholic theology and other Christian (i.e., Evangelical) theologies. And it presents Catholic teaching as monolithic, written from a form of fundamentalism about faith and theology that is rejected within Catholicism (despite, admittedly, certain Catholics’ adherence to more fundamentalist interpretations).

      Institutional Catholicism certainly needs a reality check when it comes to these topics. This could have contributed to that check. Citations, facts, and a hermeneutic of respectful engagement would have been quite helpful. Instead, the result is simply, as I said earlier, an unfortunate and distasteful hit piece.


      • Hi Bob –
        I hear your criticism and in fact have ask a more theologically trained colleague to write a response, which I will copy into this comment thread. My experience is as a former evangelical and therapist, and my intent wasn’t to address canon law per se (about which I don’t claim to be an expert) but rather Catholic teachings that have percolated into society in toxic ways. In hindsight i could have clarified that better. I will stand by the claim that each of these attitudes has, in one way or another, been promoted by leaders of the Catholic Church and has been diffused out into our society at least in part as a consequence of the role the Church plays in our society. Would you deny that?

        I would also ask you to look at your own heart. Why is it, when you read this list that you find yourself feeling protective, not of the people who have been harmed by such teachings, but of the Church itself?


      • Bob Shine says:

        HI Valerie —

        Thank you for reading and considering my comment. I will be curious to read your colleague’s response and, if you’d like, be willing to more thoroughly analyze your points where I see fallacies and/or discrepancies. What I will say now is that I commented precisely because I carry the stories of those harmed by Catholic teachings and figures, of which I include myself, in my daily work for church justice in the several fronts in which I am involved.

        Clarity about what, precisely, the magisterial authority teaches, who can and is teaching, and where a particular teaching resides in the hierarchy of truth (i.e., what level of consent is required and what type of dissent results if one dissents) are important. This is all tied to what one means when they speak of church (institutions, episcopal hierarchy, teaching authority, people of God, ecumenical Church of Christ, etc). Important, too, is a responsible scriptural interpretation done according to Catholic guidelines, which differ dramatically from some Protestant (particularly more Evangelical, Pentecostal, fundamentalist, etc.) denominations. And, ultimately, none of this can be discussed without rooting it all in the longstanding Catholic teachings on conscience, which when properly formed through prayer and study is inviolable even where one disagrees from the institutional church (i.e., the teaching on “primacy of conscience” as its frequently termed).

        The “Catholic attitudes” of which you write are, in a handful of cited cases, derived from current articulations of Catholic teachings. Some are historical remnants, some result from church leaders misusing or misrepresenting a teaching or their power, some are outright fabrications, some are transpositions of understandings of Christianity that you may be bringing from your Evangelical background, and some are just vicious myths perpetuated over time.

        My point is this: religious institutions (like secular institutions) are institutions and, as such, they have the power to do tremendous violence. Spiritual matters widen the scope and deepen the depth when harm is done because they touch upon the Ultimate Mysteries at the core of our human existence which, when violated, can be devastating. What helps is real serious accountability done by being clear about what is really taught/happening and developing reasoned and respectful challenges to that which is problematic when properly understood, which I more than welcome and frequently lodge myself. Those challenges, then, bearing the weight of truth, are much harder to dislodge than simple attacks based on a popular understanding of the institution. This is as true of the Catholic church as it is with any institution.


      • Jay says:

        Bob, everything Valerie has discussed in her article is supported by the Vatican as is evidenced here. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

        There may be many churches that have decided to alter their doctrine, but the Vatican itself has not done the same.


    • RS: It’s disingenuous to say that some of Valerie’s points are invalidated because she draws on the Old Testament. The OT is part of the Bible, even if not the Christ part, and remains influential; it’s used by the church to formulate prohibitions and to clobber those who have sex it doesn’t approve of (see, for example, the oft-cited Leviticus 20.13). This being the case, it is entirely legitimate for Valerie to reflect and comment on the primitive ‘values’ the OT promotes.


  12. Gunther says:

    Lot too little and too late for Galileo. Where do they come up with these dangerous things like if you miss seven Easter masses, you will be a werewolf. I went through the entire Catholic school system and they never had any kind of sex education class or even talk about sex by quoting Biblical scripture.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      They didn’t, by any chance, pass out silver bullets with the communion wafers, did they?


    • JJ says:

      I went to Catholic High School in the Washington D.C. area right around the turn of the 21st century, and they were still teaching us that masturbating or thinking about sexual things was an offense worthy of eternal punishment. (Also, confessing it didn’t count if you weren’t really sorry about doing it).

      I think the the general idea of being able to control yourself to some degree and not be excessively promiscuous or socially inappropriate is perfectly fine and good, but the idea that you need to basically be a complete eunuch until you get married (at which point you’re expected to have as many kids as possible) or you will be punished for eternity is kind of twisted.


  13. Gunther says:

    I meant to say that they never had any kind of sex education class.


  14. vicky says:

    Valerie, i am a product of the 50’s, 60’s raised catholic and everything you have written is exactly the way i was taught in catholic school. I have been seeing a therapist for many years because I was raped by several priests and my sense of self concerning sex was anything but enjoyable. My therapist’s degree is Human Sexuality she has done wonders in helping me build my self esteem and begin to trust a another human being to begin a relationship of intimacy. The Catholic Church has created so much evil and harm by treating it’s victims as the vermin and their offending priests with compassion and love. I see them as pure out and out hypocrites especially on their stance on sex.


    • Oh, Vicky. No one should have to go through that. No-one. I felt driven to write this article after I watched the movie the Magdalene Sisters last Friday. I went to bed wildly angry and determined to expose how incredibly much harm the Church has done and still does because of its willingness to sacrifice the lives of children and women on the altar of self-righteous sexual delusion.


    • Paul Douglas says:

      According to Bob Shine above, you weren’t really taught the truth. Funny how the “one true church: couldn’t get it right for you in the 50’s and 60’s, but he says it has now. His apologia is above. Maybe you can translate it for me.


      • vicky says:

        Hello Paul, I was raised in the Northeast, Philadelphia to be precise. Our Catholic schooling was very, very strict. You were NOT to question what was taught by the nuns, ever or you were punished. When the pastor of the parish entered the classroom, we were to stand say good morning, Father and wait to be told to sit down. Sister was just short of adulation of this pastor or for that matter, any priest. It set up the belief that a priest was called especially by God to be His teacher and witness to His truth. I came from a very severe dysfunctional family, I was a “target” for a priest to either take advantage of me at 13 or be a confident and get me the help I surely needed. I kept seeking help and was again and again molested and raped by the very men of God. Through my therapy, I have found many teachings that were taught to me to be false. I feel betrayed by the very institutional church that was so cruel in so many ways and yet so many of the priests were doing so much worse, like raping the most vulnerable. I hold this Catholic Church responsible for the victims who in their agony have committed suicide and for continued cover-up they still perpetuate at the expense of our children. They have a lot to account for morally and civilly. Until the pope and those around him in the Vatican decide to “do the right thing” not only are your children not safe but anything coming out of their mouth means nothing to me for it is hypocrisy at it’s best.


  15. Jorge Portugal says:

    As a practicing Catholic, I will admit that much of what you say is true if one follows the traditional Catholic dogma. I am happy to say that most of my Catholic acquaintances do not do so and are led more by the Christ’s teachings of forgiveness, treating all with respect and kindness, and the acceptance of all peoples. Having said that, and, unfortunately, having had years of upbringing in a fundamentalist Protestant religion, I think your “catchy” title is somewhat misleading as it is applicable to dogma in all Christian religions and suspect it might be true in the Jewish religion also, although I’m not versed in that area. Yes, the Catholic Church has done horrible things in its past, but at least it is progressing in micro steps. It is a deeply philosophical religion which is much more than can be said for most Christian religions. Jorge Portugal L.


    • Thank you for your gracious and nuanced comment. Most of my Catholic acquaintances do not do so either. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean they are unharmed by teachings like these. Even with Pope Francis, it seems that the one place he is unable to move the ecclesiastical establishment is with regard to gender roles, family planning, and sexuality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        No matter how thoroughly I study the origins of the Abrahamic faiths, I cannot for the life of me determine why something as common, as normal, as universal as sexuality, became such an outstanding issue for these religions, stretching far back into the mists of recorded time.


  16. Larry McCarter says:

    I like that “trafficking in guilt and redemption”

    Hey, pretty nice weather today. Get yer selves up here…..

    Sent from my iPad



  17. Gunther says:

    Archaeopyteryxi, I agreed with you since many Christian colleges and universities forbid their students to do things like dancing and music I can understand why they don’t want their students to smoke or drink (since we all know it they are bad for one’s health in the long run) but dancing and music. They have been around for a long time before Christ came down to earth (if he had come down in the first place).


  18. Lowell Bushey says:

    Hi, archaeopteryx1,

    I have a theory of gender roles that offers a possible explanation as to their origin, i.e., that they can be explained by evolution. Although this theory is admittedly far from perfect, it does offer a reasonable explanation as to how our gender roles originated.

    A human infant is essentially helpless, and cannot survive without parental care for an extended period of time. In addition, in prehistoric times, a high infant mortality rate necessitated a large number of births in order to keep humans from becoming extinct. Thus, early human females were perpetually pregnant and caring for offspring, with little time for anything else. This situation clearly was viable only if the father stuck around, in order to provide for the family. One way of accomplishing this objective, of course, was for the female to give him sex whenever he wanted it, and to act in such a way that he could be assured that the offspring were his.

    If I’m right, this situation resulted in an additional difficulty, i.e., that only men participated in the governance of the tribe, resulting in a power asymmetry between men and women. If one assumes, as I do, that religion serves little purpose except to maintain the status quo, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that actions necessary for survival eventually became gender roles that were enforced by the prevailing religion.

    A larger question, IMO, is why these archaic values persist in the 21st century. In the U.S., the female labor force participation rate is still quite a bit less than that of men, 56% vs 69% (2014 data; source: World Bank). Perhaps evolution proceeds far more slowly than technology. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • That would be my hypothesis, too, Lowell. Only you said it more succinctly.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      One way of accomplishing this objective, of course, was for the female to give him sex whenever he wanted it, and to act in such a way that he could be assured that the offspring were his.

      One minor problem with that, Lowell – the natives of the Trobriand Islands in the Pacific did not grasp the connection between sex and children, they believed that their god planted babies in women. Consequently, no man on the islands realized he was a father, and felt free to have sex with whomever he chose, including his daughters. Paternity seemed not to be an issue with those.

      I can see paternity becoming an issue in later times, as humans became more tribal and more sophisticated, but certainly not in the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: 15 Screwed Up Catholic Ideas That May Affect Your Sex Life Even If You’re Not Religious – kind-ism

  20. Pingback: ”Religion does no harm.” | A Tale Unfolds

  21. Argus says:

    All good clean fun, I have no doubt.

    But the root of the matter is simply Control.

    Wealth and power, by any means; and one way the church (any church, temple, mosque etc etc) controls is by declaring that any sex act unsanctioned by the priest is evil.
    As a byproduct, any offspring must be promptly inducted into that same priestly system (cute~!). Hence we have marriage ceremonies and (I believe that) ‘state’ marriages weren’t recognised by The Church for a long time.

    Unless ‘sanctified’ by an act of Priest your sex was a sin, even if legal. Changed a bit these days but still fundamentalists of any ilk demand control. Not good.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Pingback: SEX – FORESTALL

  23. Scott Bury says:

    Thanks for this. I will pass it on to my son, who has been infected with religiousity.


  24. Pingback: Somewhere … – FORESTALL

  25. In our Wendat (Huron) villages (in Ontario) in the 1600s, recreational sex was normal and expected for those coming of age. Girls and boys would head off into the cornfields together and experiment for the pure pleasure of it . When a girl became pregnant, it was said to be her choice who her partner would be. Of course being a matriarchal society, her grandmother(the clan mother of the longhouse would need to approve of him.) Marriage was informal but tended to be lasting, the young man would go to live with his new wife and her children would be of her clan. He was there representing his OWN mothers clan, and so the village had this network of inter-clan-relations (yet prohibiting same clan marriages) that kept social order. Once married even the Jesuits were surprised that there was little “cheating” or adultery. However the celebate Jesuits were always in their own frenzy, because women were mostly topless in the summer and preached hard against “sex sins”. The Wendat thought there was something wrong with the Jesuit young men for not choosing a woman from their villages.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. As a former Catholic (I was a nun for twenty years and have written about my experience in An Unquenchable Thirst: A Memoir), I do so appreciate Valerie’s take on many issues. This article in particular I appreciate for the way Valerie identifies (as she has before) the dynamic by which the Church profits from sexual restrictions by “trafficking in guilt and redemption.” I also loved the humor.

    I do understand that some readers would take issue if they misread the article as implying that the boldfaced, numbered text was a meant as a restatement of official Church doctrine. It seems to me that those passages are meant to be read as “these are ideas that lots of Catholics are infected with,” and I can’t argue with that—but there is a big difference between official Church teaching and what some Catholics (including some priests and nuns) think and sometimes teach.

    Valerie asked me (as a woman with a degree in theology from Regina Mundi, a now closed Roman Pontifical Institute that was aggregated with the Gregorian University) to respond to questions about how the article represents Catholic theology. I do so appreciate Valerie’s efforts to present factual and well-reasoned arguments, and her willingness to continue learning.

    Just to be clear, there are a few things in the article that, while they do reflect thinking that has been infected by Church influence, and especially by pre-Vatican II Church attitudes, do not adequately reflect official Catholic doctrine as it’s stated in Church documents today. Again, I don’t consider Valerie’s article to be counterfactual since I don’t think the article was intended as a statement of Catholic doctrine, but a reflection on the way Catholic teaching on sexuality is sometimes interpreted by Catholics.

    The Church doesn’t teach that sex is “dirty.” Never has. But by labelling so much sexual expression as sinful, the “ick” factor of sex can often translate in people’s minds into “sex is dirty.” The Church has consistently claimed the sanctity of sex—but only when it’s within marriage and open to procreation.

    Also, the Church’s teaching about virginity isn’t so much that a first sexual encounter changes a person but rather that offering one’s virginity to God is a great gift, and that sex is licit only between married people and when it’s open to procreation. (Yes, this refrain is the primary focus of the Church’s sexual morality—everything flows from it.)

    Official Church teaching doesn’t claim physical harm from masturbation, but merely that it will send you to hell–because it’s not an act between married people open to procreation. I think it’s interesting to note that EVERY sexual sin, from illicit sexual fantasies and masturbation to adultery and rape, are ALL mortal sins, sending you to hell, because ANYTHING sexual is considered serious matter and therefore sinful. The failure to distinguish between degrees of harm in sexual acts in one of the things that has weakened Catholic leaders’ ability to recognize and acknowledge the seriousness of REAL sexual immorality—like pedophilia.

    The Church doesn’t teach the Virgin/Madonna/Whore paradigm, at least not officially…..

    The Church doesn’t demand that all her male spiritual leaders be abstinent—deacons are often married as are many priests in the Eastern Rite.

    The official Church doesn’t claim that abstinence isn’t a problem for devoted people—the Church often notes its difficulty—but that doesn’t stop them from claiming its necessity (while at the same time acknowledging that no more than about 50% of clergy practice celibacy at any given moment—see the work of Richard Sipe, the former priest whose work is referenced on the movie Spotlight: http://www.awrsipe.com)

    The Church does not condone sex without a woman’s consent. “A husband’s due” is more an evangelical Protestant trope than a Catholic one. (This isn’t to say that you can’t find Catholics—especially men—who are happy to claim this as a Catholic teaching—but it really isn’t.)

    Yes, women who become pregnant are encouraged to accept their lot in life. Even if pregnancy kills them. But the Church doesn’t say that women who experience pain during menstruation or sex or childbirth shouldn’t seek medical help. Mother Teresa might—but the official Catholic Church doesn’t.

    “Sex is sacred, even sacramental.” Well, sex isn’t one of the seven Official Sacraments—but it is sacramental, in the sense of being a sign of Christ’s love for his Church when it’s done within marriage and is open to procreation.

    The official Church doesn’t visit the sins of the parents on their children. Being born outside wedlock doesn’t carry the stigma it once did. Of course, historic attitudes still influence modern thought….

    So, while many of Valerie’s statements don’t align with official Church teaching, they do exist within the minds of many Catholics, and they can often be traced back to former teachings. Since Vatican II, official Church teaching has been a bit more enlightened than previous dogma (though, obviously, there’s a good long way to go still).

    I’m glad for Valerie’s article because I think it can help all sorts of people gain a more healthy perspective on sexuality and on the ways in which religion prescribes rules that can make us less fully human.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Don’t take what I say to be a criticism of you, Ms Johnson, as you are not your religion and I fully realize that, but there are a number of things you’ve said (which I’ve no doubt are true), with which I have some serious issues.

      For example: “offering one’s virginity to God is a great gift” – what could a god, real or (as all gods are), imaginary, possibly do with a virginity? Seriously, think about it – isn’t that one of the most ridiculous statements anyone has ever heard? What could be the attraction, the hymen or the untouched sheath of flesh? And how could either benefit a god? Again, no offense to you, but rather to the religion.

      I once dated a former nun, who told me that she and her sisters were required to wear a nightgown-like garment when they bathed, so that they wouldn’t see their own naked bodies. How psychologically stunted is that?

      I think it’s interesting to note that EVERY sexual sin, from illicit sexual fantasies and masturbation to adultery and rape, are ALL mortal sins, sending you to hell, because ANYTHING sexual is considered serious matter and therefore sinful.

      Doesn’t that suggest to you that one should look to a warped human mentality for such prohibitions, rather than to a god capable of creating a universe? Would such a god REALLY be preoccupied with the functions of human sexual organs? Why not digestive organs? Olfactory organs? Such nonsense simply boggles the rational mind.

      The more I hear such nonsense, the more I wonder how such philosophies could possibly have lasted for thousands of years. Doesn’t anyone realize that it’s all based on magic?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mary for adding clarity and nuance. I wish the Vatican would encourage clergy to emphasize the points you made, in the interest in reducing the harm done.


  27. friendlypig says:

    I spent thirty years as a Police officer in England, the last ten in south Leeds, in Holbeck, a working class, blue collar area. About four hundred yards from the police station there lived an RC Cannon, a fire and brimstone man that not many people chose to argue with, but he was a good man and his home was a designated ‘Place of Safety’ for children taken into police protection under the Children and Young Persons Acts that applied at the time. In the early hours of one winter morning we had to go and knock on his door to ascertain if he would take a young boy.

    I went round to the house with one of my officers who was a member of the Cannon’s flock and knocked on the door. The bedroom light came on followed shortly afterwards by the Cannon in his dressing gown opening the door. As I was speaking to the gentleman in question a lady in her sixties, also wearing a dressing gown, emerged from the same bedroom!

    I glanced at my colleague who gritted his teeth and hissed, ‘don’t say a word!’

    That was over twenty years ago. What is it they say? The more things change the more they stay the same?

    The Cannon wasn’t fired, and is now buried in the local RC Cathedral. C’est la vie.


  28. Luke says:

    Excellent post, Valerie! (linked from Ark’s) All the best, luke


  29. Lary9 says:

    The connection between Catholicism’s repressive views on human sexuality and, until only recently, their age old rejection of evolution are linked. Mankind’s descent among the family of other primates was always rejected for its obvious undermining of the Biblical “Adam” as special and exempt from animal kingdom, not to mention its “distastefulness” to puritanical society. Religious scriptures have always held a “special” creation-based exemption for mankind as far as reproduction and intimacy goes.
    Although forced to finally affirm evolution, the Pope still sees it as guided by God the Father, hence mankind is still on the hook to follow the book.


  30. Lowell Bushey says:

    As I understand it, Francis was elected Pope in large part because his “hands were clean”, i.e., that he had no part in either the facilitation or the cover up of pedophile priests. Given the ultraconservative viewpoints of both his predecessors the “relatively liberal” views of Pope Francis seemed to many, including me, a refreshing change. Because Pope Francis has (a few) ideas that belong in the current century, he seems to have given us false hope. In addition, he seems to have distracted us from the primary reason he was elected Pope, i.e., the pedophile priest situation.


  31. Lowell Bushey says:

    IMO, expecting people to engage in lifetime celibacy is, in most cases, unrealistic. Therefore, with regard to priests, I would speculate that, more often than not, either they don’t, or they aren’t capable of a marital relationship. For those who are asexual, this would not present a problem, either to themselves or to the public. However, given the Catholic Church’s unrealistic expectations, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there has been a plethora of pedophile priests!


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      But would it hurt, Lowell, for them to pick on someone their own age? There has to be a plethora of women out there whose day (or night) it would make to believe that they defrocked a priest!


      • babaganusz says:

        i know there are some horrific psyches in this world, but i have trouble believing the average [secret] pedophile is in a frame of mind to weigh Option A = date and/or settle down with a legitimate partner who has reached the age of majority, vs. Option B = be a sexual predator in a society where such behavior is overwhelmingly unwelcome. in my psychology-layman citizen’s opinion pedophilia is a blatantly exceptional case whose subjects *should* be obligated to practice absolute restraint, chastity etc. these people do not choose their urges. they may deserve some form of punishment/rehabilitation for *acting* on the urges, but surely not for the urges themselves. (otherwise we can hardly chide so many religionists for their authoritarian thoughtcrime shenanigans.)

        apologies if any of my terminology requires further clarification … the DSM-5 includes an attempt to distinguish between paraphilia (atypical primary/exclusive attraction which doesn’t inherently require treatment) and paraphilic disorder. in one sense this could be seen as a spectrum, with harmless kinks ascertainable but not suggesting ‘disorder’ at one end, and plausible threats to mental or physical health and/or other individuals at the other end.


      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Oh, I agree that ACTING on the urges is the problem, not the urges themselves – we all have urges that we resist acting on, including loading up on chocolate on a daily basis.


  32. Lowell Bushey says:

    I have another observation, about religion in general, that I find disturbing. How many times have you heard that people “come to God” in times of crisis. Translation: They can be “brought into the fold” when they’re experiencing a crisis, and not thinking clearly. I find this tactic reprehensible and unconscionable!


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Ah, the vulnerability factor —

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gunther says:

      What I also find reprehensible and unconscionable is when you are in a state of crisis, people tell you to pray to God. George Carlin pointed out what good are your prayers when they are interfering in both God’s divine plan and his will (thy will be done) and as Carlin pointed out, what if God doesn’t answer your prayer?


  33. Gunther says:

    Or God just ignores your prayers or doesn’t bother answering them at all.


    • Lowell Bushey says:

      Hi, Gunther and archaeopteryx1,

      I was looking for a quote used as a footer by J.E. Hill, owner of the Secular Spokane blog, but I couldn’t find the quote or the author. Anyway, it went something like this: Prayer, a request that the laws of physics be altered to suit the wishes of a single individual. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lowell Bushey says:

        Actually, I found the quote on wiki quotes:

        PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.

        Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911).


    • friendlypig says:

      Isn’t that in itself an answer?


    • Joy says:

      Or, there’s no such thing as god.


  34. Perry says:

    “…one of the most fundamental ways conservative religion hooks people is by creating deep psychological hang-ups about sex, for which it then claims to offer a solution.”

    On the other side of that coin, many religious cults take advantage of those “psychological hang-ups about sex” and offer their own perverted solutions. See for example the list below:

    “The Top 10 Horniest Cult Leaders Of All Time”

    Not sure why, but that list missed one of the most controversial modern sex cults, the Children of God, aka, The Family International:


  35. nenamatahari says:

    A lot of this bullshit fed into my eating disorder. I was horrifically abused by the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church (which aren’t that far from Catholic) and I still struggle with this shit even though I left Christianity long ago. I can’t even be in the same room with a man with a priest collar or I will go into PTSD meltdown mode.


  36. Pingback: Is Penis Worship at the Root of the Bogus Notion of Fetal Personhood? | Freethought

  37. daniel says:

    Ok I couldn’t read through all this. Pretty much what I’m getting out of this Is that it is ok for our daughters to whores and sleep around getting S.T.Ds. or pregnant. Who many parents want there daughter to have a baby at a young age. Ok theres abortions and pills for all that but it is messed up to think that it’s ok to do something like that in the first place for any reason. Second to have abortion after abortion just so be a whore isn’t good either. What ever happen to it being something special between two people that love each other that are willing to spend their whole lives with. If your 18 if people want to go whore around and be trash fine eventually the trash gets taken out. Dont allow your kids to be whores and taken out like the rest of the trash. Protect your kids love them keep them pure and innocent. Do not let the world tell you whats right and wrong use your better judgment. Do you really thing it is ok for kids to be having sex. So now we should think if a 5th graders couple fight they should have sex to calm them down. I would like for everyone to drop the whole sex thing. What people do behind closed doors is no one else’s business. Hey gay people enough already we get it y’all are gay now stop shoving it in our face. If you have another sexual orientation good for you but dont force everyone else to except you. Just like gays should have the right to be gay well fine but others should have the right to hate y’all. Yall want the right to take it in the butt well other people should have the right to kick your butt. You want all this sex stuff fine I’m sure people will get it. Dont expect others to sit back and watch this world become more corrupt. When did we allow for bad to be good and good to be bad. Wake up people look at whats happening to this world. When is it going to be enough.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Think back, Daniel – who was the first person to tell you that sex was bad? Would it have been your mother?


  38. Gunther says:

    Well Daniel, adults can’t seem to get enough sex considering how prostitution has flourished for hundreds of years.and child sex trafficking and prostitution is a problem or even a bigger problem. The Oakland Police Department this year has a scandal with their officers involve child sex traffickng.

    “When did we allow for bad to be good and good to be bad.”

    Daniel, you need to ask that question to the wealthy people of the world whose business decisions plus trying to have economic, social, and political control of society have created economic misery for the world since this world was founded. And when has whistleblowing become a bad thing? How about wanting good paying jobs, secure employment, good healthcare, good free/affordable education and being able to enjoy life once you leave the workplace? What about wealthy people keeping all the money to themselves but want access to government services without paying for it and polluting the land, sea, and air without a shred of conscience?


  39. daniel says:

    Gunther I agree with what you have to say. Yes sex trafficking and prostitution has flourish for thousands of years. Look where that has gotten us more and more have used sex to get what they want or forced it on others as payment for one thing or another. Children are forced into selling themselves just to eat or have a decent place to sleep. The more we become more open minded to sex the less it has meaning. More and more babies are being born into this world unwanted. The lucky ones will have at least a mother the rest are given up or killed. New borns future people born without wanting to be born are forced into this world by careless people that just want to have sex. Sure the people had some fun and it felt good but one night of pleasure can cause a life time of pain and suffering for the unwanted baby. As far as the rest yes the elite are in control only because we have given them at control. We have given them our money. We have given them everything we have. We can always take what ia rightfully ours back. People are to scared to do anything about it though. They accept the fact they are slaves to the elite. As far as working and living a happy life and all that. I don’t work I have no job I make no money but when I’m hungry I eat when I’m tired I sleep. I dont struggle with bills or anything like that I have no stress. I will never submit to the will of other men just because they say we have to. I will stand and fight for what is just. If we want to change this world we must fight for change. How can we say we are free when we are slaves to life. We work all day to servive just to put food into our stomachs or to quinch our thirst. Most people die because no health insurance. Yet we have to pay for the things we need just to servive. We live to work and work to live. We have given up everything just for simple pleasures of this world. We will pay to go see a movie. Those actors get that money and spend it. Yet your the one struggling for eat. Has Hillary Clinton ever paid you light bill or gave you food when you were hungry what about Obama did he ever make sure you had a home. What about Jim Carrey or kanya west have they ever made sure you were safe at night. No none of these people care about you they dont even know your alive. All they care about is how much money you spend on there stuff. Yet yall are big fans of these people. Lets see where Justin beber is when your father is dieing and you dont have the money to save him. Wake up people it is up to us to help each other we cant leave it up to these people in power they dont care about us they want us to suffer and die so they could have the world to themselves. The elite are in control and this post the main post is just another way to try to control us. Sure people cant get enough sex but is it that important to people that we have to have some corrupt mind telling us we should go sleep with anyone and everyone. That we should allow are daughters to become whores just because some one says its ok. Should we listen to these people just because they have a dagree. A sheet of paper that’s all they have it doesn’t mean anything it holds no value. I could use it for toilet paper thats what those dagrees and diplomas are good for. Yet we let them treat us like were nothing just because they have those degrees and diplomas. I could go to school for 20 year and have people teach me that a cat is a dog and a dog is a fish and get a diploma for it. Then I could go out and force everyone to believe that a cat is a dog and a dog is a fish but end the end a cat will never be a dog nor a dog be a fish. Just because we learned something and we agree with it doesn’t make it true or right. It just make us blind to what is real and the truth. Is sex good just because these people say it. Let your daughters become whores let your sons go whoring. Then when they come to you for help lets see how you feel then. Lets see how you feel when your 13 or 14 year old daughter kills herself because she was being called a whore and a slut in school. I will not allow myself or my family to be corrupted by this world. If that means I have to fight and die for them to stay innocent then so be it I will fight. How many of you are willing to fight.


  40. Gunther says:

    Daniel, the business people,like the Koch Brothers, Donald Trump, actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and the Republican Party have not done anything to ensure that we can pay our bills particularly medical ones, put a roof over our heads, put food on the table either, so what is your point about blaming the Democrats? You also need to remember that the Republican Party has openly stated that they will not work with a Democratic president and they have done so with Clinton and Obama. You think that they will work with the next Democrat president? No way. Or do you think that if the Democratic take back both houses, a Republican president will work with a Democratic Congress? No way. They have not done anything to put America back to work. All they care about is money and power.

    You also need to remember this simple rule: The president proposes, Congress disposes which means that a president can give all his bills to congress, but if they are not approved in the House of Representative first, they are not going anywhere and the Republicans have changed the filibuster rules in the House to ensure that nothing will happen.

    If we had a comprehensive sex education in America like they have in Europe, it would cut down unwanted pregnancies but not eliminated them totally. In the 1960s movie, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Terry Thomas pointed out to Milton Berle about how sex has dominated the entire American culture. Of course, American businesses put sex into our society because it generates profits for them.

    We are a nation of sheep when you look at the history of protests in this country compare to places like Central and South America and Europe plus being brainwash by the corporate controlled media. You are right about the schools. Corporations are using them to do their R&D and reap the benefits of it with no cost to them. You have the Koch Brothers trying to take over colleges and determine what the curriculum will be and who gets hired on as a teacher. In addition, you have the Koch Brothers and the right-wing political, social, and religious conservative groups trying to whitewash the Bible of anything that smacks of liberalism, progressivism, socialism, etc. In addition, those same individuals and groups are also trying to sanitizes and re-write American history with regards to things like capitalism, unions, racism, sexism, slavery, etc.

    Tere is also this problem of society where people are told that we should get married and have kids and if we don’t, we are not good religious people. Finally, just remember this point: none of us were asks to be brought into this world. There are plenty of us out there trying to figure what the heck are we suppose to do in this world. and we wonder why our parents brought us into this world when they knew how bad it was in the first place despite the fact that religion has not done a thing to create a better world. I used to believed (or was actually taught) that suicide was wrong, but I have changed my viewpoint when you have to look at each person’s reason for taking his/her life since no one is really immune from thinking of suicide let alone carrying it out.


  41. Gunther says:


    “As far as the rest yes the elite are in control only because we have given them at control. We have given them our money. We have given them everything we have.”

    Yes we have given control; however, if we did not give them control, they will find ways to take control which they have already done and they will have no hesitation in killing us or throwing us in prison if we tried to take back control. Why do you think the cities, counties, and states have passed laws to criminalizes political, social, and economic protests in this country, or pass restrictive laws when it comes to voting requirements? Because the politicians were told by their corporate and religious masters to do so.


  42. soleil6671 says:

    THIS is a God send – sitting in sexually repressed Australia (Catholic retarded views weaved into a supposedly chill society – except they can’t bare to think of each other ‘unholy’ without copious amounts of alcohol, and I’m eastern European and find sex entirely appropriate as motivation and as a serious (and lovely – AT THE SAME TIME) pursuit.
    Grrrr, the bloody Irish that brought that repression here!


  43. Angie says:

    Yup…hearing all this nearly every day between Catholic school and a mom that had internalized a lot of this stuff (and projected her fears, hangups, and past traumas onto me) is why I’m struggling with vaginismus. (A spasm of the pelvic floor muscles that makes penetration difficult or impossible, and very painful. Even for completely non-sexual things like tampons or pelvic exams.)


  44. private says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I was raised Catholic and I have always had a guilted voice in the back of my head. Reading this helps a lot. Thank you!!!!


  45. Ireland Ranger says:

    As a born and raised traditional Catholic, I can honestly say that this is all quite true. Now, due to how I was brought up, I find myself unsure of what to do in my current relationship. Sex is wanted by both parties, but I am absolutely guilt-ridden for wanting it and terrified of the consequences that may follow. We’re not married, which is why I feel so horrible about it. My boyfriend is nothing but respectful of my choices, but my issue is that I don’t know whether to allow myself to accept my desires or to smother them due to my guilt. My brain is completely screwed over on the manner so I generally try to avoid it….but its only bound to come up again.


    • vicky says:

      Dear Ireland, I understand completely your struggle with conscience. What this catholic Institution has done is promote fear and shame. Sex is a vital human need instituted by GOD as part of HIS creation that of man and women. The fear and shame is a means of control by the church. Please be true to yourself, think for yourself and lastly, do for yourself. As my wonderful therapist always use to say, “Screw Guilt.”!


  46. Cathkeen Baldwin says:



  47. Jim says:

    This is one of the greatest hang ups I have “sex is dirty/bad”, and it rooted in my upbringing by parents who were stanch Catholics. This is one of the reasons, perhaps not the only one, that I have never been able to sustain a relationship with a women even as a friend. I can only think of a woman as a sexual object who produces babes and have no other use.


    • soleil6671 says:

      This is also why sexual abuse of children is so ripe in the Catholic church – victims of their own sick dogmas who of course, being human, do not believe that rubbish one bit themselves.
      It is all essentially a selling of guilt, which they then recycle through forgiveness – the main Catholic church product – you tell me if there is a better business model to grow – create a need for you own product, both of which needing just belief – something people need themselves desperately.
      If you ask me, THAT is pure evil – the new popehas exactly that look on his face – thank god both Orthodox and Protestant Christianity as well as Judaism are sexually liberal – otherwise white people would be a lot more backwards than Muslims – and quite possibly extinct in 200 years.

      There is nothing more natural than relaxed, turned on, happy and sweaty sex – and our chemistry is wired to enjoy this thoroughly and to bond over it (if it isn’t coming from a reactionary place where church gets it in the first place by repression) – and there aren’t any ill effects even if it isn’t its best version – I’ve thought about this for a while – apart from an STD, it is pure pleasure – made to be ‘bad’ only and solely by the Catholic church – and solely for the purposes of controlling the masses and increasing own influence. It’s a mental illness created on purpose and on a massive scale (with church then obviously also offering the cure and a bit of Jesus mixed in – surprise, that, isn’t it)


  48. Thomas Pedersen says:

    Eternal Father I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son our Lord Jesus Christ; in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


  49. JPO says:

    The vast majority of this article really isn’t what true Catholics think (for whom I can speak, as I am a practicing Catholic). I would advise reading some works by St. John Paul II to see what Catholics really think about sex, and you might be surprised to find that we think it’s awesome!


    • Thanks, JPO. Although I might nudge back about whether you or any one person gets to decide who is and isn’t a ‘true” Catholic, I do know that there are other life-affirming, sex-affirming, joy-affirming teachings within the Church as well.


    • Perry says:

      “reading some works by St. John Paul II to see what Catholics really think about sex”

      You can also read at the following links what John Paul II, who was no saint, thought about the sexual abuse of children:

      “For much of John Paul’s papacy, the church’s sex abuse crisis bubbled mostly underground. But when it did break through the surface, the pope’s response was most noticeable for its absence. Hans Hermann Groer, an Austrian cardinal accused of abusing more than 2,000 boys over several decades, was made to retire as bishop of Vienna when the scandal broke in 1995, but was never punished or forced to apologize. (Groer died in 2003.) The Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado continued to receive John Paul’s support after allegations emerged in the late 1990s that he had abused seminarians. [see related articles below]
      “”Time and again, John Paul simply refused to take the hard decisive steps that a visionary leader would take,” says Jason Berry, author of Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, and two books on the sex abuse scandal. “The way he responded to the accusations against Father Maciel by basically ignoring them, acting as if they didn’t even exist, is not only a sign of a terrible denial on his part, but also an unwillingness to confront the full impact of evil.” Maciel remained unpunished until after the John Paul’s death in 2005, when Benedict XVI ordered him to leave the ministry for “a life of penitence and prayer.” Maciel died in 2008.”

      And if you’re not familiar with who Father Maciel was, he was one of the most vile, immoral Catholic leaders ever, who was supported and protected by John Paul II. He was head of the Legion of Christ. At the following link you can a dozen or so news articles detailing Maciel’s crimes:


      “And what a double life. Sex abuse of minors. Six illegitimate children. Mistresses housed in luxury apartments bought with the Legion’s money. The list goes on.”


      • JPO says:

        Thank you for your comment. The sex abuses in the Catholic church are no doubt egregious, but the Church at that time was not in a position in which they knew how to address them. This is certainly a fault of the Church (which is being reformed), but it is not an institutional issue written into the foundation of Catholicism as you seem to be implying it is. The validity of JP II’s teachings still hold true regardless of how poorly the issue was handled on an organizational level. And yes, I would still recommend reading his works before you deny their relevance, otherwise your denial of them is not really valid since you are most likely unaware of what he asserts.


      • Perry says:

        JPO, there is no reply button on your reply to me, but this is intended for you and your claim: “but the Church at that time was not in a position in which they knew how to address them.”

        That simply is not true. The Church was aware of the serious problem at least as far back as the 1950s and not only knew how to deal with it but were given warning and suggestions. Do you really understand what you are arguing when you claim that the Church hierarchy did not know how to deal with the problem of priests sexually abusing children? What you are really admitting is that the Church, a self-proclaimed authority on morality, did not have the ability to recognize the widespread evil, immoral behaviour of its own members, nor the honesty and courage to deal with it. Instead, it chose to protect the Church instead of innocent children. see these articles for the historical perspective:

        “Bishops were warned of abusive priests as early as the mid-1950s”
        “Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paracletes, an order established in 1947 to deal with problem priests, wrote regularly to bishops in the United States and to Vatican officials, including the pope, of his opinion that many sexual abusers in the priesthood should be laicized immediately.”

        “1963 letter by church expert on pedophile priests shows Pope Paul VI and Vatican officials ignored warnings to expel problem priests”
        “A former pope was warned that paedophile priests should be removed from active ministry and repeat offenders expelled from the church, according to a clerical communique that has emerged following a US lawsuit.
        “The letter, written in August 1963 by the head of an order that specialised in the treatment of priests accused of abusing children, suggests that the Vatican and Pope Paul VI should have known about failings in procedures for dealing with such cases, according to the lawyer who produced it.”

        As for your argument about JP’s enlightened attitude towards sex, I’ll concede that point to you, but it really says nothing about his immoral failure when it comes to sexual abuse of children.



        Your are right on, Perry. Guam is in the news for victims coming forward for being sexually abused by priests. The church looks the other way when it comes to protecting your children. Stop drinking the kool-ade and look it up. The church has become a business not a church. The pope has shown mercy to the priest sex abusers not to the victims. The victims are the only ones who can forgive their abuser. This awful problem has been going on since the 4th century!


      • Perry says:

        Thanks for the note about Guam. Here’s a couple recent articles that show how predator priests were transferred around the world to unsuspecting dioceses to protect the Church, while endangering more children in the communities they were sent to. Church leaders have always known about the child abusers in their midst but chose to do nothing and keep it secret. But secrets always come out in the end.




      • Perry says:

        Here is more news that shows that the Catholic clergy child abuse scandal and the failure of the Church hierarchy to protect child is not just in the past, but continues to be a serious problem today:

        “Irish abuse victim lashes out at Vatican bureaucracy as she quits panel”
        “ROME (RNS) Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins has accused the Vatican bureaucracy of “shameful” resistance to fighting clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church as she quit a key panel set up by Pope Francis.
        In a major setback for the pope, Collins on Wednesday (March 1) announced that she had resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors established by the pontiff in 2013 to counter abuse in the church.
        She said the pope’s decision to create the commission was a “sincere move” but there had been “constant setbacks” from officials within the Vatican. …”



        Perry, I knew that when this pope set up the Royal Commission is was just smoke and mirrors! It was just to let the pew catholics think that the church is doing something about this scourge. He never had any intention of stopping the abuse by his priests. All you have to do is read about his history and know he excused his good friend, a priest of sexual abuse of a child while he was archbishop. These men have NO intention of doing anything. What they have done which is so minimal was forced upon them by their victims. This organization is a disgrace. Your children are NOT safe because how they are handling a priest who abuses and rapes a child is show him mercy not the child whose life has now been forever altered!


      • Perry says:

        JPO, on reflection, I think I conceded your point on JPII’s sexual views too quickly. Without having read his writings on the subject, I think I can safely assume that his ‘enlightened’ views on sexuality only extended to a very narrow class of people: a married man and woman who don’t use birth control. I doubt very much that he approved of sexual activity outside of those boundaries, and would condemn sexuality in loving relationships outside of marriage or between same genders, for example. If I’m wrong about that, please enlighten me.


      • JPO says:

        Interestingly enough, he did not “condemn sexuality in loving relationships outside of marriage,” and I think that’s what you don’t understand.
        I would recommend reading through some of his works here, but you can probably find more general summaries (that are a little easier to read than his often dense philosophical writing) elsewhere. Thanks for commenting :)


  50. Allie says:

    I’m Catholic and I agree with a few of your points. However, a lot of the information you presented is outdated and even somewhat ignorant. Your title is about Catholic ideas that are “screwed up,” yet you refer to all Christianity as Catholicism multiple times. Please do not group all Christian sects under Catholicism. That is the main reason why so many people have no idea what the Catholic Church is all about, which is love and universality. Priests molesting children is certainly not condoned nor even tolerated by the Catholic Church, and action is taken to remove those priests from the priesthood. Also, many modern Catholics are not against birth control if it is not with the intention of preventing pregnancy. If a woman has a painful period, she is allowed to take action to help herself. Point #4 in your article is completely irrelevant, as is Point #11. Both of these points are so outdated I cannot even begin to try to tell you how outdated they are. You should check your facts before posting such a judgmental article. And for the record, modern Catholics do not believe that premarital sex will send you straight to hell. We believe in forgiveness. I believe you are mixing up old teachings into what you believe our current beliefs are, which you shouldn’t even really have a say in if it’s something you know so little about for your lack of belief in it.


    • Perhaps I should have clarified better that I don’t believe that all of these are current doctrine, nor do i think all Catholics either now or ever in the past agreed with all of these things. What I meant to say is that they are beliefs that have flowed into our culture via Catholicism and her Protestant offshoots, or that have been exacerbated by the Church and by bibliolatry.


    • Perry says:

      “Priests molesting children is certainly not condoned nor even tolerated by the Catholic Church, and action is taken to remove those priests from the priesthood.”

      That is white-washing not only the historical facts about the Catholic child sexual abuse scandal, but the current situation where the Church continues to have inadequate child protection policies. For example the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is examining all religious institutions but currently dealing with the Catholic Church, was recently presented with evidence that the Church is not taking action to remove priests from the priesthood, as you claim. The following article is referring to Church doctrine and policy today, not just the past.

      “An American priest has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the Catholic Church has used canon law as an excuse for not taking action against clergy accused of molesting children.”

      More often than not, Catholic Bishops dealt with criminal priests who sexually abused children by shuffling them from diocese to diocese, and from country to country. And even after the global scandal became headline news, efforts by various church bodies continued to take effective action that would truly protect children from predator priests. Although the following articles, and related links at the bottom of them, are a few years old, the same issues remain current today, as the Australian Commission is exposing:

      “Review of sex abuse guidelines at US bishops conference will not close loopholes that continue to endanger children”

      “Catholic clergy abuse review boards made ineffective by bishops who hide cases from them”


      • Perry says:

        No edit button here. In my comment above I meant to say: ” efforts by various church bodies continued to FAIL TO take effective action that would truly protect children from predator priests.”


  51. Nick says:

    Please stop spreading lies about the Catholic Church. I am a normal 20 year male and it makes me sad that you are twisting and mangling so many ideas to try to make a point. I am okay with people arguing their view, but please actually do some research on the matter before you make an angry post about something you’re not completely educated on.


    • Nobody is saying that these all are official doctrine, Nick, nor that all Catholics believe them. At least not me. Rather, whether this fits current doctrine or not, they are all ideas that have been either inserted or amplified in our culture by Christian authorities and that need to be exorcised.


    • Joy says:

      What did she get wrong?


  52. Frank says:

    I has a different opinion you have your opinion and even though I made think you are wrong I am not condemning you but if you have a different opinion then the Catholic Church. it seems that people of very hostel to different opinion.
    If you take a snapshot of your life it really doesn’t matter what we do,
    If you take a longer approach and at the end of our life and the Catholic church is right.
    there is no turning back at that point.
    If we are teaching Our younger generation to be sexually active in a perverted way, we are also condemning them in the next world.


  53. Maria Sawick says:

    Read Love and Responsibility and The Theology of the Body by John Paul II and you will be shocked at how wrong this suppositions are. You need to get updated this is 1962 Jansenist “stuff” not current

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Ann Stokman says:

    Like this article


  55. Robert White says:

    Being an atheist I find it humorous how much time you folks waste thinking about stuff that is outdated and stupid. It would be like me devoting my life to making sure there was no one left on the planet that thought the world was flat. Good article though. Explains a lot about why not to date a Catholic girl. DONT DO IT. Are you Catholic? Is always the first question I ask of a potential date. If you love sex think Hindu.


    • Perry Bulwer says:

      That’s funny. Although you condemn others for wasting their time, you don’t think its wasting your time to read the article.


  56. teriwhite762 says:

    None of us actually believed it, but thanks for your time. (signed, Lapsed Catholic who still thinks it ‘s no worse than other religions)


  57. Rvrmt says:

    On target. All of it has to do with mating competition starting with hunting gathering through agricultural period.
    Until recently other than eating or breathing
    that was most important thing you did.
    Those OT Hebrews were obsessed with
    sexual behavior. Mainly for group survival against their neighbors. Either outfight them or outbreed them.
    Irony is that reduced death rates and effectiveness of birth control have completely
    changed the entire argument.
    But our brains are still acting as though we are in long ago past.
    Once again great article. signed Lapsed Presbyterian :-)


  58. Ann Marie Stokman says:

    How true this is


  59. Revan says:

    Your own arguments prove themselves contradictory; if the fetus is not a living cell, then what is it?
    Also, who says this life is pain-free?
    The opposite of Love is not hate, but lust; using a person for one’s own pleasure, without any thought of the other Person: This strips a person down to a mere object, not a person, but an object


    • I actually am grateful that you have taken the time to illustrate one kind of thinking I was talking about and two other pernicious theological positions held by some parts of the Catholic Church. Your comment opened with the ugly idea that sexual intimacy without rolling the reproductive dice is somehow then absented of love. What follows was a sentence illustrating the acceptance of or even attraction to preventable pain that is inherent in Catholic theology, and willingness to impose that on others. Lastly came the reduction of personhood to equivalence with living cells. That was a lot to pack into three sentences.


    • Perry Bulwer says:

      Wrong. Love and lust are not antonyms. The opposite of love is http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/love?s=t and the opposite of lust is http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/lust


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