Tuesday, March 09, 2010

On Sex and Religion

On P.Z. Meyers' post on the Smut for Smut exchange, I have some observations and qualifiers...

  • I have no problem with his basic point; which is, the Christian Bible can easily be read as fostering greed, hatred, and ignorance. It is not the only way to read this book though; there are ways of reading that book, as Isaac Azimov did in his guide to the bible, that are more historically accurate. King Josiah, in such a reading, was a religious bigot whose behavior eventually brought down his kingdom.
  • But a very vocal group of people today argue for a less wise reading of this book, which to me would on its own justify its exchange for non-exploitative pornography, if there can be such a thing.
  • I'm not certain there is such a thing as non-exploitative pornography. On a one perspective, what is valuable in participants in this activity remains what it is, but on another view, precious time has been taken in their lives, at the very least. I suppose if two people loved each other, and it was their choice to make public what most folks want to do in private...
  • But I would say the overwhelming, overwhelming rule in the porn world is that it is exploitative, and we ourselves continue this by creating and sustaining a world in which people are driven to this out of economic desperation and exploitation and coercion.
  • Meyers asks, "How does [exchange of bibles for porn] denigrate religion, unless you're assuming that sexuality is a sin, a corruption, a filthy offense to the gods?" I agree; if your religion is big enough, even the thought of porn should be drive you back into your practice. But of course there are people who assume that their religion is "over there" away from themselves!

P.S. The above right picture is in one of Philip Kapleau's books, and in that book he talks about the nonduality of Bodhidharma (a.k.a. "daruma" in Japanese) and prostitute (also commonly called a "daruma.") What Kapleau doesn't say is that prostitutes care more likely called "darumas" because they "fall down and get up," rather than the Japanese have some deep profound insight in the deeply holy ladies of the evening.

Think about it.

P.P.S. Also consider the Zennist's post re: Mara. Even that being is to be liberated.

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