Sometimes you just have to marvel at some of the stupidity that gets passed off as “wisdom” in the name of religion. Take, for instance, the moron-in-chief of Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson. Arturo Garcia here at Raw Story, reports on the, uh, moral lesson Robertson was trying to dish out in a sermon recently.
“Biblically correct sex is safe,” Robertson said during a sermon in West Monroe, Louisiana last month. “It’s safe. You’re not going to get chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS — if you, if a man marries a woman, and neither of you have it, and you keep your sex between the two of you, you’re not going to get ever sexually transmitted diseases.”
Robertson went on to blame “orthodox liberal opinion” for the spread of “debilitating diseases” around the U.S. and the world and accused his audience of being — like himself — “sexually immoral” at some point in their lives.
“Man meets woman, marries her, keeps his sex right there,” he said. “The children come, the chances of them getting a sexually transmitted disease, would you say is almost zero? You can say it.”
There’s all sorts of ways you can argue with this kind of horseshit. You can, as Garcia does, quote evidence that shows that, in fact, vowing to be completely monogamous is not actually foolproof. You can argue about Robertson’s asinine idea that there’s a “Biblically correct” kind of sex that just happens to correlate with the wishful thinking of 21st century fundamentalist Christians, even though the actual Bible has all sorts of adultery and polygamy in it. Those are fine approaches to this screaming stupidity.
But personally, I prefer to point out that the notion that all you have to do is “just” get married while you’re a virgin and have a perfect, sexually satisfying marriage that lasts until you die in each other’s arms having lucked into being mildly infertile so that you only have a couple of children despite your contraception-free lifestyle is like telling people that all they need to do to be rich is “just” win the lottery. For Robertson’s supposedly simple plan to work, you need to have the ability to see into the future, to know that your chosen spouse will be able to sexually satisfy you even though you refuse to sample the goods first. You need mind-reading abilities to know that your chosen will never betray you. You have to have an extremely low sex drive so that you don’t feel any need to have sex before you meet your spouse and so that, once married, you can keep sex infrequent enough to not conceive very often. But you should also have a high sex drive to keep marriage harmonious, at the very same time. You should also deliberately suppress human curiosity and sense of adventure, since those things lead to wanting to taste life a little before settling down with one person forever. You should probably also be able to fly and play the flute with your toes, while we’re at it. Why not,while asking the impossible?
Frankly, condoms and bothering to get regular check-ups seems like a much smaller deal. Shit, if the choice is between Robertson’s demand that you close yourself off permanently to a life that has satisfaction and adventure in it and getting the clap, the clap is a much better deal. You can fix that with penicillin, but you can’t fix a life wasted on trying to follow misanthropic, joy-hating religious edicts.
This notion that you should be open to shutting yourself off to experience, pleasure, happiness in marriage that can only come from really knowing what you want before going in, and the things that make life worth living sounds perfectly silly when the topic is anything but STIs, really. Some examples:
- If you want to avoid catching cold, you just need to hole up in your house and refuse to interact with other people for the rest of your life.
- If you want to avoid stubbing your toe, simply never walk anywhere.
- Simply refrain from ever loving or caring about anyone, because otherwise you might lose them and feel grief.
- Really, the best way to avoid all risk forevermore is to simply just die now. Can’t get the clap in the grave, you know.
This kind of thinking really shows how one-sided the simplistic Christian right ideology is. Sure, there are risks in going out and dating and likely having more than one sexual partner in your life. But the risks of not doing that are also very high, usually much higher than the risk of disease, particularly if you have medical care and use condoms. For instance, the chance that the first person you fall in love with is not going to make the best long-term partner is much, much higher than say, the risk of getting syphilis. A life wasted by staying with a person who makes you unhappy because you believe that you are allowed one sex partner and that’s it, for life, is a much more serious danger than nearly all the STIs.
To me, this just seems like common sense, really, and yet millions of people get sucked into this simplistic argument that simply giving up huge chunks of what it means to be human is “all” you need to do in order to eliminate risk. This kind of thinking is on the down swing, thankfully, but it clearly still persists. Thoughts on why, folks?