Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system

Even back when I still considered myself a person with spiritual beliefs, I knew there were people who claimed similar beliefs as mine, who exasperated me to no end. Sure, they probably felt the same way about me and my beliefs, and for likely as good of reasons. Back then, they seemed to be like that one weird cousin we all have, who we want to love, but deep down, we just wish they would pretend not to know us when in polite company.

Having exited organized religion nearly 20 years ago, and lost my faith entirely over a decade ago, my ability to suffer these people has grown less and less, while my willingness to spare even a single thought about them has nearly evaporated. And yet, there are times when, despite my best effort and attempts to distract myself away from it, I find myself unable to look away for the absolutely crazy shit that floats in front of my eyes. I don't want to look at it or engage, but there is a horror to it that just draws the attention.

What follows here is not an attempt to 'dunk' on this person. I expect that while I wouldn't want to hang out with them for an extended period of time, they're probably a very nice person who I could have a pleasant, if vacuous, exchange with. They're someone's grandparent and are loved very much... just not by me. To get the pent up irritation out, I'm going to dismantle a very short post, and rebuild it, through a massive expansion in length, to something that I hope most people with faith would prefer to see as a representation of their beliefs, and not the absolute trash which was contained in the original message.

Without further adieu, said trash:

Trash, in a tweet form

Sentence 1

"God's ways are ALWAYS proven to be perfect!"

Let's start with the word 'ways'. Considering this entire post is about sex and sexuality (more on this later on), is this a euphamism for God geting it on? If so, with whom? Yes, yes, given the poster identifies herself as a Christian, the easy answer here is Mary, mother of Jesus.

Assuming that's the case, this immediately draws into question the whole idea of the immaculate conception. Gives an entirely new meaning to "Gods spirit came upon her", doesn't it? But that's crass; how dare I make God out to be some pervert! Well, we are talking about sex here, and if God's 'ways' are perfect, then I'm guessing that the sex was good?

Mary didn't even know she was pregnant till much later, so says the Bible. Yeah, that doesn't really make it better if she didn't realize it was happening. Are we now here stating that God's a rapist who is so good (bad?) at doing that, that Mary didn't even feel it? Either way you take that, feels a bit less than perfect.

Moving on, let's go to that work proven, as its the one that is doing the heavy lifting in this sentence, despite the word just prior casting an all-caps shadow over it. Listen 'always', you need to sit down and wait your turn, later in the less important paragraphs, where you belong. Proven by whom? What are the criteria? I get this is a tweet, so it has to be short, but we need some references here.

Yes, yes, she's hand-waving towards the entire Bible; I'm not an idiot, I know what she's doing. See, this is a non-argument appeal to authority, but if you reject the entire Bible (or at least the most egregiously ridiculous parts), then there is no authority. If you've got no authority to hand-wave to, your ability to 'prove' anything is shown for the useless aphorism that it is.

Moving backwards to the impertinent always... this assumes that situational ethics isn't a thing, which the Bible itself contradicts. God commands not to murder (maybe kill) but then turns around and either directly or indirectly slaughters more than the most heinous serial killer imaginable. If you're commanding your followers to kill in your name, the blood is still on your hands. Christianity even claims God allowed his own son to be killed by his own creations. Look, if you can't figure out a rule around not killing, you shouldn't be trusted about how people spend their spare time pleasuring one another.

Sentence 2

"Studies prove:"

Name one.

Go ahead; we'll wait.

No? Not even one?

Yeah, that's because there are none.

Oh, wait! You do know how to use Google? Well, then you're going to drop some links here that 'prove' once and for all Christians do have better sex. How do you know that? Well, you asked them and they told you how great it was.

First up, none of those so-called studies were anything more than self-reported. Not a single study has found this because, according to Christians themselves, they wouldn't be able to participate in a study to prove it, as it would violate their wedding vows to their spouse.

People lie to themselves all the time about many things. Christians do it about their sex lives and don't even realize they're lying to themselves.

If Christians are only with one partner, then they have no frame of reference to know if the sex is great or not. It might be the most mind-blowing sex ever, so lets give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is. Awesome, in comparison to what? Pleasure is a subjective experience; everyone experiences it differently. Cross comparison requires framing, and if you've only got one view on it, you simply don't know. This isn't to suggest that Christians should have more partners to find out; frankly I don't care if they do or not. What I care about is the logical fallacy in the statement.

Its not just a quantity of partners here, its a breadth of experience. Look at more of the poster's tweets, if you can bring yourself to do so, and you'll find that if her view of sex is representative of the general Christian population, it sounds like drugery and not pleasure. Much of her advice is to basically just get thru it, let your partner slake their urges, then go do stuff you really care about (like tweeting garbage). That seems like a less than fulfilling sex life. I'm not suggesting people need to explore every imaginable kink under the sun, but if you don't know any, you're probably not enjoying sex as much as you think you are.

The last argument here that this is garbage doesn't even require studies; just read the paper of the number of Christian leaders who engage in sexual acts outside of marriage or generally accepted principles taught by the faith. If the sex they espouse in tweets like this was so great, why are they looking anywhere else but their partners?

Point 1 (Finally)

"The workforce harms women physically / mentally"

I've been talking sex a lot so far, partially for the humor, but mostly because that's where she takes it. We should probably back up a bit first and dive a bit deeper on how she is arriving at that destination, because this is a roadmap that wanders a bit.

The argument being made here is that women should stay at home, because working outside the home <<vague hand-waving about harm done>>. Look back prior to the 1950s and you'll find that pretty much all the way back thru pre-history, women worked. During the time of agrarian society, men and women worked side by side on the homestead. Even women who lived in towns and not on a farm, typically did work like spinning yarn, which was then sold for income to support the household.

Go back further to hunter gatherer times, and right there in the name you see that women did just as much work as men. Not all men hunted (the youngest and eldest were physically incapable of doing so) and not all women gathered (because they were likely skilled hunters in their own right).

Sure, she might argue, the work done today is very different than the work in those times. Absolutely correct, but why is it then that only women would be harmed by such labor? If men and women both shared in the labor of earlier times and were unharmed by it, why should men be the only ones harmed by it now? Instead of saying women should stay home, away from harm, why shouldn't we abolish that type of work entirely?

And what type of harm are we talking about here? Note the complete lack of specifics on exactly what type of harm women are undergoing; just some vague threat. That's because you can't name any without sounding ridiculous. I'm not saying that there aren't jobs that are harmful; there are plenty that are! Yet, look at life expectency rates now in comparison to even 100 years ago, and the workplace of today is far less dangerous than at any time in the past.

Point 2

"Children need mothers at home to be emotionally stable / secure"

If you're following the argument, it goes that the workplace is harmful, so women should stay at home, which is where needy children should reside. But is this correct? If you've read this far, then you know that answer, but lets dig into it a bit further anyway, just for fun.

Are there no other places women could go, beside the home, where they would be safe from harm? I guess that rules out churches? What about museums or libraries? Schools? No, I guess not, so that must mean home is always secure? I'm pretty sure that the number of domestic violence incidents must be next to non-existent, right? If the home isn't secure, and for many women it most definitely is not, then why would anyone seem to think that children would be any safer there if the wife is not?

Why would there necessarily be children there, anyway? Not all women can have children, so if she can't have them, what then is the need for her to be at home? If God chose not to let her have children, then it doesn't really follow on that she even needs to be there, according to this logic.

We must also define exactly what it means to be stable or secure. You can find plenty of reports of children abused and neglected in homes that identify as Christian. You don't even have to stretch your web searching skills to locate them. If its that easy for Christians to fail that you can follow it in the news every day, then this doesn't make sense.

Point 3

"Immodesty turns women into objects"

If you thought the logical jumps so far were outrageous, then you didn't see her taking it up this high with this transition. Women who don't stay home and raise kids are now immodest. They are turning themselves into objects. I almost don't even know which direction to start on this one.

First of all, immodesty as a concept is entirely bullshit. Immodesty and decency are things that don't exist except as a joint halucination in society's head. In some societies, women who don't wear a covering from head to toe are immodest. In others, walking around completely naked on the beach or urinating in public are not things to make anyone blush. Painting someone else's behavior with your brush of immodesty is hypocricy at its worst.

Let's not forget the word objects there, as it deserves just as much attention. The prior two sentences implied that a woman's sole role should be as a caregiver to junior members of the human race. That's... objectifying women. Yeah, making women an object. Does that mean stay at home mothers are immodest? The argument is circular.

Point 4 - We're Still Going

"Fornication is dangerous"

...its also fun.

This will likely surprise you, but in this one, she's not exactly wrong. Not correct, but not exactly wrong, either. Not in the way she is meaning, but the words themselves can be correct.

The easy thing here is that sex outside of a single partner does involve more risk, from a standpoint of disease. Not all partners will disclose their history, so caution is wise.

It isn't just physical ailments but emotional ones as well. Seeking meaning in either bedding or being bedded can be a problem. Humans are inherently valuable, not just because of how they can bring pleasure to one another, but within themselves. Too many of us are getting the message that we're worthless, when nothing could be further from the case. We all matter, even people writing tweets as horrible as this one I've spent two-thousand plus words picking apart (and still going).

Back to that fun bit, well, fornication is fun! We all should do more of it. We only get one turn around this earth, so make the most of it you can, without bringing harm to others. Its the last bit of that prior sentence that I need to touch on though, because that's the real danger in this whole tweet: the author is actively seeking to do harm to people by spreading this content.

I don't care if an identifying Christian wants to live by this mess. At one time, I would likely have agreed with all this mess and not seen any issues with the message. For all that I might have felt that everyone would be better off living in this way (they wouldn't), I also wasn't dumb enough to think that I had the answers, and most definitely wouldn't have been dumb enough to build such a flimsy argument for it.

When you force your beliefs about right and wrong on someone else, when you leave no open door for the possibility of being wrong in your beliefs, then you are the one causing harm to others. You may (and likely are) blind to the harm you're causing, but that doesn't mean you're not still causing it.

Point 5 - The End

"Christian women have the best sex"

Yes, I know; I covered this one back during sentence 1, instead of here, where it belonged. That was intentional, as I wanted to save this space for something I said I'd get back to, namely how this entire tweet was about sex and sexuality.

Points 1 & 2, at first glance, don't really seem to be about sex or sexuality, but there's a tie here. The author of the tweet put these in logical order for a good (to her) reason, as a logical progression of how to get great sex!

It should be clear by this point that the progression is bogus. None of those things have to lead to great sex. That's not to say that someone who engages in those things can't have great sex, just that there is no connection between points 1 thru 4, and the outcome in point 5.

This tweet, and the many more like it on that account, leave a false trail of how to get great sex. Truth is, there are many ways to great sex, but none of them can be summed up in a tweet. You want great sex, there are tons of books, articles, YouTube posts, and numerous other places that can describe to you the numerous ways people claim to lead to great sex. Some of them probable do! But none of them are guarantees.

What the tweet's author doesn't realize is that while she thinks she's tweeting about sex, what she's really talking about is control. The first layer of that is the control she's trying to exert over the rest of the world, to bring everyone around to her way of belief. If she can force the rest of us to the viewpoint she espouses, then surely the way she teaches will be proven right.

It doesn't stop there, though, as what she isn't consciously admitting, is that she's already under control of her own beliefs. She has been indoctrinated so heavily into a point of view, that her own shackles are invisible to her, while the rest of us can see them so clearly. She is imprisoned in her own thoughts, where she imagines her own freedom as a set of stronger chains for humanity.

The irony of a person deeply in prison trying to tell us all how to be free, while being unable to move under the weight of her own chains, is not lost on me. I'm reminded of a parable ascribed to Jesus, where he advised someone to remove the plank of wood from their own eye, before removing the speck of sawdust from someone else's. While this post clearly frustrates me (why else would I write nearly 3,000 words on it?), it is with a deep sadness that I end it. I grieve deeply for anyone so bound by their own thoughts, especially when I know that those thoughts did not originate with them, but were forced upon them by the people around them, who are bound just as tightly.