Thursday, February 14, 2008

Conservative Christianity = Christianity = Religion

Greta Christina's response to this has got me in a dander for a number of reasons. I'll stick with the big 3.

1. The equation in the title seems to be implicit in too many people's discussions of religion. This sentence in particular goads me, "And of course, I could get on my atheist high horse, and talk about the fucked-up effect religion so often has on sexual happiness." I'll assume she's talking about Christianity since sexual dissatisfaction is grounds for divorce in Judaism (for either partner). I'll also assume she's ignoring the Eastern religions that gave us tantra, the kama sutra, etc.

2. As someone who has chosen to forego relationships and thus sex for mature, responsible, adult reasons that have little to do with religion, I get tired of the promiscuity/polyamory/"fuck till you drop" crowd standing so haughtily in judgment of those they hypocritically condemn for judging their sexual preferences and even of those of us who could care less about their sexual preferences.

I can't tell you how many times some "enlightened" soul has told me that I'm a prude or need to be "turned out" because I prefer not to engage in meaningless and generally unsatisfactory one-night stands. I've been there, done that VERY WELL and decided it didn't live up to the hype. That's MY decision. It's MY life. It's MY body. What business is it of theirs to decide that something is wrong with me because my sexual preferences don't run towards cheap thrills with random strangers or jumping in bed with a woman before the check comes on our first date? And like that young woman's husband, I hardly need "medical attention" so that I can have sex when I don't want to, now do I?

3. I'm really tired of people like Greta deciding that the only way to deal with problems surrounding sex is to have as much of it as possible with as many people as possible as if that's the end-all, be-all, cure-all of human sexuality. The problems described in the young woman's letter (as noted in the response) could very well have been solved by mature, responsible, healthy CONVERSATIONS about sex (preferably ones where the poor man is NOT told that his not having a constant erection requires the help of the nearest little blue pill).

Anyway, that's my Valentine's Day rant. You're probably wondering why this is on Liberals in Exile rather than Cult of Melinda since my sex life is generally not polite political conversation. I think, in this case, it fits into the major social debates about sex. If I'm wrong, sue me.


Blogger Canardius said...

My new idea: our own cursus honorum.

The 2008 Election may well be a matter of experience. And ancient Rome had a way of ensuring the leaders who decided on war and took the troops off to it had requisite experience. The cursus honorum provided that no man could run for consul without having first been praetor [and that no younger than age 39]. The brilliant C. Julius Caesar Strabo [cousin of the father of the famous Julius Caesar] was stopped from running for consul for this very reason -- he had never been a praetor.

By that time a man won office as praetor, he had been in the Senate since age 30, before which he had done 2 years military service. And after serving as a praetor he had to wait two years to run for consul. So no man could run for consul before age 42 with few exceptions [P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus being one]. And the consuls were the ones to head the army. There were two consuls, alternating their presiding over the Senate every other month. The one with most votes was senior consul and presided over the Senate the first month, then the junior consul took over the next. Every year new consuls were elected. Each consul then had a dozen years experience in the Senate by the time they first ran for office.

Bloodline alone wasn't always good enough to ensure a win at the polls. Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, born a Scipio and adopted by Metellus Pius, never won election -- he had to rely on his son-in-law, Pompey, elected as sole consul, to appoint him. And the brilliant new man Cicero, with no ancestry to speak of, won election to the office. As did Gaius Marius, from backwater northern Italy, win office 7 times.

The war powers tend to be the most important in government -- extending its control over the youth [who form the infantry], providing the basis for trading some liberties [such is the cost of freedom], and justifying its own purpose ["to provide for common defense"]. And they reside in the hands of the head of the republic.

3:16 PM  
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