Sex & the Church

Why is the Church so obsessed with sex… gay sex, sex outside marriage, condoms? Is it time for priests to think about something else?


The Christian Church is obsessed with sex… gay sex, sex outside marriage, masturbation, condoms. Why do priests have so much sex on their minds?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. We’re talking about sex… and the church’s preoccupation with telling us when, where and how we should do it.

Why does the Church… both the Church England and the Roman Catholic Church spend so much time talking about sex? Jesus didn’t. And they’re meant to get their guidance from Him. He spoke a lot about love and caring for each other.

Let’s start with the Catholic Church,

The early church fathers considered the only purpose of sex was to procreate, make babies, within marriage. Therefore it condemned as evil all forms of artificial contraception. Also, masturbation, oral and anal sex were bad, as these could not lead to pregnancy.

More recently, Pope Paul 6th and John Paul 2nd updated the doctrine to allow for what was termed a “unitive” function of sex, namely it’s OK now to have sex to cement the loving relationship between and a man and his wife.

The problem is: the Catholic doctrine is so out of touch with how people live their lives. Few of us only have sex when we’re married and stay married to one person for life. So, the church sets an inflexible bar UP HERE and condemns everyone who falls below that.

At best, Catholic people just ignore the church’s teaching as irrelevant. At worst, people die of AIDS because the church tells them condoms are evil.

But the elephant in the room when it comes to sex and the Catholic church is of course, paedophila. The church has been sued all over the world for turning a blind eye for decades, if not centuries, as its priests raped little boys.

The church was more interested in protecting its reputation and avoiding financial damage than it was in protecting innocent children.

I have to ask: could there be any connection between the actions of these priests and the fact they are meant to be abstinent from sex for life?

Could it be if you say to yourself: don’t think about sex, don’t think about sex, sex is bad… all you think about is sex; and the outcome is this kind of horror?

OR… could it be the other way around – that only people who are a bit weird and trying to suppress their ugly sexual proclivities would ever dream of swearing an oath of abstinence, in the first place?

Jesus did not demand celibacy among his Apostles. This was something created by early Church leaders.

It’s clear to me: a body of middle aged or elderly celibate men ARE not the best people to give marital advice, nor are they qualified to make policy about sexual conduct in the rest of us… when they themselves belong to the most criminally corrupt, sexually predatory organisation ever to have existed on planet earth.

So, what about the Church of England? It’s just been beating itself up at Synod arguing about blessing gay marriages.

The debate boils down to whether religious values are set in stone; or whether they can change as the culture changes. The conservative view about homosexuality being a sin prevails, for now.

But Jesus did not utter a single word about homosexuality… ever. He hung out with sexual outcasts like prostitutes and spoke disparagingly about hypocrisy and judging others.

So, why is it such a big issue for the Church today?

Jesus was pretty strong on marriage being forever, not allowing divorce except for what he called “sexual immorality”, meaning adultery.

It’s true: St Paul, who did NOT live at the same time as Jesus wrote of the “degrading passion” that was homosexuality. But he was specifically talking about it being linked to idolatry and devil worship.

The Old Testament is, of course, strong on condemning everything. But Jesus modified the old teachings in his Sermon on the Mount, so the Christian Church should take its lead from that, not the Old Testament, which is based on the Hebrew bible for Jews.

The truth is: much of what the Church does has little to do with what Jesus himself taught.

Starting with St Paul… the men who have taken control of the bureaucracy have simply pulled doctrines out of thin air.

I was brought up a Christian, going to Sunday school every week. I became an athiest when I was old enough to think for myself.

But I do believe Jesus-the-man had some good ideas; and I share his antipathy toward hypocrisy, of which, I see plenty in the organised Church.

Jesus spoke in disparaging terms about the love of money. Yet, the church presides over billions of pounds of investments; their bishops travel around in chauffeur driven limousines and they live in palaces.

So, maybe they should make a few more pronouncements on greed and materialism; and a few less on sex.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Published by videobite2021

Journalist, broadcaster, media executive, academic, author.