Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Something in the Air

I've been thinking about this a lot this week, and after reading Amalah's recent post, I decided I could post about this, too.

Earlier this week, while waiting for my next unsuspecting freshman to register, I was surfing around Blogger and via a blog I can no longer find (I swear it, I can't remember the name of it and I can't find it!), I found this: The Da Vinci Dialogues, by Steve Douglass, President of Campus Crusade for Christ.

And I have to say: I just. don't. get it.

As I have mentioned, I was raised Catholic. Yes, there are inherent problems in the Catholic religion. But so what? I think there are inherent problems in every religion. As one of the commenters to Amalah's post noted, men created religion - hence, just as men are flawed, so are religions. Anyway, I write that because I feel like my opinion is that of someone who was once religious (eight years of Catholic grade school will do that to you), so I'm not a never-set-foot-in-any-church-scratching-my-head-going- "Wha?" person. That disclaimer in place:

"Wha?" I've read The Da Vinci Code and I thought it was like any great murder mystery. A beach read. Mind candy. I also toyed with the idea that it's certainly conceivable to me that Jesus was married. After all, that's what Jews did in that time and part of the world.

But hoo-dawgie, that idea has made a whole lot of people go bat-shit crazy. If you can't bring yourself to read Douglass's whole commentary (and I can't blame you), here's the gist: "To be sure, Christians are insulted and demeaned by blasphemous works of men."

Okay, well, who WROTE the Bible? I think it was . . . let's see here, oh yeah. Men!! Now, I know many people believe that the Bible was really written by God, just through men, so I'll give them that. A lot of these Campus Crusade for Christ types believe that the Bible is the real, true word of God (except the Old Testament, 'cause that's crap and it's just for Jews. Except for when you want to engage in raging homophobia and then it's also good for that - Leviticus, you know. Although why people quote Leviticus to justify their homophobia but never quote one of my favorite rules - "He who has a crushed testicle is not fit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven" - is beyond me. Let's be consistent, people! If you're so concerned about people going to hell, why not start a free crushed testicle-replacement program? It'd be a great tax write-off, I'm sure.).

Why is it so blasphemous to consider that Jesus might have been married? The Da Vinci Code isn't about the shocking revelation that Jesus was gay, or that he was a cannibal, or that he really hated fish (even though Catholics are supposed to eat fish on Fridays during Lent) or that he liked to kick Middle Eastern Jewish puppies when no one was looking. Personally, I think this Jesus Saves air freshener is way more offensive than the speculation that Jesus might have been some lucky gal's "old man."

So, for the sake of being the blasphemous heathen that I am, let's pretend Jesus was half of Mr. and Mrs. Jesus. And it's quite conceivable that (should I write it? Eight years of Catholic education are hanging over my head - I'm still a little scared!) Jesus had sex. So he did all these amazing things, but as a married man, he might have had sex with his wife and then . . . what? That debases the sacred name of Jesus? In the Catholic church, marriage is considered one of the sacraments. So, no, I guess it can't possibly be true that Jesus was married because as we all know, marriage is really, really bad.

I guess the bottom line for me is, I really don't want to get it. I think the logic might be, "It's not in the Bible so it can't be true. Anything not in the Bible and therefore, not true, shouldn't be written about because it's blasphemous and insulting." Or maybe, "Jesus came to earth to live as God's only son and as the Son of God, he didn't lower himself to the baser human pursuits like marriage, sex, and perhaps parenting." All right then, is it blasphemous if I say that I think Jesus probably had diarrhea at some point in his 33 years on earth? Didn't he come to earth to experience the pain of being a lowly human? They didn't have too many anti-biotics two thousand years ago, and I'm guessing their food preparation standards (although Kosher) probably weren't that high. Not a lot of Purell flying around Jerusalem in those days, you know? But it wasn't in the Bible so it couldn't be true? Not buyin' it.


Blogger Sue said...

"Jesus had sex."

It's no wonder priests everywhere have their undies in a bundle. Here they have been *ahem* abstaining for years (would it be bad for me to say, "since Christ was a corporal" here? LOL!), and now they find out that their holy role model might have had that pleasure that has been denied them.

I think I'd be mad too. LOL!

May 26, 2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

oh Gob, did you post this just to get me started again? ok, I really can't see typing everything that's swirling around in my warped mind after reading your post so I'll save you the agony, and just say, "Right On!!!" I like you am a little sick of how The Chrisitian religions take bits and pieces of the bibles(new and old) to fit thier arguments and ignore the rest. Makes me sick every time I see another example. In fact we discussed this from one of my posts a while back. You Go Girl, still love your way of critical thinking!!

May 26, 2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

I don't believe any of the religious stuff. I think religion is only good for giving people hope - but I am a realist who doesn't need to turn to belief in higher beings to get through my days.

May 26, 2006 1:14 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Coming from a religion that doesn't necessarily even trust its believers to read the bible on their own, nothing is surprising. I don't understand being thrown into a tiz because of a fictional book, but hell, whatever gets you through the day.

Also? Have I ever told you how it annoys me to no end that it's called the Da Vinci Code? Leonardo had no last name, was a bastard child. It is not proper form to call him Da Vinci. An art historian, or a "symbologist" or semiotician would know this. Especially a Harvard professor, as Robert Langdon supposedly is. And also would be able to speak French and Italian, but that's beside the point.

Is that worth getting in a tiz about? probably not, but they don't call me art nerd for nothing!

May 26, 2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Amen, Sister! (couldn't resist)
It's funny, I read a book called Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore- A "National Bestseller", no less. Who heard any bunching of undies about that?
Just last night I told a woman who was "upset with Tom Hanks and Ron Howard over this whole Da Vinci Code thing" that if one's faith is truly faith, then some lil' ol' novel by Dan Brown wasn't going to threaten it. One of the reasons that people are so twisted up in knots over this whole thing is probably because it IS so conceivable. Kind of like my mom getting all in a huff after I suggested that (gasp!) Marian devotion is really a form of Goddess worship. I wonder what the religious right- esp. the Catholic ones would say about my plastic egg filled with Angel Snot?
Oh, and for the record, I am Catholic- I'm just not a freak about it. (I love the movie Saved!)

May 26, 2006 4:27 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Has anyone seen the episode of Newsradio, when Jimmy James' book on success in business was translated into Japanese and then from that back into English. The resulting new title being Super Karate Monkey Deathcar? That's how I think of the Bible. Multiple languages, translated multiple times by multiple monks with their own agendas. And this says nothing of the oral tradition it was for, oh, hundreds of years before that.

But did Jesus have fear? A thousand times no!

May 27, 2006 10:15 AM  

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