Catholic Answers: don’t even lie in the same bed . . .

| June 28, 2009 | 26 Replies

Is it OK for unmarried adults to lie in the same bed, even if they don’t have sex.  Quick answer:  NO.   That’s the advice I got here, at the Chastity Q&A.  It’s a sexual catechism filled with all kinds of advice, such as how far you can go without committing a sin.

Is foreplay wrong?   Here’s advice I had never before considered:

Image by orangeline at dreamstime.com (with permission)

Image by orangeline at dreamstime.com (with permission)

Perhaps the easiest way to find out if our actions conform to authentic love is to imagine God sitting on a nearby sofa watching us. If his presence would cause immediate shame or the desire to stop dead in our tracks, we need to ask ourselves why.

How creepy!  Would a married couple have sex if God was sitting on a nearby sofa watching?  And, BTW, isn’t God supposedly omniscient?  Aren’t good Christians supposedly to always assume that God is on a nearby sofa?

Is it OK for homosexuals to raise children?  No:

The impact of a mother in her family is unrepeatable, and the same can be said of the father. Two moms don’t make a dad, and two dads do not equal a mom. This is the way nature has designed it.

Oh, and don’t bother using condoms, because they cause greater numbers of unplanned pregnancies:

The fact is, increased condom use by teens is associated with increased out-of-wedlock birth rates.”

You’ll also learn that merely looking at women in swimming suits is akin to pornography and that “porn trains us to have mental polygamy.”

All of this advice was provided by  spin-off (“Chastity”) site linked to a Catholic website (“Catholic Answers“) that provided so much Catholic esoterica that it left me disoriented in 20 minutes.  Truly amazing that so many people are willing to discuss, as one example of many, the difference (if any) between the “holy spirit” and the “holy ghost.”  Here’s another interesting question:  Should rock music be allowed at church?  Absolutely not, because “If you were before Christ being crucified on Calvary, truly there witnessing it, would you start up a rock band and clap and dance?”   The argument seems to be that as Jesus was bleeding to death on the cross, he would rather have someone nearby playing solemn music on an organ.

If you want to be more than simply a good Catholic, “Catholicy Answers” is clearly the site for you.

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Category: Culture, Good and Evil, Religion, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (26)

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  1. You know, the amazing fact is that people who are obsessed with controlling sexual activity in others are often more obsessed with sex period than people who simply accept it as a part of life.

    This is painting with a broad brush, but how can you not in this instance since it's an institutional approach. Consider Islam.

    I was told once by a devout Muslim woman that according to Islam her response to a lesbian—whether she could be alone in a room with one—was to treat the lesbian as a man, which means that she could not ever be alone with a lesbian woman. The entire prohibition against unmarried men and women being alone together is the assumption that sex will ensue. I asked, "What about if neither of you is attracted to the other?" That wasn't even included in any model of the concept.

    I pointed out that I had many female friends, with whom I was often alone, and that wanting to have sex with them didn't even occur to me.

    She found that unbelievable.

    Being so repressed leads to obsession, in this case. Islam accuses the west of being sex obsessed, but when you look at the number and bizarreness of their rules about it, obviously they're thinking about it A LOT more than we are.

    I think the same rough assumption can be made about any group that goes to these lengths to tell other people what they can and cannot do. It really is their problem (emphasis on "problem") not yours.

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    I participated in "Catholic Answers Forum" in the run-up to the 2008 election.

    I was cautioned for calling McCain a "Liar." Dozens of others were not for calling Obama a "baby killer."

    I was soundly condemned for posting my DI post on "Why Practicing Catholics Should Vote for Obama and Not for McCain."

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2008/09/07/why-p

    My post was taken down.

    My defenses of the post were taken down.

    I was, again cautioned not to make accusations that others were hypocrites and that the Church had to be aware of McCain's wrong positions on life issues and traditional Catholic values and that the Church supported him despite his sinful policies because of money.

    As many others had said of Catholic Obama voters, I said McCain voters would go to hell.

    My post was stricken, I was banned from the website.

    I later posted on DI about Catholic McCain voters and hell being in their futures.

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2008/11/15/catho

    The Catholic Answers Forum, and the website in general, is populated by persons whose critical unwillingness to actually participate in debate about issues before Catholics is unfortunate. The website is populated by far right wing neocon persons who call themselves "Catholic" but, like latter day Savoronolas burn down anything which they feel isn't consistent with their extremely narrow neocon pre-Vatican II view of the Church.

    It's unfortunate "CAF" is there to cast doubts upon the sanity of Catholics, and to mislead non-Catholics into believing that the site somehow represents mainstream Catholic thought.

    In my opinion, the views expressd on "CAF" are frequently so far outside the Catholic mainstream as to border upon heresy. And now we Catholics get it in the chin from others (who may yet be saved!)using the fallacy of composition to make mainstream Catholicism look as silly as "CAF."

  3. NIklaus Pfirsig says:

    My understanding of the Islamic fundamentalist idea of separating men and women is that they don't trust the men to keep it in their pants. Traditionally, it fell upon male family members to protect their wives daughters and sisters from all the other horny men out there, since there were no civilian police in olden times.

    Since Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all descended from the same ancient Bedouin culture, their fundamentals are very similar. But over the centuries, the world has changed, and much of what was sensible in the context of prehistoric society is nonsensical in modern times. Perhaps the fundamentalists fail to understand the purpose of such laws and taboos because they attribute them to God and not to the men who wrote the laws so long ago.

  4. Niklaus,

    Just as once all these cultures found slavery okay, it's now time for all of them to get over the idea that women are PROPERTY. That's where it all stems from…

    …and most of them still don't ask the women if they WANT to be protected.

  5. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Mark, my point exactly. I grew up with fundamentalist neighbors that, although they were Christians, had very similar attitudes toward women. They decreed how the women should dress, who they were allowed to associate with, and exactly what their roles were, all based on various passages from the KJV Bible.

    That they were some of the same ones that promoted hate against Arabs. To me it seemed a case of the pot calling the kettle black. If one is to believe they are leading by example, just what is the example they are setting?

  6. Nietzsche says:

    Is it alright for Priests and Nuns to sexually molest and beat young children???? . . . Ask some of the abused in Ireland, and more than likely, wherever the Church was in charge of children! The [Catholic] church is the last organization to set standards of morality!

  7. Hank says:

    That's the elephant in the vestry, isn't it? This Vatican obsession with controlling other peoples' genitals, while choosing to more or less look the other way when so many of their own employees can't control their own (or when "approved" genital usage leads to HIV epidemics), sticks out like an erection on a nudist beach.

    I guess the other, larger yet slightly less visible elephant standing next to it is the celibacy vow itself, arguably a major source of the kind of sexual repression and immaturity that leads to obsessive behaviour or can exacerbate unhealthy sexual attitudes. Would the Vatican ever admit that enforced celibacy is not clearly Biblically sanctioned (as pretty much all other branches of Christianity do) and was instituted, in true Papist style, to ensure priests left their property to the church and not to any heirs?

    Slight tangent: it stuns me that so many gay-marriage opponents, Catholic or otherwise, claim that letting Adam & Steve getting hitched will lead to increases in sexual crimes like rape and incest and paedophilia, yet when they see the disproportionate numbers of child-rapists employed by the repressively anti-gay & anti-sex Vatican, they have a blind spot so big you could reverse-park a bus in it.

  8. Hank says:

    Addendum: I must agree with Mark. Most reasonable people just see sex as a normal part of life. An important part, certainly, and a part which must be approached with maturity and intelligence, but not something to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped in ignorance. The more you obsess over sex and place walls around it, the more likely you'll just create ignorance, immaturity and unhealthy attitudes, which as anyone can see can express themselves in very destructive ways.

  9. Hank writes:—"Slight tangent: it stuns me that so many gay-marriage opponents, Catholic or otherwise, claim that letting Adam & Steve getting hitched will lead to increases in sexual crimes like rape and incest and paedophilia, yet when they see the disproportionate numbers of child-rapists employed by the repressively anti-gay & anti-sex Vatican, they have a blind spot so big you could reverse-park a bus in it."

    You have to think perversely to understand it. The mindset says, "If we legalize gay marriage, the next step (logically) is legalize all the other stuff We Find Offensive, which includes rape, incest, and pedophilia." It's not that gays getting married will change anything, it is that our allowing it signifies a "moral shift" which will eventually allow anything and everything because clearly we can't take a moral stand anymore.

    And as for the degree of problems with the Church? Well, if you think it's bad NOW, just wait till all this stuff is LEGAL.

    See how easy that is? All you have to do is twist your mind into a tessaract.

  10. Erich Vieth says:

    Have you heard that gays are responsible for the economic collapse of the United States? http://www.businessinsider.com/oklahoma-pol-blame

  11. Hank says:

    Thanks Mark, I get it now.

    Except for the "tessaract" part.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Hank. I can't BeLIEEEEVE you don't know what "tessaract" means.

      [translated: Thanks for asking, because I thought I was the only one who didn't know]

  12. Hank says:

    I'll go out on a limb and assume it's related to tesselations, those killer maths-nerd mutating repetitions that MC Escher was so good at producing. I could just google it but sometimes I like to learn stuff ol-skool – such as waiting for someone else to tell me stuff.

  13. Dan Klarmann says:

    Y'all need to read Heinlein's "And He Built a Crooked House". (wiki)

    (Whole story online here)

    My 8th grade geometry teacher handed me a mimeo of it to keep me quiet while the rest of the class finished a test.

  14. Mindy Carney says:

    All I know is the tessaract caused a lot of trouble in A Wrinkle in Time. And it has to do with math.

  15. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I read "A Wrinkle in Time" many years ago. Great and imaginative story.

    Hank a tesseract is to a cube what a cube is to a square. A square is a segment of a plane bounded by 4 line segments. a cube is a space bounded by 6 squares. A tesseract then would be a hyperspace bounded by 8 cubes.

    The problem with 4-dimensional geometry is that it is difficult people to visualize. Even though the math does not give any indication of the existence of 4th dimensional shortcuts across 3-d space, It has been used as a convienent plot device in many sci-fi stories as a method of faster than light travel.

    Navigating a tesseract literally requires thinking outside the box where familiar rules may not apply in the usual ways. However when some people think outside the box, they assume none of the rules apply and feel obligated to freely invent their own.

  16. Hank says:

    Pretty much the Star Trek modus operandi :)

  17. NIklaus Pfirsig says:

    Definitely Star Trek mode.

    Over the centuries, it seem the Catholic Church, with it missionary work taking Christianity to the "unenlightened around the world, sort of borged everything up on the way. In many cases, the teachings f the missionaries were combined with the local beliefs and resulted in religions like Santeria, Voodoo, and Obeah. Much of the Catholic dogma delegated the "heathen gods" to positions of leadership among Satan's minions, but much of the ceremonial aspects remain.

    The traditional Wedding ceremony contains non Christian rituals (throwing rice, flowers, the white wedding gown) as do the ceremonies and traditions of Easter and Christmas.

    Troughout the practice of Christianity there seems to be an obsession with denying the animal nature of mankind. It seems that all animalistic traits are considered evil. Animalistic traits which we can't deny are "sanitized" through ritual or practiced in private.

    So…

    Reproduction is sanitized through the ritual of marriage, but actual procreation is a necessary evil and must be hidden away. Genetalia are also evil (as are breasts ) and must be kept hidden.

    Eating and drinking are somewhat ritualized in a social setting, and elimation of bodily wastes are kept private.

    It sends a subliminal message to the faithful that the body is evil because of it's animalist attributes and to transcend the animal on must control the animal within, which is very difficult where the sex drive is involved.

  18. Niklaus,

    Difficult and absurd. One has to wonder how much harm has been caused in this world due to the tortured self loathing of the human animal writhing under the faith-based dictum that his erection or her lubrication are obscene, filthy, and sinful. A lot of people apparently grow up and get over it—or manage to use the ritual "purification" you mention as an escape hatch—but you gotta wonder about all those who never did, ala the Wild Man in Huxley's "Brave New World."

  19. Mindy Carney says:

    Niklaus makes great points. Think about the extremes we go to (myself included) not to let any of our animal "stench" show to the outside world – beyond soap and mouthwash and deodorant to perfumes, colognes, body splashes, scented lotions, creams, lip balms and hair products, floral douches and flavored condoms . . . God forbid we'd just smell like . . . us.

    No, no! That's far too . . . earthy and animalistic. Now granted, most of us can tolerate only a slight level of human musk before it becomes offensive, but we've conditioned ourselves to tolerate less and less of it; as a rule, we work to eliminate even the faintest hint of our own animal Perhaps this is why some of us can't tell who we're attracted to until it's too late, and we realize it isn't the one we're married to? . . . oops.

  20. Robert Green says:

    Oh no! Two adults lying bed bed together who aren't married???? That's just terrible to the church! Priests MOLESTING LITTLE BOYS, THOUGH…… that's perfectly alright!!!! F–k the Catholic Church! They are no arbitor of morality!

  21. Danny says:

    I ask my daughters to eat and drink only in the kitchen where there's linoleum because I want to avoid spills on our carpet. What do they do? They like to stand with their heels in the kitchen and toes in the living room. Why? Don't know why, easy answer is human nature. But this is the same principle… whenever religion tries to give black and whites it sets up the scenario where people do whatever they want right up to these boundary lines. I'm sure God can see right through the teenager's religious gesture the same that I can see through my daughter's rule-sidestepping.

    People that don't care what God wants or the Bible says use these religious legalities as a way to do as much as they can while still appeasing their consciences and perhaps their peers, it really has nothing to do with God or Christianity/Catholicism.

  22. Mindy Carney says:

    Your example of your daughters is perfect, Danny – that is what children do. You give them a flat-out specific rule, and they immediately look for ways to flaunt its breakability without breaking it. You give specifics to a a teenager, and they can find 500 shades of gray to get around it in the first 5 minutes. It IS human nature, and it is something that maturity helps moderate and manage. Unfortunately, when children are forced into the black and white rules and not allowed to find their own gray areas, they often never learn how to do that safely.

    And church-as-parenting sometimes leave the flock in the same boat.

  23. ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC says:

    Unfortunately….Those who object to the TRUE CATHOLIC CHURCH founded by Jesus Christ giving them FULL AUTHORITY, to guide, teach and sanctify…object because they know that by their own lives they have been condemned and they reject and refuse because they DON'T want to change their sinful ways…including the priests who have fallen away from the CHURCH's TEACHINGS,….May God Have mercy on them all and you too before you die…otherwise His justice must prevail and to etenity the Hell you go!

    The people in the Catholic Church aren't suppose to follow people, just the teachings, already signed sealed and delived 2000 years ago by the Early Church Fathers, Holy Popes and Saints…and if they and those outside don't…well, as I said into the fire we go!

    REMEMBER to FOLLOW the SAINTS..NOT the SINNERS…but then that's what keeps us from follow Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church…we love ourselves too much and like being our own GODS and it's sooo comfortable loving myself…but, since we are all going to die…and just incase, wouldn't it be better to be safe then sorry, for we won't be able to come back and start all over, if by some slight chance we wrong about No Salvation outside the Catholicm Church, or this God Thing etc…and they say, at least what I have read in the Bible, and from the saints…eternity is FOREVER!

    Just FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

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