The Way it is: How Christianity can affect Sexuality
Restrictions on sexuality within religion is common. Most of the major faiths have restrictions on sexuality outside of marriage. Christianity is no different. For example, with Catholic Christianity and sex, priests are required to ‘deny the flesh’ and stay celibate in order to cultivate their inner spirituality.
Clerical romances have been condemned since at least the fourth century when the Council of Nicea decreed that already ordained priests could no longer marry. It wasn’t until 1075 AD that priests were required to avow celibacy before their ordination.
Nevertheless, strict sexual repression in the Church often manifested itself in sexually-perverted and deviant behavior. Historically, abortion and infanticide were common methods of covering up clerical sexual affairs.
In more recent years, sex scandals have revealed numerous Christian leaders unable to live up to the moral code they uphold.
Jimmy Swaggert initially became famous for his national radio program The Camp Meeting Hour. His extreme evangelical radio rants were so popular that he went into television. The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast reportedly became America’s highest-rated religious television program. His success was staggering; he founded a Bible college, had an estate worth $2.5 million, and amassed a collection of private jets and pricey cars. The celebrity’s kingdom came crashing down when his affairs with various prostitutes were discovered.
In many instances, sex scandals tied with fraud and conspiracy reveal behavior more perverted than the gay sexuality that Christian leaders often condemn. In addition, instances of sex in the Bible tend to depict incest, rape, and other non-consensual scenes in ways that are not as condemning as one might assume for a holy book.
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