A lie called Religion

Oh God! If I were to tell you that I am God, would you believe me? Let me inform you as you read this article, probably incredulous (depending on how religious and/or sanctimonious you are), that there are so many people affiliated to many religions who have already beaten me to this task:  persuaded gullible followers to believe that they are prophets, enlightened beings, etc., that the most Supreme Being has secretly chosen to communicate with… or that they are God themselves.

 

If, on the other hand, you don’t believe that I’m God, on what logical basis do you similarly and staunchly believe in a religious god supposedly long dead? A “spirit” god you can truly and personally confirm nothing about? A god your guardians and tutors have imposed on you during your formative years, who you have accepted without question? An entity that you can’t really and/or scientifically prove exists?

 

Creation is longer than a seven-day affair: No matter the combination of talents and wisdom a person has, we usually tend to elevate on a pedestal those among us who happen to be more evolved in preferred ways. With a little sprinkling of opportunity, branding, customer engagement – terms that were not coined in an era wherein most gods were created – we create someone who has the potential to be revered. We now begin to have a potential god. We also begin to have people with less self-esteem and even lesser common sense following these gods like puppy dogs, treasuring every word they say and rearranging it in their minds to fit into the context of their predicaments in daily life. Followers are then mandated to go forth and multiply. So the Good Word is spread far and wide to all those willing  to listen. And voila, you have a “God” with a growing fan following.

It would be interesting for you to watch the video “Rivals of Jesus” released by The National Geographic Channel.

A lie repeated is truth defeated: As generations change, no one remembers if a god was actually God, they only remember to be selective about “facts” – probably Chinese-whispered down the passage of time – that enhance the image of their created god (much in the same way as Christians did with selective inclusion of books within the bible). They would record only these acceptable facts in a holy book, whose authenticity and accuracy no one questions. They would then spend hours reading and debating all about their god, and encourage approachable people and those within their sphere of influence to do so too. And exchanges about this created god sometimes happen with such fiery passion and unshakable intolerance, that atrocities take place in such contrast to the god and the religion that has been created. Followers feel the need to defend a god who doesn’t need defending at all; who, they proclaim in the same breath, can easily smite all enemies without their earthly intervention. Paradoxically, they believe that the essence of God is present in all who live and yet, they kill in the name of such a god.

Change is the only constant: Then come along a set of followers who decide that they don’t like certain parts of this created religion, so they go ahead and create their own variation of that religion, and we end up with so many factions: Christians, Protestants, and so on, even though God is supposed to be one and His rules are supposed to be universal. Others decide that this created religion has a favourable slant towards a certain set of people. They think of this as unjust. They go off and create yet another religion; the less capable / enterprising ones form a cult, each attracting a different set of confused followers.

Outwardly, everyone maintains that there is only one god and that, probably, paths to this god are merely different, but inwardly, this god is better than that god simply because this religion is better than that religion. I heard a Muslim preacher once say that Muhammad ascended higher than Jesus. Does it matter that this happened to the gods or us? Can any earthly person reliably confirm this, without referencing text whose origin is similarly suspect? But members of both religions seem convinced by the accuracy of their own holy “facts”, where only one of the two (or none) could be true.

This god “says” that salvation is only though this path, and that god also appears to make the same claim via a different path. So who does one believe? Some followers make repeated switches between religions depending on perceived favours granted or opportune time. Other followers want the best of all worlds – they follow multiple religions (probably still unconvinced that there is only a singular god who will operate only on one set of rules, irrespective of the path to salvation anyone takes). So absurd it is to think all this, and yet people have known to rest their psyches on far greater stupidity. Should we all wait for the best god to win?

A Hindu colleague once insensitively remarked about the absurdity of Christianity: the concept of “Virgin” Mary bearing a son, the ascension and crucifixion of Jesus. I guess from the outside, another religion supposedly encourages absurd beliefs. I wanted to ask of the absurdity of the Hindu God, Ganesh, getting an Elephant head, but I didn’t. I guess we are just kafirs then.

And the booker’s prize goes to… I have not read the holy books of other religions; neither have I completed reading the bible from cover to cover, but one fact prevails: The bible has so many inconsistencies, discrepancies, contradictions. Just Google on this and you will be amazed at how many corrections need to be made or logical explanations need to be provided.

So if the bible was indeed “written” by an all-knowing god, would it contain so many errors in its script? Or was the bible written by just a more evolved set of people only to serve as a guideline for good living rather than by God himself? If Christians believe that God and his tenets can never change across time, how come so many changes required in the bible? In modern day corporate life wouldn’t you blush to read biblical text such as “Don’t ever sit with a married woman, and don’t share meals or indulge in wine with her…” and know that religion was only documented by people from a different time, for people of a different time; if God had actually written the bible or sufficiently inspired people to write his Word, don’t you think it would be without contradiction and its tenets would be constructed such that they would serve to cover all types of issues across all time eras? After all, God is God, right?

We have an angry god in the Old Testament and a benevolent god in the New Testament. How can this be the same god? Can god be sexist when he is good, and when he created male and female in his own image and likeness? The book of Sirach has the text “A woman has to take any man as a husband, but a man must choose his wife carefully”. Protestants, a Christian faction, don’t have this text in their version of the bible.

I know Christians would be itching to tell me that I am taking things out of context, but their accusation comes from the reverse psychology training that religion has deceptively imparted to them across the ages, through instruction and text.

If two people ask God for the same thing at the same time, who does God grant it to? Does his “ask and receive” statement distort in its meaning then? Can God be accused of favouritism if he grants one of these two people what they ask for? Or risk being known as a God who doesn’t keep his word, if he ignores both people’s request? An intelligent all-knowing entity such as God could never write (or inspire to write) text that would be ambiguous and open to misinterpretation.

Jesus’ crucifixion was to come to pass as it was the Father’s plan to liberate humankind. This means that all the pawns (Ceaser, Judas, etc.) in this script would have had to play their individual parts to bring about this result. So if Judas was destined to betray Jesus in order to set the crucifixion ball rolling, can he really be held accountable for his betrayal? If he can’t, doesn’t his actions and intention conflict with other values Judas should have had to be Christian? Knowing the crucifixion plan upfront, why did Jesus choose Judas to be a betrayer and thus impose on him the disgust of all future believing generations? Wouldn’t that be cruel to even consider? A god who can create earth and all its wonders with mere words, needs to torture and kill his son in the hands of his lesser creatures to bring them back to him? There are so many things that beg logic when viewed with an unbiased and open mind.

The bible talks about Jesus being the pathway to the Father and heaven. Does this mean that the million following other religions, no matter how good they are, will be damned? Haven’t those who created religion put self-preservation clauses such as this one to ensure its propagation and longevity?

So, with many issues such as these, would you say that the bible due for a revision then?

How come animals, who God has given similar life process and function, not have religion? It is simply because that they have no capacity to create organized religion as we do, and not because there is no God?

Karl Marx proclaimed that Religion is the opiate of the masses and it seems so, as religion is something people blindly follow. You have text such “blessed are those who don’t see and yet believe…” to steady the wavering brethren, frightening text from Revelations to scare the bold, and reverse psychology across the rest the keep the path continuously filled with burdened travelers eager for salvation.

It’s a miracle, but here I come: What of miracles that happen in religions then? I’ve been to quite a few Christian places where miracles have “allegedly” happened. Can someone explain to me why only miracles I can’t see, happen? People get “relieved” rather than “healed”. People who are a by-product of their negativity, bad thoughts and emotions, release all this burden in a marathon session of prayer and counseling, and this does away with their psychosomatic diseases brought on by their chronic ill-will and other accumulated baggage. So miracles happen, but real miracles do not happen. For a moment keep aside your reverse psychology retort about believing without seeing and show me one miracle I can see and not refute. Show me someone who has… say… a one arm significantly shorter than the other…. come in line with the other arm after even a prolonged bout of prayer and penance. Show me a medically confirmed dead man, buried for a few days, resurrected back to life. Show me irrefutable scientific interests such as these and only then you will have shown me a miracle.

So, is there a God then? Yes, there is a God, but I’m not sure. Christians believe in a god they can’t touch, see or personally communicate with in an earthly sense. They are sure because they are blindly conditioned to think so, to block out all thought that questions so, by an analytical mind that “God” has himself designed for humans. I, on the other hand, have broken years of such conditioning. I can’t be sure because no one from God’s realm is going to cross over and confirm this doubt to me. But it is in this doubt that I know that there is a God. How else could something as intricately designed as the universe, the galaxy, the human body, and so many other marvels, come about without a chief designer and engineer?

Some scientifically inclined people will laugh at me. They will say that the earth is a result of chaos. Human evolution is a matter of chance, coincidence. I rubbish this. Can you throw a set of gears in the air and expect them to fall into an intricate kinetic / perpetual motion model? Can order come about from the randomness of chaos?

I am sure of the existence of God from my doubt much in a way as Christians are sure without logic. And this is why what Karl Marx says holds true. And this is why you will find that as people get to be more intellectual, they will move away from the illogic nature of man-made religion and veer towards spirituality and all that is godly.

My grouse against religion: Religion has warped the minds and nature of many people, and still continues to do so, unchecked. Churches, by imposing a celibacy rule nowhere mandated by god, have inadvertently been catalysts for child and other abuse. People have unnecessarily self-imposed unwarranted ways of “Christian” life. And all this has been done to what end? Few have researched that Christianity actually originated to counteract the strong influence of a pagan religion, and all these religious theatrics they usually resort to is in vain.

I normally term Christianity as an S&M religion – it has a lot to do with pain, denial, suffering, hardship, in order to achieve “future” rewards at an undetermined time. Who can confirm if there will be rewards, other than someone who has crossed over to the other side and has come back to tell a story? Christianity is a religion where acquiescence is coerced out of fear. It invites guilt at so many levels for things that are a normal part of the human functioning process. Oh, I could go on…

I abhor religion because of its Brownie point system, its conditional rule book: do this and you will be rewarded; don’t do that for you will go to hell. Religious people are conditioned to be false: old people will become prayerful as they age, fearing the loss of their ticket to heaven; youngsters will fervently pray after an examination, to pass by a divine favour rather than the sweat of sincere work. Religion encourages this kind of selfish bartering and prospect of gain.

I see so many people wasting precious time praying, and in useless religious rituals and customs. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to utilize that time in helping others to help themselves, in doing good, and in the productive use of our talents? Does a god who can have everything, need your prayers? Wouldn’t goodness in action be better that a useless and often mechanical recitation of rosary beads, or an emotional obligation to attend mass? Goodness in action would definitely be gratitude to God for your faculties, a fitting payback.

I retract my initial statement. I don’t want to “be” God, but be “like” Him. I want to imitate this Divine Power in all respects, to the best of my abilities, and to do that, I must walk along a spiritual path. I always advocate that people become spiritual rather than religious: do a good deed because you wish to do it and not expect a divine score to be redeemed later. Be selfless rather than self-serving.

As I write this, John’s Lennon’s words from the song, Imagine, ring through my mind. Wouldn’t it be so very nice to have a spiritual race where we all love and live as one?

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Fallacies of life: Love and Marriage

There are many fallacies, but today I will talk of two: Love and Marriage.

Love:
Love is God’s greatest commandment. All religions preach it, or some form of it. Most of us try to follow some religion or the other, or at least a set of rules governed by spirituality. To feel love and belong is one of man’s greatest desires. And yet, Love is something we, at best, only attempt. Let me elucidate:

Barring exception cases, do you think it’s possible to truly “love” someone? I’m not talking about stuff mistaken for love: infatuation, or mild caring, or sexual attachment, or down-the-hierarchy responsibility, or other species love. I’m talking about real, hardcore, unadulterated love – no strings attached. Do you think it’s possible?… for humans…?

As I grew up, it was ingrained in me, through religious doctoring, that the only love that is and can be absolute, is God’s love. And yet, this is love that some of God’s children claim not to feel or experience. This is the love that singles don’t feel when ravaged by pangs continually experienced by the lonely. Or the distressed don’t seem to encounter when searching for an immediate solution. It may be divine love, but the good shepherd does not seem to hold your hand and walk you through a problem that seems to be a life-and-death crises. How many of you have seen the perverted work of madmen, or the result of war, or cruelty to the defenceless, and asked, “if there’s a God, where is He now?”.

I then got myself around the assumption that the next closest form of near-absolute love – the earthly kind – is what should exist between a mother and her child. And I find that even this kind of love is more governed by responsibility and/or societal obligations. Orthodox cultures will not allow a daughter to return to her parental home even if she is facing a dire situation at her spouse’s house. Those familiar with pathology professions will relate of many cytogenetic cases wherein the mother – sometimes, both parents – do not want to hold or even look at their deformed baby. And most of us have seen or encountered preferential treatment given by parents / guardians to certain siblings on the basis of their skin colour, earning capacity, looks, demeanour, etc.

The down-the-hierarchy love – older to younger sibling – is also not totally free from negative encumbrances, as it is tainted mostly by responsibility, especially in cases where parental guidance is immature. And you will generally notice that, in such cases, the down-side love is often stronger than up-side love.

And the same is the case with other species love (human to animal/pet). This too, is governed by responsibility and the idea that, in that equation, the human will be at the receiving end mostly. Why do I say this? Would you keep an animal if only the animal needs you and you don’t need to expect/feel that animal’s love even in the smallest form? Especially if you are not a breeder / collector or aim to get a profit out of the arrangement?

And my fellow humans… Do you feel secure of spousal love in the protective cocoon of your marriages? I would hazard a guess with the divorce rates in most urban settings well beyond the 50% mark. Some of you will convincingly say I really love my partner; to these people I have some questions: would you want to maintain a marital relationship if you know there can be no sexual love? Would you be hunky-dory about your spouse when emotional love has become one-sided? Would you continue to stay married if your spouse abused you, especially by withholding love when you needed it the most? Would you be willing to go to jail, be used, or die for a person just because you love them?

I ask this purely in a literal sense. I know if someone knowingly wants you to endure any of these conditions, they don’t love you; my point is would you be willing to love so completely? Would you be willing to give up someone you love to someone you despise, and live the rest of your life either alone or with someone you don’t care about just because love demanded it?

With marriage in mind, would you be agreeable to fall in love and live the rest of your life with a person who has nothing to offer – no money, no fame/glamour, no looks and no personality? I am sure that no woman would marry such a man in this day and age. And yet, these same women would go to the alter and mouth fake promises before God about lifelong love for their spouse. How could a lifelong vow change because a man loses his job or a woman, her beauty? And before you begin to disagree about the materialism in love, let me ask you – if today, Jesus, a 33 year-old man proposed to you, would you truly accept? Place yourself in that time and be objective. Remember, you haven’t heard of his death, or validated his miracles, etc. To you, Jesus would be a wandering vagrant, maybe a quack/sadhu, with long hair, no money/possessions, no charming personality, no status, no designer wear, etc., babbling that He was the Son of God. If you women would not want to marry such a man, why would you want to go to his church and pretend to abide by his love rules?

And I have not only singled out women, because men are equally despicable in these matters.

Marriage:
When we choose to love someone, we usually get the love that we choose to want. When most of us look for someone to marry, we start to make our choice based on things that have absolutely nothing to do with real love: need for sex, security, looks, power, possessions, etc. Put your hand on your heart and ask yourself in truth about the parameters you set when choosing your own mate. Now is the time to bring out that little checklist you have created in your mind – a checklist you have created for selfish reasons of what you want to get out the marriage. On closer scrutiny, much to your astonishment, you will find there is nothing (or hardly anything) in that list of what you want to contribute to for that someone you are willing to “profess” love for. At least, not in the measure you want for yourself. How can you not expect your marriage to fail then?

Doesn’t the bible have this adage: live by the sword, die by the sword? When you marry for sex, money, security, looks, etc., and these things die out in their due course of time, your love and marriage will too, because it was dependent on those selfish reasons that were holding the alliance together.

How can you fall-in and out of love? How can you love someone so deeply, that you think you can never love anyone else, and still fall out of love or love a totally different person at a later date, or maybe at the same time?

Earlier, I used to smile when I would hear some women say that they expect to be swept of their feet by a knight in shining armour. How selfish is that, and how ironical that it is to be tied to the institution of love and marriage? Expecting to be swept of their feet implies just standing there and doing nothing, and expecting someone to come by and do all the hard work that love and relationships entail. You will have heard of other connotations to this statement: waiting for the right one to come along, expecting diamonds because you guess you are worth it…

A woman asking me for advice told me that she was agreeable to sharing her body with her husband, but not her personal living space and material possessions, and she was adamant about it. With knowledge of similar facts, I could very well argue for the case that marriage is disguised prostitution, a legal form of a bartering system at best. Westerners will be very familiar with agreements such as the pre-nuptial agreement. Some would say that this is for the best, that they are being prudent. Can you share your body, mind and soul with a person you can’t trust with your possessions? Is that love? Marital vows require you to take the good with the bad – for sickness and health, for richer or poorer… Why would you prepare for an exit strategy only when things go bad, especially when you promise otherwise? Doesn’t a pre-nup, pre-suppose a divorce even before the marriage has commenced? Why marry in that case?

Some say their love is pure and long lasting. It will never disintegrate no matter what obstacles come in the way. Can you love after infidelity? Can you love a person who’s killed someone you loved? (Friends are known to hate each other for lifetimes when boy/girl friends are merely “stolen”).

Some people say Love is a feeling. Personally, I think love is a choice: I know my lover has these good qualities and these bad qualities, and yet I want/choose to love him/her; and with this mindset comes the feeling associated with love. I have to choose to love the soul of the person, so that if external parameters change, I will still love the person. This kind of love will not demand commercial fulfilment on Valentine’s day, for you would then love because you want to and you have the capacity to, not because it will be reciprocated in ways that you deem fit, or conform to societal norms.

If you have read up to this point, you will have called me a pessimist. And it is not that I have not seen instances of true love; it’s just that that their statistical reality is negligible and that was what prompted me to write this article. I don’t have any intention to sound philosophical or appear preachy. My only quest is to get you thinking and hope that resulting actions born from such reflection will lead to truer wholesome love relationships.

Many of us smile at people because we are happy and our smile would possibly brighten the day for others. We don’t hope to receive the smile in return, but are ecstatic if that happens. Love in that way too, because you have love to share, with no  hope of return or a benefit motive – this may not make a difference to someone else’s life, but it will surely change yours for the better.

I come back to my original question: is it possible to love without reservation? Remember, the best answers are in your heart – that can never be disguised. And after you have answered that, maybe you can come to the fore and tell everyone why Love is not just another dirty four-letter word.

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Sex, Lies and Porno-babes

Foreword: It would help if you pre-read articles written by April Garris, the reformed pornstar, featured on the site, theporneffect.com.

Disclaimer: This article is entirely my perspective. Though it may appear otherwise, I do not intend to be judgmental here.

One question that unfailingly arises during my regular consumption of internet porn is “What the @$%!$ is this amazing looking female doing here?” I admit my prime focus is the reproductive parts of the female anatomy, but thereafter, as if searching for perfection along the lines of a connoisseur of fine art, I also look at the face, the eyes, fingers, etc. of exhibitors who specially catch my fancy. Why would such beautiful women, who could have men at their bidding, ready to do anything, resort to this career option? If I had a woman, half as beautiful (and probably quarter as willing) by my side, I would be at the top of the world. Some of them look so delicate that they ought to be showcase models, until I see them being pulverized by sometimes unnaturally large men in methods that are not mainstream cultured sex acts, and later profess their enthusiasm smilingly. What gives? Really?

In one of these internet sleuthing exercises, I inadvertently stumbled upon one very debased website, the address of which I will withhold for obvious reasons. That was my first introduction to BDSM at its worst, and I’m told by friends in the know, that even more decadent versions exist, extending right up to banned, illegal snuff films. What shocked me was the depravity. But what disturbed me even more, was my response to that debauchery. I can’t describe being repelled and turned on at the same time, and immediately switched off, fearing that I had ventured into an area that should never be visited. The horror movie, Hostel, implies the tendency of certain human elements to gradually and inadvertently cross from mainstream porn to higher forms of carnal excitement such as the snuff stuff. But enough of me!!!

Let’s revert to the original intention of this article: why would such pretty women who could command all male attention with a hint of a look, who would never do their acts with husbands / boyfriends, much less members of their own gender otherwise, subject themselves to humiliation, abuse, pain and, in BDSM, horrible torture? Granted that every pornstar is not visually appealing, but can’t most of them, for the lack of locally available honest/moral professions, easily clinch modeling deals, acting stints in developing countries, etc., at the very least?

The answer to that eternal question hanging above is “money”, pure and simple. Money is the root of all evil; money is what makes the world go round; money is what can buy an indecent proposal; money is what can be used to sell your soul and drive you into the ground. It’s happened before in Judas’ time; it has happened now in Garris’ time; and it will continually happen again – that’s a guarantee.

Commercial enterprise will always be about money at its core, with service lines being the most exploitative. Everyone looks for an ROI. The very fact that prostitution and porn exist, is that there is an abundant market for them. (In fact, porn is an industry that is credited to being the first to adopt all new computer and distribution technologies, thereby driving the price of modernity affordably down eg. Blu-ray). It’s very easy to dialogue on internet forums on the subject matter and call for a boycott of pornography consumption, but will that happen? I wouldn’t hazard a guess; at least not until sex and desire are abolished. It’s like wanting the drug problem to disappear – won’t happen, as long as money is to be made. So what then is the best solution, or something close to that? But before I come to that, I must take you along another route.

Pornography caters to all forms of interest, and the human stars – other unwilling creatures are sometimes made to partake too – are from the entire spectrum of age, right from children to “seemingly” bed-ridden grannies. When you trawl the internet for porn, you will see such a magnitude of “fresh” faces. Where does this unending supply of “willing” women come from? To assume that all these women are victims of childhood abuse and/or parental neglect would be to pre-suppose that (almost) all men are (those) abusers, and that is definitely a lie, simply because I can point out examples of those who should have entered porn, but didn’t, and vice versa. Excluding the genuinely abused women who enter porn to paradoxically relive their abuse, I am more inclined to believe that the remainder of the female porno lot is first entrapped by the lifestyle illusion, seemingly like the one they are coached to project. They sign up for the money, parties, glamour, etc., and some, of course, the sex. In their eagerness to acquire that lifestyle, they fail to check all the terms of the devil’s contract. When peno-vaginal sex suddenly turns peno-anal, or worse, they start complaining. And they complain but don’t quit, citing lack of alternate work options. There is no known scientifically gathered evidence other than coloured opinion that confirms otherwise.

I disagree with Garris’ article that all porn actresses are “innocent” victims. She confesses that she was exposed to porn via forms of media: magazines, etc., much before she entered porn. In the US, as opposed to a developing or conservative country, where sexual liberation is a given, no one can confess ignorance of what porn entails. So I suspect that Garris entered the porn business from the money angle and is crying rape when she felt shortchanged.

As part of a parish excursion, we visited an adopted village in rural India, and were greeted by extremely pathetic situation there. The poverty, hunger, disease, living conditions (which includes co-habitation with animals – the source of their livelihood), is simply deplorable…The Government of India draws the poverty line at earnings of INR 20/day – totally absurd!!! (1 USD = ~45 INR). Even your pet parakeet would die of malnutrition on that budget, much less families with only one wage earner. Needless to say, after being in a far better position, I was thoroughly ashamed of badgering God for freebies. Yet, none of those poor women are into prostitution. Oh, and I didn’t find the existence of other evils that generally plague the urban world: wickedness, adultery, etc., either. And I have excluded villages not adopted by charity organizations / philanthropic people. For people fatted on God’s goodness, it’s easy to cry injustice at every opportune moment. So, then, it boils down to personal God-given choice. I chose to barter my dignity, sexual integrity, morals, health, etc for a few pieces of silver. Yes, I, the pornstar, am solely to blame, first, and I am not in a moral position to attribute parts of that blame to others for secondary viewership.

What we have established so far is that Garris knew about porn and its athletic requirements before she entered porn. She then willingly signed on the contract on agreement that she would be paid a (possibly) negotiated sum of money. It would be safe to assume that her employers may have adumbrated the essentials of work, even if she claims not to be cognizant in this regard. What’s in doubt is that Garris may have not anticipated that the extra work / act requirements would come with no corresponding extra remuneration, and is crying foul. While advanced countries like the US have formulated water-tight work agreements and laws, many developing nations (such as India, for instance), have white (and other) collared workers working far beyond the 40 hour work week, for free, for there is a horde of newly graduated entrants willing to do more for about half any senior employee’s salary. So, which industry does not exploit even a teeny bit? If Garris felt cheated, why did she take 20 years to quit? She says that pornstars lose their money to the lifestyle requirements, and confesses that she did too. Depending on how you look at it, why did/didn’t she stop if she was back to square #1 financially? This makes no sense in light of her original intention to do porn. If she felt violated on doing the first scene, why did she continue doing such films? What is her financial support system now and couldn’t she have adopted the same system before she entered porn? Did she approach anybody / any institution for help? Did she try petitioning God? We don’t even know if she sincerely attempted to acquire honest and moral work before backing her story. Here (in India), there are women who literally live off the streets (rag pickers, etc), who work hard under the harshest of conditions, seek God’s help and are assisted by cosmic benevolence, while there are those who choose the shortest and easiest route, and hide behind polished excuses. And, though I’d hope otherwise, the probability of such reformed people, straying in moments of weakness is high, for, like sin, the memory of quick-fix shortcuts always remains dormant in memory, which the devil exploits to the hilt. One doesn’t have to be an expert in human psychology to deduce that. In India, when the government provides some fortunate slum dwellers free flats to live in, they respond by selling the flats for its monetary value and go right back to live in the slums in conditions they know so well and are accustomed to. Personal choice again, influenced by monetary gain.

Let’s compare pornography to others forms of recreation / sport. Why would participants hammer each other in the Bellator free style fighting championships for a shiny belt and some money, which they will spend on insurance and hospital bills? Can someone who is bashed up later complain that I didn’t know I would be hit so badly? Or Oh! they made me fight someone stronger / quicker. Hey, I didn’t get paid for losing an illegal street fighting competition…The crux of the matter is about choice freely exercised at risk and profit. What about the modeling industry? And the list goes on…

Garris says that porno girls fake emotions and actions. Who cares? A woman in a swimsuit gets paid to pose for a tyre advertisement; the buyer associates the tyres with the girl and makes a purchase; the advertiser gets his profit / commission. Each gets what they want and who loses? In porn, who is bothered about similar loss? Porn users will argue that they didn’t influence any girl to barter her dignity nor contribute in her continued debasement, and they are logically right, for it is the girl’s own choice to sign up for the money and be an artistic exhibitionist. In fact, most porn viewers don’t know the seamier side of porn employship and a select subset of these are not bothered any which way. Garris says girls get manipulated or are threatened on porn sets. Who told them to go there in the first place? If I am willing to join the mafia, I must be prepared for deception and loss of limb / life. Finer details of such industry streams are never covered in any contract. People willing to play with fire must be willing to get burnt. Doesn’t God say, those who live by the sword, will die by the sword?

Garris also says porn is an inaccurate representation of the sex act and that videos are doctored to selectively include what viewers wish to see. Again, at the risk of sounding insensitive, but logical, who cares? In India, courtship in movies was depicted for decades as running around trees and kissing was shown as flowers meeting each other. People know/suspect that doesn’t happen in real life and are there for the entertainment value, or in the case of porn, the titillation. But what of the lives that porn destroys – this again, is the personal choice of the viewer and the level s/he takes porn to. If we need to destroy all that is wrong in the world, let’s start with cigarettes and booze and gambling…Churches and medical doctors have cried themselves hoarse on the ill-effects of such vices, but have we had luck with their eradication before?

Since sex is such a powerful drive and a lot of people do not get their needs met, self-regulation propaganda will not be effective, even if the dark side of porn is tutored to the masses. Conscientious people will revert to their “sinful” state when their body makes continuous and prolonged demands to be satisfied of its baser instincts. The simplest solution for the eradication of porn is not to tell men to stop using porn, but for women to stop exchanging sex for money. This looks one-sided, but just bear with me a tad bit longer. Think, if all women firmly vowed to never use their bodies for any form of sexual advertisement, the supply side of porn (and general advertisements that relates a woman’s body to unrelated products sold) would be effectively crippled. It is natural that you would ask me why not make men culpable and cut off the demand side of the porn equation. As per God’s design, men are visually stimulated (as opposed to women being emotionally stimulated). So a man needs to see to be aroused. Since the emotional and lust circuitry is compartmentalized, a man can feel lust without feeling love – this is something women accuse their men off when the man, devoid of any love, gives an attentive eye to a lady passing in the street. If he is in love and has a strong moral inclination, he may be able to control acting on such arousal to stick to one partner in thought and deed. Telling men not to seek porn is tantamount to telling women not to seek romance. Not possible. What compounds the problem is that, as years go by, a country’s economy makes daily life more difficult and expensive. Therefore, more men (& women) need to work harder for longer hours, and therefore, delay of marriage is unavoidable. As a resultant consequence, there is no sexual outlet until someone is well established in a career and with an earning / providing capacity for a family, which may be decades later than the onset of puberty. So, what you get is porn, masturbation and damaged relationships in the interim. Even factors influencing matrimonial choice of a partner in current seemingly good and modern relationships is no longer governed by God’s design: so men will choose women based on their attractive quotient, as opposed to her goodness quotient, while women will choose the man with the most money. Neither will get what God intended to provide within marriage and both will look elsewhere within a short period of time. So the divorce percentage has climbed to more than 50% and, with a living-in mentality, we are fast approaching a time when the institution of marriage will be treated as an outdated aberration. Meanwhile, the body’s sexual demands will continue to rise to the fore and give way to predictable social results.

A woman told me to stop using porn. She accused me of willfully supporting the porn industry with my money, thereby justifying cruelty to women. Besides, it is a sin to watch people fornicate. But I have complementary news. I have never paid for porn – it’s free on the net. People will not stop fornicating if I am not in attendance – they will do it for the money they receive from the pornographer, and I am not providing any of it. And you will also have the skilled lawyer types who hassle with God, saying, “Hey, I was not looking at a woman with lust, I was looking at a picture of a woman with lust; so technically, I was not sinning to the letter”. Essentially, it’s the same difference.

Porn will never go away. But if you want to decrease its hold on society, part of God’s basic intentions and common sense must prevail:

  1. Imparting age appropriate sexual information is a must, by the parents, teachers, mentors, church, etc. I was appalled when I watched the BBC’s Vagina Monologues wherein a woman post 70 years of age didn’t know / hadn’t seen “what was down there”. Seems unbelievable and I don’t know if it is too far to look, reach and/or feel.
  2. Every man must have his own wife at the age when the body is set for that kind of fun. If there is no wife, other outlets will be sought, pornography and masturbation being some of them, as the first choice.
  3. Sex must not be regulated, rationed and/or controlled by any partner. A couple must be willing to have as much sex as they possibly can. In fact, sex must be had even if only one partner wants it. God’s direction is explicit: only if both partners wish to refrain from sex on account of time for prayer, can they do so, not just one, for that one may be tempted by immoral means to satisfy sexual desire, leading to the breakdown of the relationship. I read a lot of women complain that their men are viewing porn; are we just hearing one side of the story? Did these women contribute by saying no to sex too often or regulating sex based on the social mood between the couple?
  4. Collectively brainstorming solutions to relationship obstacles and vocalizing sexual needs is a must for both partners to be satisfied. Many women expect men to be mind readers – come on, woman may use telepathy, but guys woefully lack in that department. Sometimes things need to fall on a guy’s nose for him to be aware of it.
  5. Willingness to try new things within boundaries and respect of each other’s capabilities and inhibitions must be exercised. When sex with the spouse gets boring, sex with someone else / something gets interesting.
  6. Prayer, work partnership and fun are contributing essentials to a good sex life.

When God creates a human being, they come into this world in a fully working order. We satisfy all the requirements of growing up: education, nutrition, etc., but, believe it or not, sex education is sometimes hesitantly and hastily implied on the wedding night in some countries.

Initially, children look outward emotionally, and when there is no reciprocation, an inward orientation takes place, which generally signals the birth of masturbatory activities. Couple this with God’s injustice that only married couples can morally have sex and you have a motive for evil. What does an unmarried man with a body craving sexual release do? Masturbate, look at porn, masturbate, look at more porn and masturbate. And since masturbation needs higher levels of excitement for similar levels of pleasure, a market demand for pornography is anticipated and created, as it is needed to fuel the act of masturbation on a continual basis. Most people are satisfied at this level for years, except some deviants who graduate to higher forms of debauchery. Then comes a (usually, married) preacher to muddy the pond with self righteous justification: “Being married, I can have sex to my heart’s content, but God will punish you singles if so much as think about the word”. Tell me why should unmarried men not kick such preachers in the family jewels several times just for fun and re-focus on a denied release strategy? Simply telling people not to masturbate and watch porn without a backup plan to handle their sexuality in a practical manner is never going to yield tangible results. Refraining from sexual immorality is a lofty ideal. Yes, it may build character, but who is / how many are ready for such character building? Tibetan monks build character by sleeping nearly nude on the freezing ice capped mountains; martial artists, too. General people don’t. With stress abound, people are growing increasingly intolerant of minor irritants in life. Do you expect them to hold out on sexual fulfillment when their body torments them? Cajole them if you must, but it is not going to happen, for you would not be able to “hand-hold” a problem when the sexual head rears up in the middle of the night and the parish priest and God are “seemingly” asleep to the predicament.

Please be aware that I am sympathetic to Garris’ abuse, as everyone is a child of God and deserves a second chance; in fact, God forgives more than 70×7. I am no saint to hold Garris to the dock. All I’m stating it that Garris, like any other human being in this world has been given a choice. She made a mistake and we need to support her on her road to redemption if that is her wish, as we must be willing to support others like her to journey back home to God’s love.

Faithbond777@gmail.com

Please tell me how you regard my deviant articles along with your responses, for it may encourage me to write more / simply kill the habit.

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Sexual abstinence and other such bullshit !!!

Foreword: The following is a collection of the author’s perspectives on sex and his research on similar matters on various Christian websites.

Background: I am a 42-year old single Christian male. I have average looks, a pleasing but shy personality, am of middle-class standing and fairly intelligent. I have respectfully associated with women solely at an acquaintance level (ie. I never had a girlfriend).

The objective: In keeping with my (outdated) Christian ethics, I have never had sexual intercourse (and any other form of sexual/inappropriate intimacy) with a woman. I know there may be many like me out there; I just don’t know if they are equally dejected as me and wish to know how they have unwillingly come to terms with their predicament.

Firstly: Why would I want to marry? Merely, to experience sex. Is there only sex in a marriage? No, but, moralistically speaking, I can get every other thing: Close friendship (with both genders), fun (the honest kind), etc., outside of marriage. Isn’t it selfish to marry with a view to please your own sex urge? Obviously, my partner’s needs would also be taken into consideration, which I assume my fellow unmarried Christians who petition God similarly, would also take care of.

So what exactly is my grouse? God is intentionally withholding a partner from me. How do I know so? Well, positive and negative circumstances in my life, proactive action on my part and well meaning help from friends and family over the years have inexplicably come to naught and confirm this realization. I would have probably justified God’s wrath on me if I was a criminal or a bad person, but I can’t. How am I convinced of God’s hand in this? Every single time I meet a potential mate, – and I have met many, – I ask God, “if this girl is for me, strengthen our bond, otherwise, save me the heartache”, and unfailingly, just after my prayer, the bond is broken due to a variety of circumstances/reasons. 

Ask and you shall receive: I am clueless as to why God intends for me to be single and I have begun to resent this (almost to the point of abandoning God and my faith). God said, “Ask and you shall receive”, and I did so (on several occasions) in all prayerful sincerity, but I didn’t receive. So is this Biblical statement false? I feel many (pious) people reading this will shake their heads in disbelief. To them I say, “You ask God for a spouse on my behalf just to prove me wrong”. Is anyone up for the challenge? So, then, did an error creep in the Bible statement during its translation to English, or does the statement just need rewording to “Ask and you shall receive, if and only if God wants to give it to you and   …<add some other conditions like you should be pure…blah, blah, blah>. Though I try to be, I’m not convinced that one needs to be as pure as the Pope before asking, as I know people who have willfully cheated on their girlfriends, were granted spouses without being generally pious and even asking God, and had mistresses thereafter, all with seemingly God’s sanction (remember, nothing in this world ever happens outside the will of God); this contradicts another of God’s biblical statements about the reasons for not receiving what one asks for. Some say God will grant you what you desire in His time. I ask you, suppose your child asks you for …say… a bicycle. If you have gifted your other children bicycles, would you buy this child a bicycle in the immediate future, or several years (or possibly, never) after his request? – your child may not need it then. Others say, “God is preparing and testing you for marriage” – how come I get to be tested in a prolonged fashion when several of my married acquaintances already agree to my marriage worthiness? Besides, if that were true, with frivolous divorces galore, did God similarly test so many married derelicts (in possibly sham marriages) one sees around? Is God taking time in preparing my spouse for me then? If God created the entire world (with all its yet-to-be discovered wonders) in 7 days, He obviously would not need 42 years to drag my potential spouse through her learning lessons to be with me. By the way, how much time was required to create Eve from Adam? An intelligent priest told me, God loves you and will not grant you something detrimental – please be honest with me, does this statement merit a dignified response? So question #2 to the Christian purists: Is God really just and all men (& obviously, women) are equal in His eyes? Are some specially meant to suffer for no fault of theirs, and with no clue? Are there any special prayers that some unmarried pray, rituals they practice and side religions they favour to win spouses? Still some others point out to the effect of generation curses, which again contradict the possibility of God being just to the receiver.

Masturbation and other necessary “evils”: So if God doesn’t want to gift me a spouse, fine – that’s His choice. So I think if God is powerless/lazy to provide me a mate in this lifetime, I will take care of it myself, but I find that He has handicapped the unmarried by pronouncing fornication as sinfully vile. So what recourse does the unmarried have? Aaah, there’s masturbation, which is nowhere outlawed in the Bible (some, mostly married fanatics, will twist scripture to tell you otherwise). But the fact is, masturbation requires a catalyst such as pornography or some other fantasy/sensory form, which again God shakes his finger to. Tell me, if you were a Creator who created a human (whom you profess you possibly love), would you give him a big sex drive, not grant him a mate, prevent him from seeking alternatives, make him feel frustrated for indefinite periods of time while granting the same wish to his peers in plain sight and finally, condemn him to hell for misdemeanors/lapses? I repeatedly wish to grant God the benefit of my doubt, but apparently I’m slipping here. Any company boss will tell you that it is in his best business interests to keep his employees happy? So why does God wish to keep singles – the ones who serve him faithfully for the longest periods of time – the most frustrated?

Many Christians, advantaged by their morally legal sex life, will, from a moral high point, tell you absurd stuff about the evils of masturbation, right from your nose growing long, getting hairy palms, feeling weak, etc., to telling you that habitual masturbators would eventually prefer masturbation to regular sex even after being granted a spouse later. But what will someone who is never ever going to get a spouse do? Won’t a starving person eventually steal food? Why does God, who can supposedly move mountains, let the situation reach boiling point? Others cite the sin of Onan, which to my understanding, is God’s wrath not on account of masturbation, but on Onan’s unwillingness (& disobedience) to bear a child through his brother’s widow as also was customary. Medical science advises masturbation for its inherent benefits not only to the body and well being, but also with regard to decreasing frustration that could lead to crime. Married people too, will attest the benefits on sex on a persons’ wellbeing, so on what basis does God deny unwilling singles sex?

A pastor wrote: “Masturbators don’t trust God to take care of their sexual needs. If you reached your 40s or 50s with not a single sexual experience and you are not meant to stay celibate, you will definitely have trust issues with God’s providence in this regard. Since God didn’t make a hormonal switch (much like the puberty one) that would turn on desire depending on your marital state, God should have at least “gifted” the unmarried very short lives as compensation.

I fail to understand why some people regard singlehood as a gift, rather than a curse? If singlehood is such a blessing, wouldn’t God have made Adam single in the first place? Clergy aside, does anyone choose to be voluntarily single? It does not matter what proactive steps you (or anyone else) take/s to remedy your single status, you will not get paired after being amidst a horny bunch of potential suitors, if God does not want you to. So, if God generally grants everyone free will, why does He just force singlehood down on an unwilling you? Is it because you will have more time to work for His Kingdom? Statistically speaking, how many married people have terminated their church going/helping activities post marriage? Does this mean that if I currently stop my furthering the Kingdom of God, He will readily (and possibly, immediately) grant me a spouse? Or, if I was married and wished to do His will, He would remove any distraction/obstacles by taking away my spouse? Amazingly contradictory!!! If I have to be single and celibate, what is the difference between being normally single and being a priest?

Everyone hates a loser: What are the social costs of singleness? Suspicion of being a homosexual or a misogynist. Exclusion from couple events. Society and family pressure. Etc. Even the church / most churches, who elevate singlehood (for which I suspect is an ulterior/control motive), have no programs/events targeting singles. This, in light of scripture telling you that both vocations are at par.

Now, let’s talk about Sex: You say God didn’t intend for sex to be solo – tell me which sane man (or woman) would prefer solitary pleasure if presented with a readily available moral option? I wonder why sex is referred to as a “gift” (from God)? A gift, by virtue of its implied meaning, would be something given freely without restriction. Sex comes with so many (pre & post) usage restrictions to all categories of users. If I were to gift something to someone, would I dictate the terms of use? I also have trouble in understanding how “Sin” can be selectively regarded. Murder is murder, and though justifiable in some cases, is thoroughly condemnable irrespective of the gender, age, race, etc., of the perpetrator. For something to be a crime or a sin, its governing laws have to be universal in scope. Therefore, for the sake of argument, why should sex be considered a sin without marriage and not within?

God is my shepherd, I shall not want, but my body tells me a different story. To complicate matters, God made the spirit and flesh diametrically opposed and put them into one body. (It’s like putting an innocent you between your warring mother and your warring wife) Morbid fun, eh?!? Then there are the partisan sex rules and regulations. If that was not bad enough, He said, you would be committing adultery just by looking with lust. Put a visually appealing woman before any heterosexual male, no matter how pious, and if he didn’t react predictably at least in thought, I’d say there is something seriously wrong with him. Did you know that such aspects were exploited by spies since initial war time? If your eye causes you to sin, fancy a blind, one-handed, castrated male population ready for heaven? And if your thoughts cause you to sin, is suicide an option? A priest once said, “hey, this aspect was not meant to be taken literally”. I ask you, why be selective. Why can’t other biblical references to sexual misconduct be treated with similar leniency? (Wouldn’t logic say “actually commit adultery rather than just look with lust and pay in equal for the sin” – not to be taken literally!).

One single Christian woman’s realization in this matter was that: Only if you are satisfied completely in God, would He grant you a spouse to fully appreciate a lasting human relationship. This truly escapes me. Will some of you rocket scientists enlighten me on how could I be sexually satisfied in my relationship with God, before I get a spouse?

My married friends tell me Marriage is equally frustrating. Unmatched sex drives, compatibility and privacy issues, parenting stress, etc. take their toll on sex life. A marriage doesn’t guarantee sex when you want it, in the measure that you want it and at the moment you want it, but at least you have an exercisable option at different points in time. Now, those who disagree and/or who are unhappy with their wife, please loan her to me!!! Just kidding. I thought sex is supposed to be a gift, so why the high costs of sex?

I get pissed off by men abusing their wives. I think how did God grant such vile creatures with a mate and leave me alone to watch from the sidelines? I can’t imagine ill-treating my spouse. But God, it seems, has a funny sense of humour. And He would rather grant such men the most wonderful/best women instead, sometimes repeatedly. (Just as He generally pairs compliments: an introvert with an extrovert, etc….which will also include good men with bad women and vice versa).

Finally, sexual abstinence and assorted crap: Most of the advocators of sexual abstinence are married. How fair is it for people who enjoy sex on a periodic basis to unendingly preach to the unmarried about being and staying celibate?  Who gives them the selfish moral right? I would like to see if such people, after tasting the joys of sex, happily repeat this preaching after they suddenly lose their mate in their sexually active period. A preacher on a website mentioned that abstinence until one’s wedding was paramount as sex could be had at any age. Does he know that in biblical times, people married in their teens for very valid reasons? Didn’t God say, “Enjoy your wife in the fountain of your youth” or something to that effect? Do sexual & libido problems crop up in your youth or in the later stage of your life? In a second life, I would like to give this supposedly married preacher the option to marry his wife well past middle age just to test if he would recant his statement. And I would also salute others who willingly choose such absurd options. With hushed stories of sexual misconduct within the church, can priests actually point a finger about?

There is no bodily requirement for sex in the spirit world (heaven); any sex you can have has to be had here on earth. So if God did not plan to even sparingly ration out sex to singles in the earthly world, where such needs/wants are paramount, do you think He would care to satisfy such desires in Heaven? Some websites offer statistics that I have no way of validating: almost 100% of the men and 50% of women watch porn and/or masturbate. So, with this and other sins generally committed, who is really going to heaven? What is the end result of all this abstinence? Let’s say I somehow manage to stay morally pure like so many “holy” people on the internet, who love to advertise they easily can. What will be my quality of life maintaining this purity? Will such a life be worth livable? Really? Moreover, I fail to understand the logic: Singles committed to purity will need to live such defensive lives continually battling temptation, that the focus I assume God wants singles to have on His kingdom’s needs, will be gravely endangered. And, let’s be honest, ones image of God as a sole personal provider will surely be sullied then / eventually. So who is really winning? With such a standpoint, God is more likely to lose the helping hand as well as the helper in due course of time. And, worse, for all you know, after staying pure, you may, at the gates of judgment, see a great sinner, who’s had all the fun on earth, in God’s favour, as did the prodigal son’s brother. In summation, I’m saying if God gave you a sex desire, he meant it for use. If it was meant solely for torment, I don’t know if I would want Him to be my God.

Conclusion: So what do I do? The wise say, to keep your sanity, graceful acceptance of singlehood is your only fate. Hmm, like I have a moral alternative? Can I appeal my case to a still higher authority? It appears that singles are children of a lesser God, yoked to a religion that offers only lofty, unlivable theories. Did I waste your reading time? Let’s say I accept my single life at 42 years, firmly/comfortably entrenched in my alternate ways of self release, would I welcome a spouse in my old age? Well, I’m no Abraham, though it would help if I had a fraction of his faith and patience. In reality, there doesn’t seem to be an incentive for living a good Christian life, rather than to experience suffering, longing and other assorted pain. Some sour grapes (singles hopelessly resigned to their fate) themselves say, my reward is out of this world, much like the misguided bomber/terrorist who latches on to the 72-virgin theory. So, I suppose I am definitely going to hell then. I now leave you to pronounce your self-righteous judgments while I break to relive myself of tensions that you probably take for granted. And as/when you reply, think of the others worse off than me: handicapped, deformed / crippled, autistic, etc. who may not have my recourse as well.

Faithbond777@gmail.com

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