Whence the Animosity towards Sexuality in (some) Churches?

One shadow lurking behind the fetish with abortion derives from looking on sexuality as something sinister and sinful that must be justified by having babies.  This is very much the position of Augustine of Hippo who identified our sexuality with original sin.  Such an attitude is in no way the teachings of Jesus or of his Jewish tradition.  In fact, in Jesus’ tradition, one rule for celebrating the Sabbath is that a couple should 1) read the Song of Songs (which celebrates love making as a theophany or mystical experience and 2) make love.  

Reproductive Rights is an issue that affects every woman, including trans/gender nonbinary women. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

Jesus never spoke about abortion.  How, then, could abortion define what a follower of Jesus is all about?  Isn’t that to neglect his teachings entirely?

The Roman Catholic church’s teaching to this day against birth control originates from St. Augustine’s negative view of sexuality that demands that sexual love must be justified by having children.  This in turn derives from his own promiscuous youth and confusion toward his own sexuality that came from his parents—his father was a libertine and his mother was a prude.  Augustine never resolved his guilt and shame over his own sexuality and in effect dumped it on other generations even to our day.

Psychology has helped us to see once again that our second chakra (our sexuality) is not a “problem” but a blessing (an original blessing one might say) and a power that we all share and that we are all to take responsibility for. 

The larger context for talking about abortion has to be the role of women in Christianity and society and of the sacredness of sexuality and the body.  This obviously needs critical thinking and research, much of which has been advanced in the past 150 years.  Science too, so much of it dominated by men, has been slow to learn about human sexuality.  If we have a less than accurate understanding of sexuality, we are obviously prone to giving out ill-advised decisions about sexual morality. 

See Matthew Fox, “Moving Beyond the Abortion Fixation: Some Theological Context,” inConscience: The Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion, vol. xli—no. 2, 2020, pp. 24-28; or www/consciencemag.org.

See Matthew Fox on love and misdirected love in the second chakra, chapter 9 in Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, pp. 237-266.

To read the written transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Feminist banner at rally. Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you see your sexuality as a blessing and a power and a responsibility and indeed an original blessing?  Don’t you wish everyone did?

Recommended Reading

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8 thoughts on “Whence the Animosity towards Sexuality in (some) Churches?”

  1. Avatar

    This was a fascinating list of wonders including an unusual introduction, but it doesn’t directly address the animosity towards sexuality: have you got your videos out of synch? Thanks for your mediations, they are an important part of my daily practice.

    1. Avatar

      You are clearly right, Annette. Sorry about that. Clearly, there was a glitch and misplacement.
      But it’s not unuseful in itself, as you happily point out. Hope to do better next time.

  2. Avatar

    To me it seems that anything that tries to control or dictate our bodies is trying to control God and divinity.
    If it is true we are all “sons and daughters” and co creators then we are empowered with such glory, light and magnificence.
    The recent Abortion law seems to be an attempt to not only put out that divine light but also to put out the divine feminine.
    In doing so we silence so much beauty and liberation and sophia.
    These very elements that can and do free us from sexual repression are essential because they make sacred sex a celebration and a mystica union – not as a birth production line.
    As Matthew says at a deeper level this is everything to do with a warped view on sexuality that is based on Augustian guilt and a preoccupation with original sin.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Steve, I like how you contrast the mystica union with “a birth production line”–Very true of the Church’s position on sexuality.

  3. Avatar

    Much-much more emphasis needs to be put on the subject of mating in education. As the collective conscience becomes more heart-activated in awareness about the sacredness of love-making then the world will awaken more to deep feeling. The awakened collective heart charka will become the advisor for both sexes.

  4. Avatar

    Augustine was preoccupied with sex and projected his own problems onto everyone else, in my opinion, with dire consequences to this day. I love the idea of a ritual for those who have suffered an abortion. A dear friend, who was Black and brought up in the Baptist tradition in the south with a minister father, had one after agonizing over it, and it almost destroyed her. She’d had a stillbirth and then got pregnant again and was exposed to rubella in the first trimester. She was able to recover and eventually had a healthy pregnancy and birth.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Sue, I’m sure she agonized over it–and many still do today, and if things don’t change many more will…

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