Anonymous asked: Hi Sam. I am a Christian and I am wondering why watching porn and masturbation is considered a sin? Isn't it better than doing it with someone you do not truly love or being an unprepared parent? What's wrong with seeking pleasure sometimes?
Christianity has a really strange relationship with sex. In the early years of the church the Romans condemned the Christians because it was thought that they were too open about sex and, indeed they were very open. Just read Paul’s letters. Then in late antiquity and the early medieval period the church sought to shift the focus from the joys of this world to the next and so there was a crack down of sorts against all forms of sexuality especially that of women. Jesus says nothing about masturbation and very little about sex at all. There are instances in the Gospels where Jesus refused to condemn prostitutes or adultressess.
The Bible passage used by the Catholic church and the Baptists against masturbation is the story of Onan in Genesis 38. Onan angers God when he disobeys Gods command and refuses to impregnate his brother’s widow. He pulls out at the last minute. This is not masturbation this is coitus interruptus. Basically masturbation was considered pretty harmless and it was called the “priests wife” in the middle ages. Then in the late seventeenth century it was brought to the publics attention not by the church but by sellers of patent medicines.
Bottom line. Masturbation is not a sin at least not if you follow the Bible. My own personal opinion is that any religious institution which would condemn something so pleasurable, free and safe not to mention a great release of sexual tension in the celibate, is suspect.
I’m not sure about masturbation, but the issue in Christianity with porn actually has very little to do with ‘religion’ and the Bible at all. The issue with it is how addictive it is and how it gives people such a false view on what sex is. After watching porn, people come into the bedroom with their significant other and then just aren’t satisfied because of the fantastical things they’ve seen on their computer/tv screen, which leads to dysfunctional real life relationships.
That’s just a quick synopsis of it anyway. There was an article I wish I could find done by a group in the UK who isn’t affiliated with any religious group that talks about the incredible prevalence of porn in society and how damaging it is to people and relationships. If I did some digging I might be able to find it, but I’m not sure anyone will read my reply anyway :P