[lit-ideas] Re: Why am I not surprised?

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 23:29:39 EDT

Jews (and I have been part of a Jewish community, so I am in a position to  
know) are far less puritanical about sex than Christians.  I believe the  
general Jewish position (again, Jews are not a monolith), is that it is not a  
"sin".  I seriously doubt, however, that any groups of Jews get together  and 
discuss how they masturbate any more than any other group of people  do.  Jews 
not consider sex shameful or dirty.  Nor do a large  percentage of Christians. 
 I would love to know your cultural and religious  background.  It would help 
a lot in our communication to know where the  person I'm talking to is 
"coming from".
Julie Krueger

========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: Why am I not 
surprised?  Date: 10/6/2006 10:01:33 P.M. Central Standard Time  From: 
_aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
(mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    

Christians  may have screwed it up, but it still merited being put in the 
Bible that Onan  was masturbating.  What is the Jewish stance on masturbation?  
Do Jews get together and talk about how they masturbated the night before and 
it  was *great*?  Any precedent for masturbation in the  Bible?  Given that 
when the suggestion arises that Onan may have  been doing you know what, great 
lengths are taken to deny it.  I suspect  that both Christians and Jews 
subscribe to the very same rules about sex, which  is to say, it's dirty and 
shameful but everybody's obsessed with  it.   

----- Original Message ----- 
From:   (mailto:JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx) 
To: _lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) 
Sent: 10/6/2006 11:37:44 AM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Why am I not  surprised?

Christians have, as is typical, screwed this one up royally too.  The  taboo 
against masturbation (onanism) comes not from God's displeasure in the  act 
itself.  God punished Onan because he failed to honour his cultural  familial 
responsibility out of jealousy and resentment.  It's all about  principles, not 
specific acts. 
<<Onan was the second son of _Judah_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_(biblical_figure)) .  After his older 
brother _Er_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Er_(biblical_figure))  died, Onan  was required 
by the tradition of _levirate 
marriage_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levirate_marriage)  to  marry Er's 
widow _Tamar_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamar_(biblical_figure)) .  
to Genesis 38:7-9, when he had _sexual intercourse_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_intercourse)   with Tamar he "spilt his 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semen)  upon the ground" because  the resulting 
child would be 
considered his late brother's, not his. _God_ 
killed Onan for his  transgression. 
What Onan had done was dishonor his dead brother and shirk  his obligations. 
Exactly how he frustrated the purpose of levirate marriage  was irrelevant. 
The text emphasizes the social or legal setting, with Judah  describing what 
Onan has to do and why. The plain reading is that Onan's sin  was refusal to 
provide his dead brother with an heir.>>
_Onan - Wikipedia, the free  encyclopedia_ 
Julie Krueger

========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: Why am I not 
surprised?  Date: 10/6/2006 9:06:01 A.M. Central Standard Time  From: 
_aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
(mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:     
I'm inclined to think that religion substitutes  for control.  When the
society is functioning better, the need for  religion goes down.  That's the
big draw for Muslims, that the  governments are corrupt, leaving the society
without a sense of stability  or even basic services.  It's what drew the
Taliban into war torn  Afghanistan the first time, what's bringing them back
now, what got al  Qaeda into Somalia, the need for order.  The lure of
structure is  contributing to its growth in the Sunni areas of Iraq, it
gives all those  unemployed kids something to do, and of course its
importance in just  ordinary countries like Egypt.  Hezbollah, the Party of
God, is out  and out political.  Here in the U.S. we have the rule of
secular law  so religion isn't going to be as necessary a force.  

Regarding  masturbation, Christians are obsesse d with it too.  The word
onanism  comes out of the Bible.  Onan was masturbating and was caught by
his  sons.  It was so traumatizing that they named "the deed" after him  in
the Bible no less.  For years masturbation in the West was  associated with
blindness, etc. etc.  Having sex with someone is a  source of pride (check
out the magazines at the supermarket), but how many  westerners admit to
masturbating (ever see it in the magazines)?  It's  downright a source of
secrecy and quite intense shame.  I didn't read  the thing Eric posted, and
it probably is silly, but attitudes in general  everywhere toward sex are
silly.  It's so grossly overrated as the end  all and be all of all joy. 
Where would advertising and MTV be without  it?  It's even ascribed all
sorts of magical powers.  Athletes  aren't allowed to have sex before a big
game, priests aren't allowed to  marry, and on and on.   I im agine that if
the Ayatollah is  talking about it, however unscientifically, then at least
it's out of the  closet.  I think of far more consequence is their
acceptance of child  sex abuse, the way in many countries it's accepted;
child brides,  etc.  That makes for very unhappy people and leads to all
sorts of  societal problems.

Regarding North Korea, I agree.  Iran seems  much more stable than North
Korea.  We should be partnering with Iran  to get rid of drugs, deal with
North Korea.  Instead, we're again  attacking the wrong target.  

> [Original  Message]
> From: John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
>  To: Anthro-L <ANTHRO-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>;  <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 10/6/2006 12:45:36 AM
>  Subject: [lit-ideas] Why am I not  surprised?
0&a  mp;en=4bc2ab121e996b11&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin
>  This URL points to a story in the New York Times headlined
>  "Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers." Having grown up in a
>  pious family then drifted away I find myself sayin, "Of course." Any
>  thoughts out there?
> -- 
> John McCreery
>  The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
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