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

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 11:36:24 EDT

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  obsessed 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  imagine 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?
>  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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