Sunday, August 19, 2012

Church, Sex and Politics - just missing the Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll

I know I haven’t written here in a while and I also know my running has been taking a back seat to … well, everything from kids, school, relocation – let’s just put it under the tag-word ‘life’.

Actually, I am not going to write about running in this post either.  Definitely put this under the ‘life’ category of my blog.  You will be pleased to know I won’t be giving you a run down of MY life at the moment –which fluctuates to mundane and insane.  This is a general musing.

This is a musing about sex.

Before you all get excited and expect me to do a Krista on you, I am going to bring you down to Earth by informing you I am also including Religion and Politics in this post.  Yep, I am the woman you DON’T invite to the dinner party because I will be the one who brings up at least one, if not all, of the three taboo’s.

My post comes about from a couple of news articles I have read recently.  Yeah, I know you are wondering at least one of two things: Either, ‘You read?’ or, ‘When are you ever sober enough to read?’  Both are very valid questions.

The first article is this: ‘Why Sex could be history’.  It’s a book plug basically, but it highlights the fact that in the future –potentially near future- sex will not be required to have children.  With the advent of lab-grown sperm and eggs, along with artificial insemination, soon people will not need the elements of life or the actual act of sex to have kids.  Add in the fact that there is development of ‘Wombs for Men’ the factor of being female will also not be an issue. 

The second article is this. ‘Republican Senate Nominee:Victims of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don’t Get Pregnant’.  Apart from the fact that clearly this guy failed High School Biology and in my opinion is a “fruit-loop”, it is a fact that Todd Akin is appealing to the Uber-conservative members of his political party and State.  Frankly the fact a man wholly unconnected to the majority of his female voters, feels he has the right to not only, shame women because of an act they had no control or desire for, but then dictate what they can and can’t do with their bodies is frankly repugnant.  I find this man scary and I find it even scarier when there are probably thousands –if not millions- of people willing to agree with him.

The fact that Todd Akin is not alone in his views and that his idea of abortion –and Sex- is not only promoted in his country, but actively enforced in others, highlights one fact;  politics, sex and religion are too closely related.

It is usually at this point most commentators would point the finger at Islamic countries in Africa and the Middle-East as the worst perpetrators.  The subjugation of women and brutal treatment for their actions in the name of Religion is so well documented that many people wouldn’t look any further. I can see many conservative Christians in many Western Countries saying,  ”But that’s Islam – they are heathens.  We are nothing like that.  We follow Jesus and have the true God.  We are a democratic country who honours and respects our women”.

Do you?  Do you really?

This week, a Russian court sentenced three women to two years hard-labour for singing an ‘anti-government’ song in Moscow’s main Cathedral.  They were trying to highlight the fact that the government and the Russian Orthodox Church are too closely linked in secular Russia.  The fact that Patriarch Kirill promoted President Putin as a man from God and members of the church should vote for him, may give the group 'Pussy Riot' good cause to make that claim.  Admittedly, the way they group protested was probably not the wisest thing they have ever done.  Regardless of the country you are in, a public political protest within a Church –of any Religion- is going to get you arrested.  However, the very political nature of the trial and the harsh sentencing shows,  that the incident was more used to silence political enemies, than a conventional ‘slap on the wrists’ because they had done something stupid and upset a few people.

The sad fact is, no matter how secular a country claims to be, it is increasingly obvious that politics and religion are too closely connected.  As such it is inevitable that sex get’s mixed up in there somewhere.

The reason sex get’s mixed up with religion and consequently politics is all down to procreation.  Centauries ago, when the infant mortality rate was high, the Church needed members and the best way to do that was to get your congregation going at it like rabbits.  Every child was needed –regardless if you had enough family resources to feed them- because in a way our species depended on it.  Those in charge of the church were men.  Find a way to subjugate half of the population, guarantee your position, as well as increasing your attendance on Sunday and frankly you are onto a winner.  It makes sense in a primal, medieval way. I don't like it, but I understand it.

However, we don’t have the same population crisis we had five hundred years ago.  In fact we have the opposite problem.  The Church is still telling us to keep producing the faithful, when in fact we are running out of food.  Not just food – water, land, fuel are now becoming a scarce commodity.  We are wiping ourselves out because the ‘Nuclear 2.4 Children family’ was what was demanded of our society and we happily continued to give it.

So now we are in this quagmire of views.  We have religion –all religions- claiming themselves as the keepers of peoples souls, dictating that they need more children, whilst they are intricately entwined with the politicians who legislate to ensure they get that –regardless if it’s in your best interests or if in fact, it’s something you want.

However, what happened if you took sex out of the equation?  What if sex wasn’t needed to produce children?  If a bit of nookie in the middle of the night is they way you want to create your family then cool – but what if it wasn’t?  What if you were a single woman who wanted kids? How about a Gay couple?  What about a single Man?  If having a family was what you wanted, but you didn’t want a hetro-sexual relationship to get it, what would happen to the church then?  What would happen to the arguments put forward by politicians regarding who can and can’t have equal legal rights, just because they can’t produce children in the relationship they are currently in?

Perhaps that the reason why there is political angst on homosexual marriage or the lack of tax/personal benefits given to single people. Where you have more benefits if you are a married couple with kids. Couples outside of conventional ideals are always deemed less important than a hetro-sexual married couple because they can’t produce kids.

Yet, if any one could have kids -if there were no biological difficulties in having children, what would happen then? What would happen if NO-ONE were allowed to have children in the ‘conventional’ manner?  That at the age of 35 you were tested for mental competency and allocated a laboratory produced kid to raise – regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.  Admittedly, the “Logan’s Run” world I am painting is very unlikely – but it puts the question; If hetro-sexual relationships weren’t necessary to produce children, would the same focus be placed on them in the spiritual and political landscape?

If sex were taken out of the equation, would the link between state and church be weaker?  Would that be a benefit rather than a curse?

What do you think?

I have to admit I am not sure where I was going with this long-winded and meandering post.  It was just an intellectual connection I made whilst having a shower.  If you are offended, then tough - just don’t tune in next time. If you think I am intellectually wrong, then enlighten me.  I am just a blogger who has no idea what she is saying half the time; I am always willing to learn.

Thanks for listening – feel free to ignore the last 30 minutes of your life.  Now go grab a beer. Here's tothe call to alcohol and the practising the act of expanding of our species - just make sure you practise responsibly ;)

Edited from the original because I am essentially a journalistic hack who is lousy at copy-editing.  When I realised I could hardly make sense of some of it, I guessed you guys would be in a similar situation.