On Christian “sexual morality.”

Really, this story just mocks itself—which is excellent news because we are feeling particularly lazy at the Palace today:

Megachurch pastor axed over cell pics of makeout session with teen

The pastor of an Indiana megachurch lost his job after being careless with cell phone pictures showing him making out with a young woman.

The girl may be as young as 16, and police are now investigating Jack Schaap.

Schaap, 54, was fired from First Baptist Church in Hammond on Tuesday after 11 years in the pulpit, a church spokesman told WBBM-TV.

Former First Baptist member Trisha Kee said Schaap left his cell phone behind and a deacon picked it up to bring it to him.

“The deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out,” she said.

The spokesman would not confirm the girl’s age, but said she was thought to be over 18. Others believe she is about 16, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Either way, Schaap was fired over what the church called an “improper relationship with a young woman.”

The Lake County Sheriff and the FBI are investigating whether she is underage.

Schaap is married to the daughter of former First Baptist leader Rev. Jack Hyles and has two adult children.

His published books include “Marriage: The Divine Intimacy” and “Dating with a Purpose: Common Sense Dating Principles for Couples, Parents, and Youth Workers.”

Look for Schaap’s highly anticipated forthcoming sequel, “Underage Teen Sex: The New Divine Intimacy,” sure to be a bestseller.

Erin at Jezebel has more:

When he isn’t preaching the word of God, he’s writing marriage advice books. I swear I didn’t make that up. Here’s a sort of creepy passage from one called Divine Intimacy,

When a person acts out by his life actions that lie about the truth of the Bible, God gets very upset. Nothing symbolizes more of what God has with the believer like the romantic, intimate, physical intimacies between a husband and wife. The wife receives her husbands body. Ephesians 5:23 says that the husband is Christ in the home. When a wife receives her husband’s body, she is saying, ‘I just want to remind you, Christ, that I am receiving You’.

And another,

The person who deeply loves Christ understands that when He receives Christ as Saviour, it is a spiritual intercourse. A person receives the body of Christ. A Christian is the female gender in the spiritual realm, and God is the male gender of the spiritual realm. When a person receives Christ as Saviour, he is receiving Christ as a lover.

To say that Schaap may have some sexual issues is like saying Hitler may have some ethical issues.

This is one of my (many) major problems with Christianity: its clergy and its doctrines are obsessed with human sexuality—and not in a good way.  Strict gender binaries, vicious homophobia, rampant misogyny, divinely ordained dominance-and-submission hierarchies, and grandiose delusions (“the husband is Christ in the home”? Srsly?) all conspire to distort, repress, and in some cases utterly destroy any chance of healthy, mutually fulfilling, adult sexual relationships.  With Orwellian flair, this narrow and dysfunctional view is labelled “sexual morality,” while those whose sexual practices are responsible, respectful, safe and sane are condemned as sinful, evil, and immoral.

Which brings me to the most obvious problem with Christian “sexual morality”:  it does not work—at least, not as advertised, although it may well work as intended.  To the extent that conservative Christians dominate the culture, Christianity is a miserable failure even by its own metrics.  Priests are 100 times more likely to be pedophile sex offenders than the general populationConservatives are biggest consumers of porn. Teaching the religiously-based “sexual abstinence until monogamous marriage” view is positively correlated with high rates of teen pregnancy.  I could spend my entire day linking study after study reporting on the abject failures and destructive social costs of Christian “sexual morality.”  But as I said, it’s a lazy day at the Palace, so you can go do your own Google Scholar searches if you are so inclined. So in that spirit (or lack thereof), I will simply draw your attention part of a comment I made on a recent post by SJ, in which I pointed out how Christian “sexual morality” does indeed “work”:

Why does every Abrahamic religion divinely command woman to the status of submissive breeding sow? Because before the advent of modern medicine, this was by far the most adaptive reproductive strategy for a human population. In fact, nearly every single one of the social and economic systems that has evolved and flourished over the course of known human history has involved the exact same biological strategy: females giving birth to as many children as possible, all fathered by a single male.

For example, my own grandmother was one of eleven live births, and she was far from unique. Several of her siblings died in infancy, a sad circumstance which was also far from unique. And after birthing eleven children, it is unsurprising that her mother died when my grandmother was very young—hardly a unique tragedy in the early part of the 20th century. Older female siblings would forgo schooling to raise the younger ones; older male siblings went to work in factories to support them, ran away, or joined the military.

Much poverty and misery ensued from this state of affairs. Still, from an evolutionary perspective, it was a winning strategy: my grandmother and several of her siblings reached adulthood and spawned several children of their own (one brother died at war before fathering any children… that we know of). For every woman who died giving birth to a stillborn baby, or one whose children did not survive infancy, there was a woman like my great grandmother belting out healthy baybees year after year like a machine until she could bear no more. The population boom in the West during the last century is a testament to this reproductive strategy. Sure, it begets unbearable suffering: systemic poverty, bereaved husbands, motherless children, kids mourning their siblings, etc. But it works. It is undeniably a successful evolutionary strategy for human populations. And evolution is indifferent to suffering that does not affect reproduction.

And Christian “sexual morality” is indifferent to suffering,* except for that which affects the poor, long-suffering Christ-husband, in his very own home.

__________
*Evolution is, of course, truly indifferent to anything and everything that does not affect successful reproduction.  I am being uncharacteristically generous here when I use the word “indifferent” in this same sense with respect to the suffering engendered by Christian “sexual morality”: a fairly good case can be made that in the view of its proponents, it is a feature, not a bug.  But I’m too lazy to do it today.  I must commence lounging about the Palace at once.

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