Does God Hate Sex?

27Sep09

My magic 8-ball says, ask again later. Which is pretty much the conclusion this car crash of a programme came to after 30 thrilling minutes. Screened on RTE 1 last night, it’s part of a series on things God may or may not hate… a pertinent question, no doubt.

Kudos to RTE for tackling the bold thing at all, albeit from a religious perspective. But good jesus, it was pointless. Four panellists plus Marian having a good aul shout at eachother, and the only vaguely interesting or entertaining part of it was David Norris’s story about the lovely gay penguins.

The programme – chaired by our very own Marian Finucane and featuring a panel comprising Senator David Norris, religious affairs commentator David Quinn, journalist Brenda Power; and Roisin Boyd, whom I was unable to Google – did touch on some genuinely interesting and thought provoking topics.

We should be talking about the Church’s stance on condoms and their role in Aids prevention. Fidelity campaigns are necessary in Africa to help stop the spread of the disease. Religious groups do need to think about repenting over their persecution of homosexuals; and hoping that young people will consider not having sex without commitment is a fine aspiration.

But 30 minutes is really not enough time to do justice to the vast amount of misinformation, resentment, guilt, and shame there is surrounding sex in Ireland; and there’s no denying that the Catholic Church has an enormous part to play in the creation of those feelings. 30 minutes to discuss the vast and damaging impact the Catholic Church has had on our sexuality is pathetic, making the whole show seem like a desperate ratings grab.

I’d have loved to have seen a genuine discussion on whether or not God hates sex, the act, itself, free of social constructs and politics. Because we badly need it. Sex has turned into a minefield of conflicting feelings for many, with the guilt and the sin weighing so heavily on their shoulders that it’s hardly worth doing any more.

The outstanding point of the show was made by an audience member – we need to remember the goodness inherent in sex. The contributor in question made reference to children – but it’s more basic than that. It just feels damn good.

Whilst we may be rebelling against our Catholic upbringing and having sex for Sunday breakfast instead of going to Mass, the level of discussion on this programme just goes to show how repressed we still are. Aids? Homosexuality? Condoms? The question was; does God hate sex? Not artificial contraception, disease, or sexual orientation. And the obvious answer is no. If God hated sex, he wouldn’t have given us the bits to play with.

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