Sexuality Needs to Be Disconnected from Religion Now

By Donald A. Collins | 12 June 2023
Church and State

(Credit: Alan Gignoux / Dreamstime)

One of the most frustrating conjunctions of our age has proved to be the attacks on sexual rights and behaviors by religions.

The approval of the Pill in 1960 certainly opened the door for women worldwide to seek equality with males, who had dominated and abused women throughout human history.

It also suddenly made clear that the enjoyment of sex should not be tied to childbearing or disease with the proper use of contraception.

Anyone now watching TV can see that women are top actors on that media stage if not quite yet in elected office. But the late Pat Schroeder’s career illustrated women’s transition to more equality.

Read her obit here.

In 1972, a year before the Supreme Court’s Roe decision to give US women the national right to achieve a safe abortion, a book entitled the Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort. His background was fascinating.

Alex Comfort, 80, the British writer and physician who was best known as author of the best-selling 1972 book “The Joy of Sex,” died March 26 at a nursing home in Oxfordshire. He had had a series of strokes.

With sales of 12 million copies and translations into two dozen languages, “The Joy of Sex” made Dr. Comfort an instant international celebrity. Although he had written 50 other books, ranging from a novel about the Roman emperor Nero to medical textbooks and volumes of poetry, the vast majority of readers remembered him only as the author of the book he advertised as a “gourmet guide to lovemaking.”

Originally it had been entitled “Cordon Bleu Sex,” but the name was changed after the owners of the Cordon Bleu copyright objected.”

This book when I read it in 1972 then had a uniquely joyous quality of truth and freedom which clearly appealed to a wide readership, as it in effect presented sexual enjoyment to be selected like advice out of a cookbook.

“Before my book,” Dr. Comfort observed, “writing about sex gave the impression of being written by non-playing coaches. Dear old Freud probably never witnessed an act of sex except in a mirror.”

Although he considered himself first of all a poet and, in order after that, a physician, gerontologist, novelist, philosopher, anarchist and pacifist, Dr. Comfort was unconvincing in his argument that his work in other fields was more deserving of attention than his books about sex. “The grand old man of sex,” he was called by London’s Independent in a 1994 Sunday review. “In the Seventies, his name was synonymous with uninhibited hedonism and liberated sex.”

A full 5/29/2000 obituary about his life and work can be read here.

The book symbolized the concurrent decisions of women to break the traditional bonds of matrimony, broodmarism, and subservience to males across the globe.

It also challenged the tyranny of religions that insisted on women as described in my previous paragraph. The best example of the fact that such tyranny still exists and is getting dangerously resurrected by the Supreme Courts June 24, 2022 decision to kill Roe Casey and to subsequently offer to take up consideration of a national ban on the use of mifepristone, which was FDA approved as safe 23 years ago. This drug allows women to safely induce an abortion up to 10 weeks in the privacy of their own homes.

The effect of utter disruption of safe abortion services in the USA by this decision must be mainly put at the door of religious zealotry. Such antediluvian thinking continues to affect our democracy which was established in 1791 by our founding fathers who were mainly deists seeking to break the bonds of religious extremism, ironically however observed even then by our founding Puritans, who Roger Williams in the mid 1640s freed his colonists in Rhode Island to practice the religions of their choice.

This same anti sexual freedom preoccupation by some of our out of touch conservatives toward the LBGTQ community will prevail alongside the anti abortionist mentality of the Christian nationalists of the religion right.

If you are part of the MAGA Trump crowd or the preponderance of the entire GOP, the old saying of “Be careful what you wish for” as the cost will likely be the death of your political party. Wall Street Journalist Peggy Noonan’s June 3rd column argues that case from a different angle, ironically ignoring the effect on the GOP by religious Zealots.

The trend of declining religious observance will continue and most of our young people will be certain to punish such views at the polls in 2024.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us” and “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”.

What Overturning Roe v. Wade Means for Abortion Access in the U.S. | WSJ

What’s next for mifepristone following Supreme Court ruling?

Biden: Anti-LGBTQ laws are an ‘appeal to fear’

How a new Christian right is changing US politics – BBC News

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