Religion and Erotica

"Religion & Erotica" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Religion & Erotica” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


Beside the fact that this story in John’s gospel is not found in the earliest manuscripts, it’s still a good one.

It highlights the hypocrisy and the judgmentalism that arises out of it.

I mean, one of the most serious and shameful convictions in those days would have been adultery… especially for a woman.

The valid question is “Where’s the man?” He’s just as guilty.

The other valid question is, “Does religion’s obsession with sexual sin betray a fascination with sex itself?”

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11 Replies to “Religion and Erotica”

  1. I think, seeing that for better or for worse, the female is in the more precarious position, all thoughts should begin with what serves her and any potential off-spring best. As the Bible says, he should be willing to give his life for her. That is love.

  2. Brigitte: well said.

    While there are limits in any human endeavour, I think the guiding principle remains: in the male-female family, the man should be willing to sacrifice his life, career, vocation, calling, and so forth, for the good of the family.

    One of the challenges that I have with the classic Patriarchy model, is that the woman is there ‘for’ the man, and is not given the power to cast that rare ‘veto’ and say, “Man, I love you! But… that request is way beyond me right now. I need you to be like the Christ that gave up his life, rather than the Christ that leads.”

    And so, the man gives up whatever it is, as much as he can.

    I think that is where love meets honest communication, and sometimes, many tears.

  3. If I remember correctly it was Ken Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes where he proposed that the reason the story wasn’t in the earliest manuscripts was because people had it redacted it when it was copied. They didn’t want their daughters to get the impression that adultery could be forgiven.

  4. Caryn, that “veto-power” thing sounds strange to me. It sounds like something from the American Political system. In reality, couples worked this sort of thing out based on their own particular combination of strengths and weaknesses and personality traits and the demands of the particular situation.

  5. Hi Brigitte: I was just discussing the bible, that was all. I find the ‘veto’ concept within this passage:

    “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. ” [Ephesians 5]

    Many years ago, I was taught this passage, and the phrase “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” was skipped. Instead, the passage was rendered, “just as Christ loved the church and cleansed her by the washing with water through the word, …”

    There was no ‘giving up’ of anything for the male leader.

    One of the bottom lines in the Ephesians patriarchal system is that the male leader must be willing to ‘give himself up’ when the wife cannot submit to his leadership.

    When a man says ‘I am called to the military’ and his wife cannot take it anymore, they talk. This is the reality that you mentioned. But, given the Ephesians model, if the ultimate answer is her saying, “Me or the military”, then the man must give up his calling into the military.

    This is what I call the ‘veto’ power.

    This is what allows a wife to follow her husband around the world – not just the Biblical command over her to submit to him “in everything”, but the knowledge that if ‘push comes to shove’, he will give up his life, his kingdom, his ‘calling’, his everything for her.

    In my opinion, this is the overlooked ‘pressure release valve’ in the New Testament Patriarchal Family model.

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