Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Human Sexuality

Human sexuality plays such a pivotal role in the ontological development, yet, our culture demands conformity in the expression of this fundamental activity. Sex is not only the naturally-driven mechanism by which the species produces descendents, but is a means through which individual humans dispense with their individual selves, even if only for a brief interval of time, and merge with a fellow creature. Some contend that this is the most authentic from of human communication. Sex, of course, is intimately associated with the body. We are animals, after all. There are those who would dispute even this most patent reality.

Those who approach their sexuality in ways different from norm often become objects of scorn and derision. Of course, any sexual practice that does not consider the other person or that is used as a method of abuse, endangering health or used to enslave is unacceptable. But, why should the society at large be interested in the private acts of consenting adults. Why do those who seek to pleasure themselves and others in ways that do not conform to the “norm” not have the right to exercise their own prerogatives in the way they use their bodies in consort with others. Homosexuals are especially vulnerable to the taunts and moral indictments of those who consider themselves to be exemplars of what is construed as normal. The often unanticipated and unique characteristics of living often defy what is paraded as normalcy. The sex drive, for most of us, demands satisfaction. The route to this satisfaction is open to individual discovery, regardless of any societal prohibitions. A significant portion of the organic brain is wired and dedicated to the fulfillment of this drive. Without it, the human race would have been short-lived and intrinsically boring. How many of those who have trumpeted their moral superiority in regards to sexual behavior have been discovered to behave in ways completely counter to their own proclamations? How many of those who claim the moral high ground in the essentially private matter of human sexuality have been rabid proponents of the use of technological weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children whose only crime was to be born in a country that had become our sworn enemy for whatever reason; how many of those who pass such quick judgment on the behavior of others are advocates of public policies that deny access to adequate health care, food, shelter and basic accommodations for many millions of our fellow citizens. Interestingly enough, these same individuals do not approach such life or death issues with the same fervor that they approach how individuals relate to each other in their own beds. Morality seems to be relegated to the bedroom and to nowhere else: a conveniently narrow and well-defined universe. Within this very same puritanical universe, the world of advertising flourishes with its main emphasis placed on the exploitation of sex and the natural human propensity for and obsession with the use and manipulation of the sexual organs. Although sex is not a necessary component of living, it is as much an integral aspect of existence as eating and breathing and sleeping. There are some people of faith who propose abstinence as a method for getting “closer to God.” This, of course, is a personal decision; the journey of life can take many directions. However, within the internecine bowels of the Catholic Church, there are those leaders who continue to enforce the rule that all members of the Catholic clergy and the armies of the cloth that include nuns and brothers must be celibate. It is intriguing that this regulation is not under scrutiny especially given the horrendous scandal that permeates the church regarding the multitude of child abuse cases that have been brought forward in recent years. These “holy of holies” apparently have a remote or non-existent connection to the real tangible world of human beings. When individuals approach puberty, their sexual organs scream out for attention. There is an undeniable biological imperative that drives us all. It is not merely the need to exercise these important bits of human flesh, but also the need for human contact and intimacy. We are creatures of the body as well as the mind. How this reality escapes the Catholic Church’s hierarchy is a complete mystery to me. I think it would be appropriate to ask an obvious question: “What type of personality would be attracted to a way of life in which celibacy is an integral component? Hovering above this organism called the Catholic Church is the ludicrous idea of papal infallibility. If you believe that the pope of the moment has a direct link to the Creator, then it naturally follows that he would be connected to eternal truths whatever they may be. It is quite amazing that a huge organization like the Catholic Church bases its judgments on such fantastic notions. Human sexuality can not be denied no matter how vociferous the pronouncements to the contrary.

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