The Privileged Cruelty of Religious Right Sex Rules, Valerie Tarico

The Privileged Cruelty of Religious Right Sex Rules

"...conservative Christians want above all to deny sexual intimacy and pleasure to people who are single—especially girls and women. That is because the Bible’s Iron Age Sex Rules were meant, first and foremost, to ensure that females, who were economic assets belonging to men, produced purebred offspring of known paternity, who were also economic assets belonging to men. The Bible sanctions many forms of marriage and sexual slavery but all converge on one point: they guarantee that a man can know which offspring are his. That is why, after the slaughter of the Midianites in the book of Numbers, only virgins can be kept as war booty. It is why, in the Torah’s legal code, a rapist can be forced to buy and keep the damaged goods."


"God’s self-appointed spokesmen are losing their grip. If their proclamations seem crazier and their political maneuvers seem transparently cruel—as in recent bullying of transgender kids—that is because they are desperate. People are noticing that the cage door is open and that the world outside offers a rainbow of possibilities."

~ Valerie Tarico, author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of

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Marie Shear's quote is still unfortunately necessary in the 21st century:

"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

(often misattributed; from Shear's review of A Feminist Dictionary)

It makes me feel like cattle!

There's plenty about this in William Countryman's Dirt, Greed, and Sex, tracing biblical sexual mores to a patriarchal society (without effective contraception) that considered it vital to know who a baby's father was. In that society a woman's self-determination wasn't as important as didn't matter; what did was the "purity" of the family line.

Ms. Tarico, in a paragraph titled No Sex for the Weary, asks:

Who would men like Dolan, Graham and Robertson (or their predecessors like the Apostle Paul, Augustine, or Martin Luther) exclude from the privilege of sexual intimacy?

Remembering how hard and long my dad worked to send five kids to Catholic schools--before he died he knew we had all quit--moves me to want to add a paragraph titled No Freethought for Weary Parents.

It's another instance of Catholicism's many cruelties.

Remember. God is not just lurking around to watch you take a crap. He is very concerned with whether you masturbate or not. In Valerie's attempt to justify the position of the scriptures, Chris is right -- women become just like cattle.

So infuriating! I can't understand why anyone at all follows religion, but especially can't understand why ANY women do. It is like just accepting that they are less. So sad...and such a waste of potential a lot of the time.

I think many women who grow up under religion feel frustrated because they feel that they should accept the unacceptable. But most of them are scared to drop out: they are often prevented from experimenting with the normal world, they are discouraged from questioning, science, and everything else xtians can think of - so they continue their stay in the stable. If I hadn't discovered the hypocrisy and deceit in my parents and their church perhaps I would have stayed. I dropped out but it was really scary to be blacklisted, to give up all contacts I had and to start all over again on my own...

Now tell me about republican women....

Well said!

"Sex and love that are not controlled by the Church compete with the Church. If individuals who are young and elderly, stable and transitioning, queer and straight, partnered and single, parenting and childfree, claim the right to pleasure themselves and each other and to form intimate bonds based on no authority save their own mutual consent and delight, the Church is screwed."




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