In my convention talk, this statement got by far the strongest response.
"Homophobia, for many people, is rooted in guilt and anxiety about their own MASTURBATORY behavior and in the shame they feel about their own bodies." It is among the strongest challenges to religionists. Try using it on someone and see how they respond. Even if they vehemently disagree, there is no doubt that they will think about it the next time they masturbate. It is the most intimate thing you can do with yourself, the one thing religionists are most afraid of and cannot openly deal with. As a result, they externalize it by demonizing those who aren't ashamed of their sexuality. Have great sex with yourself.

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Comment by Rich Goss on April 1, 2012 at 5:35pm

Right on, Ed.  I share your disdain and repugnance of Christians in politics.  This pisses me off to this day:

In 2004, when W. Bush was behind in the poles, advisors told him to solicit the pope for advice and support.  Emissaries to the Vatican visited Pope John Paul II and told him that Kerry was soft on abortion, a hot topic among Catholics.  The pope referred the problem to Opus Dei, a secret right-wing organization within the Vatican, at that time headed by a Cardinal Rat-zinger.  The cardinal wrote American bishops telling to instruct local priests to support and advocate voting for Bush.  This action then swayed the Presidential election and hence the history of the world, because we’re still supporting the Military/Industrial Complex in Iraq and Afghanistan to the tune of trillions.

To show his gratitude for the help he received, when Pope Benedict visited Washington, D.C. some years later, Bush broke protocol and met the pope at Dulles Airport.  He showed the holy father a great time, and in appreciation there are no priests listed on the National Sex Offender List.  In politics, one hand washes the other.



Comment by Rich Goss on April 1, 2012 at 10:37am

I carry the point a step further in Mirror Reversal.  With humans breeding themselves to extinction, I supposition that with population growing multiplicatively such that we’re causing the extinction of countless species and destroying the natural wonder of the planet, straight, missionary, unsafe, heterosexual coitus is an “abomination” and sinful, non-reproductive, criminal “sodomy” (defined in many states as “unnatural”) is pleasing to the gods of nature.


The Duggar family in Arkansas with the 20 kids is a good example.  From MR,


 And their Bible talks about hubris!  Suppose everybody did that just because they believe God blesses them for every baby they bring into the world?   But really they just want to spread their genes like frogs and rabbits.  It’s the Prime Directive. In just 40 years, there’ll be more Plopmore family members than there are gorillas, tigers and rhinos in the entire world, including zoos. 


Comment by Darrel Ray on April 1, 2012 at 9:38am

Ed, you very correct. I have observed the same thing. I explore the idea in depth in Sex and God. Also take a look at my talk at the American Atheist Convention. I discuss the notion there as well.

Comment by Jon T on March 31, 2012 at 1:24am

In a very conservative church, I can see how that would play into the self delusional process of being worthy before the lord.

Comment by Darrel Ray on March 29, 2012 at 6:51pm

Richard, I enjoyed reading your Opera blog. Reminded me of when I first saw an opera. 18 yr. old boy from Kansas at the Lincoln Center. Makes a life long impression and I love Puccini.  Per your comment/question, I actually deal with the whole genetic thing in my new book Sex and God. There is a lot to it and you are right, there isn't one gene but genetics has a 50% or so, role to play in sexuality and sexual orientation.

Comment by Rich Goss on March 29, 2012 at 6:37pm

Darrel, could you say there's a genetic aspect to this?  With the X chromosome being dominant, and three-quarters of all sex chromosomes female, isn’t it likely that homosexual men inherit (from their mothers) a gene that makes men sexually attractive, as in women?  I know there’s no “gay gene” but I believe there has to be a genetic etiology. 

If so, these Christian-based programs to force gays to “go straight,” are completely off base.  It’s like persecuting men with blue eyes. 

Another factor that bothers me, is my belief that homosexuality should be welcome in society in light of all their contributions to world history in the fields of art, music and many other areas.  The more (variety) the merrier, the way I see it.   I can’t understand why religionists need uniformity.  They are scapegoating gays because they don’t reproduce, the way I see it.

Comment by Darrel Ray on March 29, 2012 at 5:17pm

Sentient Biped, Good question. It is just my clinical observation and observation from other experiences and work. As far as I know there is no research, but I would put a good bet that there is a strong connection, especially with respect to men. Not as sure about women. It is my hypothesis. But from the instant and overwhelming response I got from my talk, it is something that seemed to resonate with a lot of people. It is more tied to the "guilt cycle" that I write about in Sex and God (as well as The God Virus) and how guilt about one's own sinful behavior can lead to projection onto others. Other psychologists I have discussed this with think it is a reasonable hypothesis, but it needs testing. I am not sure how it would be tested as it involves some difficult things to observe - like childhood training and attitude development over time. For now, I will just say, it is a working hypothesis and you can test it to some degree by simply doing what I suggested in the post. Maturbation is the first form of sex for virtually everyone so it is the place to look for the development of guilt and self hate that can be other directed in the form of homophobia. Read the Mark Driscoll quote and I think you will see what I mean.

Comment by Jason Fleming on March 29, 2012 at 3:45pm

I think the same can be said for all forms of what they consider "sexual deviancy". How many bible-thumping bigots have been caught in the airport men's room tapping their shoe's or coming back from vacation with a luggage lifter they got off of

Follow the decries of the loudest critics of "perversion" and I guarantee you will find the most sexually deviant people on the planet. They can't fight their own animalistic desires, so they project  their shame onto others.

I pitty them on some level. I get to masterbate without crying while doing it.

Comment by Satani Sharifiaroz on March 29, 2012 at 1:13pm
nice view point, reminds me of another topic i was working on.
Comment by Rich Goss on March 29, 2012 at 11:45am

Darrel, I couldn't agree more.  I devote a whole chapter of Mirror Reversal to this theme.  By making people ashamed of their own bodies, the churches create a vacuum that they fill with anti-human mythology.  Ever notice that all non-reproductive sexual behavior is sinful?  Non-reproductive sex is defined as "sodomy" which many states define as “unnatural sexual relations.” 

That’s complete bull because the natural world is full of homosexual behavior, from gay orangs, to oral sex in bonobo chimps to lesbian parrots. 

From Mirror Reversal:

   "Many Catholic women can’t even give their hubbies a stress-relieving blowjob without feeling guilt.  The clergy teaches pleasure is displeasing to God, but the real reason is religious leaders want to maintain power so they don’t have to toil like commoners." 

All right, maybe the last line is a little acrimonious, but there has to be an ulterior motive for turning off people to their own bodies.





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