Monday, June 27, 2011

And also....

Not immoral!
WHY is it that some lies can be told and retold and repackaged and reformatted endlessly but the second someone says 'HEY, you have to show evidence for the foundation of your argument,' all hell breaks loose?

This week, writer Catherine Ford, who is not known for sugar-coating anything, wrote an argument for prostitution.

Suffice to say, humans being the idiots they are, saw the words 'prostitution' and instantly got their ridiculous moral swords out - on the women and men who work in the trade. As usual, people completely forget that it takes two (or more, occasionally) and that most purchasers are men, regardless of the sex of the vendor.

Needless to say, the religious idiots come out in full force when sex is the subject, and they make all sorts of stupid, wrong and discriminatory statements about what forms of sex are allowed, when, by who and for what consideration. And they base all this on two things: a presumption there is an invisible man and that the book 'written' by the invisible man is true and infallible.

Where I got into trouble - where I ALWAYS get into trouble is when I said "First, prove, or at least show some viable evidence that your invisible man exists."

This is the lie: that an invisible man exists and he creates all things, decides on who shall benefit from all the things he creates and that he will kill/maim anyone who contravenes the rules, which shift depending on interpretation of said rules. Despite that the idea of an invisible man directing traffic is fantastical in the extreme, it was requested that I accept a proffered 'olive branch' after one of the commentors tore into me, utterly misquoted me, refused to provide any support for his claim that the invisible man created sex and then gets to decide everything about how people do sex. And THEN, he said (I paraphrase here) 'well, I was actually just commenting on the original column.

Here's the deal people. Believe in whatever you wish to believe but do NOT expect me or require me to  believe what you believe or revile me when I ask you for some evidence that your claims have any basis in reality. Asking for evidence, support, proof is NOT derogatory nor is it an attack on you. If you make a claim for something, you better be bloody prepared to support your claim - and your religious notions do NOT fall outside of that requirement.

Religion, despite its two-century hold on the idiot masses, is NOT exempt from questioning nor is it exempt from having to substantiate its claims. You may call me every name you can think of and you may pronounce any manner of future destruction on me but if you cannot support any of your claims, I can and WILL ignore everything you say.

About sex: Humans, eat, breath, evacuate (that means pee and poo) and they screw. All humans do it unless the are physically incapable and that includes priests, nuns, ministers, the homeless, the rich, the poor, your next-door neighbour, your parents and your children and probably your grandmother too. Unmarried old people in nursing homes OFTEN play musical beds.

The idea that only two differently-sexed people married to each other are the only people "allowed" to have sex is TOTAL bullshit and the idea that here is some invisible man who gets to say when it's ok and for whom to have sex is also super, super bullshitty. See EXTREMELY lucrative porn industry for reference and also see "high percentage of repressed religious people use a lot of porn and hookers."

(As an aside, I just heard a hilarious story by a hotel worker about what happened to the hotel's internal movie system when the Baptist Convention came to town; suffice to say, the switchboard was burning up and overloaded by the requests for porn made by the good Baptists staying in every room of the hotel.)

So, for your reading pleasure, excerpts from the conversation with the offending party, who was a known journalist for a major Canadian daily but who now mitigates their narrow viewpoint with the disclaimer, "I haven't been a journalist for a long time."  I don't know about this person but once a journalist, always a journalist - and that applies to journalistic standards of integrity, honesty and balance....

NB: For the record, I am very offended by the original writer, Catherine Ford's comment implying that sex-trade workers (and the writer - a woman - specified women and girls, despite that many working in the sex trade are male) do not "walk the higher moral ground." There is NOTHING immoral about sex or selling it. There is, however, something terribly immoral in men preying on women, girls and males who work in that industry, and it is unethical and immoral to presume to impose one's values on others, particularly when one cites the desires of an invisible, improbable, murderous, stupid 'man;' if said invisible man can't figure out that light and dark (day two in genesis) must FOLLOW creating of sun, moon and stars (day four), I'm pretty sure said invisible man is fake or, if not, really, really stupid.
(for the other 400+ contradictions in the bible, click HERE)

For the record, I have removed irrelevant-to-this conversation comments: the conversation occurred on FaceBook and so several contributors stuck to the more general issue and need not be identified.


(Name removed for privacy):  Wow, I hope I never have to have her advocate anything for me!

(Name removed for privacy) I think I'll pass on reading this woman's column today. I'd like to keep my beautiful Sunday mood!

(Name removed for privacy): Luke 6:36-38 (NIV)36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (unless you're the wrathful god who gets to create people and rules and then change the rules, deny knowledge and kill the people 'he' created)....

PM;  Ah, Catherine. Only she can so efficiently claim the moral high ground to critique those who do the same while in the same breath agreeing with their perception of the behaviour (this from a 'christian' who believes in an utterly immoral, invisible 'man'). Still, if her view holds the day this should open up a new stream of previoously (SIC) untaxed revenue . . . .
(irrelevant post removed)

ME: Here's the thing: prostitution IS A FACT and it will be a fact, as it has always been a fact, for as long as there are men who buy sex (and even in the case of male prostitutes, it is usually men doing the buying).

Secondly, the FACT is that a high percentage of men who buy sex are married and affiliated with a religion AND, often, with a fundamentalist religion.

Sex is not immoral. Sex with multiple partners is not immoral - even with multiple partners at a time. However, repressed, controlling people who seek and have sought for centuries to control other people have deemed a natural, necessary, healthy body function immoral. (some of that control stems simply from the need/desire to see land transferred to 'legitimate heirs' rather than the concubine's children....)

Women DO have the right to be safe at work and for some women (and men), being at work means providing sex to men (and occasionally women) who buy it.

Prostitution, in terms of the act itself, poses no danger to society any more than your neighbours sex life affect s you. However, the job IS dangerous to the women and men who work in the trade because although YOU can say no to buying sex, they cannot say no to clients who abuse them and occasionally kill them.

Otherwise, it is critical to consider the preparation one usually has before entering into this profession; most prostitutes have been brutally used and abused at the hands of their family members - often males (fathers, uncles, their mothers' boyfriends).

Those who are inclined to talk about the immorality aspect of this issue would do well to start with how religion really screws with people's normal urges (and why so many religious men are buying sex...), and the outcomes of abused children, child porn and men (usually) who prey on little kids.

PM: Well, now that we've established that religion is the cause of prostitution I am looking forward to the study that shows that as religion has declined so has the demand that drives the sex trade. Fewer married fundamentalists = a decline in the prostitution industry. And here I was thinking all these years that there was a connection to people's need to feed their drug addictions . . . (p.s. prostitution as an act in itself has never been illegal in Canada). Solicitation for the purpose of and living of the avails of/pimping, is, or was, or whatever. (also for the record, the drug addiction and the prostitution are not necessarily cause/effect, despite they often occur together; there is much more research to show that the foundations for an eventual drug addiction and the impetus for choosing prostitution have their bases in the family - and the abuse most - some 96% - of sex-trade workers experience at home)

ME: QUOTE ME if that's what you claim I said.

I DID NOT SAY THAT and don't misquote me. IF you're going to argue this issue, then argue it rationally and honestly and STOP bringing your BIAS into it.( all of which are entirely counter to base journalistic standards)

I don't know what your educational background is but mine is VERY varied and INCLUDES a year's study of street crime with a focus on prostitution in the company of two experts who KNOW what they're talking about.

I said a high percentage of religious men buy sex and I said - and I will quote myself - "... repressed, controlling people who seek and have sought for centuries to control other people have deemed a natural, necessary, healthy body function immoral."

If YOU say those are religious people then OK but I did NOT say that. Do NOT twist my words like that. Seriously. It is shameful.

PM: Well, my apologies. I really didn't wish to debate the issue (really? Not evident from your inflammatory comments above, my journalist friend) My fascination was really with Catherine's rhetorical skill. I suppose there are still relgions (SIC) that deem sex to be immoral - even though such a stance appears to have little chance of, if practised, producing a second generation. But I cannot think of one that is widely subscribed to that holds such a view. That was my only point. I agree with what I think is your major point.

ME: It does not become you to be disingenuous. MOST religions vilify all but the most proscribed sex. In particular, the Alliance churches (which stem from Southern Baptist); in Canada, CBM; Mormonism, certainly Catholicism and definitely Islam.

If you're suggesting your own church, which may be more liberal, is representative of all other churches, then I say, my friend, that you are obviously retired and living in a cave. Muhammed, is that you?

FYI: This link is not directly related to this feed; however, it illustrates fundamentalist attitudes towards sex the point being that all religions (ok, christianity, judaism and islam, all having the same origin) are based on.

(irrelevant post removed)
(irrelevant post removed)

PM: It is true that most relgions (SIC) offer ('offer' nothing! I have attended several different churches of different denominations and there's no 'offer' or 'suggestion' about it; there is an expectation on all adherents as to how they will behave sexually) the view that sex should be enjoyed in a monogamous fashion. 

None that I am aware of currently suggest it should not be enjoyed. Yes, there have and are "puritan" traditions that have been widely misinterpreted, particularly by those unfamiliar with the theological complexities of these discussions but the fundamental view is not at all consistent with your perception. There are various cultural interpretations but they are more cultural than religous (SIC). Better to just leave religion out of it (what a stellar idea, although an interesting suggestion from a writer who not five paragraphs previously misquotes me to blame religion).

Following up on Julie's note I checked an Alliance website and this is what it has to say about sex: "God invented sex, and it is one of his masterpieces of creation. It is something good to be enjoyed. However, sex was designed for a specific purpose - for the exclusive, lifelong union between a man and a woman, which we call marriage (this is entirely NOT biblical, for the record). Sex creates a special bond between two people, and God intended this to strengthen marriages and fulfill the God-given sexual desire of the husband and wife. It is not wrong for someone to enjoy sex. That is a lie." (just a note here: the writer has misplaced the quotation marks, I'm sure, as I am also sure the Alliance literature does not include "That is a lie."

ME: ... as soon as you or any religious person can prove - or even offer decent evidence of - the existence of this invisible man who manages to create sex but cannot figure out that light and dark (day 2) comes from sun and the movement of sun around the earth (day 4) I might conform to such edicts.

Secondly, I am VERY surprised by the comment "none that I'm aware" from someone who is a journalist... you are, I'm sure, familiar with the practice of female 'circumcision?' It's purpose is grounded in religion, which presumes to make women seducers (as does Christianity). Such mutilation is performed on girls aged 2 years and up in order to remove their desire, their ability to enjoy sex and hence to prevent them from seducing men.

Religions place full 'blame' for seduction on women, which brings this discussion right back to prostitution: men are remarkably not required to be responsible for themselves - they get to blame all 'untoward' sexual desire on women. This leads to all manner of horrific acts including the stoning of a women who was observed swimming in her own pool in her private courtyard by a man on the balcony of his apartment in another building - She was killed for having excited him. Islam, by the way.

As for only husbands and wives enjoying sex together, that is not the simple case, never has been and never will be, which, by the way, is another indictment against this very fallible invisible man, who creates humans in his image, sexual desires (outside of marriage) proclivities and all....

Also to note - and with a nod to the excellent writing of Andrew Nikiforuk (and his book, The Fourth Horseman.  Also HERE for the biblical description - which is a story probably from a dream had by someone who was stoned on Kat ) - until modern times - and I mean very modern; perhaps the last 150 years or fewer - lifelong probably meant 10 years at best. Before modern hygiene, one could reasonably expect to marry a few times and to have a couple spouses die or to die oneself and leave one's spouse free to marry again. As such, the modern expectation of people marrying at 22 or 25 or 30 and then staying with the same person forever more - another what? 50 to 60 years? is ridiculous in the extreme, as it flies in the face of biology and the biological imperative. (Yes, life-long marriages happen but far more rarely than marriage breakup - and that has nothing to do with anything moral and much to do with the biological imperative).

Sex does create a bond between two people. But you ignore the fact of sexual abuse, sexual assault (including within marriage) and rape. These are all sex acts and all cause a bond, as dreadful as it might be.

The fallible invisible man you claim invented sex has no place in the story because it/he/she is also usually the very thing blamed (when a woman is accused of seducing) or entreated-to by those who do what humans do and screw around (and are caught out: see Ted Haggad, Jimmy whashisname, Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, etc, etc. Too bad Jerry Falwell was so well-protected by his entourage because he's definitely on the list of users/abusers).

PM: OK. I'll let it go and just go back to my first point. I just wanted to praise Catherine for her rhetorical triumphs and just wanted to present an alternative point of view on some of your statements of fact (As I noted above, misquoting people and putting words in their 'mouths' does not amount to praising anyone, particularly when the person misquoting is a journalist).

The differences between culture, core beliefs etc are not easily given to this forum. I'n sure you are a good person. I haven't been a journalist for a long time but I still like balancing viewpoints whether I share them or not. Peace. (This writer says they like balancing viewpoints but, when the question of 'god' arises, the writer does NOT).