Weird question about bible and sex

Inspired by a Tosh.0 bit where he asks a “preacher” (just some crazy guy on public access) why he’s against gay men, and he says the bible says a man lying with another man is an abomination. Tosh asks about two chicks, and he says the bible doesn’t mention anything about that, and it’s ok, and quite hot.

So, I was wondering:

  1. Is this true? (I mean, I know the hot part is true, but the bible part?) Are lesbians, technically, ok according to the bible and/or Christianity (yes, I know there are dozens, if not hundreds, of denominations of Christianity, including some more current progressive ones that welcome gays and lesbians, but I mean most/the most popular Christian denominations.)

  2. What about sex practices between people that don’t result in either sperm or an egg being “wasted,” like oral sex/fingers/toys/ on a woman, penetrative sex on a man, or penile stimulation that doesn’t result in ejaculation? Or is there just a blanket "no sex of any kind unless you are trying (or can at least claim to be trying) for a baby?

1 From Rom 1:

So it appears that homosexuality of both genders is a predetermined outcome of prior sin.

2 Not much except for one guy who was suppose to have a child but split his seed on the ground instead.

So Rom 1 says woman-on-woman is unnatural, but seems to reserve “due penalty” for the guys only?

Generally, the overall tone of the bible suggests that if it feels good, it must be bad - gluttony, lust, laziness, you name it. It doesn’t really get all kama sutra on us.

Judaism is very, very big on generalizing from specific, narrow laws. For example ‘Do not yoke an oxen with a steer’ is taken as banning all animal cruelty and neglect. Most of the time, it’s simply seen as unnecessary to say that if something is forbidden for men then it is also forbidden for women.

RE The New Testament

Ask Diogenes The Cynic. He reads kohine Greek and can give you a much better translation. As an atheist, he has no bias as he doesn’t really care what a G-d he does not believe exists was supposed to have said.

MD2000 Read the Song Of Solomon. It gets pretty kama sutra. “You shall take joy in the comfort of her breasts” and so forth.

Generally, I guess, maybe. With the exception of Song of Solomon - which kinda does get slightly Kama Sutra.

The Bible doesn’t really say anything one way or the other about all these things. And among Christians, you’ll find a wide variety of [del]positions[/del] opinions.

In particular, it’s the Catholic Church that teaches something close to “no sex of any kind without the possibility of procreation,” (hence, no birth control) but the Catholics base their rules on more than just what the Bible explicitly says.

The pages on What the Bible says and means about homosexuality at religioustolerance.org are one good place to look if you want more detail on what the Bible says about homosexuality, and how it is interpreted both by more conservative and by more liberal readers of the Bible.

I don’t think that’s true at all. And kind of a weird thing to think.

I think it’s fair to say that the Christian Church seems to have a tendency to present things that way.

Some branches more-so than other, to be fair…

True enough, but the louder voices tending to be the ones shouting about sin, guilt, evil and the iniquity of pleasure.

And even at that, the Catholic Church has no problem with non-procreative sex by a married couple, either, as long as it’s regarded as foreplay for procreative (or potentially procreative) sex.

I used to have a friend who was an Epicopalian priest, and I asked him about the church’s stance. His answer was that anything a husband and wife do to give one another pleasure is fine, whether it leads to procreation or not.

I think I can get behind that idea.

The story of Onan (the guy who “spilled his seed on the ground”) is often misunderstood. Here is the short passage from Genesis chapter 38: Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death.

Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death also.

So the fact that Onan masturbated, or wasted his sperm, was not his sin. The sin of Onan was that he intended to cheat his brother’s estate out of a potential heir.

The louder voices only seem to be shouting about gays these days.

A marriage seminar we went in that our church was running brought it up. The presenter (another pastor) mentioned that a lady asked him if other kinds of sex (“even <whisper>anal?</whisper>”) were OK - he mentioned that the Bible says nothing against it, and that married couples are supposed to enjoy sex, so he saw nothing wrong with having fun in bed!

(My wife and I conceived our (now 6-year-old) son during the first month of the marriage seminar. The leader of the course was one of the first people we told - he mentioned that we were the first couple to actually conceive during the course itself - we got an automatic passing grade. :))

Because the squeaky wheels always get the grease. Unfortunately, it’s always the people who don’t represent the mainstream that shout the loudest, and misrepresent the group as a whole. (See the bigots in Christianity, the terrorists in Islam, the Tea Partiers in the Republican Party, etc.)

Besides, they’re only shouting about gays because even the fundies know that lesbianism is teh hot.

With all due respect to DtC, it is hardly the case that DtC (or any atheist or anyone else, ftm) is free from bias just because of his atheism etc.

Its just another, different, bias.

It depends on the religion you’re speaking of. Judaism is a religion developed in the concept of “being unlike others”. Christianity is a religion that is “similar to Judaism” and “influenced heavily by Greek and Roman culture/s.”

As with any religious law, it is important to note the context in which it was created and understand what possible function it may have served.

In traditional Judaism, you are supposed to procreate (preferably having at least one boy and one girl, but anyway) and it is biologically impossible for two men to do that. Reform and most Conservative synagogues are accepting of same-sex relationships when the two members are both Jewish or at least willing to live a Jewish life and raise their children Jewish.

If you consider that male ejaculation has potential sperm and females are born with a certain number of eggs, then, yeah, it would make sense that two women engaging in sexual activities may be seen as less of a grievance than two men spilling seed. shrug Women and men were segregated throughout their lives, with women often spending a lot of time in close quarters together. Close female relationships are noted throughout Jewish history.

Usually Jewish law (where applicable) applies to both men and women. Since there are certain biological and socioeconomic differences between men and women, the expectations vary slightly. For example, women are exempted from certain prayers because it is expected that they are busy child-rearing.

Some rabbis and scholars I’ve heard say that since there would be little community consequence of two women (as opposed to two men who could be independent, not procreating, and not supporting women and children) having a frolic, it may not have been as big as a deal. It doesn’t mean it was considered okay. This could be one reason why lesbian relationships don’t even get an honorable mention in the Tenakh. What may be considered “a little unnatural” is not always “a sin against nature”. (:

There is also the question of males being “unnaturally” dominated by other males. I looked at Wiki since I can’t toss you any of my books right now and it gives some insight:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_Hebrew_Bible#Jewish_views

All that being said, women are not going to get a pass when it comes to same sex relationships in modern Jewish communities that do not condone male same sex relationships.

*Please note my quotes for expressions. I’m answering the OP the best way I can. I’m not sharing my personal viewpoint here.

According to that, Onan’s crime had nothing to do with masturbation at all. It involved pulling out.

He was neglecting his duty to his brother’s wife. He did not want to father children that would carry the name of someone else. Arguably he would have faced the same fate had he just refused to sleep with her.