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 Post subject: Sexual Morality
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:57 pm 
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Religion: Catholic
The teaching of the church as I understand it is that the act of masturbation is wrong. I really struggle with the credibility of that teaching. While I totally agree on the evils and dangers of pornography, which is nothing but prostitution on camera, the other act by itself seems to be in a different category entirely.
I think giving that absolute prohibition to teenagers growing up is asking a flat impossibility, and may engender harmful scrupulousity and psychological trauma. An unhealthy relationship with sex. No religion should require what is by any practical standard, impossible.

I also wonder about the roots of this teaching. I think the early years of Christianity, especially in the first millennium AD, were very tied up in schools of thought that bordered on and overlapped with gnosticism, a rejection of all things material, and especially the flesh and the body. In certain historical periods, even married couples were forbidden from relations during Lent, the night before receiving Eucharist, in proximity to certain fasts – periods which together encompassed a good portion of the calendar year. These teachings were later deprecated.
In addition, some allegedly mainstream Catholic sources claim that this act is necessarily a mortal sin – i.e. I am DAMMED TO HELL if I do not repent. Let us point out that many Christian churches, while agreeing with the Catholic Church on sexual morality in general, do not even consider this act, by itself, sinful at all, much less of grave concern. I think it is impossible for anything to be a mortal sin which the global Christian community does not even agree it is an evil act at all.
Finally, on a more personal note, as a man in my 30s who had not yet found the lifelong partner I eagerly seek for: what does the Church offer me, to deal with my God-given instincts which currently have no fruitful outlet? Does it offer me only ingrained, crippling anxiety for breaking a prohibition which, by any practical assessment is impossible to keep indefinitely?

I submit that this absolute, untempered prohibition on the aforementioned act is most likely a relic of gnostic asceticism, not a true element of the Faith, and should – like the restrictions on conjugal love – be relegated to history.


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