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Secular Sexuality

(NSFW) A no-taboo approach to sexual education and health.

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sexuality
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Sex for fun and non-procreation!

In this world, we can't get away from religion. We've been exposed to false information regarding contraception failure rates and experienced the STD scare tactics. Some of us may even have gone through abstinence-only sex education!

Here in Secular Sexuality we will discuss:

-sexual health in light of peer-reviewed science
-safe for work guides on safe(r) sex (or links)
-questions that would shock the religious

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Comment by Jo Jerome on January 2, 2010 at 5:03pm
@ Julia:

Oops, my bad. I'm getting my books and interviews mixed up. I saw Henry Lincoln (one of the authors of "Holy Blood Holy Grail") on a History Channel documentary, acknowledging that yes, it would later come to light that his book was based partially on documents that were later proven to be forgeries.

It's the documentary that implied (as do other sources) that "Templar Revelation" by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince is the unofficial 'update,' carrying on the work started by "Holy Blood Holy Grail" but with hopefully more attention to detail.

I've read "Templar Revelation." Their theories are a bit of a stretch but then, fact is sometimes stranger than fiction. Because we don't have evidence of such a secret society ... couldn't that mean that the secret was very well kept?

Side note: The authors of "Templar Revelation" made a cameo in the "DaVinci Code" movie - when Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou were on the bus, the authors were bus passengers. It so happened I'd watched the History Channel documentary a few days before seeing the movie and recognized them.
Comment by Jo Jerome on January 1, 2010 at 10:34pm
@Julia: I'll have to look up exactly which one, but one of the primary authors of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" agrees with you. Many years later he and another partner came out with a way updated book. Saying the new information and dead ends of old information makes the original obsolete.

@TNT666: There is still no concrete evidence for a historical Jesus and nearly everything about him in both canon and non-canon texts are plagiarized from other myths. Like the canon gospels, the Gnostic texts were written well after he was supposed to have lived and ultimately sound more like a mythological character than a historical one. But in the Gnostic 'mythology' (or the author may have believed it was oral history), Mary had a much more prominent role.

Personally, I tend to believe there was kind of/sort of a historical Jesus (or multiple Jesus'). For so many recycled stories to end up with the same root character attached to it by so many different factions, I'm willing to bet of the dozens of itinerant preachers around at that time, one or possibly a handful, made just enough of a splash in the underground to be woven into oral tradition. What often happens is that either several people of the same name get lumped together (and Yeshua was a common name), or one name strikes a chord with people and so any stories of "someone doing something cool" are assumed that the 'someone' is that one person.

Kind of like the King Arthur stories. While the Camelot stories are ultimately mythology, there are tantalizing clues that the mythology was in part inspired by one or more real persons, whose actual life and deeds are forever lost to history and buried under a great deal of wide-eyed storytelling.
Comment by TNT666 on January 1, 2010 at 9:25pm
It's been my understanding that there is not a single early scripture reference to anyone called JC, that this supposed JC was «written into» the past around 600 years after the fact. There is no archaeological evidence either. Even mentioning JC in paragraphs dealing with known facts is like atheist Zionists claiming Jews were owed a homeland due to millenia of persecution. One simply cannot claim atheism and accept biblical «evidence» over archaeological evidence. I used to have a plausibility compartment in my mind for a real life JC years ago, but the lack of evidence makes him even more implausible than gawd itself. Especially after that the film «The Last Temptation of Christ» I thought if JC had existed, he surely would have appeared to be like in that movie... a nice dude who had a normal sex life! But I've let go that fantasy as well. And since the concept of JC was the single only interesting aspect of Christianity, it really pulls everything down as a giant farce :)
Comment by Jaume on January 1, 2010 at 8:31pm
The four gospels are at least consistent in NOT denying that JC liked his wieners topped with sauerkraut.
Comment by TNT666 on January 1, 2010 at 8:03pm
@JoJerome, in addition to agreeing with Julia Baumann comments on the numerous outright misrepresentations in the DaVinci Code (which was a very entertaining read, albeit not very high literary quality) I also am surprised by your statement regarding the gospel of Mary referring to JC. From my own armchair studies, I've read not a single historical document even suggests the existence of JC, that this dude is a literary creation of later years...
Comment by Jo Jerome on January 1, 2010 at 6:32pm
@Jan Galkowski - I'm a bit lazy this New Year's day so this is all off the top of my head, but...

The Nag Hammadi codices were discovered quite by accident in the 1940s, hidden in clay jars in a cave, roughly 400-500 AD. Just my own assessment, but the timing makes sense. This would have been soon after the burning of the Library at Alexandria, when the last bits of non-church-approved literature were being hunted down and destroyed.

As fate would have it, the boy who discovered the codices brought them home and before taking them to see if they were worth any money, his mother, thinking they were scrap paper, used most of them to start a fire in the stove. Interesting the little things in life that can change history!

Anyway, the texts - some of which existed beforehand in scraps and references to them - have come to be known as the Gnostic Gospels. Gnosticism was one of the offshoots of Christianity which did not win Emperor Constantine's popularity contest. It is almost closer to Buddhism than orthodox Christianity, one of the core differences being that Gnosticism places far more importance on the power of and divine within the individual: That God and even Jesus himself are less tangible entities and more figurehead ideas to be found within oneself.

Obviously, "You have the power within you" doesn't go well with "Listen to us, do what we say, we are your governing body, we are your necessary doorway to the divine. Pay up front please." So, no surprise the Church chucked them out.

There is a gospel of Mary Magdalene. Gospel of Thomas contains some of the most intriguing and controversial writings on the character of Mary. Gospel of Thomas also portrays Mary as an equal and possibly favored apostle, including a reference that could mean Mary was Jesus' lover. It's most of the basis for Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code."

On a side note, from my own armchair studies, all the facts in the DaVinci Code seemed true enough. Of course, those facts are sparse and can be interpreted many different ways, as they are by different characters. I always find it funny how many people get hot under the collar about how 'wrong' the book/movie conclusions were. Brown himself doesn't really make any conclusions. Different characters do, pursuant to their individual slants and takes on the facts at hand.
Comment by TNT666 on December 30, 2009 at 11:06pm
Economic necessity, what an insult :(
Comment by Alex Tyler on December 30, 2009 at 11:08am
@Simon Miller - that was funny, especially if those scientists didn't already guess that much... LOL.
Comment by John on December 27, 2009 at 1:28pm
Remember-all that biblical crap was VOTED ON (and "in"!), by a bunch of pathetic, control-freaks at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
Now if it could all just get voted OFF and OUT!
Comment by Jo Jerome on December 27, 2009 at 1:25pm
Actually, nowhere in the bible does it say Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. That status was decided upon by the Catholic Church in 591 and then very quietly rescinded in 1969. Very quietly.

There is actually only one mention anywhere in the bible of Mary Magdalene; as a witness to the crucifixion and first person to see Jesus resurrected. Though apparently it doesn't count because she's a woman - the Catholic Church names St. Peter as the first to see Jesus resurrected.

There are lots of other Marys in the NT and as is common in mythology, one Mary gets lumped together with all the other Marys, which is how the prostitution bit came about. Though the NT makes a clear distinction between Mary Magdalene and Mary Sister of Martha, the church decided they were the same person. The later had been absolved of sins by Jesus and the Church decided (with no biblical evidence) that the sin must have been prostitution.

Start reading other, non-cannon gospels, and not only was Mary Magdalene not the camp whore, but she was a full-fledged apostle. Has her own gospel and everything. Her principle rival for power was Peter. We see which of the two won that popularity contest, and it's only tradition to smear the name of the loser.
 

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