The Pleasure Police: Imposing Christian Morality, Suppressing Sexuality

Brian Worley 

My wife asks the question, “Honey, would you ever cheat on me”?  I answered, “I hope not”. She replies, “What do you mean you hope not”?  The tension builds. She continues by saying, “ Either you know or you don’t know”.  I answered her this way because I have learned to respect a certain principle I have learned while working on this article. 

I answered my wife by saying, “Honey, I adore you and I hope that I would not do something stupid to mess up what we have together”.  I could tell she felt some comfort with my reply but that it was still an insufficient answer to her initial question.  More on this later. 

Suppression creates tension 

At this point, I need to ask you to be patient with me as I develop a few thoughts. Imagine yourself standing in a pool of water at least waist level high but lower than your ribs.  When someone throws an inflated floating ball into the water, it naturally floats on the surface. Observe when you place force on that floating ball to hold it under water. The more (deeper) you suppress that ball; the stronger the pressure on that ball to return to its natural state. Once the tension that holds that suppressed ball is released, the force in which that ball returns is so great that it will exceed its original natural resting place on the surface of the water and leap into the air above it.. You say, big deal every one knows this.  

What I want the reader to see is the undesirability of suppressing something in others that is natural. When you view the subsequent results, I will propose that we often find that we would have been better off to not say anything at all! This suppression results in a matching degree of compelling desire to consume what was suppressed or withheld.  

Suppress and watch it grow! 

Look at dieting programs, nutritionist say that the data indicates that participants often will soon regain that lost weight resulting in a heavier post-diet weight. Just as the ball surpassed its unsuppressed resting point when released, so likely will imposed wishes when you force them upon another person. 

Parents and teachers of teenagers are often in a strategic position when it comes to giving instruction. They want to impart important matters, and yet not trigger the rebellion switch. Tell someone that you can’t do something and watch what happens. Trade an athlete to another team, they often respond with their best performances when they play the team that traded them away.  Look at past Christian history, their numbers increased when they were persecuted.  

Introducing the pleasure police 

Suppression against what is truly harmful in life is often necessary for success and survival. If you desire to suppress your sexuality, there is nobody better or more experienced than the Christian pleasure police.  They pre-date Dr. Ruth and the first millennium C.E.! If you are in doubt, just ask the pleasure police about sexual matters and they are quick with a Bible verse. The Christian Bible gives commands to people on how they are to conduct their lives. Christians will tell you that many people will not convert to Christianity solely for the purpose that the person doesn’t want to relinquish the “life of sin” that they enjoy.  Everyone knows that there is a great amount of sexual tension within the Christian community.  The same is true when you get outside of the Christian community, but for the most part those outside deal with that tension differently.  When I look at what happens to Christians due to repressed sexual desires, you can’t help but notice the results it produces.  

Sex should be fun, pleasurable, and practiced as often as you desire without any guilt when you don’t violate another’s wishes, trust or society laws contained within the penal codes.  Amongst these are incest, rape, adultery; most people know the difference between right and wrong in sexual matters!  I desire to keep this article relatively short. So I will limit this to brief discussions on pre-marital sex, masturbation, pornography, and celibacy.  

Pre-marital Sex, Masturbation & Pornography 

Single Christians have a lot of pressure upon them.  The pleasure police aren’t kind to them. Single Christians are told to not have sex before marriage and to avoid masturbation.  With no escape valve here, the normal path is to: 1) marry quickly  2) suffer and deal with guilty thoughts   3) sin and deal with guilty deeds. 

Now, I still agree with some advise or wisdom that we were given while in Bible college, that is that sex can keep two people together that in reality shouldn’t be together.  Without the sex, they would find that they don’t have enough in common to continue the relationship. We were challenged to see if our relationships would survive without sex. When you don’t have sex it is much easier to determine if the couple is truly compatible with each other because the relationship is not kept together by sex, but by compatibility. If a couple survived this probation period, just think of the joy they will have once married and sexual relations begin. Hard to argue with this, that is if you can control your hormones and not go crazy!. The other exception is this, suppose the couple foregoes sex until marriage, what if you find that your partner has sexual problems that if you had known previously would have prevented your marriage from happening? Sex is an important part of relationships for most people. The push to marry quickly obviously has its problems; these problems often result in divorce.  Look at the data from the National Center for Policy Analysis.   I’m sure the pleasure police have suppressed this data as well. 

Masturbation when carried into the marriage as a substitute for sex with your spouse is another problem. No, and I don ’t expect you to find data on this either…(laughs). Have you heard this humorous masturbation stat that I was told in jest while in college?  Only 7% of Christians admit to masturbating, the other 93 % are in denial and lying about it. You can’t discuss masturbation without pornography, can you? 

I find it interesting when I view my website traffic data. Occasionally in my searches, I will find visiting websites that help keep Christians from going to what they deem as an undesirable website. Imagine them suspecting Ex-minister?  Companies have found a large enough market in the Christian community to run a business that emphasizes that they can help prevent Christian men and women from frequenting pornographic websites and etc.!  

Celibacy and the clergy 

Prior to my deconversion in 1999, I worked for a wonderful company that took individual church family pictures and made a collective church family pictorial directory. I am referring to the Chattanooga. TN based company, Olan Mills. At that time, I was also filling pulpits for churches that were without ministers on the weekends. 

My own personal code wouldn’t allow me to stay on the job when I left the Christian faith. I just couldn’t look another minister or priest straight in the eye and lie about what church I attended. It wasn’t a requirement from the company to be a Christian, but it was definitely a good idea to be a Christian and attend a church. I didn’t want to hurt the company in any way. Nor did I want to be a distraction to a company that was very good to me. Maybe someone from a central California church might remember me? I have intentionally saved this topic up until this last point. I do so because of an experience when speaking to a Catholic priest while with Olan Mills, just before I left. Incidentally, I never gave the true reason to  Olan Mills for my departure, it was my deconversion! 

I will go in a different direction here than what the reader might suspect.  In my territory, I had over a thousand churches that I called upon. I had basically a Baptist background; yet I learned to talk with all the other faiths’ church leadership when they were due to do a directory.  

I walked into a Catholic church in Stockton, CA and before too long; I was speaking with Father Robert Silva. I didn’t know it at the time, but   he was the Catholic President of the National Federation of Priests’ Council. He didn’t tell me of his position, he had class, but someone else in the church alerted me to this. Now I have always tried to treat all people with the same type of respect that I would treat a President, so I can truly say that I never strayed from my normal disposition. 

The celibate conversation 

We had a rather pleasant conversation; we spoke about other Californian dioceses and priests. I had noticed several parishes appeared to be without a priest, and he spoke of recruitment efforts of the church briefly. He never told me of his background and position, I never told him that I was an ordained Baptist minister. After about 15 – 20 minutes, he looks me in the eye and asks, “Brian, have you ever considered becoming a priest?” I gathered my composure and instinctively replied with the following, “Father Silva, I don’t know how you do it?” He said, “do what?’ I sheepishly said, “you know?” He says, “I am not sure what you are referring to?” I said, “being celibate?”.  I said that, ”I could never do what you do, because I desire a woman’s companionship too much!” 

Have you ever instinctively said something and quickly ask yourself, “Did I just say what I think I just said”? Too late now, the damage is done and I’m waiting for his reply. He looks at me, laughs and says with a smile, “the Lord will give you grace”.  I just laughed and we proceeded to discuss the ministry and then something else. 

I look back and have always enjoyed this memory. Even today with Ex-minister’s subject matter some people might feel that I might want to throw all the clergy “under the bus”. I just couldn’t do this!  Nor do I think that you the reader should. Why, because when you get to know someone a little, it is almost impossible to find a reason to dislike them. I have known many clergymen that have been nothing but kind to me, these are also good people. I believe these men to be sincere and true to the cause that they believe in. Yes, they are sincere and yet, I see them as sincerely in error. Out of respect for them, I have refrained from trying to do anything that might cause them local difficulty. If one of their members curiosity causes them to stumble upon my website, great, but it won’t be because I was hunting for them.  You can call me inconsistent on this matter and I would have to agree with you.  I have sensed an unhealthy hostility towards Christians from some atheist that I just don’t care for.  Atheist views should be noticed not because of some zealous adherent being an ass, but because of a solid presentation of reason. 

With this said, you can’t even think of the Catholic church without thinking of all the disgusting behavior of wayward priest and nuns. It makes me very angry to think of all the violated people, most of these are adolescents or younger. They live with the aftermath for a long time.. I personally know of a very special elderly lady that was violated in her youth by a Catholic priest, and all under the cover of a Holy God. It makes your blood run cold.  Maybe if these priests found more conventional and reasonable means to express their suppressed sexuality the church community would be a safer place to dwell in.  Rome, are you listening to your people? 

Sexual common sense 

Sexual desire is a natural phenomenon. There is a price to be paid for the denial of this natural phenomenon. I love reason and I believe in personal responsibility.  When I was in the US, I listened to Dr. Laura Schlessinger whenever possible. I think most who dislike her do so for her inclusion of religion into the arena. I don’t care for this aspect either. Personally, I welcome anyone who emphasizes personal responsibility and taking care of your own business. If you extracted the religion ideas, you would find for the most part an emphasis on human responsibility and reason.  The world is a better place when we take responsibility for our relationship actions, we must love and nurture the children that resulted from our relationships. 

It is just a simple reality that the world needs love and needs to express that passion sexually.  This includes those outside of a relationship due to a divorce or death of a spouse. The pleasure police are hard at work to hold them down. I know that divorce isn’t pleasant in most cases. I can tell you that it isn’t only Mic Jagger who sings, “I can’t get no satisfaction”.  Why is there a stigma to those who for whatever reason find themselves alone, discovers a partner to express their sexual passions with?  The pleasure police seeks to make them immoral people. I am not referring to prostitution here, but to normal everyday good people. 

Is the problem that bad? I can tell you that guys that hang out in the clubs go looking for the divorced women. Why, because they know there is a need there and that their chances of getting laid with them are pretty good. 

I write from experiences observed while living in the US.  I’ve noticed Europe is much more relaxed about sexuality. Finding porno on television after 10 PM in Europe is easy. I’ll never forget while stationed in what was then West Germany in 1984 the surprising eyeful of feminine flesh while walking through a public park. The guys knew of my Christianity back then, but as you might suspect they enjoyed testing my devotion to it. We were walking from the normal point A to point B. This time, they took a different route to show me the many naked women in the park on a warm summers day carelessly passing the Frisbee. Imagine this in America? Most guys w ould welcome this! But not the pleasure police!  Years afterwards, they are still railing against Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction! 

Europe doesn’t have the degree of sexuality problems like America has. I see the connection between openness and suppression as a key factor. The suppression sure does generate a profitable pornographic business in the US. To the many hungry Americans whom desire more provocative TV without paying the programming premium cost. Once again, I will borrow the famous line from the Godfather movie, “It isn’t personal, it is only business”. 

I’ll close with this, if your spouse ever asks you a question like my wife asked me in the opening paragraph, just repeat Nancy Reagan’s useful phrase and “Just say NO!”

Brian Worley     February , 2008    All rights reserved

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