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In Canadian Apologetics Coalition,Contending for Life and Sexuality

“The Sexy Bible” (Omnibus Bill C-150: True Progress?)

Omnibus Bill C-150: True Progress?
By: Justin Wishart and Jojo Ruba
Former Prime Minister John Turner once called it “the most important and all-embracing reform of the criminal and penal law ever attempted at one time in this country.”
On May 14th 1969, the Canadian government passed the Omnibus Bill that legalized birth control, divorce, homosexuality and abortion among others. The Bill was passed to “modernize” Canada’s laws and to recognize, what then-Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau told reporters, that “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” He even added that, “what’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code”
Trudeau’s words have become a mantra for much of Canada’s social progressives. They believe the liberalized laws were the first step in creating a sexually liberated population. Unfortunately, often the bogeymen for these liberal advocates have been Christians. We’re accused of being responsible for implementing a moral system that oppresses women, creates homophobia and stifles sexual expression.
Because each issue is different, Christians do recognize that society can’t treat them all the same. For example, it makes little sense to make divorce illegal since it would be impossible to enforce such law. In contrast, Christians have always fought to protect innocent life and so would expect the same protections of preborn children.
But what makes these topics such important apologetics issues is that Christians insist God has something to say about each of them. These are not just merely private issues in Canada’s bedrooms. Rather, sexual issues affects how society functions and how it reproduces the next generation. And that’s why Christians have something to say about them. In fact, these issues also represent an important truth about the Christian faith: that what God has to say about every aspect of our life is always for our benefit. This series explains that far from harming us, the biblical response to issues such as birth control, homosexuality and abortion are meant to protect us.
In contrast, our culture teaches that Christianity has nothing relevant to say about sex and sexuality. It teaches that Christian beliefs are simply a preference that cannot be imposed on others. This is especially true about our view of sex. In fact all of the other debates we’ll examine in this series, whether homosexuality or abortion, hinge on how we view sexuality. That’s why we should look at our view of sex first.
Sex Is Not Sinful
Many Canadians look at the biblical teachings of monophony, sex only within the confines of marriage, and heterosexuality as possibly outdated, close-minded, or even dangerous. They see the God depicted in Scripture as a prude and a cosmic buzz-kill. They ask, “Why is God so unreasonable?”
Many Christians also act as if sex is somehow inherently sinful. The church at large has not taken the time to really study what the Bible actually says about sex. They know the various “do nots” in Scripture (eg. “do not” commit adultery), but rarely do they know how to articulate the “whys” of God’s commandments.
We would challenge any Christian who holds this idea to read ‘Song of Solomon’. It is full of sexual content and is far from prudish. It shows that strong sexual desire between a husband and a wife is not only acceptable, but is celebrated. In Proverbs, Solomon instructs his son:
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” (Proverbs 5:18,19 ESV)
Sex was given by God to humanity and God commanded this method used to, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 ESV) Paul also instructs that it is good for us to give our bodies over to our spouses in love.
“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (1 Corinthians 7:3,4 ESV)
It should be clear that far from the Bible saying sex is somehow sinful, it is a pleasurable gift from our Maker to be enjoyed. So much for God being a cosmic prude!
The Reasons For The Limitations
As we move away from God’s ideal, there are many consequences that we must now live with; many of which are devastating.[i]We would here like to provide a general outline as to why God places limitations on sexual activity and why this is a good thing. Our hope is that this will inspire you to contemplate these issues and that you will further develop these concepts.
1. God placed limits on sex due to the Fall. After Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible records that something changed (Genesis 3). They realized they were naked and covered themselves up. Their nakedness did not bother them before sin, yet after it did. They looked at each other in a new way and no longer did they view one another as persons, but started objectifying their bodies. They started reducing the inherent value of persons into mere objects to take pleasure from and they were ashamed. Today, the objectifying of persons is rampant. Pornography is a billion-dollar industry where the human becomes simply an object to extract pleasures from.[ii]
Yet, God instituted marriage in this fallen world partly to reverse this trend. We have our spouse so we can rediscover the humanity that God created us as; to discover the persons we are instead of the objects we have become.[iii]
2. God created the family unit to bring stability to society. Sex is extremely powerful, so much so that the action has the potential to create a distinct human life. It is quite difficult to fathom this power. The family unit potentially provides a safe place for raising vulnerable children with great benefit on future generations. Monogamous marriages vastly reduce the chance of sexually transmitted infections and provide a safe environment to enjoy sex.[iv]Marriages can provide a safe emotional place for spouses to explore one another without fear of rejection and abandonment.
3. Limitless sex is extremely dangerous. The “free love” of the 60s was a code phrase for ‘sex with no strings attached’. We have had decades now to see the results of this idea. They are ugly; STIs, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, disillusionment, family breakdown, and insecurities are just some of the problems.
God places these restrictions to safe-guard us much in the same way a loving parent places restrictions on children to keep them safe. It is not to limit our pleasure, but to fully allow us to enjoy sex safely and securely.
Bill C-150 became law May 14, 1967 and moved us away from God’s ideal not just because it made certain acts legal – but because of the attitude it fostered. Many of us have never known a Canada that doesn’t have publicly funded abortions, have a general disregard for marriage, an avoidance of purity, and a rejection of God in public society. It is hard for us to imagine regaining the vision of sexuality, with all of its strengths, as outlined in Scripture. But, if we as a Christian community are able to learn this vision, live out this vision un-hypocritically, and properly share this vision with others; we just might live in a Canada which would be much stronger then the Canada we live in now.

[i] The other article entries will articulate many specific issues.
[ii] Devaluing humans have grave consequences and many of these will be discussed throughout this series.
[iii] This is true of raising children as well.
[iv] For more information on STI in Canada, go to: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/std-mts/faq-eng.php

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  • Anonymous

    Complete tripe. First of all you inject ideas into events from the bible that cannot be gleaned from the bible, second, you have imagined some blame being foisted upon the Christian community and religion for the backwards values the bill mentioned was to address, and finally, you have missed the point of Trudeau’s statement about the state not being in people’s bedrooms, because neither you, nor your beliefs are welcome either.
    Michael John Gamache.

  • Michael, thank you for your comments but I am surprised by them. You made many assertions that you did not justify. We may have been in error, but it is important that you explain our error otherwise assertions are of no benefit.

    What ideas have we injected into the Bible?

    You seemed to have called religious views as backwards (although this part of your writing wasn’t very clear). Could you expand on this please?

    We could have missed the point of Trudeau’s statement. Could you clarify his point?

    I am aware that our view is not welcome by you (or possibly Trudeau), but this hardly matters. The question is which view is correct, not what is welcome or not.

  • John

    Michael’s bigotry is showing: “…because neither you, nor your beliefs are welcome either.”

  • John, I wouldn’t take the avenue of using the word bigotry with my friend. He is passionate in his beliefs and I give him credit in that aspect. I do think though his conclusions are wrong and have no worries to discuss our respective points of view.
    Mike, I think Trudeau started from a wrong assumption and from that assumption, his human rights bill has opened a can of worms by actually eroding true tolerance by using force of law to foist a morality upon people that disagree with it. Now, if I have the correct understanding in this area of Liberatarianism (of which you believe, correct?), Trudeau was wrong.

  • Bigotry? That is funny. No your religious values are not welcome in the political venue. That is the way the constitution is written. That isn’t bigotry. It is reality.

  • Wow Greg, true tolerance? Really? Your idea of tolerance is one sided. Christians really should look at the historical evidence behind the myth of Christian Prosecution, because for the most part, it didn’t happen.

  • Ok here goes, I penned a small response to this fellow’s blog. It can ramble a little, but it was a one off. so here goes.

  • Trudeau’s words are not a mantra, a mantra is something different. What this bill you mentioned did was to become part of the foundation for the Charter, and Canada’s Constitution. This bill not only removed backwards attitudes but also the idea any person’s values should be foisted upon another. This idea does not single out religious beliefs, but it does include them. This bill does not stifle the ability of citizens to have their religion; it just helps to ensure the state does not sponsor these ideas. The citizens of this great nation have overwhelmingly accepted this change in legislation as congruent with the values they hold to be true.
    I think the author of this blog may want to attempt to acquire the evidence required to prove the claim Christians and their religion are perceived as bogeymen. And then afterwards do some historical research on Christian states that have used their holy book to persecute women, homosexuals and stifle sexual expression. Truly it is a complex history, but overwhelmingly the evidence is on the side of these regimes being tyrannical in the name of Christ.
    Let us be clear, this legislation does not have the effect of creating a sexually liberated populace as you suggest, removing boundaries and condoning behaviour are two different things. Whoever suggested heterosexuality is outdated? This is a silly and groundless accusation Stats Can reported in 2009 only 2% of Canadians identified as gay or bisexual, it would take infinitely more influence to outdate a particular sexuality. As with the civil rights movement and the women’s movement when issues such as this become equalized and the old attitudes begin to give way the sway of attitudes over compensates, this too will correct itself, as we have seen with civil rights, and women’s rights, the sway comes back to a new equilibrium, such is life. I sense the assumption that without boundaries mankind’s lot is debauchery, it is not. And the evidence supports the idea debauchery is not our lot. Israelites have been living in diaspora for two millennia and have as of yet to start selling bacon in kosher delis. Ability has not translated into action.
    I would also like to address the author’s rhetoric when he claims his god has something to say about Canadian values. Nowhere in the bible does YHWH comment on Canadian politics. As a matter of fact the fellow has been absent on the world stage, for a good two millennia. The bible is about ancient and classical events. For the author, or anyone else to suggest god is commenting on current affairs requires the person to inject the bible into today, this takes interpretation, and I would suggest the author seems to believe he speaks for his god. The bible has a lot to say about people assuming they know the will of god.
    The author continues to engage in this line of reasoning putting forward Proverbs an accepted as unimportant book as far as concrete values goes. It is important to note that in Jewish thought, in the time before, during and after Christ, the authority of the Torah and then the prophets, supersede wisdom literature in authority, as does the Talmud, being on par with the Torah itself, and rightfully so. Nor does the author note that Proverbs would be secondary in authority to the Gospels or the Epistles. The expressed and implied laws in the Torah are not congruent with this quote from Proverbs. I should probably point out that Proverbs is classified as wisdom literature for a reason. Understanding creates wisdom, not pure knowledge. One is abstract, the other concrete-ish.

  • Now, I agree sex is not classified as sinful. I would though, have no problem saying that the god of the bible allows some exceptionally abhorrent (what we today call “criminal”) sexual behaviour. And he is also a prude. I find it odd actually that the author does not note the descending arguments to his thesis, that the Christian god is not a prude, most notably Matthew 19, Paul suggests the same denial of sexuality in his epistles. If the author’s god says, paraphrasing, “the best way to get to me and my kingdom is to be a eunuch” then who can say he is not a prude. Being this concerned with the appearance of righteousness is the definition of prude. The implication is plain, regardless of how you “modernize” it.

    This type or behaviour is normal with human behaviour. People often ask, “Yes, but what does that mean to ME” The Torah, is plain on these issues, Jesus and Paul note sex is not a sin, but this always comes with a caveat. The Charter, and the bill noted by the author are aware of this nature, and leave the meaning open to the citizen. As it should be.

    I am going to briefly touch on the points suggested by the blogger as reasons for god’s limits on sexual behaviour.

    1.Here the author suggests the move from innocence to knowledge had the effect of the characters involved seeing the body as an object. I would suggest the innocence was replaced with not knowledge, but the awareness of no knowledge. Adam and Eve did not immediately begin drooling over one another, they covered their own nakedness, this isn’t objectifying another this is self awareness. They aren’t objectifying their own bodies either. (Maybe the author may want to consider the relevance of the awareness of nakedness being the first thing the enlightened Adam and Eve notice, what does that say about Elohim’s attitude on sex?) The shock of no knowledge, the resulting emotions, confusion and so on. I would challenge the author to show that objectification of the human body is the issue it is today in antiquity. One hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, all the way back five thousand or so years to the creation, the modesty of dress in the ancient world satisfied this idea. And the modesty of dress was not just the product of men owning women; it had much to do with exposure to the elements, and cultural norms. This issue is more complex than the author suggests. To end the first point the author suggests his god created marriage after the fall, this is just plain wrong, Elohim created marriage in Genesis 2:24, before the fall. This mistake is evidence of apologists failing to apply the scientific method, to follow evidence to wherever it takes the observer. Rather, apologists make conclusions, and then apply evidence strategically, often poorly, to support preconceived and biased assertions. This is why apologists are excluded from scientific debate.

    2.The author’s second point, for the most part I will not address, save the classification of marriage as a safe place. Not necessarily safe in the ancient world the way you suggest, emotionally and psychologically safe to grow and evolve as an individual. In antiquity marriages were overwhelmingly arranged, women were subservient and polygamy accepted, safety was a matter of physical safety, honour and such ideas were at stake, marriage served a broader purpose, again, it is more complex than the blogger suggests. The ordinances of YHWH did not help the issue either. In fact, the subjugation of women and polygamy would have the opposite effect, I would suggest Saul’s daughter, the man after god’s own heart David’s, first wife did not feel so safe. Take a look at the work of Francis Barry who wrote in 1857.

  • 3. This idea continues in point three where the author suggests the liberation of female sexuality from subjugation to ownership has led to promiscuity and the breakdown of the family unit. It is important to remind the readers at this point that CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. What the author has done here is create a relationship where the cause is FAR more complex that the simplicity of his assertion. Wealth and ability and social acceptability must be factored into divorce rates. There are many more variables not considered that would be affected by the correlation the author makes, if it was accurate. Yet crime rates keep falling, high school dropout rates are down 50% over the last twenty years, unwanted pregnancy rates are down over the last 25 years, again from Stats Can, are examples of results that are not congruent with the debauchery the Canadian populace are accused of. And this is just a START of the facts that can be used to dismiss the assertions of the author. The family unit is not breaking down, it is evolving. People define their family differently. Canadians are living longer, happier and more luxurious lives than any other time in history, (how is that for disillusionment (Canadians were ranked 2nd happiest people on the planet right after Denmark in 2012)) all without the author’s god.

    I will end with suggesting letting someone else have authority over my body is not sexual health at all. YHWH is good at letting men have dominion over the bodies of women; this is legislated many times in Torah, and mentioned elsewhere in the Tanakh. My health and wishes are not taken in to consideration if my body is to be at the behest of my wife. The author’s equation normalizes rape within marriage. A healthy sexual relationship, a healthy relationship in general has the characteristic of me SHARING myself with my spouse not “giving myself over” as the author suggests. My example is a healthy ideal the author’s example is a co-dependent, and unhealthy, intertwining ideal, that reduces the self, from identifying as an individual, to identifying in relation to another. The pathology of unhealthy relationships is characterized by unhealthy, or lack of, boundaries. The marriage rates stay relatively stable (there are more marriages per year, per capita, today than during the baby boom(as divorce rates FALL)) according to Stats Can; this fact coupled with the importance the gay community has affixed to the issue of marriage would lead one to conclude there is NOT a general disregard for marriage. General being defined as a majority, well over 65% of identified families in Canada are married couples.
    Yet, I agree Paul’s philosophy in 1 Corinthians ch7 is congruent with the subservience of women that exists in his writing and throughout the bible. I would also suggest the author should take a look at what sociologists find to be the variables that identify the root causes of the disenfranchisement and marginalization he is talking about and then take a look at how those variables are related to the root causes indentified and then look at the root causes themselves before he writes this tripe he wrote above. I would suggest no reasonable person would want to return to a time when women’s choices were limited due to misplaced sense of value. I would also suggest that the level of happiness I quoted above would be evidence I would include to conclude that Canada is stronger today, because of choice and diversity, than any other time in history. And the author is a member of a small group of tyrants that are willing to force people to adhere to ideas that have no value in the real world.
    Not the best paper I have ever penned, but the points are plain and have support.

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