Look out, I’m going to start talking about sex. Young children and uptight mothers might want to leave the room now. Is it safe? Boobies! OK, just checking.
I read the following in John Fischer’s new book, Finding God Where You Least Expect Him, and much of this quote is a quote from country/folk singer/songwriter Butch Hancock: “‘We grew up with two main things: God loves you and he’s gonna send you to hell, and sex is bad and dirty and nasty and awful and you should save it for the one you love.’ The humor wouldn’t be there if the sentiment wasn’t widespread. This is the nature of popular evangelical thinking that casts doubt on the entire human experience.”
It made me think about sex and how freakin’ uptight we are about it. A recent Onion article poked fun at this very topic, with terrible–yet hilarious–results. Why is sex such a big deal? Youth groups drill kids about the importance of abstinence, and then we expect them to dive right in on their wedding night. There’s a bit of an odd disconnect there, where suddenly sex is beautiful–just don’t talk about it.
If you’ve ever watched a movie, it’s amazing how sexual imagery is used, and often difficult to discuss. If you’re watching the movie with a group of friends, it’s suddenly an incredible awkward moment.
The Matrix Reloaded included such an awkward sex scene, where Neo and Trinity are gettin’ jiggy with it while a crowd of dirty Zionites bump and grind. It’s a painfully long scene and everyone rips on it, rightfully so, but very few people mention the importance of the Neo and Trinity half of the scene. (Obviously the entire scene is showing the differences between man and machine, what Neo is fighting for. Some would say the drunken orgy of dirty dancing is a joke and not worth fighting for–I would argue that was intentional.)
The importance of the scene comes at the end when Trinity climaxes and her expression is virtually the same as her expression in Neo’s nightmares of her falling to her death. It becomes even more obvious with the “little death” expression describing orgasm (thanks to Andrew O’Hehir of Salon.com). How’s that for a freakout? That’s the gravity of what Neo is dealing with, and that scene nails it so poignantly. But it’s about sex, so let’s not talk about it.
Sex is an amazing thing, and it’s been corrupted by adulterers, pornographers, and rapists. In and of itself it is pure, and we so often forget this, instead condemning ourselves for an erection. I’ve heard others ask this question before, but do you think Jesus ever had an erection? Blasphemer! I’m going to hell, huh? Give me a break, for Jesus to be fully human, he must have had an erection at some point in his hormone-filled teens. That’s humanity folks, enjoy it.
I’m not trying to say adultery or pornography are okay, those things suck. And I’m not saying lust is no big deal. It most definitely is. But it’s a temptation, and it doesn’t mean the whole load is shot.