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“Just asking,” is what we often say after we’ve offended someone and they are beyond a rational response.  You’ll probably have to use that phrase a lot when you start talking about sexuality and religion.  Sexual Futurist recently had the opportunity to interview Darrel Ray, the author of “Sex and God.”  According to his bio,
'Dr. Ray has been a psychologist for over 30 years, practicing counseling and clinical psychology for 10 years.  He has been a student of religion most of his life and holds a MA degree in religion as well as a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and a Doctorate in psychology.  Born into a fundamentalist family and raised in Wichita, Kansas, he was surrounded by religion while growing up. He had a grandfather who preached for 40 years, cousins who were preachers and missionaries, and his parents became missionaries when they retired. For decades, he has been intensely curious about the mechanics of religion, how it influences and infects people’s minds.'

Sexual Futurist: What inspired you to write “Sex and God?”
Dr. Ray: From an early age I noticed that religion seemed awfully concerned with sex. When I studied other religions in college and graduate school, I found that all the patriarchal religions seemed consumed with sex. In my research over the years, I noticed that no one seemed to have written on the subject of sex and religions. It almost seemed like a taboo topic. Like people were afraid to point out the obvious – religion wants to get into your sex life and mess it up. My work in human sexuality also informed me and helped me see that religions on the whole know nothing about human sexuality, yet they claim to know all about sex. Growing up, I heard many sermons and read many religious books on marriage and “Christian sex.” The errors in these were worse than wrong, they were absolutely destructive to a healthy sex life. I soon learned that science and religious sexual beliefs simply do not correlate. Something is really wrong with that, and I felt I needed to write about it.
SF: For people who haven’t yet read your book, how do you see religion controlling people’s sexuality?
DR: From infancy, religions tell you what you can and cannot do with your body. The very first story in the bible is a sex negative story. When Adam and Eve recognized they were naked, they were ashamed and covered themselves. It introduces the notion of sexual shame in the foundational myths of the Judeo-Christian religion. From that point on, shame and avoidance of shame are key themes that take control of people’s lives.
Most people have no idea how much they are controlled and inhibited by religious ideas that permeate our culture, indeed, world culture. It is easiest to understand by simply asking some simple questions:
What religion celebrates self-satisfaction through masturbation?
What religion teaches children science based sex education?
What religion celebrates women’s sexuality and full ownership of their bodies?
What religion teaches a man how to please a woman and relate to her as a equal and free agent?
Granted, Paganism, Unitarians and some of the New Age religions seem to do this, but even those religions have elements of shame and ideas of the supernatural that simply do not [integrate] with the biology of human sexuality.
…the question I wanted to answer for readers is, “Why is religion so interested in in sex? How does religion benefit?” The quick answer is, sexual shame and guilt allow religion to control and propagate to the next generation. That is why I characterize religion as a sexually transmitted disease. Virtually all religions need to take over your sexuality to ensure that they can infect the next generation.
I have received some criticisms from the religious, that using a disease model is disrespectful and demeaning. The irony of that is that religions have used a disease model for hundreds of years as they often say that people can get infected with the devil or Catholics are infected with Popeism, or Islam is a disease trying to infect the West. The disease model works as well with all religion in general, much as it works when we talk about computer viruses. Religion is parasitic and tends to make people do things that go against their own best interest.
For example, a Catholic priest or nun remaining celibate; That is about as unnatural as you can get. Or how about a Jehovah’s Witnesses’, Mormons or Baptists not masturbating? How is that normal? Or a Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist woman expected to be a virgin on her wedding night with the possibility of death or eternal shame if she isn’t. How does that comport with human sexuality?
In the same vein, many of the non-patriarchal religions, like Paganism and the myriad New Age religions and cults use sexuality as a pathway to the supernatural. These may not be as insidious, but there is no pathway to the supernatural, there are pathways to chemical responses in your brain that feel extremely good, but the use of supernatural ideas is just another way to use our sexuality in service of a religious idea. Why do we need the supernatural and superstition to celebrate our humanity? Isn’t being human enough?

Indeed, isn’t being human enough?  For some sexual futurists there is a real appreciation of religion in connection with sexuality but for many of us religion has been a bludgeon used to hurt, control and even kill in order to control human sexuality.  Do you agree with Dr. Ray’s apparent dismissal of all notions of the supernatural?  Is there a place for a spiritual context to our sexual experience?  Just asking.  Come, reason with us...
#Darrelray   #sexandreligion   #christianityandsex  
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+Ben Shults thanks. It's a good book and an intriguing topic. 
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Sexual Futurist

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Ugandan activist shares the biased effect of the anti gay bill on healthcare. Does the government of Uganda think that by denying healthcare to its citizens it can wipe out homosexuality?
Onziema shares more of the struggle LGBT Ugandans in the wake of the poisonous anti gay law. 
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Sexual Futurist

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Sexual futurists are aware that, sexually speaking, people are hurting everywhere on this planet for reasons that have nothing to do with “acts of God” or “natural causes.”  We know that individual sexual criminals are amateurs compared to national pogroms against those  with the “wrong” sexual orientation and those with the wrong gender.  And none of us seem to be getting anything close to a real education regarding human sexuality.  But sexual futurists are winning against the angry men of the GOP.
Now you wouldn’t know this by watching Rachel Madow or by reading the New York Times.  Most of the media focuses on the stories nearest to them–like this one:
DURHAM, N.C. — There is a Tea Party candidate who talks about the Constitution and has the backing of Senator Rand Paul. There is a Baptist pastor, endorsed by Mike Huckabee, who wears a “Jesus First” lapel pin and has led the fight against same-sex marriage. And there is a Republican state lawmaker — supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and $1 million from Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group — standing up for the party establishment.
All of the major candidates in the NC primary are against marriage equality and against those uppity women who want to decide for themselves whether or not to seek an abortion and who lean against the idea of a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound.  Awful, right?  But in the rock-ribbed Republican West, you have to take a look at little old Nevada where quietly, the sexual futurists have taken over.  The Nevada GOP once championed nutters like Sharon “Second Amendment Remedy” Angle.  But just last week the county GOP removed a section defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, cut out a statement opposing abortion and added a section affirming people of all sexual orientations.  This week?   Vegas pulled the whole state into the same position.  Turns out that Republicans in the West may not have to swallow the chewing tobacco sputum that North Carolinian Republicans and Koch Brothers cough up for barbeque sauce.
LAS VEGAS – The Nevada Republican Party stripped opposition to abortion and gay marriage from its platform Saturday as state convention delegates instead focused on judging fellow Republicans on their worthiness to serve in office and adherence to GOP values.  Many Republicans are re-evaluating their strong stances…as public opinion shifts in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The topics have become a political liability for the GOP, especially among younger voters.  Approval of the platform was swift….
It was especially swift (like poop through the proverbial goose) for fundies who thought of the GOP as an extension of their church.  Sexual Futurist is aware that there will be a number of Luddites who will continue to oppose abortion, marriage equality and (cringe) science itself.  But the party has uncoupled itself from a doctrinaire sexual agenda of command and control.  The GOP is no longer officially a sex cult in Nevada.  Can North Carolina be far behind?  Come, reason with us.
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If it was going to happen, it probably had to happen in Sin City.  The American Republican Party has long had the trappings of a modern day sex cult with a rigid adherence to a long list of doctrinaire beliefs that seek command and control over the vast continuum of human sexuality.   But Las Vegas, Nevada just may have become the cradle of a modern Republican Party rebirth and angry white old gusys don’t look so angry anymore.  The headline actually minimized the breadth and significance of the event:
Marriage definition pulled from Clark County GOP platform
But there was so much more in the small, short article that should have been given the front page.  For readers unfamiliar with Nevada politics, please know that Clark County is the home of Las Vegas which is the home of about 75% of the state’s residents…and voters.  In other words, what happens in Vegas is really all that matters.  And baby, Vegas has spoken:
LAS VEGAS – The Clark County Republican Party has edited its official platform statement over the weekend to remove a section defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, cut out a statement opposing abortion and add a section affirming people of all sexual orientations.
The pivot came over the weekend after some debate and a vote at the group’s central committee meeting in Las Vegas. Strong statements on social issues don’t align with the group’s belief in individual freedom, according to Nick Phillips, the organization’s political director.  “A big part of it has to do with personal liberty and smaller government,” he said Tuesday, “and other people not infringing on our rights and beliefs.”  The Clark County GOP is among the first in the country to make such changes to their platform statement.
So the pragmatists, people who prefer winning elections as opposed to posturing over religious dogma, have thrown out all the language at odds with Nevada’s long history of libertarianism.  A state with legalized gambling, prostitution and easy divorce laws was perhaps destined to become the epicenter for this remarkable fracturing from the national Republican platform.  Those interested in controlling the sexuality of others were as passionate as they were vastly outnumbered:
Critics raised concerns that abandoning the marriage definition would lead to the government forcing churches to perform weddings for gay couples.  Removing the anti-abortion provision drew even more strident opposition, Phillips said.  …it’s unclear whether the state Republican Party will follow suit and eliminate abortion and gay marriage language in its platform statement.
No it is not unclear.  It is now only a matter of time and may be as soon as the state party convention in (where else?) Las Vegas on April 11 and 12.  Did Vegas just get a little more fabulous?  Come, reason with us.
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Lol. Good ol' L Vagas 
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Forget about Pussy Riot–what about a museum?  Boring you say?  But where an “in your face” approach to human sexual rights may not be working, what about a museum with an admission fee?  The definition of “gay propaganda” for Vladimir Putin is any display of support for homosexuality. But what they consider propaganda is, for others, an important reminder of the struggles and accomplishments of members of the LGBT community.  Russian president Vladimir Putin has focused attention on himself and his country by labeling any type of public support for homosexuality as “propaganda” and made such displays in his country illegal.
Ever the outdoorsman, Vladimir Putin has said he doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality–as long as gays keep it indoors.  So maybe the Russian LGBT community could open a museum to highlight their struggles and accomplishments.  They could learn from the GLBT National Museum in San Francisco, California.   Located in the Castro District, this unassuming building profiles the diversity and the courage of the gay community in San Francisco in politics, entertainment, culture, healthcare, and relationships.
Like the National LGBT Museum in Washington, D.C., the museum in San Francisco “tells the story that unites millions of Americans but is rarely represented in mainstream museums.”  In SF, the artifacts and displays include the Gay Men’s Chorus, Harvey Milk, the unique struggle of gay Japanese Americans after WWII, gay families, gays in the military, and gays of color.
Highlights include:
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon as the first same sex partners in California to wed after the state supreme court briefly legalized such marriages in 2008;
The successful mid-1960’s fight for funds from the federal War on Poverty which sparked a variety of programs targeting economically marginalized queer youth;
In 1976, Lou Sullivan successfully pioneered alternative access to transsexual services;
The 1942 story of Jiro Onuma’s internment with thousands of other Japanese immigrants classified as “enemies” by the United States Government;
The fight against degrading depictions of women by the Bay Area Group Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media dating from the late 1970’s.
Sexual Futurist exists to further a conversation based on reason and knowledge.  Kill off the gay 10% of the general population in Russia, Uganda, Nigeria and Gambia and of the next generation–another 10% will be gay.  The toxic and irrational hatred of the LGBT community can be neutralized by knowledge–and that’s why we have Sexual Futurist, schools, libraries and, oh yeah, museums. Come, reason with us.
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Describing the Supreme Court judge's ruling as a "milestone", 53-year-old Bharathi Kannamma hopes to build on the momentum and overturn prejudices against India's several million transgenders.

Her current campaign team includes two transgenders, four men and a woman, working on a daily budget of 5,000 rupees ($83). She also has a personal advisory board, which includes lawyers, doctors and other professionals.

Despite the challenges she faces, Kannamma said she found her status as an independent candidate, without family, had won her backing.
"I have nothing to fear and I have no vested interest in being corrupt and the people see that," she said.

She's also campaigning on a wider ticket than transgender rights.
"I would develop the city's infrastructure and importantly, rid its systems of corruption and bring it on par with the country's top cities," she said.
#transgender   #transgendernews   #transgenderrights   #transgénicos  
With a tight budget and a humble autorickshaw, a pioneering Indian transgender is campaigning in her southern hometown for a seat in parliament, just days after the country's highest court recognised "third gender" people.Describing the Sup...
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Poor George Will.  He has such a refreshing view of himself.  A glance at his most recent column prompted SF to reach out for an interview.  As usual, he showed up with his college-prep vocabulary, ready to rumble.
Sexual Futurist: In your recent column you make a point of mocking the notion that the GOP is conducting anything like a “war on women.”
George Will: A Machiavellian notion indeed, as if one could obfuscate the bright as a penny GOP view of American womanhood.
SF: You state that Michigan GOP candidate Terri Land is being opposed by Democrats who have accused her of opposing “preventive health care.”  You go on to say that phrase is used by Democrats as code for abortion.
George Will:  An observation steeped in verisimilitude.
SF: But she in fact does oppose government standards that mandate insurance companies pay for contraception.  These are only available by prescription and they do prevent pregnancy.  So isn’t this “preventive” health care and nothing to do with abortion?
George Will:  A sophistry on your part. Scurrilous claims are the expected result if a young woman is disreputably prurient to the point that she cannot keep her lascivious urges quelled to within decent norms of decorum, like that poor, poor girl Sandra Fluke, the law student from Catholic Georgetown University.  She’ll be making a likely $160, 000 upon graduation so….
SF: …so she shouldn’t complain about the $9 Walmart prescription for birth control today because she’s likely to make a lot of money in the future?
GW: Precisely.  And what could be more fair?
SF: Because someday, in the future, she may make a lot of money?  Which totally invalidates her need for insurance today?  Or for the visit to her doctor?
GW: You have the gist of it.
SF: And Michigan candidate Terri Land is proof that the GOP is not treating women as second-class citizens because she too has a vagina?
GW: There!  You see!  That wasn’t so difficult at all.  There’s hope for you sexual futurists yet!
SF: But isn’t that a fallacy to think that because someone has a certain sexual anatomy that they couldn’t possibly be mistaken about a policy decision?  Isn’t Land something of a self-contained dog and pony show?  And disqualifying those with potential earning power (like Sandra Fluke) from voicing an opinion about fairness in the system–how does that address the notion of fairness?  So do you make too much money to complain about unfairness?
GW:  Come, come, Sexual Futurist.  All my words are thoughts and all my thoughts are reason.  You cannot resist my splendiferous command of language.  There’s simply nothing to this whole “war on women” nonsense.  After all, we are fielding a woman candidate!  Anyway, isn’t “sexual” futurist just code for promiscuity?
SF: A position as rational and informed as your other positions on sexuality.
Come, reason or at least do some real thinking with us.

#georgewill   #sandrafluke   #GOP   #abortion   #healthcare  
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March 26, 2014
The American Republican Party has been a sex cult for so long that no one even notices–not even the liberal, college aged crowd from Berkeley, California.  Both conservative and liberal writers have called him out on this but due to our global discomfort with sexual issues most people believe Rand Paul to be a libertarian.
Senator Rand Paul gave a much-noticed speech in Berkeley last week, attacking the intelligence agencies for being “drunk with power….”
Senator Paul is drunk on the publicity of pulling a stunt like speaking in Berkeley as a libertarian Republican. He’s getting a lot of praise for venturing into the lion’s den (as it were). But it took as much bravery for him…as it did for Joe Lieberman to appear at the 2008 Republican National Convention to criticize Democrats as soft on national security.
Paul was clever to raise the single issue on which his extreme libertarian views would find a sympathetic reception from a young crowd….  He did not raise other views, such as his opposition to abortion or gay marriage, that would have found him booed off the stage.
So there it is: If the NSA is listening in on his phone, that’s a violation of his privacy.  If the rich have secret offshore bank accounts to skirt income taxes the 99% have no option but to pay–that’s a violation of privacy.
If Senator Paul gets searched like other travelers by TSA at the airport, that’s another egregious violation of his privacy.  Ditto with recreational drug use.  But your gay friend’s interest in having the same access to civil marriage regulated not by the Vatican but by the state?  No way Jose!  And your sister’s vagina?  Yee haw!
Her vagina is such a sacred space we could probably have the next Republican Convention there instead of Kansas City.  Certainly not Vegas baby because what happens there is also private, right?  But the vagina appears to be wide open for Libertarian Paul Rand and other libertarians who have no idea what libertarian means.  Come, reason with us.
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120 years after the birth of sex researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Americans still find the idea of simply talking about sexuality excruciatingly uncomfortable.  Many colleges have organized “Sex Week” events in order to facilitate a conversation about sexuality starting with Yale in 2002.  Booths, public speakers, discussion groups–kind of a grown-up approach to beginning a conversation about sexuality.   But Republican legislators in Nashville, Tennessee think talking about sexuality IS a choice and a bad one at that and they’re willing to threaten defunding of education to prove it.
Two Senate Committee chairmen are warning top University of Tennessee leaders that state funding for the university could be jeopardized if they don’t rein in the “Sex Week” program being held this week on the Knoxville campus….
The lawmakers’ letter to UT system President Joe DiPietro and UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek says Sex Week organizers promote the event as a “sexual health event, when in reality the aim of the organizers is to thrust a radical agenda on the students of the University of Tennessee….”
UT officials and organizers of the event say it is intended to educate students in an entertaining way on issues ranging from sexual assault to safe sex.  But socially conservative critics say the event, organized by the Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee, features lectures given by a porn actress and filmmaker, a drag show, an aphrodisiac cooking class and condom scavenger hunt.
So, Sexual Futurist has this challenge for the legislators who are frightened of those who don’t want to see anyone “thrust a radical agenda.”  Here it is: show us all how it should be done.  If we’re doing it wrong, show us how the legislature would do it.  Sponsor a legislative Sex Week to address human sexual rights, sex education, reproductive health issues–all that.  SF bets you won’t do this; you wouldn’t dare.  Telling people “You’re doing it wrong!” is easy.  But threatening our education system?  Come on boys, show us how it’s done if you’re so sure you know how to talk about sex “the right way” and then, when you succeed in making a hash of it, come reason with us.
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But the post isn't even about Kinsey. It just used him as an historical marker. Just saying that there's a lot more to the post than the one mention of Kinsey. 
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Sexual Futurist is looking for reporters to write stories about human sexuality.  No experience necessary.  SF reporters will be covering the full range of human sexuality as it applies to politics, the arts, science, education, religion and so on.  The pay is terrible.  If you see a compelling story anywhere in the world that is not being adequately addressed in mainstream media or you want a more general audience to hear about your group or organizations stories then contact us.  Stories like “Gay in Kampala” or “Dating in the West Bank” or “Buying a Bra in Saudi” or “The Money Behind Big Hate” or “Reproductive Choice: Prerogative of the Rich”  Interviews, data, video, original photos–we want it all.  Anonymity at your request.
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Illuminating Human Sexuality Through Reason and Knowledge
Sexual Futurists are people who use their heads to solve problems related to sex.

Sexuality needs to be understood because it influences all aspects of society including law, arts, religion, politics relationships, and family.

Sexual Futurist exists to begin a conversation on human sexuality.

Come reason with us...