Religious Criticism to our Sex & Secularism Study
SEE THE FIRST REPORT AND ARTICLE HERE
In any study there are methodological problems that need to be scrutinized and examined. No single study is the final word on anything. That is as it should be. That is the way science works. The scrutiny of our Sex and Secularism research is welcome. It only improves future research to understand its strengths and weaknesses. We also encourage you to read the actual report because the news media articles have been hilariously wrong. The reporters obviously only read other reporters then made their own mistakes. It makes for entertaining reading, but not necessarily based on anything we said.
There is another type of scrutiny I want to discuss – that of religionists criticizing our lustful godlessness, Yes, we are lustful and godless. That is not a newsflash. Yet they criticize us for claiming that our sexual satisfaction is higher than theirs. That has surprised us because the conclusions from our research should not be surprising to religionists. After all, they accuse us of being lustful and enjoying sexual sin. It seems that they should be happy their hypothesis has been confirmed – we are lustful and sinful people. If I were a religionist, I would be saying, “Yes, I told you so. They just proved our point! They just want to have sex and don’t care that it goes against our God’s law.”
Most interesting are those critiques that claim their Christian sex is better because Jesus is in their bedroom. They claim that somehow they are happier because they DON’T do all the fun things that secularists are doing. They don’t masturbate or have oral sex, they don’t enjoy gay sex and certainly never enjoy sex before or outside of marriage. The joys that they receive are of a spiritual nature. They pray and commune with their god. They don’t need mind blowing orgasms. The love of Jesus or Allah is far better.
These claims may be true (or false) we would not know because that is not what we were studying. We were not asking if married people who pray everyday have better orgasms than atheists? We were not studying how much happier single people are when they pray and praise their god instead of masturbating and having premarital sex? A religious organization might want to research those ideas. It might be a good Ph.D. topic for a Liberty University grad student. Or, if a religious university wants to give us a grant, we would be happy to study it and send them the results.
Here is a challenge for religionists. Religionists make all sorts of claims about how wonderful it is to be Mormon, Christian, Moslem, etc. They tell us how happy they are in their marriage because Allah or Jesus blesses them. Some even say their sex lives are better with Jesus in their bedroom. Perhaps religionists could put their sexual claims to the test. Here is one question that might be researched, “Who feels better about sex, those who think Jesus is watching them have sex, or those who don’t?” or “What is the frequency and intensity of orgasms between those who think they are being watched by Jesus and those who are not?”
You do not have to be an academic researcher to test some hypothesis about religion and sex. In this article I will suggest a simple approach anyone can use. You don’t need any training, just an audience in the proper venue. First, let me explain my own approach to informal testing. When I travel around the country` speaking on sex and religion, I ask one question at the beginning of my talk – “How many of you masturbate?” I generally get about 90% who raise their hand. Some even raise both their hands and wave them around vigorously. Then I ask, “How many of you are religious or believe in Jesus, Allah or some other god?” the other 10% raise their hands. Now masturbation is among the easiest and simplest ways to enjoy sex. So this could be a good indicator of how comfortable people are about their sexuality, especially with their own body. From this I can see that those who are religious seem not to be enjoying their body or they are afraid to admit it in public. Or alternatively, they may be experiencing greater joy and satisfaction through prayer and religious activities.
Next I ask, “How many of you use Pornography?” About 80% raise their hands. The 10% religious people don’t raise their hands here either. Our research, and other national surveys, show that about 75% of women and 90% of men use porn to some degree. We even know that religious people use a lot of porn because the highest porn use is in places and states with the highest religiosity – like Utah and Mississippi. A recent internet study found that 40% of women who visit a major Christian Women’s website also visit porn sites. You can be pretty sure the people in your church are using porn at a high rate, they just can’t raise their hands in public. Our research indicates that religious people use more porn than secular people but it seems only the secular people raise their hands in my talks.
Knowing the prevalence of behaviors mentioned above, religionists seem to have a certain reticence admitting what we all know they do. It would be interesting to know why they don’t publically admit their sinful sexual behavior, secularists seem to have little problem admitting their sexual behavior. What prevents religionists from being honest? Could it be shame and guilt or admitting in public that they behave just like secularists?
So here is a test you can do that will only take minutes. At the next full religious service have your minister, Iman or priest ask the congregation, “How many of you masturbate?” and “How many use porn?” and “How many of you have prayed for forgiveness because you had a lustful thought in the last week?” Count the responses and figure the ratio. Send me the numbers so we can compare statistics. Taking the figures I have quoted, calculate the number of people who are sinning but not admitting it.
Example: First Evangelical Baptist Church, Anywhere, USA
Masturbation: A conservative estimate is that 30% of the general population (men and women) do not seem to masturbate.
10% hands raised in First Evangelical Baptist Church
100% – 30% of population that do not seem to masturbate – 10% who admitted to masturbating = 60%. This would tell you that approximately 60% of those in attendance are not telling the truth about their behavior. This is a serious concern, since those committing such sins are in danger of hellfire. Of course even the 10% who raised their hands still need to repent.
From this simple research you can now design more effective prayer meetings and bible studies to help people recognize the importance of getting right with God and eliminating self abuse and lustful behavior. Design programs for at least the 10% who admit their behavior. We will discuss the other 69% later.
Now you may be thinking, “This is a ridiculous idea. My minister would never allow me to ask those questions in church.” You are probably right. Unless you are a Unitarian, such questions just are not proper in church. Religionists aren’t used to being open about these things so you may want to conduct an anonymous survey instead of a public vote. This approach will help you get a better figure on who the 60% are. After all, our survey was anonymous, so it is only fair for you to use a similar methodology t help those who are reluctant, open up and confess their sin. Secular groups don’t seem to have a problem raising their hand in public, but religionists are more modest and less willing to confess their sins in public. So go ahead and use an anonymous survey.
I will caution you on one count. Your minister might object to an anonymous sex survey as well. Nevertheless, you really should measure the effect your religion has on sinful behavior. By surveying your congregation, you will know what sins are causing the most problems. You can then schedule prayer meetings and classes on how to pray away lustful thoughts or resist the urge to masturbate. See our suggested questionnaire below.
Here is another question I ask sometimes, “How many of you have had premarital sex?” Most audiences readily raise their hands – except for any religious people who slipped in. Surveys going back to the 1950’s show that 95% of all Americans have premarital sex so we can be pretty sure those in your church did as well. If few hands go up, we might conclude that they are among the most unusual group in the nation or they are withholding the truth (a sin of omission). With only five percent of the population NOT having premarital sex, I am guessing that 5% must be comprised of all Baptist ministers, all evangelical clergy, Catholic Priests and all Sunday School teachers – that’s about 5% of the US population. The rest are taking St. Paul’s advice to “sin boldly.” Now what would cause a group of religionists to hide or deny sexual behavior that we know they are doing? I am guessing shame or guilt about publically admitting they have sinned. Another reason to use an anonymous survey.
Your research can go a long way toward helping pinpoint the sinful concerns of your congregation. The results could lead to more effective prayer meetings, bible studies or questioning during confession, and more people learning how to resist temptation. It will also lead to more timely forgiveness with less likelihood of punishment and hell since they will improve in the sight of Jesus.
What responsible, caring minister, Iman or priest doesn’t want to help the souls in his care learn to avoid sin and temptation? How many souls could be saved? Imagine helping people avoid sin, becoming more powerful in prayer, gaining the power to eliminate sexual urges, throw away pornography, and pray with a girlfriend or boyfriend, rather than having sex.
Since the religionists have been so quick to criticize our research, we encourage them to do their own research and determine the sexual sins of their congregation. Then design a plan to address the needs of those whose lustful thoughts and behavior will inevitably lead them to damnation.
When you are finished, please compare your results with ours to see if there are any important differences. Let us know if you find convincing evidence that your congregation has dramatically lower levels of premarital sex. We would be most interested if you found clear and convincing evidence that your prayer program eliminated lustful thinking and or allowed people to go for years resisting the urge to use pornography.
To conclude, we encourage you to research and come to your own conclusions. According to our research, we are pretty sure people in your church are doing the same kinds of sexual activities that secularists do. You watch porn while masturbating. You think about that hot boy in your Sunday school class while using your vibrator. You think about the cute youth minister or his wife while having sex with your spouse. All of these are sins you commit frequently (If you don’t think these are sins, you haven’t read your bible very closely). The only difference between you and secularists is that Jesus is watching you. When you get finished, you need to pray for his forgiveness or you may regret it forever! We just cuddle up and enjoy the moment.
Have fun with your research and please share you results with us.
A Sample Survey. Use as you see fit.
1. How often do you think of Jesus (or the Virgin Mary) while having sex?
Every time – Frequently -Occasionally – Never.
2. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 highest, rate the intensity and satisfaction of the last orgasm you had?
3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 highest) rate the intensity and satisfaction of your most recent prayer?
4. How many times have you had sex in the last month?
5. How many orgasms have you experienced in the last month from the following?
6. How many times in the last month have you prayed for forgiveness for a lustful thought or sinful sex?
7. How much has Jesus forgiven you for your lustful or sinful sexual behavior in the last month?
1 not forgiven, 5 partly, 10 totally forgiven.
8. How likely is it that you will commit the same sexual sin in the next month? Please give a percentage (25%, 100%)
9. How many times has Jesus had to forgive you for each of the following sexual sins in the last month:
Lustful thoughts: 0 1-3 4-5 6-10 11 or more
Masturbating: 0 1-3 4-5 6-10 11 or more
Sinful sex with your spouse such as anal, oral, etc.: 0 1-3 4-5 6-10 11 or more
Sex with someone you are not married to; 0 1-3 4-5 6-10 11 or more
10. How many times will you ask Jesus to forgive you for your most common sinful sexual behavior?
11. Person X sincerely begs for forgiveness every time he masturbates. He masturbates daily for 10 years, then dies. Where would he go? Circle one: Heaven Hell
12. If a person murdered someone every year for 10 years but sincerely asked Jesus for forgiveness each time, where would he go? Circle one: Heaven Hell
13. An enlisted atheist man in the army denied the Holy Spirit (or Allah) but lived an otherwise upstanding life, one day he threw himself on a grenade, saving four of his platoon mates – One was an evangelical, one was Catholic, one Muslim and one Mormon.
Evangelicals: Would he go to hell? Yes No
Catholics: Would he be allowed to go to purgatory instead of hell?
Moslems: Would he go to hell or would he have a chance to get a few of the 72 virgins?
Mormons: Would he be eligible for his own planet or at least a flat in the servants’ quarters?
11. How and when does Jesus punish you for your sexual sins?
When was the last time Jesus punished you for a sexual sin? Please describe the punishment and how that changed your sexual behavior.
How much did your sexual behavior improve or get worse after His punishment.
1= much worse (I do it more) 5= about the same 10 = I never did it again
12. If you are married, how many times have you masturbated in the last month? Did you ask your spouse to forgive you? Did you ask Jesus (or Mary) to forgive you?
13. Born Again Christians Only
How would rate your sex life before you were born again? 1-10
How did your sex life change after you were born again? 1-10
14. Catholics Only:
How often and completely do you confess your sexual sins?
I confess every sex sin including every time I masturbate.
I confess most but may occasionally may forget one.
I confess some of my sexual sins but not all. Its too embarrassing.
I rarely confess a sexual sin. Its none of the Priests business.
I could never tell a priest about a sexual sin I committed.
READ THE WHOLE STUDY HERE