Sexually Repressed America

President Clinton's new AIDS czar said it, so it must be true: America is a repressed, Victorian society. In several speeches over the past weeks, AIDS czar Kristine Gebbie has described Americans as sexually repressed. The very idea of teaching kids to say no to sex, Gebbie says, is "criminal." It "spreads fear," robbing children of a positive view of sexuality. What we really ought to teach kids, Gebbie says, is that sex is "an essentially pleasurable and important thing." I wonder what America she lives in. In the America I know, we're so repressed that people like Madonna can make a fortune from sexual posturing. We're so Victorian that every other commercial uses sexual innuendo to sell products. We're so puritanical that Playboy and Hustler are sold openly at neighborhood bookstores. The truth is that people already know very well that sexuality is a "pleasurable thing." What they desperately need to learn is that sex can actually be much more enjoyable when kept within the bounds of biblical morality. Statistics indicate that modern-day Victorians-conservative Christians-actually enjoy the most satisfying sex lives. Several years ago Redbook magazine ran a reader survey and found, to its own surprise, that women who tested as "strongly religious" reported greater sexual satisfaction than the nonreligious. In fact, at the same time Miss Gebbie was delivering her blasts against conservative sexual morality, the Southern Baptists were holding a fall festival entitled "Celebrating Sex in Your Marriage." Dr. Richard Land, spokesman for the denomination, commented that Miss Gebbie seems to be equating abstinence outside marriage with a low view of sex within marriage. But the biblical ethic does not teach a low view of sex. If Miss Gebbie would take a closer look at the Book that shapes the attitudes of those supposedly Victorian Christians, she'd find the most positive sex education program ever designed. Far from repressing sexuality, the Bible celebrates it. The Song of Solomon is a tender picture of the desire a husband and wife feel for one another. The New Testament takes this attitude even further, with Paul teaching in 1 Corinthians that husbands and wives should not deprive one another-that sexuality is an important part of the marriage relationship. Imagine that: the Bible actually orders married couples not to deny their sexuality. Even the Bible's prescriptions against sex outside marriage are designed to make life happier. Just think of all the negative consequences young people avoid by remaining chaste: AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; one million teen pregnancies each year; the tragedy of abortion; abandoned women and children living in poverty; and the crime that spreads like a cancer as these fatherless children grow up. No wonder biblical morality leads to a positive view of sex. In a loving, monogamous marriage, Christians seldom have to worry about these negative consequences of sexual expression. So here's a word of advice to Kristine Gebbie from one "Victorian moralist": Read the Bible and consider all the benefits of keeping sex within marriage. And you'll see why, in reality, it's conservative Christians who are having all the fun.


Chuck Colson


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