Religion

Sunday Night Sermon #2

Have you ever listened to a religious wedding ceremony? I don’t mean sitting there, checking your watch and counting the seconds until the open bar starts. I mean, really listened to what everybody is saying? I’ve been to quite a few, and contained in a number of them is a bit something along the lines of, “A wife should love her husband as her husband loves God.” It’s all about womanly servitude, and how in response a husband should be kind and caring to his wife, as God is to His people. I’m guessing it doesn’t include allowing the husband to, say, give babies cancer or send people to a place of everlasting torment, but hey, no analogy is perfect.

Those of you who, like me, are intrigued by the oddities of human nature will be pleased to note the existance of an entire subculture of people who take this Biblical imperative literally — and to the extreme!

Yep — it’s Christian BDSM! Please take a moment to poke around that web site, because it is FABULOUS. Oh, and just so you know, the person who runs that site writes that he doesn’t like the term “Christian BDSM” because it “infers a relationship between the two terms” that he doesn’t like, but since he continues on to solidify that relationship, I’m going to chuck semantical PC-ness out the window and just call it Christian BDSM. Actually, let’s shorten that to CBDSM because I’ve had a long weekend and I’m tired.

I know what you’re wondering: what makes BDSM “Christian,” exactly?

It does differ from secular BDSM in that the relationship is (or should be) confined to a husband and wife in male dominant/female submissive roles.

Okay, that makes sense. After all, the Bible was written by a bunch of males who probably wouldn’t know how to please a woman if she came equipped with a vibrating tunic and a wineskin full of KY, so it’s only natural that they would only be comfortable with a one-way power exchange.

Oh, but wait a second! Here’s an article by one brave woman who has attempted to justify female dominance via a reinterpretation of the Bible the likes of which is rarely seen outside of creationist circles. So what’s that leave us? Is the only difference between Christian and secular BDSM the preference for nails over fuzzy cuffs?

Let’s see how the actual relationships differ:

They are different since there is a specific spiritual component to their relationship. The Master and submissive/slave worship, pray and grow together as Christians. The Master is head of the wife. She submits to Him. Christ is the head of the church. Master and submissive are both in submission to Christ. A Christian submissive’s first responsibility is to God and His commandments. Unlike her secular sister, a Christian submissive should not participate in something against God’s teaching, even if ordered by her Dominant/Master.

Okay, this is getting confusing. So, the wife submits to the husband, I’m with you there. And then . . . they BOTH submit to Jesus? Now, is that at the same time, or do they take turns? And the submissive wife first has to answer to Jesus, so if all three are going at it and the husband wants (this is just an example) his wife to get down on all fours and prepare for a little backdoor action, but Jesus would rather she “submit” to some teabagging, she should open up wide first? I’ll tell you, it’s not easy taking orders, especially from the son of God, am I right?

If you go through his Q and A, you’ll see a lot of things like, “I’m not trying to say that secular BDSMers don’t respect their partners, BUT . . . ” and “I’m not trying to say that secular BDSMers murder and eat babies, BUT . . . ” Yeah, that’ll win you points with the community. Now, he’s alienated the fundamental Christian sexophobes that usually buy into the whole literal Bible crap, every woman on the planet, and anybody who likes to get a little freaky in bed now and again. To the site creator’s credit, he does have a page on combatting abuse in relationships. I also considered giving him the benefit of the doubt, just because at first blush it would seem as though this would be better than the sex-hating fundies. But I’m honestly not sure if this guy’s philosophy makes him more or less likely to support things like sex education and any kind of sexual empowerment for women. Gays aren’t mentioned at all.

I think I’ll work up a really nice and embarassingly sex-filled email to send the site owner to figure out where he stands. In the meantime, I’m just going to be really, really afraid of stumbling into a scenario like this:

HIM: Can you wear this little plaid skirt and crucifix in bed?
ME: Ooh, kinky! Uh, is that a cross-stitch of Noah and the ark on your wall?
HIM: . . . so anyway, I’ll give you Bible verses to memorize and if you get them wrong, I’ll punish you . . .
ME: Okay, that might be fun . . . like a spanking?
HIM: Sure, or maybe you’ll have to wash all my floors and then cook me dinner.
ME: Uh, is that the complete “Left Behind” series on your bookshelf?
HIM: . . . and on Sundays you’ll have to be my sub in public.
ME: . . . okay . . .
HIM: At church.
ME: Oh crap, you’re serious.

This may put a kink in my dating life . . . and not a good kind of kink, either.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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8 Comments

  1. Too bad, the "What the Bible says about BDSM" is still under construction. 'Cause I was really looking forward to hear their justifications. What about the fellas that like being the submissive ones? Does Jesus have a safe word in case things get out of hand?

  2. But you'll still wear the plaid skirt and crucifix for me right? And then we can break every prohibition in Leviticus 18. Except the ones involving me having sex with my relatives, or men, or your mom, unless she's hot.

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