Here is an
article on HBO’s hit piece on celibacy.
Roman Catholicism is not the only religious faith that
extols the virtues of celibacy. But as Antony Thomas points out in his eye-opening
documentary “Celibacy,” no
other branch of any major world religion compels its clergy to abstain from
The effect has been cataclysmic: 500,000 nuns and priests have left their
orders since the 1960s, Thomas says. What’s more, legal actions involving thousands
of children abused by priests have been filed in 10 countries.
This has got to be one of the silliest arguments against the
mandatory discipline of celibacy. If celibacy was the problem than why was
it only after the 1960s
that it became a problem? If you look at something was true before and after
an event you surely can’t say that it was the cause. Of course there have been
zero celibate priests who have abused children, it is only those who broke
their vows and were not celibate.
I can’t speak for all of Buddhism but in Thailand Monks are required
to be celibate. While looking up this information I found a rather interesting/funny
set of questions asked during their ordination ceremony. The man is asked
a series of questions, for which there is only one right answer to each:
- Do you have Leprosy? (No)
- Are you male? (Yes)
- Do you have boils? (No)
- Are you free of debt? (Yes)
- Do you have ringworm? (No)
- Are you released from government service? (Yes)
- Do you have tuberculosis? (No)
- Do your parents permit you to become a monk? (Yes)
- Are you epileptic? (No)
- Are you at least 20 years old? (Yes)
- Are you human? (Yes)
- Do you have your robes and your alms bowl? (Yes)
So I guess if your non-male and/or an alien or have other diseases, tough
luck. Sorry E.T. The article continues:
…“Celibacy” begins by making the case
that the sex drive is stronger than hunger. Thomas heads to the East, where
he produces remarkable
practices undertaken by other religions to sublimate the carnal urges of men.
(I should warn the guys that one of the scenes here will make you squirm.)
His point is that the sex drive cannot be ignored or
suppressed — and
yet, Thomas argues, that is exactly what the church has done.
So by this logic those who are married I guess are allowed to ignore temptations
to sin and can commit adultery. Or those before marriage can indulge in fornication
so to keep from feeling suppressed. If you are going to use reasoning like
this you are not just aiming it at celibacy but the whole order of the Church’s
teaching on sexual morality. Of course that is exactly the point. If you have
pedophile urges would he encourage these people to suppress them?
…One brave priest, interviewed on camera, admits to having
had two dalliances with women in 21 years. He says he is the rule, not the
exception, among priests,
many of whom have relationships with women. He says he understands why.
“I love being a priest,” he tells Thomas. “But
as (my parishioners) are leaving, I see that big empty church. And that church
is symbolic of the
emptiness inside me.”
My definition of a brave priest is one who has braved temptations
and has not broken his vows.
As the pope has clearly pointed out, we have a tendency to become wholly animal, losing the divine aspect of our natures. By suggesting that we cannot suppress our sex drives, Thomas is saying that we are merely animals (note that his belief in this is very revealing of his personal issues).
By the way, this is as part of an HBO Series that is X rated to say the least. I had a friend who always referred to HBO as “Hell’s Box Office” – I guess he wasn’t far off the mark!
If I were starving and had the choice between sex and eating, eating would win every time.
Ugh, I watched the “documentary” and it was horrible. They showed Hindus in a gymnasium/exercise camp who were celibate because “the sperm is the source of all the body’s strength” and since these men were wrestlers, this was shown as a good and legitimate type of celibacy. And they claimed that Buddhism valued celibacy but did not require or enforce it, that only monks and nuns were celibate, but that’s the same as Catholicism! Nobody is FORCED to become a priest/monk/nun. And they example they used for Buddhism was a 14 yr old girl who was placed in a monastery that her parents chose for her that was very strict about enforcing celibacy. They then went on to talk about how wonderful it was and how it worked because she was stripped of her sexuality by having her head shaved and breasts bound so she looked like an adolescent boy. But hey, as long as it’s not Christianity!
I am still waiting for an explanation of how “celibacy” is responsible for a particularly lurid scandal a few years ago in the (Anglican) Diocese of Long Island. Ditto over how it is “because they refuse to ordain women”.
The really funny part came from the editorial trained apes at EPISCOPAL LIFE, who were faced with the imperative to admit that something might be wrong without jeopardizing their PC credentials by actually criticizing homosexuals, and finally wrote that the charges were of “indicscriminate sex”. Let’s see… it is usually possible to tell whether or not you are committing fornication (unless, perhaps, you are Bill Clinton). But how do I know whether or not I am being “discriminate” enough?