Sex, Love & Marriage: What We’ve been Doing Wrong (and Right) for 8,000 years!
The Judeo-Christian traditions, and others over the last 6,000 years or so, have turned human sexuality and romantic love on its head. For 98% of human existence (of which 8,000 years is but a blink of an eye), humans lived in small communities ‘where everybody knew your name.’ Our ancestors led very egalitarian lives compared to the dominance based, often patriarchal societies of so-called modern civilization.
Today, ‘unnatural’ (as in, not part of the social evolution of humanity until very recently) emphasis has been put on competition with its Hobbesian attitudes of a selfish, brutish, cold human existence. This has, in part, let to inherently self-centered economic systems like Capitalism (based on the artificial notion of Private Property) which has, among other problems, demanded sexuality be considered almost inhuman, scarce, and hierarchical, and thus championing the supposedly moral virtues of monogamy and the “nuclear family.” Any real attempts of returning to our basic human natures has been faced with threats from the State, Church, and even from the Sciences (particularly from the field of evolutionary psychology).
So, how can humanists and other freethinkers better understand the nature of human nature with regards to Sex, Love and Marriage in such a society as ours? On this 2-hour special, we turn to two researchers in these areas to try to get a better handle on what and who we are, and where we may want to venture in the 21st Century.
Continue reading “Show 340: Sex, Love & Marriage”
Humanism & the LGBT Community: The Origins and History of Homophobia and the Struggle for Freedom!
We will begin this exploration first with a biblical scholar and member of the humanist/atheist community in America, Robert M. Price, who discussed with me the biblical and religious connections to homophobia which seems to some as having sparked the anti-gay movement we are now living through. Then we will hear from a leader in the organized Freethought movement, DJ Grothe – himself a gay male – on his own experiences, his take on gay marriage and church/state considerations, and the humanist viewpoint on alternative sexual relationships.
Then, to go beyond the atheistic/religious horizon as regards the origins and history of homophobia and anti-gay sentiment in America, we will hear from two gay authors who have recent publications out on sexuality and the political left… Socialist Sherry Wolf and Anarchist Terence Kissack.
It was Pride weekend and this show aired mere hours after NYC’s world famous Pride Parade, celebrating the rights and accomplishments of the LGBT Community.
“For years the issue of same-sex marriage has electrified the political landscape. But is marriage a religious institution? And if so, should the government be granting privileges to *any* couples? Or does marriage benefit civic society, and is it wrong to let religious objections keep certain couples from participating?
Also, is marriage a humanist institution?
Join your host Michael O’Neil as we review this issue and take your calls on Equal Time For Freethought!”
Rethinking “Traditional” Marriage: Stephanie Coontz on her book, Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage
From Publishers Weekly:
When considered in the light of history, “traditional marriage”—the purportedly time-honored institution some argue is in crisis thanks to rising rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, not to mention gay marriage—is not so traditional at all. Indeed, Coontz argues marriage has always been in flux, and “almost every marital and sexual arrangement we have seen in recent years, however startling it may appear, has been tried somewhere before.”
Based on extensive research (hers and others’), Coontz’s fascinating study places current concepts of marriage in broad historical context, revealing that there is much more to “I do” than meets the eye. In ancient Rome, no distinction was made between cohabitation and marriage; during the Middle Ages, marriage was regarded less as a bond of love than as a ” ‘career’ decision”; in the Victorian era, the increasingly important idea of true love “undermined the gender hierarchy of the home” (in the past, men—rulers of the household—were encouraged to punish insufficiently obedient wives). Coontz explains marriage today as a way of ensuring a domestic labor force, as a political tool and as a flexible reflection of changing social standards and desires.
Continue reading “Show 272: Rethinking “Traditional” Marriage w/ Stephanie Coontz”