The Church’s “Obsession” with Sex

What if you are challenged with:

“The Church is obsessed with sex—premarital sex, divorce, contraception, homosexuality. Why can’t it shut up about it?”

What is your defense?

The Church isn’t obsessed with sex. Our culture is.

The Church has remained constant in its teachings on sexuality. It proposes the simple and beautiful understanding that God designed humans to express their sexuality in marriage—the lifelong partnership of man and woman, oriented to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.

But our culture has undergone dramatic changes. The last hundred years have seen a huge rise in divorces and unwed motherhood, the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s, widespread use of  contraception, abortion, the explosive growth of pornography due to the Internet, and homosexual “marriage.”

What changed was not the Church, but society, which became obsessed with sex and sexual license.

This would be a good reason for the Church to ramp up its discussion of sex—to speak about the problems of the day and help society find the healing it needs. Yet anyone who attends Catholic services knows one only rarely hears sex discussed from the pulpit. At most, there are only occasional brief comments and allusions.

This suggests the charge of the Church being “obsessed” is due to something else: the uneasy conscience of those taking sexual license.

Proverbs says the guilty “flee when no one pursues” (Prov. 28:1), and that is happening here. Those who engage in sexual sin know they are violating the Christian vision of human sexuality and suppose that in Church there must be constant, thunderous condemnations of what they are doing.

This is not the case. The Church’s message is far broader, but this one area can seem disproportionately emphasized if it is where a person is in conflict with the Christian vision. This creates a risk of missing the Church’s message altogether..

The Church is not interested in telling people “no,” but in helping them find happiness. The truth is that living according to God’s design for human sexuality will let us find long-term happiness in a way that living for momentary pleasures will not. It is from love and concern that the Church proclaims the truth about sexuality.

By Jimmy Akin



  1. Peter Aiello Reply

    All mental preoccupations use up a lot of energy that can otherwise be used to better our world and ourselves. Sex is one of the things that easily lends itself to preoccupation. This is why it is given more attention than other things; although worry, anger, and unforgiveness are also major preoccupations for many people.
    I think that we all want to have better control of our thoughts and inclinations. It starts with the understanding that we can’t do it without God. This is why we are told to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), and to cast all of our care on Him (1Peter 5:6-7).

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Nice try, Jimmy Akin, but you’re not even close. The Church is manically obsessed with sex. That is how original sin is passed on. That’s why Jesus had to be born of a virgin, and why later on Mary had to become the first human besides Adam and Eve to be born without original sin when it was discovered that women contribute half the genetic material to the newborn. Mary had to be made “immaculate” in 1854 because her parents did the “nasty” and passed original sin on to her; which means she would have passed original sin on to Jesus even as a virgin – so they “fixed” it, retroactively, by deciding Yahweh caused her to be born without original sin (which raises the question of why the rigamarole of sacrifice is required when Yahweh can simply get rid of original sin at his whim).
    This is an organization of unnatural, disordered, celibate virgins playing dress-up in robes. This is an organization that tells you masturbation is a sin because everyone does it, and it keeps people coming back for absolution from the guilt that the organization placed on them in the first place, even though there’s nothing in scripture to support masturbation as a sin. This is an organization willing to let children die in the thousands every day because their mothers were forced to have children they could not take care of under penalty of eternal torment for using contraception. This is an organization that is prejudicial and bigoted to fellow humans who happen to be LGBTs.
    If anything, and I mean ANYTHING comes out on the news that has something to do with sex, even if it’s just the choice of which bathroom someone wants to use, then the RCC most definitely has a position on it and they make that position crystal clear using all the power at its disposal. The Church actively works to ensure the diseased and starving deaths of children in third world countries by lobbying to prevent humanitarian organizations from helping them with contraception – in some cases, even lying to parishioners about condoms causing AIDS.
    The only topics I’ve seen in this forum that garners anywhere near the attention and debate that we see in discussion, are those having to do with so-called miracles. Aside from that, SEX is the number one topic of interest – and why not? If humans had not evolved a strong sex urge; if we had not evolved in such a way as to make it an enjoyable, healthy, normal way of life, then we would have died out long ago, when most births ended in an early death. Our sex drive gave us an evolutionary advantage that is now turning against us. Fortunately we also evolved the intelligence to solve the problem with science – having developed contraception to stabilize our out-of-control population growth; but the Church opposes this purely out of its manic obsession with sex. They apparently want to usher in our demise.
    The Abrahamic religions start off right out of the gate, calling sex and the human body shameful (Gen 3:7). This is the very first thing that happened after the “original sin” in the garden myth. Catholicism just took it to a whole new level. If our culture is obsessed with sex, it’s because we’ve had to deal with centuries of Christian, and particularly Catholic obsession with sex, and its endless attempts to spin scripture in any way it can so as to make sex a thing of shame and guilt. They make you feel guilty and shameful and then say they are the only ones who can take the guilt and shame (that they gave you in the first place) away. It’s a con job.

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