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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Original post)

Fri May 10, 2013, 11:13 AM

1. The only redeeming feature of marriage and sexual relations was its production of children.

To attempt to portray Augustine as a protector of marriage is contradicted by again and again in his heretical concepts. In answer to the question that could not a married woman be loving, yet chaste, Augustine answered:

Paint her virtue as you will and heap up good qualities, nevertheless I have decided that there is nothing I must more carefully avoid then the marriage bed. I find there is nothing which more certainly cast a man's mind out of its citadel than female blandishments and bodily contacts which are essential to marriage. So if it is part of the duty of the Sage, which I have not yet learned, to have children anyone who has intercourse with women for this purpose only seems to me worthy of admiration rather than achieving imitation. The danger of attempting it is greater than the happiness of achieving it. Accordingly in the interest of righteousness and the liberty of my soul, I have made it my rule not to desire or seek to marry a wife, I am completely free from desires of this kind and recall them with horror and disdain. (Soliloquies 10,17)

He attracted Bishop Julian of Eclanum who had taken a dim view of Augustine's distortions of human sexuality and his slander of sexual relations in marriage. Julian maintained there was no virtue in the repression of normal sexual relations as claimed by Augustine. In answer Augustine wrote:

Really, really; is that your experience? So you would not have married couples restrain the evil- I refer, of course to your favorite good? So you would have them jump into bed whenever they like, whenever they feel tickled by desire? Far be it from them to postpone this itch till bedtime: let's have your "legitimate union of bodies whenever your "natural good" is excited. If this is the sort of married life you led, don't drag up you experience in debate. (Against Julian 3, 14)

Please note that he wrote that sexual intercourse was EVIL.

In his great opus "The City of God" his obsession with evilness of sexual relations runs uninterrupted for eleven chapters in the fourteenth book. I have to also note that these chapters was omitted in several books published by Catholic publishers. Augustine considered orgasms as inherently sinful and a detriment to wisdom. He charged: "This is so true that it creates a problem for every lover of wisdom and holy joys who is both committed to a married life and also conscious of the apostolic ideal, that everyone should 'learn how to possess his vessel in holiness and honor,no in the passion and lust like the Gentiles who don not know God" He asserted that the true Christian " would prefer, if this were possible, to beget his children without suffering this passion." (The City of God, 14,16)

The only redeeming feature of sexual relations was its production of children. This is clearly summarized in his writing: "Wherever sexual passion is at work, it feels ashamed of itself...The reason can only be that what, by nature, has a purpose that everyone praises (that is the generation of children) involves, by penalty, a passion that makes everyone ashamed." (The City of God, 14, 18) He fantasized that it would have been more desirable that it could occur without orgasm which he regarded as a punishment as a consequence of Adam's sin.

Any attempt to whitewash Augustine's condemnation of sexual relations is contradicted by his actual writings. His affect on Christian's sexual mentality can not be mitigated. Ben Zion Bosker summarized the destructive influence of Augustine's teaching:

The Christian doctrine of original sin introduced into culture a morbid outlook toward all natural life. It introduced guilt feeling toward sex. If fostered a quietism and resignation concerning the real evil in man and society. It blunted the passion of the Hebrew prophets, who continually challenged their people toward moral activism, to abandon the lowly aspirations and pursuits, to strive to be better and to do better. (Judaism and the Christian Predicament, p. 335)

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Fortinbras Armstrong May 2013 OP
LineReply The only redeeming feature of marriage and sexual relations was its production of children.
olegramps May 2013 #1
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