Re: Bahai sexual ethics survey.

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Posted by James Turpin on December 16, 2000 at 05:19:07:

In Reply to: Re: Bahai sexual ethics survey. posted by Christiane on September 29, 2000 at 10:24:34:

Dear Christiane,

Although I am not a Baha'i but a Christian, and I am not the person who posted the questionaire, I really want to say that I see nothing inappropriate.

Although I understand your concern that some non-Baha'i might be turned off by even the mention of the word "masturbation" or various other topics in the questionairre, I suggest that many people's peevishness is unjustified. Human sexuality is an important part of life. And religion and spirituality in their fullest sense touches on every part of life. Therefor it is neither unjustified nor surprising that a scholar might want to study the effects of religion on sexuality, anymore than it is surprising or unjustified to explore the effects of religion on human aggression and violence. Just as the religion relates to non-violent protest, martyrdom, holy wars, Jihad, capital punishment, punishment for violent crimes, suicide, etc., religion relates to human sexuality in unexpected and unforseen ways.

Also, it is unlikely that anybody would get the wrong idea about Baha'is. It was my impression that the poster of the survey is not a Baha'i, and that these are the type of questions one might members of any religion in order to explore the effects of their religion on their sexuality.

Furthermore, this is a particularly appropriate place - possibly the only appropriate place - for such a questionairre. After all, this is an _academic_ bulletin board. Where else would you distribute such a questionairre? Places of prayer and worship? Other (less academically oriented) Baha'i bulletin boards? No, this is the place to do it.

Additionally, I see nothing wrong with masturbation per se. The Apostle Paul said:

"To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion."
(I Corinthians 7:8-9)

In interpretting this, it should be noted that much of the Bible's meaning in sex and gender realted issues is colored by conservative translators. In such cases, context, personal experience, and common sense are important aides.

BTW, what are the official teachings (if any) of the Baha'i on masturbation and other issues of human sexuality? I haven't come accross anything myself.

Peace be with you,

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