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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

In the Theory of Balanceology, sex is viewed as an inherent need that humans at some level must satisfy. I am going to get myself into trouble here from some of the readers, but being an ex-Catholic I need to say what I need to say. What I am about to say I should have said a long time ago. I start by asking the question, “What does it take to live a truly celibate lifestyle?” According to Bishop Spong, "those who know anything about celibacy know that true celibacy is a rare and unique vocation to which few are called." (1990) First, a celibate lifestyle is an unnatural lifestyle. Period! In order to live such a lifestyle, a person is repressing their natural primal need for sex. Attempts to live a celibate lifestyle is the pride of battling Mother Nature, and I assure you that in one way or another Mother Nature always wins this battle. The Catholic Church’s rule of celibacy for its priests, monks, and nuns has profoundly crippled it morally, spiritually, and financially. Celibacy is one reason the Catholic Church is internally ripping itself apart. To think that at one time, during my early forlorn sexually repressive and obsessive younger days, I seriously thought of becoming a priest. To have become a priest, I would have entered a repressive rat hole that would have sadly robbed me from the great gift of sex. Such an unnatural lifestyle would have robbed me from exploring, experiencing, and connecting with other human beings my deeper needs for sex, love, morality, emotions, and various levels of consciousness. Referring to Ancient Greek mythic character Orpehus’ decision to take a vow of celibacy, Barnard Simon said it was “an unfortunate act of self-denial that opened the door into darkness.” (2004) A celibate lifestyle makes for a benighted darkness related to intimacy, morality, emotions, and psychological functioning. A denial of our sexuality is a denial of our humanity. The developmental delays generated from a celibate lifestyle sets the stage for a priest, monk, or nun to have a lifetime of juvenile sexuality. Sex affirms life - celibacy avoids life. Really, the fictionalized vow of celibacy places a person in a no win situation: 1.) breaking the vow of celibacy often makes for guilt, shame, and self-loathing. Those priests, monks, and nuns who respond to their primal sexual need, either periodically or continuously, it surely must take a huge amount of cognitive dissonance to continue their “celibate lifestyle,” and 2.) keeping the vow of celibacy, in my estimation, is by far more tragic for it means a life of repression, preoccupation, and permanently delayed sexuality. Psychologically and emotionally a tremendous amount of a defense mechanism such as regression, acting out, displacement, denial, substitution, etc. must be taking place in any attempt to dampen this human primal need. For example, and trying not to be too offensive or Freudian, I suggest that the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan’s excessive obesity is probably related to an oral sexual fixation that he attempts to satisfy through excessive food intake. I strenuously argue that those sad repressed individuals who have never explored and experienced their sexuality for themselves, and with another human, for at least some period of time in their life, that it is impossible for them to be emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally, and yes spiritually healthy. Impossible!

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Comment by Daniel W on February 11, 2019 at 10:01am

Some people really are asexual.  Celibacy might work out for them.  There are many asexual people who want the world to know they exist as part of the spectrum of human sexuality.

Sexuality is not only excitement and sensation.  It is also intimacy, connecting with another.  It's also vulnerability.  Celibacy means no intimacy of that sort.  I think it would be difficult to feel empathy for others if there is no intimacy with anyone.  I think some people use sexuality to find intimacy, some use intimacy to have sexuality, and some are both. 

But I think there are many if not men in the priesthood who are very sexual beings, and they wind up doing things that are abusive, condemned, hidden, and illegal because their sex drives never go away.  

Comment by Lutz on February 4, 2019 at 4:11am

I am not pretending humans are perfect but Buddhists seem to handle this better. The few Christians I met - were strangely repressed. As if the life essence was being throttled and rediverted turning them into dubiously obsessed frenetic convulsed over compensating imitations of a used car salesman.

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