Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Religion and Recreational Sex: sharia-compliant threesomes and mini-orgies?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2130668/Male-priests-marry-in-Anglican-church

Male Priests' Civil Partnership Blessed in Church by Rector

This could never happen in a mosque because the Koran specifically states that homosexuality is a sin to be punished, in rather the same manner as adultery.


HOW EXTRA-MARITAL RECREATIONAL SEX IS PUNISHED IN ISLAM

4 witnesses would be required in the case of gay and lesbian lewdness as well as adulterous wives.

The relevant verses in the Koran are:

4:15 (lewd acts between women)

4:16 (lewd acts between men)

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html

24:1 (adultery - punishable by 100 lashes)

Those that defame honourable women and cannot produce 4 witnesses in their defence (who also falsely accused that woman) shall be given 80 lashes.

If a husband accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he must swear 4 times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he is lying. But if his wife swears 4 times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon himself if it be true, she shall receive no punishment.


http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/024.qmt.html

You can't say fairer than that, can you?

In theory extra-marital recreational sex is all forbidden and punishable horribly. In practice, under a liberal interpretation, acts of homosexuality and adultery are tolerated provided it is not flaunted in front of more than 3 witnesses (making a threesome legally unproblematic and, dare I say it, halal, even if any of the three participants were prone to self-accusation). The same could be said of a threesome (of any combination) with no more than three voyeurs, witnesses or observers, call them what you will.

If we now have sharia-compliant investments, then I see nothing haram in organising sharia-compliant threesomes and mini-orgies, whilst adding to the gaiety of the nation and the umma.

It is a shame the Christians didn't quite got round to articulating this sort of thing in a Word of God Book coming from one source, ie Muhammad. Instead, their moral code comes from the Old and New Testament, written by different people over the ages. No wonder schism is endemic and inevitable when Christian ideology is so messily articulated.

Old Testament: Leviticus
http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Leviticus&chapter=18&verse=22
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Leviticus&chapter=20&verse=13
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

New Testament: Romans 1:26, 27

http://net.bible.org/passage.php?passage=Romans%201:26-31

It does after all say in the Old Testament that homosexuality is an abomination, but some New Testamenters - such as the gay priests who had their civil partnership blessed in church by another clergyman - seem to think this does not apply to them.

Perhaps it is because New Testamenters like to think that the Old Testament cannot apply to them in any of its literal and illiberal entirety, when so many transgressions we now regard as minor to trifling could lead to the death penalty?

For an impressively long list of sins which Old Testamenters regard as deserving of the death penalty, see http://www.wvinter.net/~haught/Bible.html

In contrast, under a liberal interpretation, the Koran is a model of mercy and clemency.

The Koran restates the Ten Commandments and adds a few more of its own. No rational Muslim would argue that an act specifically stated to be a sin in the Koran could possibly deserve the blessing of any Islamic clergy! The most that could be argued in an Islamic context is the "ask us no questions and we'll tell you no lies" principle, which would be the perfect compromise between puritanical censoriousness and the libertarian ideal.

In these circumstances, homosexuality would be tolerated, provided it is not flaunted. How can anyone reasonable, whether religious or atheist (like me) deny that this is the perfect compromise? Or that the Islam of the Koran is structurally sounder, better-drafted, more coherent and sexually liberated than Judaism or Christianity?

2 comments:

Jeff Marshall said...

The Koran offers more room for manoeuvre than Christianity in the framing of its injunctions. But I would question whether society has to make a choice between these two particular faiths.

Many of us get along quite well without subscribing to the beliefs & practices of either religion, or without any religion at all.

It has been pointed out that the Koran is the work of a single hand, that it is more logical & consistent than the Bible.

But look at the ways this logic is applied.

It is true that references to homosexuality in the New Testament appear only to indicate general disapproval, & do not seem to mention specific punishments.

However I cannot understand why anyone should be punished for homosexuality in any case.

This article suggests that recreational sex involving homosexuality or adultery could be seen as Sharia-compliant, & if an orgy were to involve no more than three people, the four witnesses necessary to bring about prosecution & punishment would not be present.

But, of course, a fourth participant is in fact present - God. The three orgiasts will not escape the judgement of God when their time comes.

Still, presumably, the adulterous trio - or same-sex triangle – can be left to prepare their souls for whatever fate awaits them on that day.

But dangers remain. Their activities might be accidentally witnessed or overheard by a fourth party.

Tough luck, you might say. They oughtn’t to get caught.

Perhaps not. But this is still unsatisfactory.

Limiting the participants to three seems to me no more than a technical form of defence, like a crime that has been committed without any witnesses, but is no less a crime for that.

The real problem – for me, at least - is that homosexuality & adultery should not be penalised or criminalised.

Elsewhere on this blog you have recommended same-sex relationships for women.

You have not ruled out taking part in such a relationship yourself. So consider yourself in this position: if one of the participants – maybe one prone to self accusation - should decide secretly to film proceedings, there might not be just four but unlimited possible witnesses.

And – seriously – do you believe such acts should be punished by flogging, especially if this were to apply to you?

I would not see any justice in such punishment; I doubt whether you would either.

All this rather suggests that your promotion of Islam – whilst superficially shocking or surprising - could not really be sincere.

You have recommended same sex relationships for women in their
forties because of a shortage of suitable men. You have also
recommended Islam over Christianity because it is the more logical & consistent of the two belief systems.

The problem is though that your solutions cancel one another out, do they not?

Andromeda said...

Let me clarify my position on homosexuality.

My recommendation that women past the age of child-bearing find solace amongst each other if they can find no suitable male partners still stands.

I am assuming that the injunction against homosexuality served the purpose of giving efficacy to the Biblical injunction of going forth and multiplying. Low birth rates mark the end of civilisations and that is why the Pope to this day regards contraception as a sin. (The Koran is silent on contraception but emphatically against female infanticide.)

It is arguably more sinful for a woman to be homosexual during her child-bearing years (because she could be bearing children but chooses not to) than a woman already past child-bearing (because she can no longer bear children anyway).

Compare and contrast the lot of the female homosexual to the lot of the male homosexual, who arguably remain sinful for as long as they remain capable of fathering children but do not.

Having studied the Koran, I discerned a very similar treatment it gives to all forms of recreational sex, ie non-reproductive sex, ie adultery and homosexuality.

Adultery is punishable by 100 lashes, false accusations of adultery against a woman 80 lashes. The punishment for homosexuality is actually discretionary!

Both are examples of promiscuity and promiscuity, ie bastardy. Bastardy, as we all know, leads inevitably to family break-up, societal disintegration, decline and fall.

While the Koran disapproves of adultery and homosexuality, it has put the burden of proof so high that it is almost impossible to satisfy it, unless the participants are incorrigible exhibitionists. For this reason, it can be seen that the Koran is actually more humane and liberal than the Old Testament, which forbids even masturbation (but for men only).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onan

I, personally, have nothing against recreational sex of either variety, though I acknowledge that the more you do it, the more likely you are to get into trouble. Marital love remains the ideal!

Tolerating promiscuous recreational sex, provided it is not flaunted, remains my Libertarian position.

Of course, how it is actually practised in Arab countries is something else, and that is why I coined the term "the Islam of the Koran", as opposed to the variety of Islam being practised in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc.