Tag Archives: sex

‘Samarkand’

What a useless post this is going to be.

I’m going to criticize a song you’ve almost certainly never heard. And when you watch the video, below, you won’t understand it, because it’s in Danish.

But I thought of it last night, during one of my ever-popular sieges of insomnia. I hadn’t heard it since I stopped playing my vinyl albums, back in the ‘90s. So I checked out the video. And the more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me. Because I think it’s a really pretty and sweet piece. But also wrongheaded and soul-killing.

The singer is Birgitta Grimstad, as well-known Danish folk singer. This number, adapted from a modern Swedish popular song, was a big hit for her in that country. What it describes, in brief, is how the singer wakes up on a beautiful morning to find herself alone in her bed. And she immediately understands that “it happened, what we talked about.” Her lover has moved on – he’s searching, metaphorically, for “Samarkand,” which apparently symbolizes some transcendent dream that won’t let him settle down.

Except that’s not exactly it. She says, “…and another will be what I can never be.” In other words, her lover is looking for a new – presumably better – lover. She is sad about it, and cries. But she’s very accepting and hopes he finds what he’s looking for “if you ever find your way to Samarkand.”

There it is, the ethic of the 1970s. “Love” means sex, and sex is temporary. Nobody is obligated to stay in a relationship if some better prospect shows up. I first heard this song on the “Prairie Home Companion” program, and I remember Garrison Keillor praising its “sweet reasonableness.” Well, from what we’ve now learned about Keillor, it’s no surprise he’d consider the song reasonable. The perfect lover is one who lets you go without complaining, when you get offered an upgrade.

So here I am again, railing against sins I never got the opportunity to commit. But I’ll say this – I suspect that a lot of the anger we see in radical feminism today springs from women who were expected to play this kind of submissive game back during the Sexual Revolution years.

Embracing Homosexuality While Observing Christianity?

If there’s one topic I am most hesitant to say something about online, even the lightest comment, it’s homosexuality. Nowhere seems safe. But the topic is beginning to encroach on me in the form of a conference at the end of this month at a church within my denomination. Many words have already been spilled about this. There have been many posts and essays from the principals of the conference (and movement behind it) and their critics, and since the essence of the argument is on how to love our neighbors and fellow believers within a difficult context, background reading could take a long time, especially when the people behind the conference say they are being misrepresented and misunderstood.

The conference hopes to inspire Christian communities to embrace and empower “gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” That means the two conference principals and some supporters claim homosexuality as an identity description, albeit a disordered one, and that biblical morality does not allow its expression.  Any act is a sin, the orientation is a disorder, but they nonetheless hope to embrace same-sex attraction in the form of Christian friendship.

Here’s how one writer puts it.  Continue reading Embracing Homosexuality While Observing Christianity?

Tolkien on Sex

Al Mohler writes about a 1941 letter Tolkien wrote to his son, Michael.

The devil is endlessly ingenious, and sex is his favorite subject,” Tolkien insisted. “He is as good every bit at catching you through generous romantic or tender motives, as through baser or more animal ones.” Thus, Tolkien advised his young son, then 21, that the sexual fantasies of the 20th century were demonic lies, intended to ensnare human beings. Sex was a trap, Tolkien warned, because human beings are capable of almost infinite rationalization in terms of sexual motives. Romantic love is not sufficient as a justification for sex, Tolkien understood.

There is much more on Mohler’s site.

Game of Thrones Has a Lot of Sex

I have slightly regretted posting a link to the episode map for Game of Thrones a few weeks ago. I must have forgotten what little I knew about the stories at the time. Since then, I have seen some plot synopsizes and other talk of it. I can’t say I want to see it or read Martin’s series.

Game of Thrones Season 2

Patheos has a brief review of both the shows and the novels, asking the writers to talk about how sex is handled. They say they saw a glorification of rape, no love anywhere, and a curiously distant feminism. Alan Noble writes, “In that a major theme of the series is human depravity, cruelty, and brokenness, it is appropriate that one of the most sacred and beautiful experiences in life should be depraved, cruel, and broken.”

I don’t have time for that.

Pastoral letter from the future

A PASTORAL LETTER

From Bishop Judith Hardanger-Hansen

Dearly beloved,

There has been considerable dissension in our fellowship recently, and a number of hard words have been spoken, causing much pain. I feel it my obligation to address the matter directly, exercising openmindedness and charity, both to the enlightened, Christ-like people who agree with me, and the knuckle-dragging Nazis on the other side.

From its inception, the Merry Pride movement has been like the wind of the Holy Spirit, breathing new life and new ideas into the church. Sadly, however, some people do not welcome change, and run from the challenges of a new day.

In case anyone reading this is unaware of recent history (home-schooled people, perhaps), the term “Merry” was adopted by the oppressed group formerly known as “adulterers,” employing a pun on the word “marry,” to give their lifestyle a more positive public face. They felt it intolerable to be forced to live any longer with a name that bore the weight of centuries of misunderstanding, prejudice, and oppression. Continue reading Pastoral letter from the future

eHarmony forced to provide same-sex matches

From Chris Field at Townhall.com, by way of Culture and Media Institute:

The California-based company will begin providing same-sex matches as part of a settlement with New Jersey’s Civil Rights Division. Garden State resident Eric McKinley filed a complaint against the online matchmaker in 2005.

Under terms of the settlement, the company can create a new or differently named Web site for homosexual singles. The company can also post a disclaimer saying its compatibility-based matching system was developed from research of married heterosexual couples. …

Because the “gay rights” movement is all about, you know, just letting people alone.

Here’s the post.

New Law in Oregon Against Distributing Sexual Material

Since January 1 in Oregon, giving sexually explicit material to anyone under 13 or material which intends to arouse the reader to anyone under 18 is a criminal act. The ACLU of Oregon and a group of bookseller and advocacies are suing to get it stopped. They say the law is too broadly written and could be abused by “overzealous police and prosecutors.”

Rep. Andy Olson (R-Albany), said, “This law was carefully written to respect Oregonians’ First Amendment rights. It is clearly targeted at individuals who use pornography to lure and harm Oregon’s kids. No adult and no bookstore should be in the business of providing kids with the kind of content that is specifically listed in this law.”