Y Marks the Spot: Nobody Gets Laid Until Everybody Gets Laid

Onan the Barbarian - Moral Relativist

The line came to me during a random moment in which I wasn’t particularly thinking about anything. The thought was as follows: those people who say that homosexuality is aberrant behavior may never receive oral sex ever again.

It bothers me a great deal that even in the era of spineless political correctness and genuine good intentions, gays remain one of the most prominent divisions of humanity which – if the gay marriage battle and the transcendence of the word Faggot are any clue – it is still somewhat acceptable to discriminate against. (It bothers me more that acceptable bigotry still exists at all.) But this doesn’t really have much to do with my original point. Denying junklicking to those put off by the gay lifestyle, in this case, is neither a defense of homosexuality nor the usual hate-the-hater schtick that we get a lot of these days. What it has to do with is logic. More importantly, it has to do with the malleability of morality.

Many critics of same-sex relationships take some sort of justification from religious dictates: man must not lie with man, ape must not kill ape, whatever. But here’s a little biblical tale that the right to lifers like to bring out from time to time, one which comes to bite any Junior Inquisitor in the ass when it comes to sexual deviancy from the party line. It’s our old friend, the Sin of Onan!

Onan wasn’t exactly a pervert. He was just a guy who didn’t want to knock up the wife of his dead brother (whom God had already killed). But family obligation raised its ugly head, so while Onan and his sister-in-law were in the throes of family obligation, he decided to spill his seed on the ground – to waste it, in essence, instead of flooding the earth with more obedient little monkeys. And God smote the bejezus out of him.

Now how many of us – heterosexual, homosexual, or one-man band – are guilty as hell of this?

Though action against nonprocreation and other sexual aberrations has always been a highly biased affair, and gays are a historically easy target in this, there have been edicts and laws that have condemned ANY sex act outside of the missionary position – to say nothing of the Ten Commandments’ bleak outlook on adultery. Sodomy now refers to a fairly specific act, but at one point it included pretty much anything that wasn’t P vs. V. And sodomy laws could get pretty severe, going so far as to prescribe castration or Payne of Deathe upon the transgressors.

They’d love our society. Take a look on the internet. Browse a sex shop. Read the Kama Sutra or any of its thousands of descendents. Watch a soap opera. Even the most tame bit of sexy business in our modern public forums would probably have gotten a person executed centuries ago at the hands of people a lot more pious than today’s opponents of gay marriage. And we are positively rendered impotent by sexy business.

Then again, there are still places on present-tense Planet Earth where a woman can get stoned for being raped. There are places where men sleeping together is an unpardonable sin, whereas women sleeping together is a minor threat to society (which once more reinforces the bullshit idea that lesbians always teeter one dude away from a triumphant three-way). And that great bastion of opulent morality, the condom-condemning Catholic Church, is still trying to dodge responsibility for the wholesale sexual abuse of children – oh, and they’re also tacitly endorsing the spread of AIDS by casting condoms to the tire fires of Hell.

What this says to me is that morality is a game that rarely plays in absolutes, if at all. Like history, it’s written by the winners. So people can lean on all the archaic moral precedents in the world, but what’s really happening is that they are contorting ethical revelation to suit their personalities and prejudices, not the other way around. In small doses and absent of entitlement or repression, this isn’t always a bad thing. Cherry-picking can free us from dogma that is no longer relevant. But at the same time, perhaps we could take better responsibility for what creeps us out. I have a greater respect for a person who says that he or she has problems with gay marriage, abortion, or porn stars (that one’s actually mine), than someone who passes the buck on to God and tries to prance around, blameless and hatefully obedient. Own your beliefs; it makes it easier to evolve them, even if you’re a creationist.

Morality will continue to change, and all of us will continue to break the rules. But for our ethics to have merit beyond stone throwing in glass houses, nobody gets laid until everybody gets laid. If only metaphorically.

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