Sign in

religion. sex. facts.

I do highly-researched posts on the Bible and Christian history. This is a place for facts—not “church facts.”

Check out my other Medium publication, Queer Theory, for when the subject isn’t as ‘Christian’. …

Child torture porn — in Evangelical America?

With his highly fertile Evangelical family, Josh Dugger was a reality T.V. show star. Now he’s charged with having a child porn collection whose horror is being underplayed.

I’m studying the ugliest story in America. It’s a theological story — every detail formed from religious ideas.

Joshua Dugger, April 29, 2021 (mug shot)

Is it one for Christian history books?

From 2008 to 2015, Josh Duggar was on a hit TLC reality T.V. show, 19 Kids and Counting, featuring the vast Duggar family — which claimed a message of extreme fertility came from God.

The family seemed to be Evangelicalism itself—from Republican politics to ‘purity’ guidelines, men in authority, women in ‘submission’. And he was their eldest son, the prince.

The show was cancelled with news that Josh, as a teenager, had molested many underage girls, including four of his sisters, while…

When the faithful whip out their Bibles—watch out

Back in church, I thought if the pastor or a ‘commentary’ told me some facts, they were—facts? I learned that ain’t necessarily true.

When it comes to sex and sexual themes in the Bible, the Jesus people are particularly prone to—talking dirty.

Malchev | Shutterstock

1. Christians say: only men can be clergy

For a Christian reader, this might seem beyond obvious. Just look at 1 Timothy 3:12:

“A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.” (NIV)

What Christians don’t like to disclose is that all the male pronouns in this verse were added by translators.

In a 2015 study, the Christian scholar Philip B. Payne explains:

“Unfortunately, practically all English versions of 1 Tim 3:1–13 and Titus 1:5–9 give the false impression that Paul…

The ex-Evangelical star opens up

Back in 1997 he wrote an era-defining book, telling Evangelical kids that dating is evil. A generation blamed him for ruining their lives.

The saga of Joshua Harris and I Kissed Dating Goodbye haunts Evangelical culture. In 2018, he ‘unpublished’ his book and apologized for it. The next year, he got a divorce from his wife—and Christianity.

Now he’s doing a blitz of interviews, and dropping details—like that his book was largely contrived.

Harris’ book had a glaring problem.

It wasn’t a secret, exactly, but in I Kissed Dating Goodbye he didn’t highlight that he’d been homeschooled all his life, or that he—with his dad—was a homeschool activist.

The book leaves the impression he was a regular high school kid, moving from girl to girl—alarmed at feeling hardened to…

A biblical discovery involved some—unusual people?

In religious history, there’s little discussion of sexuality. Even if people look funny, the reader “doesn’t ask,” and the historian “doesn’t tell.”

But let’s take a look at the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a familiar narrative to Jews and Christians. As not often reported, there’s rather ‘queer’ people all along the way.

Gerald Lankester Harding at the Palestine Archaeological Museum at Jerusalem (1953; colorized)

In 1948, the news was incredible: biblical scrolls found in a cave in the Judaean Desert.

They predated—by over a thousand years!—any other manuscript of the Old Testament. It was an exciting, and alarming, prospect. With Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authorities looking on, a wide range of religious, cultural, legal, and political concerns were at stake.

The man tasked with navigating this difficult situation was G. Lankester Harding. He was British, and had little formal training in archaeology. He’d become interested in ancient Egypt…

Evangelicals do a form of therapy—with a secret

In Evangelical church life there’s a widespread service known as ‘Biblical Counseling’—an alternative to psychotherapy.

I’d heard of it, but didn’t know it had a queer history. The practice was theorized, and conceived, by O. Hobart Mowrer, a famous, brilliant psychologist who discovered that therapy couldn’t ‘cure’ his homosexuality. He began to think about religion.

O.H. Mowrer, January 1960 (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives; colorized)

It isn’t a history that Evangelicals would tell.

I started reading up on Biblical Counseling after I noticed that Dr. Jay E. Adams died last year. Throughout my youth he was the religion’s go-to for mental health issues. He led a remarkable life. He convinced America’s largest religion that concepts like ‘mental health’ and ‘self-esteem’, and ‘psychology’ itself were basically Satanic.

Christians, he said, just have to understand—sin.

I've clarified that prostitution is legal in the Bible, is accessed by many heroes and heroines, and marks the great Rahab the Harlot herself—and you come back with blithering idiocy. Another Christian man.

Another Christian man playing God! You somehow know that masturbation is a "distortion" of human sexuality. Did angels tell you so? Did you hear it on a mountain?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store