Or the gay thing. Some significant percentage of the population, 2-10% depending who you believe, seem to be attracted chiefly to members of the same sex. Again, most traditional religions teach that acting on those urges is of great offense to the One True God.
What neuroses does religion give our children? We know that closeted gay teens kill themselves much more often than do straight teens, but how can we know the cost of teaching all those kids that masturbation is sinful?
I recently came across this disturbing site which has pages and pages of "confessions" by obviously distressed Christians. Christians made miserable by their "addictions" to pornography or the fact that they sometimes have dirty thoughts about their girlfriends.
Here are some excerpts:
I know this is wrong and I don't know what to do... I love the female body and I am a female.... It started with liking to draw them... Then it led to looking at them in porn... I have not evver liked a girl I know but I do like to look at them...I hate it... I am not GAY... I can't be... I am lost though. I am not gay.. I am married and love my husband... I am attracted to him and when I wasn't with him I was into other guys I was like any other girl (boy crazy)... I just watch all these shows and tv and they seem to make it ok... and its not but I still think about girls in an unpure way.It gets me turned on and I can't stop it... ALL I want is for it to stop...I am sick about this...I HATE THIS...
One page turn into a magazine was all it took in middle school for me to become addicted to pornography. Since then I've not been able to stop lusting after these images. Now I'm in graduate school and having the same troubles with internet pornography and masturbation. Some weeks I will be strong and not fall victim to it but then I seem to dive right back into the bad habits. As a Christian, I know through Jesus I can over come any obstacle but this one thing continually keeps me from the fullness of life in Christ. After watching the message series God.Love.Sex I have a renewed drive to stop these horrible addictions...I pray every day for God to give me the strength to deny my fleshly desires.
I struggle with pornography and masturbation. I can go a long time without it bothering me, then all of the sudden, it creeps up and takes me out again. It always interrupts my relationship with Jesus, and I feel like He can't forgive me. Or if He forgave the last time, He can't forgive one more time.
I have a problem with sexual addictions...fantasies and thoughts. It began when I started to read romance stories and it went from there. I have ended these addictions but still have thoughts about it and it is hard to get rid of them. I never told anyone because I felt like none of my friends were spiritually mature to handle the matter and take it the right way. So this is my step in confusing my problems and asking the members of Christ's church to pray for me and mental healing.
I have a hard time not looking at my girlfriend's anatomy. Not that we sleep together or that she intentionally exposes it before me, but I stare and imagine her naked all the time. I want to overcome this before our relationship goes any further.
There are literally hundreds of these "confessions." So much terrible, senseless, unnecessary unhappiness perpetrated by religion and religious teachers.
This kind of religion is a form of child abuse.