Joe Beam: Conservative Christian and Sex Positive

Marlene says:

I just learned about Minister Joe Beam, a conservative Christian preacher who teaches his followers that they should be having good sex!

I can’t help but feel good about this guy. He limits his positive attitudes about sex to married heterosexual couples, which isn’t really a surprise. I suppose that’s a good start. I like to think that people who are comfortable with themselves and their partners might be a little less uptight about the sex lives of others. Who hasn’t wondered if Anita Bryant might be a little more chill if she was getting done properly on a regular basis? As long as it happens within a heterosexual marriage and “does no harm to the body” Beam is OK with it.

Ol’ Joe is against anal sex. He would be OK with it if it were done without harming the body, but he doesn’t think that’s possible. Apparently, he believes this because of “medical evidence.” As near as I can tell, his understanding is that slight tissue irritation and minuscule tears resulting from anal penetration constitute “damage”. He isn’t applying the same standard to vaginal penetration as far as I can tell. I’m conflicted about this. I think his “no damage” standard sounds like a reasonable one, but if “damage” is interpreted on a nearly microscopic level for rectums it should be interpreted similarly for vaginas. I hope this isn’t representative of the quality of his advice. I can personally testify to the great miracle of LUBE for all types of penetration, but especially anal.

He gives advice on changing a man’s diet to improve the taste of his semen. He regularly quotes the Song of Solomon, which he and I interpret similarly: the most erotic piece of scripture, without a doubt. He even acknowledges that Christians are taught that sex is bad when they are young and that shifting from a sex-negative attitude to a sex-positive attitude at the moment of marriage is not likely to happen without conscious effort.

Joe Beam is still a conservative Christian. I’m sure he still thinks that me and mine will be cast into the lake of fire. I’m sure he thinks I’m a living abomination. I know he is sexist to the bone.

I do not expect the world to ever be free of assholes who believe that their way is the only way and who will try to limit the freedoms of others because of this belief. They’re not going away. People have always been that mean and ignorant and stupid and probably always will be. On the other hand, there’s always hope that it can get better. The fact that Joe Beam is out there doing his work makes me feel a little better, and that counts. I really do believe that people who are happier themselves spend less time trying to stop other people from being happy.

7 thoughts on “Joe Beam: Conservative Christian and Sex Positive

  1. This, give or take, is pretty much the attitude towards sex I grew up around — I’m the daughter of a Southern preacher. No one ever taught us that sex was bad, only that sex was for married couples. The thinking, in part, is that sex is more special if it’s not something one is engaging in casually; also that if no one was having non-marital sex, STDs would not be an issue, and so on. I can’t say the topic of anal sex ever came up specifically.

    In general, at least in my experience, the attitude described is typical of the quiet middle of Christianity; the negativity is mosre common in the vocal fringe.

  2. The tissue in the vagina is far more elastic and less vulnerable to “microtears” than the tissue in the rectum. So yes, I can see his point that the rectum is likely to be “damaged”. However, if we’re talking teeeny little damage, what about raking your nails over the back of your lover, or biting their lip in passion? Those things cause tiny amounts of damage too, does he forbid them?

    It continues to amaze me, the lengths people will go to in justifying their homophobia.

  3. LLL,

    Agreed, but he is actually thinking of anal sex between men and women (with the man penetrating the woman OF COURSE).

    He’s under the impression that the bible is all the justification he needs for his homophobia.

  4. I really hate people using the term “homophobia” generically. Homophobia implies that a person is scared of/repulsed/hates/etc… those who identify as being GLBT. He’s not homophobic, he just thinks that GLBT is wrong. It’s his opinion. I know several people who think that GLBT is wrong and do not agree with it, but they most certainly are not homophobic. They love and cherish their relatives who are gay, and are friends or acquaintances with several.

    That is not homophobia, it is having a different (and strongly held) opinion that GLBT is wrong. There has to be a better term to be used, because saying someone is homophobic when they disagree with you only shows your intolerance of other people’s opinions.

    Disclaimer: I truly am not trying to start a fight, but using the term homophobia generically towards anyone who just has a different opinion shows that we are only “open-minded” when people 100% agree with us.

    1. Hi, Talia,

      It’s a complicated question, I think. Most progressives seem to use “homophobia” in exactly the same way we use “racism, sexism, ageism,” etc., so really “homosexism” would be a slightly more accurate term. At the same time, I do see “phobia” particularly in reactions against GLBT people: there’s a disturbing subtle cultural sense that homosexuality is somehow catching (and of course, this got much worse when AIDS came into play).

      I certainly can’t speak to whether or not Joe Beam is afraid of homosexuals and homosexuality, and perhaps he’s not. But the term “homophobia” is in such common use, and is such a nice contrast to “homophilia,” that I’m not inclined to worry too much about the fine points of the distinction.

      Thanks for pointing it out, though! I’m always appreciative of people who pay attention to words.

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