Thursday, April 23, 2009

Religion And Sex

Ayn Rand on religion and sex:

The theoreticians of religion know that it is impossible to prohibit thought. They do not expect the ban on sexual thoughts to be obeyed. Their purpose is not to abolish such thoughts, but to induce guilt—and thus to undercut man's self-esteem.

The following small incident captures the essence of the religious censors' mentality. In the 1930s, the "self-censorship" office of the movie industry (known as the Hays Office or, later, the Johnson Office) went on one of its periodic crusades against sex in the movies. That office was run predominantly by a religious organization, the Purity League. The two foremost sex symbols of the period were Greta Garbo and Mae West, who embodied two diametrically opposite attitudes: Garbo projected an exquisitely spiritual, exalted, man-worshiping sexuality—Mae West offered an "earthy," eye-winking, hip-swinging, humorously vulgar image that verged on the obscene, projecting the silent invitation: "Come, one and all." A representative of the censorship office was quoted as saying: "We don't mind Mae West—she makes sex ludicrous. What we oppose is Greta Garbo—she makes it glamorous."

Use your own judgment on the question of whose goal is "to deprave or corrupt."

"Thought Control", The Ayn Rand Letter, p.251

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