Last weeks sex scandals were uncovered in both India and Belgium. And it was striking that in both cases high positioned religious functions were involved.
What can be the reason behind the obvious link between religion and sex?
It is clear that almost all religions promote a specific system of values regarding sex. If the focus of politics is on the public life of humans and the organisation of the same, then religion focuses on the individual lifes itself: how does an individual have to relate towards the powers bigger than himself. It seems like if sex is one of those aspects which is "bigger than the individual self" and thus humankind tries to regulate sexual behaviour through religious and moral regulations.
A very hard task indeed, so it seems!
In an expensive restaurant where my wife and I had a dinner two weeks back, I saw a nice looking Indian guy with a quality kurta and long beard. He must have been around his mid thirties. He had the movie star-look in all his presence. He was looking through his eyes with a deep sense of spiritual awareness and was showing the typical behaviour which often points to high spiritual conscience: sudden breaks in the behaviour; staring some moments into the void - or by preference focusing on the air above him. Also: giving an impression of what one could call serenity and confidence, slow motions which suggest peace of mind.
This typical behaviour I've often seen also with the Catholic priests I came in contact with during my youth. The higher the function of the priest, the more this behaviour was apparent.
These guys have power beyond the regular power mechanisms you find everywhere like: aggression, money, status symbols. The technique they are specialised in is called 'charisma'.
In the restaurant, I immediately thought by myself: this is such a Godman.
He was accompanied by two young people. A girl, sitting opposite to him and a boy (her boyfriend ?) sitting next to the girl. Between the Godman and the girl there was a clear mutual understanding - they didn't have to talk any more to understand each other. All the Godman had to do was to show off his spiritual awareness in the behaviour I described above. The girl looked at him with eyes full of adoration.
This behaviour was not enough to keep the attention of the guy though, who seemed a bit sceptical to me. Every now and then, the Godman started a long monologue, and then he only looked at the guy. Probably he explained then the spiritual and religious concepts, promoting his religious views. The boyfriend listened quietly and affirmed regularly by shaking his head the Indian way, which seems like a mixture of affirmation and negation.
When I asked the waiter in the restaurant about the scene, he confirmed me that the Godman was someone from an ashram nearby. "They collect money from believers and all kinds of things are going on in these ashrams", he told me, "I don't like these guys, they spend the collected money in the most expensive restaurants. Only God knows what else they are doing with their followers behind the scenes."
In Belgium, where I have been myself in a renowned Catholic-organised boarding school, students knew exactly which priests were homosexual. We all knew what it meant if such a guy told you to "visit me in my room this evening". I know of several people having been the victim of these practices. My own experience is luckily limited to getting some indecent proposals from a Catholic layman who was speaking in front of the church weekly to read the Gospel during the masses.
Perhaps he was inspired by the enlightening examples of his superiors and trying to get his share. What else a catholic layman can do than trying to get laid - the word implies it so to speak.
Politicians create laws to organise the society. But often they use their knowledge to bypass these laws for personal benefits.
Religious leaders tell us individually what to do and how to behave. But apparently they use their power to bypass their own promoted rules.
Why is it so difficult for human beings to consider, propose, discuss and accept rules and obey self-created and approved rules?
There's a good advice to give to kids: always be aware of people trying to influence your behaviour on the basis of moral rules; instead learn to think about your own life, define your own moral rules and obey those instead; stay open for insights coming from different viewpoints and learn to choose your direction yourself.
For articles regarding these issues:
For an overview of the attitude of various religions toward sex: