"The Invention of Sin"
Ever wondered how natural sexual desire got all mixed up, in modern Western culture, with tortured suppositions about the inherently fallen state of mankind and your inborn "original sin" of "lust"? Then you need look no further than the perniciously conflicted St. Augustine of Hippo, (354-430 C.E.), the preeminent thinker of Roman Catholicism.
Shamed by his prudish, controlling mother, horny Augustine was, from puberty on, exasperated by the fierce independence of his own wayward penis, which, he despaired, "will not obey the direction of the will." Even when a married man and woman have sex expressly for the blessed purpose of producing children, scowled Augustine, "the action is not performed without evil" because it is driven by carnal ardor, an unruly animal impulse, and is therefore dirty-dirty. Any engagement in enjoyable sex, he reasoned, should trigger the profound mortal shame that Adam and Eve must have felt the first time they got down, opened their eyes to each other's hot bodies, tasted the crunchy-sweet apple of sin, then were caught by her dad and thrown out. Your originale peccatum is simply to have inherited a normal libido.
Embraced over the next 1,700 years by anguished celibates in the priesthood, Augustine's line of thinking took firm hold in Christian theology, among both Catholics and Protestants. From on high, his tormented hangups have been poisoning our understanding and perverting our happiness in the sexual realm ever since.
As an eternal reward for his handiwork, I like to imagine that Saint Augustine has since been reincarnated successively as a single-cell bacterium that reproduces asexually. Thy kingdom come.
TITLE - "The Invention of Sin (For Saint Augustine's Mother)"
WHERE - Pomo (2016)