TBT: Stephen Fry on the Catholic Church’s Obsession with Sex

Lo listens to YouTube debates on religion for fun. (Seriously, it makes doing the dishes so much more entertaining.) She just came across an oldie-but-a-goodie: A 2009 “Intelligence Squared” debate entitled “The Catholic Church Is a Force for Good in the World” featuring Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe (with a voice only a Monty Python fan could love) arguing for the motion, and Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens arguing against it (and crushing it). In his opening statement, Fry makes a few excellent points about sex that were just too good not to share again here six years later:

It is the strangest thing with this church. It is obsessed with sex. Absolutely obsessed. Now they will say, they will say we with our permissive society and our rude jokes are obsessed. No, we have a healthy attitude: we like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly. Because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect, only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that, in erotic terms, is the Catholic Church in a nutshell.

Here’s the excellent 10-minute clip which features the above, along with Fry condemning the widespread cover-up of child rape among priests, the homophobia the Church spreads, and their campaign against condom-use in AIDS-riddled African countries. You can view the debate in its entirety at IntelligenceSquared.com.


One Comment

  1. Well put. Reminds me of Dee Snider tearing into Tipper Gore in the 80’s. Her morality committee said said Snider wrote a filthy song about S&M. He said it wasn’t about S&M – it was about Twisted Sister’s guitarist’s recovery from heart surgery.

    A committee member said, “I’m sure you can see how someone would interpret the lyrics as being sexual.”

    An unexpectedly eloquent Snider replied, “sure! When we consume art we color it with our own perception. Mrs. Gore found smut because she was looking for smut.”

    Oh the looks on their faces.

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