I really don’t see what all the fuss is about here:
Long before she became the latest fascination of the political press and the cause-of-the-moment of the Tea Party movement, Christine O’Donnell (R-D.E.) was appearing on news outlets large and small extolling the sins of not just sex but masturbation.The Delaware Republican, who is challenging Rep. Mike Castle in the state’s Senate primary and has earned the financial backing of a portion of the Tea Party movement, made an appearance in the MTV series “Sex In The 90s.” Entitled “The Safest Sex Of All,” the episode was ostensibly geared towards understanding the importance of abstinence. But O’Donnell’s guidance went a bit further. Masturbation, she argued, is not a moral substitute for sex. “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust.”“The reason that you don’t tell [people] that masturbation is the answer to AIDS and all these other problems that come with sex outside of marriage is because again it is not addressing the issue,” she extrapolated. “You’re just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun.”
I certainly don’t want to be one of those shallow atheists who have no idea what “serious” religious thinkers have said on all sorts of weighty issues, so I checked with one of the most widely-known and respected authorities of all time, Thomas Aquinas, and after seeing what he had to say, well, I’m afraid that even Ms. O’Donnell might be looking a little too bleeding-heart-liberal for my taste with meek disapproval like that:
St. Thomas Aquinas went so far as to consider masturbation as more evil than forcible rape. His reasoning was that even though forcible rape might cause injury to another person, it could still result in procreation and therefore could not be peccatum contra naturam (a crime against nature), whereas masturbation was definitely against nature since it could never result in procreation. Aquinas no doubt had this text in mind when he wrote in the 13th century that “right reason declares the appointed end of sexual acts in procreation.”
It’s not just teabaggers who have allowed liberal propaganda to cloud their moral vision here, though. Look how many versions of Matthew 19:12 use obfuscatory language to mislead their readers about what Jesus was asking of his followers! Thank goodness Origen, at least, has provided us with a heroic example for all good Christian men to aspire to.