Tucker Carlson, in responding to the response to the New York Times story about Ed Young's parishoners being ordered to have daily sex, gets a lot of things wrong. And while that's not atypical for a guy named Tucker — let alone this one — it doesn't mean that one shouldn't count the ways that he just completely misses the point as to why people think it's weird for a pastor to lounge on a bed and order his parishioners to fuck.Tucker starts off his piece by just throwing it out there that the real problem is that all us coastal elites hate evangelicals:
Let’s concede right up front that you hate evangelicals. Most affluent, educated people do. Where I live, they're the most unpopular group there is.
Now, I'm a coastal elite, and most people who are educated and affluent don't hate evangelicals. We might, say, resent that their leadership has attempted to use its political opportunities to impose its particular religious world view on the rest of us, but I don't hate individual evangelicals except for the people at the subway stations who keep cursing my pagan soul. Those people suck. But, already, he's missed the point: the story isn't amusing or creepy because it's about evangelicals — replace Ed Young with a rabbi, a priest, an imam, or a Lutheran minister (I'm pretty sure that's how most jokes start anyway) and it is, in fact, equally creepy if not more so. It's one thing to suggest that people take time out of their hectic schedules to engage in intimate acts with their partner — which include but are not limited to penetrative vaginal intercourse, by the way — in order to improve their marriages and another to order everyone to bone for 7 days straight while lounging on a bed in a church. One is solid pastoral advice, and another is using your religious beliefs to try to force you to do something you don't actually want to do. Tucker then goes on to add that it's really just a public health issue:
Once you factor out venereal diseases, there’s almost nothing better for you than regular sex.
Oh, well, gee, once you factor out the risk of death and infertility, among other things, it's all good? What kind of advice is that for people — especially the women quoted in the Young article whose husbands were unfaithful? Fuck him anyway, just "factor out" the disease risk? It also ignores the many men and women who suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction, which can range from an inabilty to get a non-chemically-enhanced boner to women that cannot engage in intercourse without pain — let alone the many, many women that simply can't achieve orgasm or have difficulty enjoying sex due to psychological trauma. For those people, no, it's not the best thing for them and it's unfair to place upon them the burden that they are not doing right by their marriages or God to try to make it so. Tucker adds to his thesis that Americans aren't having enough sex, and that religious women have better orgasms, supposedly. While it's a bit foolish to cite one study as evidence that religious people enjoy sex more — I am far from religious and I'm happy to take the challenge of who has better orgasms pretty much any day — the real problem is that assuming that people should want to have sex more. Maybe they do, and maybe they don't. I would like to have sex more, perhaps Tucker would like to have sex more, Ed Young apparently prefers to have more sex (but, if the time his wife tried to ask him for it and he turned her down is any indication, on his schedule alone), but that doesn't mean Americans are all unhappy with the frequency of their sexual contact. There is no standard for how much sex a married couple (or a single person) "should" have — they should have as much consensual sex as they and their partner mutually agree to have and on the schedule they agree to have it. Tucker engages in a little marital therapy at the end, offering his sage advice for those couples in bad relationships: just fuck, it will keep you in the relationship.
Let’s say your marriage was falling apart. Alienated, angry, frustrated with couples therapy, you decide to divorce. But before you do, you agree to try one last thing: Every day for a month, you'll have sex. You don't particularly want to, but you will, and you'll be disciplined about it: half an hour minimum, naked, both striving for orgasm. Let’s say you actually did that. Do you think by the end of the month you'd go through with the divorce? Maybe you would. Likely you wouldn't. Ed Young is right. Sex is medicine. It’s worth doing, whether you feel like it or not.
Great, so, his advice is to let fucking keep you in a relationship that leaves you angry, alienated and frustrated because between the social aspects of how you're "supposed" to feel about the person that you're having daily sex and the oxytocin your body produces when you do, you'll stick around. That's not even to discuss the vaguely humiliating prospect of forcing oneself to engage in penetrative intercourse with a spouse one doesn't love anymore every day for 30 days. Little is less sexy or less of a bonding experience than having coercive sex, even if the coercion is mental or emotional or self-inflicted. And then that's not even to mention the divorces that are occurring because of abuse, addiction or just plain incompatibility that means two people probably shouldn't stay together for 60 years, religious teaching aside. Sex isn't going to fix a relationship: it might paper over the holes momentarily, but a bad marriage can't be saved with sex, and it shouldn't. And a pastor should try counseling his parishioners about mutual respect, fidelity, emotional intimacy, honesty, trustworthiness, thoughtfulness and quality time spent being in a partnership, as those are the things that make a lasting, fulfilling marriage — not daily sex. Why Are Christians Having Better Sex Than the Rest of Us? [The Daily Beast] Earlier: Which Flavor Of Ice Cream Would You Swap For Sex? There's A Reason The Name Tucker Rhymes With…