Remember, the Koch Brothers Fart Too
Ever try picturing an audience naked to make yourself feel less nervous? What about picturing the Koch brothers farting? As repulsive an idea as that sounds (although picturing them naked is probably worse), it’s a good reminder that we’re all humans with bodies that eat, fart, burp, and orgasm. We may feel superior to the natural world, but we can’t escape these natural inclinations.
In an article titled “A Theology of Farts and Orgasms” published by Mick Pope on Redletter Christians, Pope makes the point that to connect ourselves spiritually back to nature, we need to embrace the fact that we bear the image of God in body. “This is a body that eats, farts, burps and orgasms,” Pope writes. “This is the humanity that connects us to the natural world, and is the humanity that Jesus shared and redeemed.”
Pope’s article isn’t about celebrating the body. It’s about using the body as a divine vehicle. He discusses how when we pollute the body by eating too much meat, we also pollute the world — unsafe slaughtering practices, public health risks, land clearing for agriculture to feed livestock, and methane production by cattle and sheep. We can feast, as Jesus did, as long as we do it with thankfulness. Pope writes:
“In The Pleasures of Eating, Wendell Berry calls us to rediscover eating as an agricultural act, rather than the industrial act it has become, where we are consumers not eaters. We have lost the connection between the toilet, the table and the farm. It is time to connect them all again as the world’s population increases and we seek to eat more wisely and justly. Let’s join Luther who said ‘I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away.'”
He also talks about orgasms from the Christian perspective (who knew such a perspective existed). Citing Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 7 that both husband and wife should “have” their spouse, not deprive the other, Pope makes the point that sexual satisfaction (i.e. orgasm) helps the morality of marriage. He says, “Sex is fun, connected, intimate and very earthy.”
And importantly, sex and orgasm don’t have to lead to actual reproduction — there is a theological argument that laying together (in the biblical sense) is designed to keep husbands and wives faithful to each other. Pope reminds the reader that a soaring population is destroying access to natural resources and damaging the planet. He writes, “While for some Christians, birth control is a sin, the bible is silent on the topic. As Australian theologian Ward Powers notes, the biblical writers lived in a world where contraceptive practices were common, yet they never censured them. In an increasingly overcrowded world that lack of contraception is a greater sin.”
In our modern world, we have grown increasingly detached from the nature that affects all life on the planet. We are not rulers of creation, as some Christian exploiters of the environment would have you believe. Instead, we are very much a part of creation — a connection that we can never escape. That’s what makes anti-environmental arguments by people like the Koch brothers, fracking companies (like they should even be talking about gas), and anti-environment politicians so ridiculous. As Pope says,
“A theology of farts and orgasms reminds us we are spiritual animals, not bound for heaven but a renewed heavens and earth, united at the return of Jesus. Until then we are to bear his image in these bodies that fart and have orgasms, with joy and thankfulness. Neither of these things is a sin. They remind us of our finitude, of our earthiness and our connection to the earth and our responsibilities toward it. And behold, it is very good.”
Source: Redletter Christians
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