There is a common misconception regarding the church’s viewpoint on sexual intercourse.
The church’s perspective on sex is often misunderstood. It does not view sex as a sinful act that should only be pursued for procreation purposes and discussed discreetly. Instead, the church sees sex as a divine gift from God. In recent times, legal conflicts have arisen involving individuals who have been arrested for either advocating or participating in sexual activity. Two notable court cases, Griswold v. Connecticut and Bowers v. Hardwick, have specifically examined the question of whether sex is immoral.
Discussions on the morality of different sexual activities were prompted by two cases: Griswold v. Connecticut and the establishment of a birth control clinic in 1961 by Estelle Griswold. The clinic was founded knowing that it could potentially face legal consequences for violating one of Connecticut’s numerous laws pertaining to sex.
Shortly after its opening, Griswold faced arrest for offering birth control to a married couple. Another incident, referred to as Bowers versus Hardwick, saw Michael Hardwick being apprehended in his own home while engaging in anal sex with another man. Due to Georgia’s laws deeming such conduct unlawful, Hardwick was promptly taken into custody.
It is unclear whether the Church would support or oppose these legal proceedings as its stance on sex has evolved. Initially, the Church advocated for sexual activity solely within marriage and for procreation purposes. However, the contemporary Church acknowledges that sex can also be a source of pleasure, but fidelity must be upheld.
The contemporary church supports consensual sexual activity between individuals who are in love with one another. Consequently, the church would endorse the ruling in Griswold versus Connecticut since the contraceptives were provided to a married couple. When two individuals are married, it signifies that they have a genuine concern for each other, and their sexual relationship is not merely devoid of meaning. However, if the contraceptives were provided to individuals who do not have any emotional connection, the church would hold a contrasting view.
In the case of Bower’s versus Hardwick, the church would need to ask a crucial question prior to engaging in a discussion: were Hardwick and the man he was involved in a romantic relationship? According to modern church teachings, if there was genuine care and love between the two men, the sexual act would be permissible. Despite the church’s disapproval of homosexuality, it would oppose the arrest of this young man.