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7 Right-Wing Christians Who Broke the Same Sexual Rules They Impose on Others

The very people espousing strict rules about sex and marriage can’t be bothered to follow them.

Right-wing Christians have a lot of ridiculous sexual rules to control and direct sexual behavior: Everything from frowning on all nomarital sex to denouncing homosexuality to objecting to divorce. Of course, the problem they run up against is that consenting adults have lives that are complex, emotional and messy, and they’re going to make decisions based on their own circumstances and not the rules. This is so true that the very people espousing these strict rules about sex and marriage can’t even be bothered to follow them. Here’s some examples.

1) Catholic vicar Arthur M. Coyle caught with a prostitute. The Catholic Church has a long, long list of “nos” when it comes to sex, so long that it’s easier to list what you can do than what you can’t under their rules: Have contraception-free sex within marriage. That’s it, and if you’re a priest, even that is off the table for you. Which is why it’s newsworthy that Monsignor Arthur Coyle, who has been holding the high office of episcopal vicar for the Archdiocese of Boston  was recently arrested for soliciting sex from a prostitute. The cops noted that Coyle was routinely spotted in the area where the prostitutes hung out, and so really, it was just a matter of time before he got caught. As usual, any lessons about what kind of behavior people will get up to if they’re denied healthy outlets for their sexuality will be ignored by the Catholic hierarchy. 

2) Bill O’Reilly, sex pest. Bill O’Reilly really dislikes contraception and routinely hints to outright declares on his show that abstaining from premarital sex is the only legitimate way to prevent things like unintended pregnancy. He also is a self-appointed monitor of the virtue of other Catholics, at least that of his ex-wife;  he actually tried to get her ex-communicated from the church for daring to remarry, because that’s considered “adultery” by church teachings (the church teaches that marriage is for life, and you cannot divorce, much less remarry). Of course, O’Reilly had no problem with adultery when he was  trying to bed his coworker Andrea Mackris in 2004, repeatedly pestering her for sex despite her obvious lack of interest. It got so bad she eventually sued him for sexual harassment, and he was forced to settle out of court.

3) Bill Donohue, bad Catholic. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League and all-around moralizing blowhard, loves to wax on and on about how other people are required to live by his Catholic-shaped view of marriage as a duty and an institution, not an expression of love.  For instance, in 2013, Donohue denounced gay marriage by saying, “The whole purpose of marriage is to have a family. It’s not about making people happy. It’s not about love.” Of course, his belief that marriage is about creating a family, with or without love, didn’t stop him from breaking up his own loveless marriage. Donohue is a divorced father of two, suggesting that his rules about living life for religious duty instead of making one’s choices for love apply to other people but not himself.

4) Ted Haggard, meth-smoking gay sex lover. Ted Haggard was instrumental in crafting the 21st-century evangelical resurgence movement’s pitch about their sexual rules: That if you followed their rules (no homosex, no sex before marriage, complete focus on your spouse), then you would have the hottest sex imaginable. As president of the National Association of Evangelicals,  Haggard went on record claiming that “evangelicals have the best sex of any group” and suggesting that the typical evangelical couple went at it seven times a week. How Haggard managed to find the time to do that with his own wife is tough to say, however, because he spent so much time having gay sex outside of his marriage, both with at least one prostitute (who outed him to the press) and one other man who volunteered for him. Haggard has toned down the fire-and-brimstone approach a bit, but is still working as a pastor.

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