The question I pose today is this: Is monogamy unnatural?

I know what some of you are thinking – “Cheap cop-out!” – but I think this question begs some serious discourse here.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, religion has tried quite fervently throughout recorded human history to stifle and otherwise control the sexual instinct in human mammals. (Quite unsuccessfully, I might add.) And, despite all evidence to the contrary, there are still pockets of the population who believe that some higher power – which also created everything from solar systems to microbes and everything in between – actually has an unshakable moral and ethical opinion about the sexual goings-on between consenting adults. (Of course, even the term “adult” is arbitrary – does one’s 18th birthday celebration somehow cast, spell-like, an ability over said celebrant to “act like a grown-up”? But that’s another matter for another time.)

What I want to address here is the very natural and, dare I say, uncontrollable sexual attraction that humans are wont to feel for those fellow humans who “turn their crank”, so to speak. Not one person can convince me that they have never wanted to wander from their current partner – no matter how much they might love that partner. Why does sex have to be about love? Religion has insidiously attached shame to the feeling of arousal for arousal’s sake, making all things sexual seem dangerous, sinful and to be avoided at all costs except for those times when breeding another human into the world seems like the appropriate thing to do (or you or your spouse were too lazy to make a stop at the pharmacy).

The statistics that suggest that over half of married men cheat on their wives should come as no surprise to anyone. The bible-thumpers would have us believe that this is a sign of a declining civilization and that the end times are near. Ahem, excuse me – Jesus isn’t coming back to tell you not to ball the babysitter, so don’t worry about it. I think the institutions of marriage and committed relationships as we currently understand them carry with them an expectation of sexual fidelity that I think is unreasonable and, in many cases, unattainable.

Sexual monogamy is the unspoken agreement that, when broken, completely breaks the deal for a lot of couples. I say, why not wake up and face the facts? We might be intelligent, reasoning people – but we are still animals. Animals with instincts. Should we let something as frivolous as a roll in the hay destroy a marriage? What is marriage, anyway? Why did you marry your spouse – so that you could control their every move and impulse? Alfred Kinsey was on to something – bring all things sexual into the light, and express them – or hell, let’s just look at ’em, for Chrissake, and not let some external sense of morality guide our actions. Rather, let’s use our ability for critical thought and civil discourse to work out, for ourselves and with our loved ones, what works for us and what doesn’t.

Here’s something else that should be legalized everywhere besides Sin City – prostitution.

Think about it – why should it be illegal for someone to pay someone else for sex? I mean, you don’t necessarily hire a novice plumber to fix your leaky sink.  If all you want is sex, why not hire someone to satisfy you if it’s something the prostitute happens to have quite a lot of experience doing?

And how is that any different from some blonde gold-digger bimbo entrancing some old sugar daddy with a lot of scratch? (Remember Anna Nicole Smith?) Or some guy spending a lot of money on his date, and then that date feeling somewhat obliged to put out? In that case, there is a lot of gray area there – lots of potential for misunderstanding. With prostitution it’s very cut and dry – you are paying someone for their expertise. Where’s the misunderstanding in that?

With all the pressures that most people are under, is a little release too much to ask for in this world? Apparently so.

Why isn’t it legal? Once again, religion is to blame. It has reared its disgusting head over all things sexual since time immemorial, wielding its claims of god’s round-the-clock Big Brother-style celestial surveillance, purporting that this same god figure actually cares about what we do with our own genitalia. And since most human mammals blindly accept this as fact, fear about partaking of any “immoral” sexual behavior ensues; hence, shame has been attached to all things sexual in nature, wherein any frank and open discussion about sex anywhere is reduced to giggles and reddened cheeks.

Let me get this straight – the Catholics, who have fought like hell for centuries to beat back the magic of the Wiccans and the Pagans and the like, believe that a glass of Merlot and a pita pocket actually become the body and blood of some dead dude?

Where does one begin to tear this apart?

First of all, how arrogant of these clergy to believe that they embody some sort of mystical power by which they can create this “miracle”! Second, isn’t this a little bit creepy? Seems a bit like divine cannibalism to me.

Someone who is Catholic remarked to me that belief in transubstantiation “requires a certain philosophical framework”. Um… try psychological framework – what it absolutely requires is a complete and willful abandonment of logic, reason and critical thought. Come to think of it, it’s much like what is required in order to properly adhere to any one religious faith.

Drugs should be legalized. Period.

I’ll tell you why they should be legalized, and then I’ll tell you why we’re still waiting.

I can’t buy a dimebag of pot, which won’t harm anyone – in fact, it will, at most, stimulate my appetite, make TV-watching much more entertaining and perhaps arouse anti-government sentiment and conspiracy theories – but I can pick up a six-pack of Bud pounders, the main ingredient of which is alcohol, a drug which has most likely caused more death, destruction and misery than all narcotics combined. Funny that ol’ Uncle Sam should give his blessing to alcohol – a downer that dumbs you down when you consume any amount of it. But all the drugs that expand your mind and your perception of reality – marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin, etc. etc. – are available only by willful criminal activity. The last bastion at the moment is salvia divinorum, a hallucinogen with which I’ve had only a handful of experiences but has produced an expansive and euphoric awareness that I’ve very much enjoyed. So far, it is still legal in most places – only because Big Brother hasn’t caught on to its true essence yet. Mark my words – the days of illegal salvia are coming.

Drugs should be legalized for the purely economic reason that if they are regulated and taxed, then the subsequent revenue could easily wipe out state and national debt. But in the spirit of wanting the average John Q. Taxpayer to arrive home from a day of laboring for The Man and be able to enjoy the expansion of his own mind by chemical means, then I can see no stronger argument for legalization.

Now, I’ve argued with folks before about this theory, to which I always hear the “what about alcoholics?” argument – meaning, of course, that the drunk’s drug of choice is a readily and widely available legal one and that the legalization of these other drugs would make them similarly available, thus producing a society riddled with addicts – to which I say: society is already riddled with addicts – not only due to your typical ennui, but also due in some significant way, I’m sure, to the very demonization assigned to illegal drugs which is meant to frighten us away. Put simply this way – have you ever told a child not to do something and then the child goes and does it anyway? Every parent knows by heart the fact that admonishment of this sort doesn’t work. You vilify something, you say “Don’t touch” or “Don’t do this” and it makes the idea of doing that much more exciting and dangerous and desirable. Sure, drugs are addictive – so are coffee and chocolate and nail-biting and relationships and masturbation – anything is capable of forming a habit in the human brain. As long as there is a psychological need to be filled by some substance, the nature of the substance itself is immaterial.

I think we’ll be waiting a very long time for Rite Aid brand marijuana because as long as the masses are kept busy with things that dumb us all down – alcohol, cigarettes, baseball, NASCAR, CNN, American Idol, etc. etc. – then we won’t revolt and demand something better and more stimulating.

I can’t recall in recent memory a stronger urge to throw my television out the window than Thursday night, when my local 11:00 newscasters told me that an appeals court said that the state of Texas had no right to remove 400 children from the wacko Yearning For Zion Ranch.

Riddle me this, my bruthas and sistas – why does religion get a free pass?

If I were to start a commune – not on the basis of a religious faith, mind you, just a hangout sort of place – and say, “Oh yeah, I want to gather a bunch of my like-minded friends together and build and live in a fortress and raise up young girls so I can marry them off to my older pervo friends when they still don’t have pubic hair”, then I would be locked up sooner than you could say “pedophilia”.

But oh… how dare we tread on someone’s right to practice their religion. Yeah – a religious faith that condones the “when they bleed they can breed” mindset.

So much evil in this world is a direct result of this free pass that we, as a society, keep doling out to these religious wackos. And religious moderates only make it worse, not better, by being too timid to speak out against them, because heaven forbid we should encroach on someone’s birthright to practice the religion of their choice. Hell, doing so might cause all these spineless moderates to question their own faith. And we can’t have that, now, can we? Then the tax-free money might dry up!

Where was the freedom of choice, though, for these poor kids who are growing up in a world where dressing up like Laura Ingalls Wilder and having sex with men your grandfather’s age is not only OK, but is sanctified by your family and church leaders? Answer: there was no choice. And, to my mind, that’s precisely why it was OK to remove these kids in the first place – just like those poor kids in Austria.

Let’s stop walking on eggshells where matters of religion are concerned, and call the kettle black when there is no question that it is black.