That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Masturbation a sin? Not at all! It is perfectly normal behaviour, and everyone should learn about and enjoy their sexuality! And there is no need to go "confess" to anyone about it. You have done nothing wrong, it is normal behaviour. Use your own judgement people!!Notice that this person basically has two reasons for approving of masturbation:
- it is "perfectly normal behavior"
- "everyone should learn about and enjoy their sexuality"
As for his first argument, which he says twice, I think we need to first define what "normal" means. If by "normal" we mean "what most people do" then yes, masturbation is "normal." But, if by "normal" we mean "what all people are meant to do" then masturbation is not normal; it is in fact very abnormal. The account of mankind before the Fall gives us a clue as to what normal life is supposed to be.
When God made man and woman, He made them for each other, and the sexuality given to Adam and Eve was meant for the marital embrace, in which two become flesh in a fruitful union (cf. Gen 1:28; 2:18-25). Notice that it was not until they disobeyed God that their attention turned inward, they became objects to each other, and they were filled with shame (compare Gen 2:25 with 3:7,10-12; cf. JPII's "Theology of the Body", audiences #11-18). I posit that masturbation is systomatic of that turning inward and that objectifying of the opposite sex that infected human sexuality after the Fall.
Two do not become one in masturbation. It is not a gift of self to another to whom you are deeply committed. It is neither unitive nor fruitful. Basically, masturbation is none of the things that are supposed to characterize the normal sex act, as revealed by the Genesis account. Thus, by this standard, masturbation is not "normal."
Of course, even if masturbation is normal by the first definition ("what most people do"), that does not necessarily make it right. There are actions that many people do every day that are in fact wrong, such as lying or cursing or taking the Lord's name in vain. An action simply is not right if it happens to be "normal," at least by the common definition of the word "normal."
His second argument was that "everyone should learn about and enjoy their sexuality." To that I say AMEN! It is good to learn about ourselves as sexual beings, to know what it means to have certain sexual urges and how these urges and the actions that derive from them should be properly ordered. It is also good that sexual acts bring us enjoyment. That joy is what compels us to be fruitful as God commanded, and it confirms the marital embrace as the greatest act of love between two people, the act that brings unity to mankind and a taste of Trinitarian love.
But, learning about and enjoying our sexuality does not mean acting on every sexual impulse and having sex however and whenever we want. Our sexuality, which is a good, can be abused, as any good can. What was first a good can be used for evil if we do not use it as it was intended to be used. Masturbation is a misuse of a good, and is in fact "a grave moral disorder" (cf. CDF, Persona Humana, no. 9).
Finally, the implication was made that people who are of one mind with the Church in declaring masturbation to be sinful are not thinking for themselves or using their own judgment. Of course, I can't speak for anyone else, but I can assure you that my own condemnation of masturbation is neither robotic nor mindless or haphazard. I have actually considered this subject a great deal (since it is a problem with which many men struggle), and I hope that my response here is evidence of a very reasoned position on this matter. The Church's position simply makes sense, and Her stance against masturbation is actually one that leads to freedom, not oppression or bondage under the hands of some cold and prudish body of old men who don't know how to have any fun.
For more on human sexuality and masturbation, see the following resources:
- Catechism of the Catholic Church: "The Sixth Commandment" and "The Ninth Commandment"
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Persona Humana (Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics)
- Pontifical Council for the Family: The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality
- John Paul II's "Theology of the Body": The General Audiences
- Catholic Defense Directory:
St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse....pray for us.