The Bible’s Explicit Instructions on Spilling Semen


Onan was the second son of Judah. He helped coin the term “onanism,” known around these parts as “pulling out.” It got him killed.

“According to the text, after God had killed Onan’s older brother Er, Judah asked Onan to have sex with Tamar, Er’s widow, so that the offspring could be declared Er’s heir,” explains the Wikipedia entry. “The narrative implies that Onan didn’t object to the sex itself, but performed coitus interruptus, spilling his seed upon the ground, so that there wouldn’t be any offspring which he could claim as his own. The passage then goes on to state that, for this act, a displeased God killed him. The deaths of Onan and Er are among the few deaths caused by God which the Torah doesn’t describe as being caused via an intermediary, such as plague, or the Angel of Death.”

(Read more raunchy Biblical verses on Cracked. And while we’re on the subject, there’s The Onion‘s breaking news alert about a sperm bank spillage.)

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  • Charles J. Mueller

    The bibleis filling with charming, hair-raising stories about people being slain, for one reason or another.

    Um..wasn’t there some called the ten commandments…one of them being…

    Thou shaft not kill.

    Guess God gets a special pass on that one.

  • hardmannyc

    Interesting, but where’s the news in a 3,000-year-old book?

  • ChicagoJimmy

    Ooh. Uncle Japhy! Tell us another scary story from the big old fairy tale book!

  • Vinman

    @ChicagoJimmy: Made my day!

  • tallskin

    Er, and I should care, why exactly?

    Who gives a fuck?

  • Luke

    “thou shalt not murder” is considered by some to be a more appropriate translation (particularly Jewish translations). Killing is ok. Murdering is not. The difference in the two is the rules defining murdering and killing someone. What fun…

  • kevin

    See what reading literally will do?

    That’s why fundamentalism is so wrong.

    However, re-read that passage and ask yourself, what is God upset about? You will find time and time again in the Hebrew Bible and the New Covenant (Testament) that it all comes down to 2 themes.

    1. Love God and each other.
    2. Trust God.

    God was upset with Onan because Onan didn’t trust that God would make things right. Onan didn’t know or comprehend God’s plan, but somewhere along the way he figured out that perhaps he must know more than God does. That’s the moral to this story…trust God.

    As we see in this day and age, fundamentalists do not trust God either. They think the text of the bible (despite its many alterations throughout the centuries, despite it’s many errors, contradictions, and typos, despite that it was written by Israelite men 2000+ years ago, despite that we do not possess the original manuscripts) is more trustworthy than God. They cannot see God’s revelation to love, even The Gays, because they do not fully trust God.

    That’s what makes these people so sad to watch.

  • getreal

    How does this relate to gay news, gossip, or information? The only reason to post this is to hold the bible and christians up to ridicule. There are a lot of christian allies and LGBT people out there and it gets old being the butt of jokes.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Thank goodness for semantics hey Luke? lol

    Knowing that the Catholic Church only killed those thousands of hapless victims over the course of history as opposed to murdering them, will allow all of us to sleep peacefully tonight with visions of sugar plumb fairies in our dreams. ;-P

  • kevin

    @getreal: “Christians” do plenty to bring ridicule upon themselves. And I appreciate this chance to point out the errors of biblical literalism, since it is often biblical literalism that is at the root of our oppression.

    I realize that instead of challenging Christian fundamentalism and biblical literalism, many LGBTs brought up in the Christian religion do what’s easiest and simply leave. Or they are forced to leave. And I really feel that this is what is at the root of much resentment towards religion from LGBTs.

  • Tim

    I named my parakeet Onin because he’s always spilling his seed.

  • Darth Paul

    @kevin: (and for getreal) – this is part of the Tanakh and has little bearing on christians except to hijack the traditions of ours that suit their petty needs. The lesson was meant for Jews. So skeet away, goyim.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    “and it gets old being the butt of jokes.”

    If only that was all we LGBT people were to the Fundies and the magical undies crowd. We could surely live with that.

    These people murder us, worldwide, with impunity, (and we are not taking history and sins we did not commit ourselves and can do nothing about), vote to take away our civil-rights, castigate us daily in the media, call us abominations unto the Lord, tell us that we are security risks to the nation, call us practitioners of incest, pedophilia and bestiality, forbid us from worhipping their God in their temples, synagogues and Churches and condemn us to eternal hell fire and brimstone…and we Atheists, Agnostics and Non-Believers are not allowed to have any discussion whatsoever over these travesties and injustices…lest be be considered Church bashers?

    That’s asking us to fight with one hand, (nay, both hands) tied behind our backs.

    But, most astounding of all, is that your only seeming concern over these horrendous atrocities, is about being the butt of a few Christian jokes? How about defending members of the LGBT community with the devotion, dedication and ferocity that you defend Christians for a change? Or does that too, like the bitch who is considering running for the office of Governor in California, run against your personal conscience and faith?

    “There are a lot of christian allies and LGBT people out there”

    Sorry, but it also gets old hearing that tired, old, worn-out cliché as well.

    Names. Places. Facts. Data. Information. Media Sources. Enough already with the generalities and vagaries, indefinable and unquantified proclamations that never seem to have any sources with which to back them up. I am getting a case of the vapors listening to this unfounded treacle. For the hundreds, nay, thousands of Faith-based organizations like Focus on the Family, Concerned Women of America, can you name me even a half-dozen, faith-based organizations that are working to gain full equality for the LGBT community?

    Here is what your evangelical Christians, Mormons and Roman Catholics who built a powerful majority are doing in California, right now and a this very moment, while you defend them and castigate those of us who are working to stop the horrible evil deeds these people are wreaking on us in the name of their God. Please not that your Roman Catholic Church that you defend, is complicit in the evil-doings and not exempt from our scorn for doing so.

    Now, would you please tell us that nice warm and fuzzy bedtime story about our Christian allies once again. I do so love it.

    That tactic may work for the Religious Right Sheep, but for those of us with inquiring minds who need to know…NOT!

    So please, if you feel like making a rebuttal to this commentary, and I would sincerely welcome you address the issues that I have raised and not side-step them and simply resort to calling me a Christian-basher or a bully as so many have already done on these threads, because that’s lame and does not constitute informed and intelligent debate.

  • kevin

    @Darth Paul: Cute.

    But you and I know that’s not really the case.

    However, if it truly disturbs you, perhaps you can build a “security barrier” to keep out the goyim. That seems to be working in Palestine.

  • Faberge L'Eggs

    Even though there’s no such thing as God, I still think gay sex is more enjoyable for being dirty and wrong. There’s a certain appeal to pleasurable acts that get you branded a sinner and despised.

  • Mike

    I think arming ones self with knowledge is never a bad thing. A great segment of the population use this book to bash us, all the while hiding their prejudice and bigotry behind it. You will not convince all Christians, but during the 8 campaign, I was able to refer to scripture to make more than a few rethink their positions and the hypocrisy of their stance on the issue. Being an absolute believer in the separation of Church and State, a part of me resented having to enter the debate, but so many are so misinformed and it takes engagement to make them reconsider their positions on civil issues of the greatest importance to the GLBT community.

    It was a very close battle in California for 8, so winning over just a few people makes a difference. Being able to speak in their language will offend some, but it will speak to others. The story of Onan is just one illustration that can be used to shed light on scripture that is ignored today, along with such Levitical laws that we no longer follow, such as eating fruit not harvested from trees before their fifth year–an abomination!

    The Bible says much less about homosexuality than the social conservatives would like you to believe. Very few Christians I’ve talked to know much at all about scripture, let alone history and context. Exposing their lack of knowledge and the lies about the clobber passages is one way to put forth our argument.

    So, I would like to thank Japhy for shedding a bit of light on the hypocrisy of it all, and I would like to challenge some of us to be open to learning more so that we can better arm ourselves for the battles ahead. Did anyone see what the AFA wanted to air on Wood TV in Michigan? I’m just sayin’!

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Here is but one link to it. A google search will bring any number of articles on the topic.

    Question? When, in the history of the LGBT movement (at least since Stonewall – 1969), has any gay person or organization gone to the lengths of making a one-hour documentary on the “Radical Church Agenda” and attempted to air it on TV, I wonder?

    Umm…any of you tolerant-types care to call AFA and make an appointment with them to umm…”hear them out” on why their “Radical Gay Agenda” should be aired on TV?

    At the very least, we could given their wardrobe department (you know, like in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) a few pointers on color-coordinated outfits and stylish hairdos and elegrant appointed back-drops.

    We certainly don’t want the heterosexuals getting the idea that we are a bunch of incestuous, pedophilic, animal-fucking, alcohol-drinking, drugged-up, sex-crazed perverts now, do we?

    Oh, wait. Silly me. They already believe all that about us, don’t they?

    The one hour documentary is, more than likely, a ‘true-life’ reinforcement of all those stereotypes.

    How rude of us to decry their “freedom of speech” rights to defame us. It’s so inconsiderate and intolerant of us, isn’t it?


  • Charles J. Mueller

    I do believe that I just inadvertently coined a new word here.

    Elegant + Grand = Elegrant.

  • audiored

    @Tim: That’s a cute story. =)

  • getreal

    If we are going to bring up scripture fine I agree to use it against hate mongers. There is much more scriptural basis for gay marriage than there is for homophobia. Don’t judge all christians by the sordid standards of the hate mongers.

  • Mike

    @Charles J. Mueller:


    I’m not certain if I may have offended or if I was misunderstood, so I would like to clarify. As I noted in my posting, many Christians won’t give anyone–gay or straight–the time of day to express a different point of view, or discuss a difference in translation of scripture. Those people are a lost cause, and really they are worth the time to engage. All one can do is stand up and fight against their hate.

    However, there are folks who can be engaged, and some of them are people of faith. I did this with a neighbor late last summer, when she decided to come over and explain her Yes on 8 sign. It was hard, but I invited her inside my house, and sat down to ask her what her justification was for promoting that measure. I challenged her haircut, what she wore, asked if she made certain that all the fruit that she fed her children was harvested from a tree that was at least 5 years old. I asked her why she hadn’t fought so hard for an amendment to ban second marriages, which Jesus said were adultry. I asked her, why she was so selective in her scripture? She went home, talked to her husband, took the sign off her lawn, and promised me that she was going to vote No. Now, she wasn’t a huge Church goer…and fundamentalist, and that is my point. Many people just don’t know what they are talking about, are not in touch with the fact that they are prejudiced, and one can engage in a conversation and make them think.

    As for the intolerant religious zealots, I have no patience with them at all, and I do not expect them to do anything but fight me to the mattresses to prevent me from getting any rights at all.

    We just emerged from an era wherein we were led astray by a President who lacked nuance, and I think that we can learn to identify those who are enemies of our civil liberties and rights, and those who are misinformed and led astray.


    @Charles J. Mueller: Yes, there are more Christians, and especially more Christian groups, on the other side. All the more reason *not* to attack the “good* kind… and it should be fairly obvious that that’s primarily the kind that would be posting here. The “bad” ones that wander in both stand out and, for the most part, leave quickly.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    “I’m not certain if I may have offended or if I was misunderstood, so I would like to clarify.”

    Oh, no. Not in the least. And I do apologize if I gave that impression. I was merely trying to amplify what you had stated in your earlier post. ;-)

    You and I are on exactly the same page and obviously have a meeting of the minds with respect to religion.

    As the Christians so like to say, “We love the sinner. We just hate the sin”, my expression is, “I love the Christians. I just hate what a lot of them believe.

    In fact, Mohandas Gandhi took it one step further when he said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    I am certain, however, that Gandhi was not being inclusive of all Christians, just some as we’ve both stated.

    As you so rightly indicated in the last paragraph of your post, we have emerged from a very dark period and now we have much work ahead of us to do.

    I look forward to more post from you. Have a good evening, now.

  • Turbomatic

    So this was the original “substantial penalty for early withdrawal.”

  • strumpetwindsock

    I guess the ongoing religious discussion has wandered over here, eh?

    Since my last post I remember something I was told once:
    The greater something is, the greater its potential for good or evil (can’t remember the source of the quote – sorry).

    In other words, anything which has any power – love, sex, pride, spiritual belief – is a two edged-sword that can be used to heal and enlighten, or to oppress and harm.
    There is no such thing as an absolutely good or evil power.

    Those people here who say religion is absolutely evil are as closed-minded and deluded as the homophobes they oppose.
    (again, I am no friend of organized religion, but I believe people have a spiritual dimension that should be respected).

    Taking an ‘us vs them’ approach is tempting, but it is a sure way of working with the bigots to make sure this hatred and misunderstanding stays with us forever.

    Just as they can never wipe us out, we cannot wipe them out either. The only way to really change is to treat those who think differently as human beings and not monsters.

    Look at how many of our old prejudices have been knocked back in the past 50… in the past 100 years. That change was not accomplished by demonizing and witch hunts, but by education and finding common ground. Time is on our side, but the only way to keep moving forward is through respect and caring for EVERYONE – especially those who make our blood boil.

  • strumpetwindsock

    Remember that character – the mormon mother from Utah – in “Angels in America”?

    “You don’t make assumptions about me; I won’t make them about you.”

  • Charles J. Mueller


    After years of debating religious dogma on the Internet, I cannot, no matter how hard I try, come up with the name of one individual whose mind I have been able to change when it comes to religious dogma and rhetoric.

    I am sorry, but you cannot change the opinion of a brain-washed, religious zealot, who like the Islam who will fly a plane into the side of the World Trade Center to claim his 17 vestal virgins, you are not going to make any points with a person with a “I’ve already make up my mind…don’t confuse me with the facts” type of mentality.

    Frankly, I am sick of all this rhetoric about tolerance, respect, political correctness and all the other bullshit I keep reading on these threads and I am quickly reaching the head space of Pat Condell, Brit whose motto is “I don’t respect your beliefs and I don’t care if you’re offended. Cheers”

    I strongly urge that you “tolerance” and “turn the other cheek” advocates watch the first three videos and really, really, listen to what this man is saying.

    It’s a real mind-bender…and an eye-opener to the damage that religion has done to mankind…and continues to do because of it’s inability or unwillingness to adapt to the times.

    Please not that Pat Condell has singled out no one particular church for his scorn. He thinks all religions are bullshit.

    As an educated, intelligent man with a head on his shoulders who is capable of using his brain to figure things out for himself instead of blindly following the directives of people whose only desire is to control and enslave people’s minds and poison them with bigotry, hatred and discrimination, I cannot believe the belief systems and the things people believe.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Let me rephrase that last sentence, please. What I meant to say was…

    “I cannot believe the unbelievable things that people believe.”

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller: Well my dear, I agree you cannot change the minds of zealots who refuse to look beyond their belief system.

    You have every right to follow your way, within the law; I’ll continue to deal with people in the way I feel is just.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    “I’ll continue to deal with people in the way I feel is just.”

    I can handle that…and support it. That’s all any of the GLBT community ask of others, is to be just. Taking away rights that we already legally had in California, was NOT just and that rape of the Constitution needs to be addressed and corrected. Asking for an apology when it is, however, would be far too much to expect. ;-)

    Did you, by the way, check out the Pat Condell videos and, if so, what did you think about them?

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller: I watched the first one. I wouldn’t call it comedy because he was not even trying to be funny, but I agree with everything he said about the separation of church and state, and accomodation going too far. There can only be one law in a country; even Jesus acknowledged that.

    Where Condell’s logic (and yours, in my opinion) falls apart is the assumption that xenophobia and religious belief are one and the same thing. Do you honestly believe that if there were no religion there would be no homophobia? No oppression? Stalin, Hitler, and McCarthy managed just fine without the benefit of scripture.

    I agree that many of our religious traditions have been co-opted by oppressive and hateful forces. Honestly, I think if some churches were given free rein it wouldn’t be too long before they would be killing heretics again (they certainly managed to kill a lot of children in Indian residential schools here in Canada).

    They simply cannot be trusted with the power of government. I do think that fundamentalist churches continue to have a dangerous amount of influence in the U.S. They wouldn’t get away with shit like that up here, nor in many other countries.

    But a religion is much more complex than it’s skeleton, and even in the most oppressive church there are always those who do positive and life-affirming work. To try to boil all religious belief down to one thing – BAD – is simply not logical. You have not presented a good argument, and if you refuse to recognize there is a difference between a terrorist cell and a pacifist quaker congregation – between the Holy Roman Empire and the Cathars – it will be very hard to have grounds for a reasonable discussion with you.

    I also do not see how your logic has any foundation in the real world. Do you imagine that a “humanist” government will take over the world and rid us of the yoke of religious superstition? Read your history, man. How long do you think it will take for the power brokers to grab the controls of that train? Any attempt to change by conflict and force will only produce more of the same.

    And even Robespierre and Hitler wound up trying to create their own religions to replace the ones they quashed. It may defy your reasoning, but human beings have never operated solely on logic. You need to grasp that fact straight off.

    Back to the video – the funny thing is, much of Sharia law is not even based on the Koran, just like Canon and Talmudic law are not always drawn from scripture. Much of it is purely secular. I checked out your propaganda; I would like you to listen to mine (there’s a link to the streaming audio):

  • chapeau


    Who cares?

    Not me – for sure!


Comments are closed.