Augustine (Part 2)

Continuing to look at Augustine, we can discuss a significant component about him, aside from the fact that he had many issues revolving around sex and lust, and how he believed the latter to be the worst of the seven deadly sins. This significant belief of Augustine’s is that if people could not control their lust, then they are deemed weak. Augustine believed that everyone should retain the ability to control his or her impulses and unconscious desires – however, today we understand that from a psychological perspective this isn’t as easy to achieve as Augustine thought.

Moreover, Augustine believed that Jesus was exempt from having to control lust because he was not born from lust – he was born from a virgin. For Augustine, Jesus was free of lust and its influence; thus, he did not have to subdue or control it. Augustine was also highly convinced that Eve, of the Adam and Eve myth, was ultimately at fault for the downfall of mankind. He was a big believer in the myth and thought Eve was to blame, since she bit the apple offered to her by the snake.

These beliefs of Augustine’s are important to keep in mind when we are looking at the timeline of LGBT culture and the phobias and heterosexism associated with the culture. When sex is demonized (as it was by Augustine) by people who highly influence the development and shaping of people’s minds, people can start to look at certain groups as only being sexual creatures. When this way of thinking is spread by influential people, it continues to influence the demonization of these certain groups – such as LGBT individuals or women. This bit of history can help us put together a broader picture of what happened to influence today’s society and LGBT culture and why we are dealing with what we are dealing with.