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Sex and western religion have been tied together for centuries, and not in the fun way. Religion always seems to want to tell us how to screw (the boring way), who to screw (pretty much nobody), and when to screw (only for babies). But there's a reason Jesus has bitchin' abs in all those paintings: Sex and Christianity aren't always mutually exclusive. Even if you really wish they would be, after reading about how ...

5
A Missionary Made Softcore Male Pornography To Promote Mormonism

Jon Schulte/iStock/Getty Images

Picture a Mormon. There he is, in his white button-up and black slacks, riding a bicycle. Now he's dismounting that bicycle, ripping open his button-up to reveal a set of glistening pecs, those black slacks barely containing his rock-hard ...

What? That's not what everybody pictures? Former Mormon missionary Chad Hardy would like you to reconsider.

Mormons Exposed, via Rolling Stone
So no coffee, tea, or alcohol, but apparently Creatine is still on the table.

For Hardy, there was nothing hotter than seeing a Mormon perform God's work. That's why he started photographing a bunch of shirtless, hunky missionaries in provocative poses, right alongside pictures of them doing their holy duties. He then published them in a racy calendar titled "Men On A Mission," because it's only legal if you sell it.

Mormons Exposed, via Rolling Stone
... And only sells if you Photoshop the hell out of it.

Unfortunately for Hardy and "Men On A Mission" -- his membership of muscled Mormons -- Church elders in Las Vegas and Utah had never made the leap from religion to softcore porn, and were so taken aback that they excommunicated Hardy and rescinded his diploma from Mormon school.

Oh no! Now he'll lose his job down at the Mormon Plant.

But it didn't matter to Hardy. He had found his calling: In 2010, he released a calendar titled "Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste Of Motherhood," which featured a barrage of busty housewives in skintight tops along with their wholesome muffin recipes. Presumably, you supply your own frosting.

Shane O'Neal Photography/Courtesy Mormons Exposed
Christ and muffins aren't the only things that have risen.

4
Megachurch Pastor Ed Young Issued A Seven-Day Sex Challenge

mizar_21984/iStock/Getty Images

Ed Young was concerned that young people were having too much unmarried sex. Luckily, he had a solution!

No, not abstinence-only education, silly. That doesn't work.

Piotr Marcinski/iStock/Getty Images
Looking at you, Mississippi.

Instead, he appealed to the married members of his 20,000-strong congregation to double down on their sexual activity. He challenged them to bang each other's brains out as much as humanly possible over the course of seven days, in an attempt to simply out-fuck the unmarried competition. Because there's a finite amount of sex in the world, and if all the married people use it up, there won't be any for single people to have! R-right? That's how sex works?

Andy Boyd
"Can I hear an 'AMEN!' ... and a couple of 'OOOOOH MY GOD!'s?"

Married parishioners who engaged in the weeklong thrustathon were invited to email Young with their thoughts and feelings, which the pastor hoped would get "some real issues on the table." Or at least get some blood pumping.

After using his church's R-rated homework assignment as the basis for his book, The Sexperiment, he once again publicly implored husbands and wives to Biblically "know" each other ... by mounting a bed on top of his church, so that he and his wife could hold a 24-hour "bed-in" under the all-seeing eye of the Lord.

Via Charity Carney
Their church just grew a second steeple.

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3
A Pastor Detailed How To Masturbate Without Offending God

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Mark Driscoll's sex tips for Christian men resemble the kind of advice that you're likely to hear in a 13-year-old's summer camp bunk after lights out. As Driscoll sagely points out in his book Porn-Again Christian, male masturbation is actually kind of gay, because technically you are jacking off a dude.

The only way it isn't gay is if you have a woman present in the room so that you're absolutely sure to be thinking of a female. Oh, and you should never watch yourself in the mirror while you're doing it. That's basically the same as getting a handjob from another guy who happens to look like you.

Mark Driscoll
"Particularly if he's listening to 'Goodbye Horses.'"

But then, if the only way you can finish is "while staring into your own eyes," and the only time you're not thinking of gay sex is when a woman is physically present in the room with you, you probably have way bigger issues than proper jerking technique.

2
A Catholic Priest Wrote And Published 50 Erotic Novels

Gelner Tivadar/iStock/Getty Images

In the late 1970s, priest and sociologist Father Andrew Greeley conducted research that implied some Catholics might not be cool with having infinity+1 babies and were starting to use birth control. In response, he was banned from running a parish and denied tenure at the university where he had taught for 10 years.

Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images
"This is a university; no place for quote-unquote 'research!'"

Frock-blocked by the Church, Greeley did the only logical thing: He started writing softcore porn. In 1981, he penned the bestselling book The Cardinal Sins, a randy romp fest which features a (hopefully) fictionalized version of himself named Kevin, a priest struggling to stay chaste amidst the nonstop sex gauntlet that is the Catholic Church. There were other characters, of course, like the cardinal who likes to get rough between the sheets:

Andrew Greeley
There's a reason cassocks unbutton down the front.

Greeley wrote more than 50 books. Although his talk of "exploring" bodily thingies and doing "it" might read a bit like Twilight-caliber soft porn, these books had a larger purpose. He often used his erotica as a platform for criticizing the Church and demonstrating that not all priests think about sex as the throbbing monster that murders you dong-first.

Andrew Greeley
"Wow, that sounds hot," said no one who's ever swum in a pond.

Greeley's work addressed everything from temptations of the flesh to pedophilic priests. And on top of all that, Father Frisky managed to conduct some actual sociological research. In his 1994 compendium The Catholic Sex Experience, Greeley used survey data to argue that Catholics had the best sex lives of any religious group (what a coincidence!) and that people who pray together are more likely to shower together. Hopefully he's talking about married couples there, and not a really swingin' Mass.

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1
A Lutheran Youth Group Made A Nude Bible Calendar

Mallivan/iStock/Getty Images

In April 2005, a Lutheran youth group in Nuremberg, Germany decided that their run-down church could use a new coat of paint, so they started brainstorming community fundraising efforts.

"Car wash?" Nah.

"Bake sale?" Boring!

"Naked calendar?"

You're not allowed within 500 feet of youth groups, Gary. You've been told this already.

And yet Gary's suggestion won out. Here's their all-nude church fundraising calendar.

Via Spiegel Online
Trying to sell it with an apple-toting Eve on the cover suggests they know as little
about sex as they do about the Bible.

The calendar (featuring such classic erotic Bible scenes as King David spying on a naked, bathing woman) was enthusiastically supported by Pastor Bernd Grasser. Not only did Grasser give the project his full blessing, but he remarked that "It's just wonderful when teenagers commit themselves with their hair and their skin to the Bible."

Via Spiegel Online
OK, that first part is kind of a given for Samson, but the second part is you being weird.

Of course, not everyone was happy with the project. After news of the calendar hit the big time, Christians all over the world expressed condemnation, particularly of the scene that featured a naked Eve standing in a church full of forbidden fruit. But the church group went ahead anyway, and thousands of orders poured in for the calendar. So many that the publishers couldn't keep up with demand, and by December, they had raked in 40,000 Euros. Which goes to show that sex sells, even when the product you're selling is mostly abstinence.

For more on religion, check out 5 People Who Started Religions Just to Get Laid and 5 Inspiring Religions That Worship Penises.

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