Thursday, July 19, 2012

I was just thinking...

...about sex. Howʼs that for an attention grabber!

Letʼs repackage that statement. In preparation for the youth trip, I had been working on a Youth Covenant, a promise that we will all try to live into while participating on the trip. The third line item states “As someone who recognizes rules and laws, I will not break the laws,… Additionally, I will not under any circumstance purple, hot pink, or deep blue, despite how appealing it may be.” I remember the confused looks I received from both youth and parents alike when I first read this to them. Purple? Hot Pink? Deep Blue? What the heck does that mean? Iʼll admit when I first heard these terms I was a bit confused as well. So, hereʼs the explanation. Girls are red. Boys are blue, and when red and blue mix they create purple. Most camps, conferences, etc. have this no purpling rule but since we are an inclusive church hot pinking and deep bluing were added to our covenant. Now, there could be a whole spectrum of thoughts on exactly what behavior causes said mixing, but specifics are not what Iʼm interested in right now.

However cute and ridiculous the terminology of purpling may be it helps to bring up a topic that is generally taboo in churches. Sex and everything associated with sex has for too long been kicked out of the church. Sex is one of those things we do in the privacy of our homes but would never dream of discussing in civilized company. But why? The intimate details between lovers need not be discussed but if the church does not find a voice in this conversation, we will be completely removed from the discussion. For too long we, the church in general, have addressed sex either on a need to know basis or blatant ignorance in hopes people will learn the “right” thing to do and the “right” time to do it. Yet, when the church stopped talking about it, besides the whole guilt spiel, society grabbed that torch and ran with it. Now you can find sex everywhere from clothing ads to cartoons and definitely in modern music and literature.

So, where are we in all of this? How does faith, God, spirituality, etc. fit into the sex conversation? I have my thoughts; what are yours?

This is not simply an issue about sex. Rather this is an issue about our willingness to speak about difficult topics and not shy away when the conversation could turn sticky. How many other issues do we consider taboo or sacred cows? On how many other issues are our voices silenced for the sheer fact that we do not speak up? What are we unwilling to talk about? And why? Are we a place where open conversations can be had or a place where curiosity and questioning are stifled?

Maybe for our community sex is not something we shy away from but there are topics that make us uncomfortable. So, why not address them, learn, discover, reflect, whatever but let us pull these discussions out from behind closed doors and into a community that is willing to have interesting, lively, spirited conversations.

Amber Churchill

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