by Adam Tucker
This past Thursday night (Aug. 21), I attended Sex and Faith: An Honest Conversation on the campus of UNC Greensboro. The panel discussion was sponsored by the UNCG Wesley-Luther student group, St. Mary’s House (the UNCG Episcopalian student group), Hillel (the UNCG Jewish student group), the UNCG Wellness Center, UNCG SafeZONE, and Planned Parenthood of Greensboro.
Representatives and leaders from each sponsoring organization made up the panel. I preface this post by saying that my comments are in no way meant to be an attack or judgment on any person, or group, represented at this “honest conversation.” I do not have reason to doubt the panelists’ sincerity or love for people. While we’re not called to judge people per se, as thinking individuals, and especially as Christians, we are called to judge ideas, and the ideas presented during this event were so utterly confused that it’s difficult to know where to begin a critique.
The conversation ranged from a discussion of how Christian thinking about sex came to the point of teaching that “sex is bad,” to the purpose of sex, to demonstrations, on replicas, of male and female condom application, to homosexuality, to abortion, and everything in between. Not everyone on the panel claimed to be a believer in God or follower of any faith tradition. The majority of the panelists did admit to coming out of a conservative Christian background. Unfortunately, the panelists by and large demonstrated a lack of critical thinking skills and many in attendance were sold a false bill of goods regarding sex and faith.
When I initially began writing this blog post I started analyzing several different claims made by the panelists regarding church history, biblical hermeneutics, etc. But there was simply too much involved to write an adequate critique in a blog post. Thus, I have decided to focus on the elephant in the room that seemed to be invisible to the well-meaning panelists and apparently most everyone else in attendance.
IS CONSISTENCY TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Multiple times throughout the evening it was mentioned that consent and communication were the key issues regarding sexual activity. It was also said that sexuality is part of being human. Please make no mistake, I THINK RAPE IS DEPLORABLE and sinful for both biblical and philosophical reasons, and I agree that sexuality is part of being human because we are sexual beings. Unfortunately, the panelists left these “keys” to healthy sexuality and this notion of sexuality being part of human nature floating in midair with no ground for their support.
The claim was made that sexual ethics move with time and are always evolving. A similar claim was made that views on reproductive rights move with time as well. I asked if this meant that at some point in the future we could have this same “honest conversation” and the panelists would be saying the polar opposite of what they had been saying. After all, if sexual ethics are always changing, then such a scenario certainly seems feasible. The answer I was essentially given was that, while such a thing was possible, they didn’t foresee it ever happening because we had moved past such restrictive views of sex. After all, it was asserted, the Bible condoned slavery, we’ve moved beyond that, and we certainly can’t foresee ever going back…
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