This Patheos article popped up in my Facebook feed from The Christian Left, a site I really enjoy reading as a spiritual person who was raised both liberal and Christian, but also as a pragmatic person who wants to see the core basic tenets of Christianity taken back from the right wing.
The article is about how we need a new set of ethics for sexuality as the current one is basically, sex while married-good, sex while unmarried-bad. And don’t even get me started on how our LGBT family does not have a national right to marriage.
It’s a good read, so check it out.
from The Christian Left “Not that long ago, when people hit puberty, they got married and started having sex and kids, and not necessarily in that order. We’re talking at ages 16 and 14. That’s how old my Grandpa and Grandma were when they got hitched, and they stayed together for life and had 13 kids. Nowadays we expect our kids to wait until they graduate from college and start their careers before they can get married and have sex. So they’re supposed to ignore their hormones screaming at them for 10 to 12 years. Come on. It isn’t realistic. We need a new set of ethics to deal with this.”
It isn’t realistic at all. Nor is it moral. Shaming people regarding sexuality only causes more shame, more dysfunction, more shadow territory for people to hide behind, and more toxicity. It also causes disease to spread and accidental pregnancies to happen leading to more abortion which is something the right says they want to reduce.
In my opinion these ethics don’t have to be complicated. It involves 1) telling people how their bodies work from an early age (age appropriate information including how to avoid disease and pregnancy) 2) teaching them about empathy in relationships, honesty, trust, and communication and how that honors the human experience that is life/spirituality and 3) being honest with them that sex is highly pleasurable and that it’s entirely normal and natural for bodies to want to get together so long as it’s done with respect and consent and affection for each other (for however long it lasts) and that approaching sex in that way (with respect and partnership) honors life/spirituality.
Kind of a “do unto others” take on sex, if you will. Literally and ethically. Yes, I know some people will say I’m going to hell for that, but come on…
If we’ve done 1 and 2 well, then there will be a lot of the ethics parts easily discussed as part of 3. Three will come easier to parents, to friends and mentors, as well as between partners.
The more we do 1 and 2, the easier it would be to have books and podcasts and discussion groups for adults and yes, for teens. Respecting that teens can and will make ethical decisions is part of the process.
Sadly, we are not really doing 1) on any cohesive level-certainly not at schools as sex ed is being abandoned and gutted, totally not on a religious level…and 2) is not always a core value of our society, in that we love competition, greed, “winning” and efficiency over play, collaboration and sharing…and finally we don’t do 3) at all.
So, how do I get in on getting these ethics changed? Is there a job opening somewhere?
Oh yeah! I’m already doing it! Both with my own kids as The Professor and I have long been honest with them about biology, answering questions cleanly and clearly, but also in teaching them values that help respect relationships and that precious ephemeral quality between people where some say “god” exists.
Also, BedPost Confessions. Now, this seems like entertainment on the surface, but underpinning it is a commitment to education and ethics AND its also a great place for adults to start breaking out of old dynamics and start conversations. Adults need sex ed and ethics revamps too!
Maybe we’ll be seeing a change in how we as a people can embrace an entirely new paradigm of sexuality-as communication between people but also as a kind of communion. A new way of allowing for the spirit and the sensuality.
That’s my hope, anyway.