Monday, March 26, 2007

We're Speaking of Sex Today ...

... which we actually don't do very much of on this blog -- certainly not compared to some other places where the graphic imagined details of other people's sex lives probably say more about the fantasizers than they do about the fantasees. (Not sure if that's a word but you get my drift.)

Anyway, here are some words of wisdom from Orange County priest Kay Sylvester who offered these thoughts about sex in response to those who can't seem to think (or at least can't manage to TALK!) about anything else.
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She writes:

Somehow, I believe those who hold this sense of aversion have somehow mixed it up with the essential sacredness of sex, and if sex violates their personal taboos, it is unholy. This is to confuse sexual ACTS with sexual RELATIONSHIP. Our church has worked for years (and years) to come to some conclusion about what holy relationship looks like, and what we affirmed in Denver most particularly was that holy relationship looks like fidelity, monogamy, and lifelong commitment, NOT Tab A inserted into Slot B.

Fidelity, monogamy, and lifelong commitment are qualities that can be found in some, not all, homosexual relationships, and in some, not all, heterosexual relationships.

The bits involved, and who does what to whom with them, are the least part, in fact a virtually negligible part, of what constitutes a holy relationship. We have also affirmed that a relationship of fidelity, etc. should also include the first part of the Hippocratic oath: first, do no harm.

We have agreed that relationships that involve abuse of power, physical abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, do not meet the standard of holiness. Again, which bits are involved doesn't matter. To begin ... with the BITS, is to miss the point entirely. I would, in fact, invite them, and everyone, to reflect on how mutual vulnerability might be a strong expression of holy relationship, in a straight OR gay context.
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Well, all righty then ... there you have it. Back to our regularly scheduled blog!

7 comments:

John said...

(Insert loud "AMEN!" here) Susan, is there a posted or published source for this quote? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

A difficult issue but, ultimately not convincing, at all. Why weren't the saints from ages past convinced of this? Why doesn't sexual differentiation matter? All the things she mentions might be good--and are good of course--of deep friendships. The BCP enshrines a great view of marriage and sexual relations: unity, companionship, and procreation for children and a chance to bring them up to know and love the Lord.

Sonje said...

As humans, we do tend to get obsessed with the "who does what with what and whose bits."

It is saddening that our Church is sometimes plagued by that same obsession. Fidelity is something that we should encourage with all people. In my humble opinion, it is better to have 3 same-sex couples that are faithful to each other than to have 1 heterosexual couple that is not faithful to each other.

Hiram said...

The kind of statements made in this article are a major reason why some who uphold the historic conviction say that those in favor of same-sex sexual activity are gnostics -- for the gnostics believed that the soul mattered, but the body did not; it was a mere accident, a conveyance of the the soul and no more.

It has long struck me as odd that those who are in a sacramental church should say, "It is the style of the relationship that matters, not the shape of the bodies in it." Look at all the time and thought given to the shape, size, color, etc of altar, chalices, pattens, candlabra, hangings, vestments, etc, etc -- because the shape, size, color, and so on matter. But never mind the shape of human bodies, for the shape tells us nothing of the purpose or nature of those bodies...

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous, then sex (and marriage) should be restricted for procreation, and those who cannot, or do not choose to procreate, should not have sex or get married. That is the logical conclusion of your statement.

So old folks who marry post-menopausally, sterile young people, or career-minded yuppies who don't want kids, should get no sex and no marriage.

Why don't you try and let me know how it works out.

IT

Anonymous said...

While I am on the conservative side of the issue, generally, the charge of "gnosticism" is tricky one to deploy in this matter because the reply to Hiram would be 'Well, no. The psycho-sexual identity of the person--a deep-seated, seemingly fixed condition, with affectational components, certainly, and maybe biological (hormonal), physiological, and genetic components, too--mean that we are dealing with the embodied concrete being, and not just a disembodied soul." My only point here is the gnosticism can't be so easily deployed. I still think marriage is the place for intercourse and that GLBT's, if marriage is not an option, are to be an eschatological sign in the unmarried state, as I read the NT.

Mark said...

I still think that, if we're to be held to celibacy, and do it successfully as witness to the church, we should be given greater prerogatives in leadership and direction of the church, as being clearly in better control of ourselves and more willing to sacrifice what cannot objectively be shown to be bad merely for the good of the group.

If not, it's mere nonsense and an expectation in bad faith.