If you’ve ever been to a youth group, or a young adult’s bible study, or read a Catholic/Christian blog, or turned on a presidential debate, you’ve heard about sex.
And Christians like to criticize the mainstream media for being obsessed with sex. Hypocrites, we are.
Seriously. There is a lot of talk about sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Done blushing? Okay, good. ‘Cause we’re going to talk about sex more in this post.
Gay sex. Straight sex. Teenagers having sex. Teenagers having sex and having babies. Unplanned consequences of sex. How to prevent those unplanned consequences. Abstinence only. Sex education. Gay marriage. Protecting marriage. Waiting for marriage. Modesty. The pill. Little blue pills (okay you know what, I’ve never heard a Christian argue against that one). Celibacy. Gay celibacy. Straight celibacy. Whose having sex that shouldn’t be having sex. Children out of wedlock. Civil unions. Birth control. Abortion. Wearing white on your wedding day. Divorce. Kissing. Not kissing. Porn.
I swear, looking at Christianity from the outside, you would think it was a bunch of rules talking about sex. Take this comment I received after my post on gay marriage:
I think it would really benefit you to attend a few RCIA classes at your Parish to find out what Catholicism is all about. If you disagree with many of the teachings….gay marriage, abortion, getting married without any interest in having children….maybe you should look for a new Church.
While I appreciate the offer to leave the Church (though I thought invites were supposed to go the other way around?), I was surprised to hear this fella’s definition of what Catholicism is “all about.” Apparently, it’s all about sexual ethics.
Last I checked, that wasn’t the case.
What was the greatest commandment? Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. The second? Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-40
Now don’t get me wrong. Sexual ethics are important and they deserve a place in faith discussions. But when we start acting like sex is the most important thing, we’ve gone way, way off base.
Take all the discussion of modesty, for instance. While rabbinic scholars might have debated how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, modern day Christians spend ages discussing which is sexier: a t-shirt falling just below the collar bone or a skirt that comes right above the knee. Either way, the consensus is that too much of the female body should not show lest it tempt some man into lustful thoughts.
I don’t appreciate the insinuation that my body is for sex and for sex alone, and that any sight of it must be equated with sex. This is the body God gave me, to worship with, to work with, to bear children in, to enjoy the world through, to be a temple for him. It is not solely for sex and thus the sight of it need not be equated with sex.
Or gay marriage. Even if its legalization does mark the end of society as we know it, though even conservatives have admitted that’s not true, what about all the other things tearing our civilization apart? The hunger crisis in Somalia, or the fact poverty is contributing to excess mortality? We have far more important things to worry about than who is getting it on with whom.
Let’s stop talking about sex. It’s not what we are all about. I mean, Paul said we should stop having it anyway, so…. But we’re better than this. We’ve got a better message to send than this.