Offense versus Discrimination

Sarah teaches introductory freshman courses in theology and religious studies in which students will discuss, debate, and disagree with each other on any number of topics. Sarah always tries to model respect for the wide range of diverse opinions and perspectives in the classroom. Oftentimes, Sarah’s class is the first time these students have had opportunity to discuss theology and religion academically (rather than catechetically) in an interfaith environment. On the first day, Sarah is clear to tell all students that they should not worry about being discriminated against for their beliefs during class because all opinions and perspectives are welcomed and respected. However, Sarah also makes clear that it would be surprising if any student in the classroom were to make it through the course without being offended at least once, whether by Sarah or by a classmate.

Sarah finds that the students are often confused by the distinction between offense and discrimination. This confusion isn’t surprising because many of us have been taught that offending other people should be avoided. In Christian circles, saying something that another regards as offensive is often construed as judging that person. Even referring to a certain action as “sin” or “not within God’s boundaries” is taken as a judgment. On the internet, merely having an opinion on a controversial issue (no matter the issue or opinion) can be equated with hatefulness, judgmentalism, inflammatory rhetoric, and discrimination. As we’ve been blogging, we’ve seen firsthand that no matter how kindly or respectfully one might state a position, other people are quick to respond with statements and questions like, “Stop judging me! You’re so judgmental. Are you okay with discrimination? Why do you have to be so inflammatory?”

This sort of knee-jerk response makes honest conversation next to impossible because it conflates earnest disagreement with discrimination. And it’s very, very, very difficult, even impossible, to have thoughtful theological conversation without acknowledging the potential for earnest disagreement. A Muslim student and a Christian student are going to have different ideas about what is essential for holy living. Those different ideas are a natural consequence of real differences in faith traditions.

As we’ve mentioned before, we’re not interested in engaging in the Side A versus Side B debate. At the same time, it is to be expected that the way we live our lives is shaped by the way our Christian tradition understands marriage and sexuality. We have repeatedly stated that Christians should seek spiritual direction within their own Christian traditions when trying to discern their vocations in Christ. We have noticed that the people most willing to suggest that we are being inflammatory seem to be of the opinion that we have perched ourselves in a state of quiet judgment on their ways of life. To be completely fair and honest, we are aware that we (like every other person) can be rude and judgmental at times. For example, we find our capacities for empathy and compassion stretched when we encounter others who, upon our first judgment, seem shallow, immature, or intellectually dishonest. We are aware that these three things have unique power to press our buttons, and we are working to modify our first responses so that we are able to treat all people the way we would like to be treated. At the same time, pointing out possible fallacies within a person’s argument is not the same as calling a person intellectually dishonest or assuming the worst in that person’s intentions. Likewise, we would say that holding opinions (whatever those opinions may be) on marriage and sexuality is not the same as engaging in discrimination against people who hold the opposite opinions.

We’ve noticed that the Scriptural exhortation to “Judge not, lest you be judged” gets misapplied frequently in situations where one person becomes offended by another’s opinion on a moral matter. “I believe same-sex sexual activity is outside the boundaries God has set for us,” is taken to mean, “You’re in a sexually active same-sex relationship. Therefore, I am pointing my finger and telling you that you will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.” Or, “I believe there is no such thing as a biblical divorce,” is taken to mean, “You’re divorced and say you’re a Christian. I’m going to shame you for leaving your marriage and insist that you’re still married to your ex in the eyes of God.” Because the person on the receiving end of these statements hears them as judgments, the speaker’s intention gets lost during transmission. We think this is why so often the hearer will respond with, “Judge not” even if the speaker wasn’t judging in the first place.

Embedding statements within particular relationships can go a long way in recovering the speaker’s intention. The person saying “I believe there is no such thing as a biblical divorce” might be struggling in his or her marriage and trying to discern the best way forward. The person saying “I believe same-sex sexual activity is outside the boundaries God has set for us” might hold that belief while simultaneously being in the process of discerning how best to respond to an invitation to a gay loved one’s wedding. We try to remember that many people say the things that they say because of something going in their lives. We also try to remember that many people hold certain beliefs after years of earnest thought, prayer, and consideration. After all, that’s the way we’ve come to our own beliefs on any number of concerns.

In thinking about the line between offense and discrimination, we consider the following. Offense is in how the listener receives a message. Discrimination is based on a much broader set of beliefs, attitudes, and actions that render certain individuals and groups of people as being fundamentally different from the rest of humanity. For example, we are profoundly offended by the idea that the Eucharist is only symbol. We believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ; and as such, we know other people who are profoundly offended by our belief on the same topic. However, holding to our belief about Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist is not the same as discriminating against people who believe the Eucharist is symbolic. Someone could rightly call us out as being discriminatory if we argued that Christians who believed in a symbolic Eucharist should not be permitted to develop their Communion practices within their Christian traditions. Equally, someone could rightly call us out as being discriminatory if we believed these Christian traditions should have legal sanctions placed upon them. Discrimination requires a fundamental belief that the speaker is better than the listener. These fundamental beliefs are often manifested in attitudes and actions that seek to marginalize the listener.

To be sure, we acknowledge that there are some things said that are both offensive and discriminatory. Maintaining an active Twitter account means that we’ve seen some pretty unbelievable celebrity guffaws where it is absolutely appropriate for the celebrity to apologize for what he or she has said. However, we’d argue that in most cases, the reason why these celebrities should apologize is that they have said something discriminatory, not because they hold opinions that happen to be offensive to people with different beliefs. Discrimination is everyone’s problem. Offense, however, sometimes says more about the offended than the offender. Being offended by someone’s opinion can bring a great opportunity to ask oneself, “Why does this opinion push my buttons so much? Is this person actually being a jerk, or does this incident of offense reveal something about myself that I need to consider more prayerfully?” In our own lives, we’ve found the latter to be true more often than not.

Comment Policy: Please remember that we, and all others commenting on this blog, are people. Practice kindness. Practice generosity. Practice asking questions. Practice showing love. Practice being human. If your comment is rude, it will be deleted. If you are constantly negative, argumentative, or bullish, you will not be able to comment anymore. We are the sole moderators of the combox.

Saturday Symposium: Supporting Celibate LGBT People

It’s Saturday again! Where did the time go? Apologies for not having this posted earlier today. We’ve both been ill this week with a stomach virus, and we’re still not back to 100% quite yet. That means we still haven’t totally caught up on email yet, but we will!

Now, for our new “Saturday Symposium” question…

How this works: It’s very simple. We ask a multi-part question related to a topic we’ve blogged about during the past week or are considering blogging about in the near future, and you, our readers, share your responses in the comments section. Feel free to be open, reflective, and vulnerable…and to challenge us. But as always, be mindful of the comment policy that ends each of our posts. Usually, we respond fairly quickly to each comment, but in order to give you time to think, come back, add more later if you want, and discuss with other readers, we will wait until after Monday to respond to comments on Saturday Symposium questions.

This week’s Saturday Symposium question: This week, we are doing some research for two topics we would like to write about within the next couple of weeks. Readers, you come to us from a wide range of life experiences and Christian traditions. We’re interested in knowing your thoughts on: 1) How can people holding a traditional sexual ethic be more supportive of celibate LGBT Christians? 2) How can people holding a modern, liberal sexual ethic be more supportive of celibate LGBT Christians?

We look forward to reading your responses. If you’re concerned about having your comment publicly associated with your name, please consider using the Contact Us page to submit your comment. We can post it under a pseudonym (i.e. John says, “your comment”) or summarize your comment in our own words (i.e. One person observed…). Participating in this kind of public dialogue can be risky, and we want to do what we can to protect you even if that means we preserve your anonymity. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah and Lindsey

Comment Policy: Please remember that we, and all others commenting on this blog, are people. Practice kindness. Practice generosity. Practice asking questions. Practice showing love. Practice being human. If your comment is rude, it will be deleted. If you are constantly negative, argumentative, or bullish, you will not be able to comment anymore. We are the sole moderators of the combox.

White Knuckling Can Only Get You So Far

A reflection by Lindsey

One of the lines sometimes used by Christians embracing a traditional sexual ethic when counseling people with same-sex attractions is that there is a difference between being attracted to someone and acting on those attractions. This counsel makes a distinction between temptation and sin, observing that absolutely everyone experiences temptation of some kind. Christ Himself experienced temptation. What separates us from Christ is that we frequently respond to temptation poorly. Christ is sinless because He never faltered on the divide between temptation and sin. According to this line of thinking, holiness is within our reach, provided we seek God’s help in making the right decisions when we feel tempted.

I’ve spent at least a decade trying to make sense of this particular message and have concluded that it fails miserably at answering the question, “Well then, how should we live?” When rubber meets the road, people find themselves devoting considerable time to learning how to resist temptations to do things that they know are unhealthy for them. I think this type of “just don’t do it” message is what can cause people to compare homosexuality to alcoholism: “An alcoholic must do everything in his or her power to avoid taking that first drink.” In this mindset, a gay person must do everything in his or her power to avoid sexual sin: holiness for a same-sex orientated person is defined by avoiding lust, pornography, masturbation, and anything else that might fuel the desires for same-sex sexual activity.

I’d like to call bullshit.

The “just don’t have sex or do anything lustful” directive characterizes homosexuality as a propensity towards a particular kind of action: being gay simply means experiencing temptation for particular kinds of sexual activity. People of all orientations who do experience significant sexual temptations can find themselves trying to “fake it until they make it” resorting to white knuckling as the main approach. Often in the lives of gay people seeking spiritual counsel, that approach is not only encouraged, but is couched as the only possible means for living celibacy. I’ve watched so many people paralyzed by white knuckling that I can spot it a mile away. White knuckling offers false hope and denies people a life-giving way of being. It doesn’t matter what a person is trying to resist; white knuckling can only get him or her so far.

This kind of thinking dominated the approach to the ex-gay ministry I was a part of several years ago. I approached the ministry blissfully unaware of a great deal of things that might be considered potential sexual temptations. I noticed that there was something about me where it made sense that I might be a member of the LGBT community, but at that point had no experience with any kind of sexual activity. Truth be told, I came to ex-gay ministry because I was terrified of falling out of grace and finding myself on the “wrong” side of the Church. It’s remarkable that 13 years later, I still have to swallow that fear from time to time. Fearing everyone in the Church and everything vaguely “gay” did a lot to tear at me emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. In the ex-gay world, I was learning that it was only appropriate to fear my sexuality. In other words, I was being inundated with the message that white knuckling was the only Christian response to the experience of same-sex attraction.

To be sure, there might be seasons when white knuckling is the most appropriate strategy to try and stop undesirable behaviors of one kind or another. Not to draw any comparison between homosexuality and addiction (Sarah has written on problems with that comparison), but I have a great deal of compassion when a person is starting the process of ceasing addictive behaviors. Sometimes sitting on one’s hands is the only way to keep oneself safe in an immediate season of crisis. But what can get a person through one minute is not adequate to get one through the rest of one’s life. Thinking that it will can cause a lot of damage. Specifically concerning sexuality, such an approach can hold a person back from ever integrating fully this part of his or her humanity.

White knuckling is exhausting. Living in constant fear can be an incredible energy drain. People devote so much energy to resisting things they should not do that it becomes easy to lose track of what they should do. Furthermore, behaviors themselves become the problem. When someone is white knuckling, he or she only sees particular actions as problematic. In the case of sexuality, people can lose sight of the fact that this part of our being is a gift from God that enables us to connect with others. When in the thick of ex-gay ministry, I found it impossible to connect with other people because I had learned to fear just about every possible interaction.

I had to move away from the idea that my sexuality was something to be feared. I’ve encouraged hundreds of people to reconsider their beliefs that fear is the most appropriate emotional response to their sexualities. Moving beyond white knuckling requires changing one’s perspective. We need to be able to affirm what is good about how we interact with others, perceive beauty, and experience attractions of all kinds. Getting past white knuckling enables many people to move beyond fear and honestly assess how certain behaviors may work in their lives. As I’ve watched people move beyond white knuckling, I’ve seen time and time again how perfect love casts out all fear and creates space for people to be transformed by God’s grace.

Comment Policy: Please remember that we, and all others commenting on this blog, are people. Practice kindness. Practice generosity. Practice asking questions. Practice showing love. Practice being human. If your comment is rude, it will be deleted. If you are constantly negative, argumentative, or bullish, you will not be able to comment anymore. We are the sole moderators of the combox.

World Vision, Gay Marriage, and the Queer Calling of Serving the Poor

World Vision, a leading international development charity known for its child sponsorship program, created a fire in the blogosphere by announcing (and then retracting) a decision that gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages would be eligible for employment at the charity. In the 72 hours of the news cycle thus far, we’ve seen a lot of opinions expressed: some writers praised World Vision’s initial move as a radical acceptance of gay marriage. Others decried the decision as caving to worldly pressures. Still, others began calling upon progressive Christians to support the charity financially as conservative Christians dropped their child sponsorship commitments. Yet another group encouraged conservative Christians to sponsor children with more theologically orthodox charities. Then, when the decision was reversed, people on both sides of the debate became disgruntled.

The two of us here at A Queer Calling see another perspective on the events of the past three days, and we haven’t seen this discussed much yet: we believe that each Christian tradition has an obligation to define marriage and guide members of that specific tradition to Christ-honoring ways of life. All Christian traditions and organizations should recognize that people are people, create in God’s image and likeness. And lastly, service to the poor is its own kind of queer calling.

Christianity Today interviewed Richard Stearns, the director of World Vision, after the initial decision to allow hiring of staff members in legal same-sex marriages and reported:

Stearns said World Vision has never asked about sexual orientation when interviewing job candidates. Instead, the organization screens employees for their Christian faith, asking if they can affirm the Apostles’ Creed or World Vision’s Trinitarian statement of faith. Yet World Vision has long had a Christian conduct policy for employees that “holds a very high bar for all manner of conduct,” said Stearns. Regarding sexuality activity, World Vision has required abstinence for all single employees, and fidelity for all married employees.

Let’s be clear about something: World Vision is not a church, and it hires Christians from a wide range of traditions. We don’t know for sure the variety of denominations represented by World Vision’s staff members, but theoretically, there could be members of the United Church of Christ working alongside members of the Roman Catholic Church. When you insert multiple Christian traditions into the mix, it’s not terribly hard to see that there are many points of theological disagreement. These different traditions have come to varying conclusions about the acceptability of same-sex marriage, but also have markedly different views on virtually everything that could be used to define a Christian tradition: sacramental theology, worship practice, Christology, views on authority, church organization, salvation, you name it. World Vision has kept a practice of bridging these differences by asking job seekers to affirm the Apostles’ Creed or World Vision’s Trinitarian Statement of Faith and to agree to a Christian conduct policy.

In reversing their decision, Richard Stearns published an open letter in which he wrote the following:

We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, “We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

Such is the work of today’s American “orthodoxy.” Divisions in faith and practice can be myriad. Many American Christians shop around for various churches, visiting congregations attached to different Christian traditions and looking for the magical mix that spurs them to consider one particular local church “home.” For many Christians, especially those in evangelical traditions, diversity of belief and practice amongst different denominations and local congregations is viewed as acceptable when it comes to a wide range of issues. Yet, the instant questions of homosexuality and same-sex marriage enter the fray, the loosely organized conservative Evangelical Church appears to fight the good fight in the name of defending the faith, the authority of the Scriptures, the rightness of one particular biblical interpretation, and the cause of Christian unity. It’s no wonder that gay Christians feel frustrated, angry, and hurt when our lives (or people’s assumptions about our lives) become the deal-breaking factor many straight Christians consider when deciding to support (or cease supporting) charitable organizations.

Since World Vision made its initial decision (and even more since the reversal), people have been asking us our opinion on this whole messy situation. Some have assumed incorrectly  that because we are a celibate couple, we were glad to see World Vision’s retraction and apology. Not so. We tend to advocate for the freedom of Christian traditions to define marriage in accordance with their own theologies and guide people within those traditions to Christ-honoring lives. This doesn’t mean we agree with all possible Christian theologies of marriage and sexuality, but it does mean that we respect the autonomy of each church/denomination to make its own decisions on these matters. There are many Christians who, within the contexts of their own traditions, have reached different conclusions on sexual ethics than we have. We don’t see it as our job to impose our own theology of marriage and sexuality upon other people, and we don’t see such as the job of nondenominational Christian charities either. Again, World Vision employs people from many denominations, presumably some that affirm same-sex marriage, and is not a church. 

Now that World Vision has reversed its decision, we wonder how the organization might react to a job candidate who is not in a same-sex marriage, but a civil union or domestic partnership. Call us pessimists here, but we’re not too confident that the terminology used would make any difference. One could make an argument that these other types of arrangements are neither scriptural nor unscriptural–that they are legal relationships having nothing to do with how religious terms are defined. One could make a similar argument about “legal marriage” in contrast to “religious marriage.” But somehow we doubt that most of the donors who pulled their sponsorships of children would be any more amiable toward the idea of LGBT people in civil unions, domestic partnerships, or even as singles working for an organization like World Vision.

In the worldview of many Christians, it is totally acceptable to make a number of assumptions about a person’s sexual ethic, way of life, faithfulness, and so on if that person is LGBT. That a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (or any combination thereof) couple has acquired some form of legally recognized relationship says nothing about that couple’s sexual ethic or religious understanding of marriage. Since so many of the basic rights tied to caring for another person are granted only with a government-recognized marriage, it’s entirely possible that a couple in our own situation might find state-sanctioned marriage the only means of protecting each other legally. But regardless of a couple’s (or a single person’s) situation or convictions, it’s difficult for us to see how hiring a person for work that involves service to the poor necessarily implies endorsement of that person’s sexual ethic or theology of marriage. We’ve read a couple of arguments that World Vision’s retraction was a move to protect marriage/a Christian sexual ethic and not an attempt to keep LGBT people in general out of employment in Christian charitable organizations…but to us, that seems to be wishful thinking. How many of the donors that pulled support from World Vision still would have done so if the original announcement had been about acceptance of LGBT people rather than willingness to hire married LGBT people? We’ll never know the answer to this, but we remain highly skeptical of the claim that this controversy has only to do with gay marriage.

In our estimation, service to the poor is its own kind of a queer calling. With so many social messages that happiness, fulfillment, and a life well-lived come from acquiring many assets, opting out of the materialistic rat race is surely countercultural. Individuals who take on this work forgo many benefits assumed with employment in other positions, and usually people interested in faith-based international development jobs are willing to move every few years to advance different projects around the world. Often, workers–irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status–make radical commitments to serving others at the expense of their own comfort and wellbeing. There is a reason Christians of all sexual orientations and gender identities are committed to establishing a preferential option for the poor: the Gospel compels us to care for the least of these. World Vision has consistently displayed a commitment to enter communities that would most benefit from their services, including those significantly affected by AIDS. World Vision sees these people as people and fights for the chance to serve them. It seems a bit ironic that an organization so committed to seeing Christ in the global poor has offered such a mixed message on the inclusion of LGBT Christians in its work.

As we have read the developing story, we’ve been stricken by how easy it can be to overlook the lives of real people in favor of combatting an ideology one might perceive as threatening–and in most situations, that goes equally for liberals and conservatives. We’ve read a number of posts in the blogosphere that suggest the decision for faith-based charities to hire people in same-sex marriages would endanger a broader Christian theology of marriage. We’ve read others that claim World Vision’s reversal is unchristian because it shows compassion for the poor (at least in terms of wooing donors back) at the expense of the LGBT community. While we aren’t going to pick an argument with those who hold these positions, we will say that we find it troubling how often Christians fail to see people as creations beloved by God rather than “enemies” or “allies.” We are grieved for the thousands of children who lost sponsors as a result of reactions to World Vision’s original announcement, the unknown number of LGBT Christians denied the opportunity to serve Christ by serving the poor via World Vision or similar charities, and a worldwide Church that is in such desperate need of peace and healing.

Comment Policy: Please remember that we, and all others commenting on this blog, are people. Practice kindness. Practice generosity. Practice asking questions. Practice showing love. Practice being human. If your comment is rude, it will be deleted. If you are constantly negative, argumentative, or bullish, you will not be able to comment anymore. We are the sole moderators of the combox.

Isn’t sex a good thing?

With some regularity, readers ask us if choosing celibacy means denying one’s sexuality and/or denying the existence of sexuality as a gift from God. About a month ago, one reader provided us with a great deal of information on the evolutionary aspects of sex and sexuality, following that information up with this set of questions: “I ask if [celibacy] is a denial of the gift God gives us in sex. I guess my question to you is, isn’t sex good? Isn’t it one of God’s greatest gifts to us? Aren’t we supposed to be sexual creatures?” After taking a few weeks to ponder how we would approach these questions, we have decided to address them directly today.

We’ll begin by giving the short, simple answer to the titular question of this post: yes. We do believe that sex is good. We believe it is a gift from God, and our Christian tradition influences our understanding of how God intends humans to use this gift. We also see a distinction between “sexual activity” and “sexuality,” and do not believe that absence of the first means avoidance of the second. We see celibacy as a means of living into the gift of sexuality rather than a denial of it. Our celibacy does not exclude us from existing as sexual creatures. We’ve both had enough experience in the past with attempting to deny or change our sexualities that we know how damaging suppression can be.

Concerning the idea that sex is, as our reader suggests, “one of God’s greatest gifts to us,” we would agree with that. Sexual activity enables humans to engage directly with God as co-creators, bringing new life into the world. It also enables couples to deepen their relationships with God by coming to know one another more intimately. That God has provided humans this means of connection with Him and with other humans is truly incredible. As such, we believe it would be foolish to deny that the capacity for sexual activity is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. That said, the decision to follow a vocational pathway that does not include sexual activity can provide means of engaging in other amazing gifts from God. One example of this is that celibacy offers the opportunity for connection to the world more generally, unlocking space for cultivating the gifts of intercession and mercy. When we are trying to relate to people who are not “family” connections, we find ourselves stretching to practice compassion. Directing compassion through Christ means prayerfully imaging him to the people we meet. We don’t always succeed in this, but working on it is one of the great challenges and joys of the celibate vocation. People who are married often feel called to take a more family-oriented approach to honing the gifts of intercession and mercy. Similarly, we feel called to engaging with God’s gift of sexuality in ways that do not involve sexual activity.

Another illustration that came to mind as we were discussing these questions is the various senses with which God has gifted humans. Generally, people are able to engage with the world using some combination of sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, emotion, and so on. Not all humans are able to use all of these gifts, and we don’t have much choice concerning which of these we are and aren’t able to use. Even people who have the ability to communicate using all of the traditionally-named “five senses” tend to gravitate toward some more than others for communicating and making sense of the world. For example, Sarah has color-grapheme synesthesia—an involuntary phenomenon that causes her to see letters, numbers, and certain words in specific colors (i.e. “7” is green, “purpose” is red). Because of this, Sarah uses colors to understand most concepts when reading, writing, doing mathematics, translating from one written language to another, etc. However, this also complicates matters for Sarah’s engagement with the same concepts presented in oral format, so Sarah tends to rely more strongly on sight than any of the other senses. But engagement with one gift does not imply denial that others are good, or that others exist. Sarah’s understanding of things would differ significantly from that of a person who, for whatever reason, relies more consistently on the gift of touch to make sense of the world, but that doesn’t mean either has to deny the other’s experience.

The last question, “Aren’t we supposed to be sexual creatures?” is an important one. We want to be clear that we do see ourselves as sexual creatures even though we have chosen a way of life that does not involve sexual activity. We accept that both of us are attracted exclusively to women. Lindsey has been a strident advocate for celibates taking the approach of integrating rather than excising their sexualities. When one integrates one’s sexuality within the vocation of celibacy, one acknowledges that attraction is a gift from God and appreciates diverse kinds of beauty. Integrating one’s sexuality enables one to live within one’s body, becoming comfortable in one’s own skin. We have learned to celebrate our full humanity. We marvel at how being in relationship with each other has challenged us as individuals to grow in appreciation of our individual bodies while making space for another person to do the same.

We’ve come to believe that yes, sex is a good thing while considering sexuality as a whole to be even more profoundly meaningful. As celibates, we see sexuality as a gift given to people by God, so we can connect with their bodies. People’s sexualities affect how they experience the world. We appreciate many diverse aspects of people’s sexualities and do not seek to deny other people their own experiences.

Comment Policy: Please remember that we, and all others commenting on this blog, are people. Practice kindness. Practice generosity. Practice asking questions. Practice showing love. Practice being human. If your comment is rude, it will be deleted. If you are constantly negative, argumentative, or bullish, you will not be able to comment anymore. We are the sole moderators of the combox.