Saturday Symposium: Describing LGBT Christian Sexual Ethics

Good morning, folks. Once again, hoping everyone’s weekend is off to a great start. If you’re one of our American readers, Happy 4th of July weekend. We’ve finally caught up on blog comments and are slowly responding to emails. As usual, thanks for your patience and for some very thoughtful comments this week.

We’re eager to hear your responses to today’s 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: Because we don’t use the terms Side A and Side B here on the blog to describe our own sexual ethics, we’ve been wondering why some people place so much importance on these terms and others do not. As we were interacting with readers yesterday on Twitter, we decided to start a conversation about this.

We posed the question:

Almost immediately, we heard from folks who recognize that the terms have utility and are helpful for some people. For example:  

But others focused on how these terms can frame important conversations as a debate rather than a dialogue:

In the past, we’ve found these terms useful for exploring sexual ethics further. Even today, we still use them as shorthand in certain instances of conversation with friends. But if you’ve been reading our blog even for a short time, you’ve probably figured out that we believe there are other ways to discuss sexual ethics, and depending upon the conversation, trying a new approach to discussing LGBT issues in the Church might be necessary. Today, we are asking the same question we asked on Twitter yesterday: Are “Side A” and “Side B” the most accurate descriptors for all LGBT Christian sexual ethics? To put a bit more flesh on that question, if you were having coffee with someone who wanted a primer on this topic, would you feel it essential to first explain Side A and Side B, or would you take a different approach?

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

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