Saturday Symposium: Traditional Sexual Ethics and Mental Health/Wellbeing

Happy Saturday once again! We’ve managed to clear about half our inbox this past week, so we’re making it through those responses to reader emails. Each week, we continue to feel honored by readers who have shared their own thoughts and personal stories with us. The level of vulnerability you have shown challenges us to be more vulnerable. In particular, Sarah’s personal reflection from this week has received many incredibly moving responses. Thank you for flooding our inbox with love and entrusting us with your own stories.

Now, let’s move on 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: Our question for today comes from a reader email. This reader has written to us with many thoughtful questions and comments, but we found one particularly striking. After reading multiple blogs within the LGBT Christian blogosphere, she recognizes a sense of privilege as a straight person and wants to be compassionate to all LGBT people while holding a traditional sexual ethic. She wonders how it is possible to continue bearing witness to a traditional sexual ethic if so many LGBT people have experienced despair and have even turned to suicide because of the beliefs associated with this approach to sexual ethics. We will be responding to this reader within the next few days, but because the issue raised in her email is a very important one (or at least should be, in our opinion) for all involved in the LGBT Christian conversation, we wanted to pose it for all our readers. How can a person bear witness to a traditional sexual ethic, even if that person believes it aligns with the Gospel, if doing so leads others to despair? Do you think it’s true that a traditional sexual ethic necessarily leads at least some LGBT people to a decrease in mental health and wellbeing? Are there any ways of discussing a traditional sexual ethic that might be less likely to have such an impact? Is a progressive sexual ethic the answer, or is it possible that a progressive sexual ethic might also do harm in some way? If so, to whom?

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.