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!

Blessings,

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.

32 thoughts on “Saturday Symposium: Traditional Sexual Ethics and Mental Health/Wellbeing

  1. I share the writer’s concern. I hold to a traditional view of marriage. And I’ve come to the place where I realize that I can’t control anyone’s response to what I believe. My primary responsibility is to God, and what I think HE says on the subject. People have come to drastically different conclusions on this topic – how do we get to where that’s OK?

    On the one hand, LGBT people expect “traditionalists” to understand and accept what they believe about homosexual marriage. Is it not fair, then, for traditionalists to expect LGBT people to understand and accept what we believe on the subject? Can’t we ALL (gay and straight) just live and let live with our differences? At the end of the day, aren’t we all just trying to “get it right” according to scripture?

    I know. I hear myself when I say it. And I totally understand that it is DIFFERENT. It is different because “traditionalists” have not handled the LGBT topic well at all. Not all of us, but the predominant number of traditionalist Christians treat LGBT as a “threat to our theology” rather than “human beings loved but God!” So I totally understand why LGBT people “react” when traditionalists don’t share their beliefs. It’s not fair, but I get it. If you get burned 100 times in a row, you’re going to expect to get burned again. I get it.

    Given that I really do hold to a traditional view of marriage, and LGBT people may have a hard time accepting that, all I can do is treat all people with compassion and respect (notice I didn’t specify gay). All I can do is realize that LGBT people may react, fairly or unfairly, and whatever happens I need to not be a dick about it – not use theology as a shiv. “Be a man of compassion and understanding. Period.” That is my charge.

    And be friends. When people like each other, the rules change.

    In my opinion, agreement is over-rated. I am perfectly happy to live and let live. If they’re not, that’s fine with me. But I will not be the one to push them away or push my beliefs on them. If they want to push me away, I’m OK with that.

    My theory is, I am either known as a man of compassion and understanding, or I am not. If I am (and I hope I am), then that will make our differing views palatable.

    • Mike, thanks for your observation that when people like each other, the discussions have a considerably different dynamic.

  2. St Paul wrote about this issue in Romans. First he lists many sins that 1st century Christians were concerned about seeing in their society and culture, things like gossip and sodomy. Then he admonishes them not to judge in the second chapter because “such were some of you before you knew Christ.” When someone doesn’t have a Traditional sexual ethic, I believe it is my place to introduce them to the love of Christ further, by introducing myself to Christ further each day. The more I am introduced to Christ, the more my state of being points toward Him, the more those around me see Him. I look for salvation in my own life, I become a ‘possibility model’ for that search, and I trust others to become their own ‘possibility model’ as they continuously come to know Christ.

    In conclusion, if I want to help others find Him, I have to know which direction to point in, first.

    • Hi Alison, thanks for your input that Christians who have a traditional sexual ethic might want to put first things first. Too often it seems that Christians with a traditional sexual ethic want to start immediately at convincing someone of the traditional definition of marriage.

  3. This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart as a physician. Indeed, the LGBT suffer a disproportionately high rate of psychiatric illnesses, including depression and suicidality. There are many potential causes for this, but one undeniable cause is the increased social stress experienced by the LGBT. Social isolation, shaming, and aggression can overwhelm a person’s ability to regulate their emotions and internal cognitions leading to mental disorders.

    While some in the LGBT community have claimed that the traditional sexual ethic is responsible for impairing the mental health and well-being of the LGBT, I would wholeheartedly disagree. The mere conveyance of a theological belief is never the kind if stressor that can bring about such dire consequences. I would liken traditional sexual ethic to a medication. It has the power to bring health but can taste bitter. It can also cause physical harm if taken in the wrong way and can even kill. The traditional sexual ethic, just like a medication, is good in itself, but it is the improper use that can bring the detrimental effects. Unfortunately, for much of society and church’s history, the traditional sexual ethic has been delivered with judgment, shame, and scorn. Hence, it isn’t surprising that the traditional sexual ethic has been perceived as a poison by many. But it is up to us who understand God’s love for the LGBT to communicate the life-promoting traditional sexual ethic with humility, love, and compassion.

    • As several commentors have shared, sometimes conveyance of a belief can be done in a particularly dehumanizing way. That said, thinking about the medicinal aspect of a traditional sexual ethic can be helpful. So often it seems that Christians want to load LGBT Christians up with such a high dose of a traditional sexual ethic that it becomes toxic.

  4. My ex-girlfriend was a good example. She tried to do the ex-gay thing. She even got engaged to a guy who was her best friend. Then, one day, he found her under a glass table with a box cutter, carving the word Dyke into her leg. So… clearly it happens.

    On the other side of the coin, I think the fact that people who embrace a secular ethos feel the need to reject ALL of Christian morality and sometimes purposely do the opposite has its issues. One of my closest gay male friends has been with a few hundred people, and it’s damaged his ability to connect *emotionally* with others. He’s actually terrified of being with someone he actually knows.

    I know a recent study came out that people are hailing as saying “casual sex is good for you,” but that study includes people who were with friends with benefits, as well as those who went to bed again with their former spouse – not the same thing as a nameless anonymous craigslist or grindr hookup. The brain chemistry doesn’t support those as being a good thing, religion totally aside. You wind up getting addicted to the dopamine, and the vassopressin, oxytocin, etc, no longer “stick” properly.

    So…from both science and friend’s experiences, honestly, as with many things, the truth is somewhere between the polarization, IMHO.

  5. I wanted to add just on other thought. It is very important to be clear about what is and isn’t “traditional” sexual ethic. I’m thinking the term “traditional” is being used by Sarah and Lindsey to refer to sexual ethic traditionally taught by churches that adhere to orthodox doctrines. But some traditionalists would consider it sinful simply to have same sex attraction even if there is no lust or action, as they sometimes argue that people “choose” to be gay. Such a message can hardly be communicated gracefully because, first, it’s simply not true scripturally and, second, it accuses gay people of being in perpetual sin because the attraction cannot be controlled by an act of will. Possible psychological damage would be of greater concern with this false message.

    I’m currently in the midst of a two part discussion on my blog (Confessions of a Gay Evangelical Christian) about how same sex attraction appeared in my own life and how it develops from scientific and theological perspectives. coagec.wordpress.com

    • The term “traditional sexual ethic” can mean many things. It’s certainly not a perfect term. We’re trying to avoid terms like pro-gay vs. anti-gay and affirming vs. non-affirming. Maybe there are no terms to capture some of these concepts perfectly.

  6. God’s moral law isn’t an arbitrary set of rules that he created to control us because he hates freedom. You can’t even really say that he “created” it. It is what it is because God is who he is, and it can never change because God can never change. So chastity in all its incarnations is required of us because we were made as reflections of God, to live our lives as reflections of God.

    What is it, then, that creates despair, mental illness, and so on? I believe these are the main three causes:

    1. Internal shame – I believe that I am inherently broken and unlovable. The essence of who I am (gay) is hated by God and I can’t change no matter how hard I try.

    2. Rejection – Others have ostracized me from community and friendship because of something I can’t change. I am isolated and alone. They tell me I am evil and must change to have a hope of acceptance.

    3. Feeling deprived – I have the right to physical intimacy and romantic relationships. I deserve a life-partner and I cannot be happy or have fulfilling relationships outside of that.

    Each of these lies is absolutely destroyed by the truth of the gospel. We are God’s chosen and precious children, called to live in communities of love. I can be (and speaking personally, am) wholly fulfilled as a celibate person living in relationship with my Father in heaven and my brothers and sisters in Christ – no marriage required. None of these lies belong among God’s people, and neither do the despair and emotional damage that necessarily come as a result of believing them.

    All that to say that I agree with the poster above that a conservative sexual ethic doesn’t by its nature cause despair. Lies cause despair. Shame causes despair. Self-love causes despair. Communities with a conservative sexual ethic are more likely to be shame-filled and toxic because of their tendency towards judgment, legalism and us-vs-them. But the problem is the judgment and legalism, not the ethic itself.

    Thanks to the gospel, we can reject all shame, hatred, and bullying while keeping God’s holy character intact as we strive to live it out.

    • Ivy, thanks for your input here about what mechanisms might be causing some of the harms associated with a traditional sexual ethic.

  7. I appreciate Mike O’s ‘live and let live’ approach. I less appreciate Caogec’s assumption that a “traditional,” by which I take it that Sarah and Lindsey mean that sexual intercourse is limited to married, biologically opposite persons, is always good medicine. Fidelity, compassion, sexual care and love, are all good medicine. But if a person only finds these things with someone of the same sex, the no amount of kindness is going to make a medicine which denies these things good. This is why I can appreciate Mike’s approach, but only on an individual level. His approach does not help communities make decisions about whether they should welcome into the house or even to the table those who may practice a ‘traditional’, that is faithful, monogomous, but same-sex relationship.

    For those same-sex oriented individuals who are not ALSO called to celibacy, which I take to be a calling distinct from their orientation, then as long as ‘traditional’ must include opposite-sex pairing, then no, I cannot imagine how such a message can be anything but inadequate medicine. That does not mean that the person will necessarily suffer ill health from such a message given that many have a rich capacity for generous resistance. But such a message will never be adequate.

    • Thanks for your comment Maria. You raise an important point about how the traditional sexual ethic has been leveraged to encourage people towards mixed-orientation marriages.

  8. Good questions, Sarah and Lindsey. While i do recognize that the traditional sexual ethic is a cause for harm for many in the LGBTQ community, i don’t believe it necessarily must be so. The Church (both the institution and the people who make the institution) need to be aware of this problem, and do all she can to love all persons, as Christ loves. That said, i don’t believe the Church has the responsibility to impose her beliefs on all people, especially on those who are not Christian– for example, secular laws that allow for the recognition of same-sex unions as civil marriages needn’t be seen as an attack on religious freedom.

    (A bit of disclosure about myself/my beliefs… i’m a lesbian, who supports marriage equality in secular law, but i don’t believe faith traditions must necessarily change their particular beliefs on the marriage question– though i do think it’s of utmost importance that all theology upholds the dignity of all people)

    • Hi redemptionofhope, I agree with you on the marriage question. In a democracy, people are free to vote as they will and legalize same-sex marriage even if my conscience wouldn’t allow me to enter one. The U.S. government isn’t owned by any religion – not even Christianity. It’s owned by its citizens, who come from all different beliefs and backgrounds, and its laws should reflect that. (Of course, this applies to other nations as well!)

      However, my best friend disagrees with me on that. She says that since marriage isn’t a human invention, but something God ordained, we have no right to change his definition of it. She fully supports gay and lesbian couples having recognition under the law as “civil unions” or another term, but believes we should reserve the term “marriage”.

      I see where she’s coming from, but it seems like mere semantics to me. But perhaps God does care about semantics. Who knows?

      • I’ve thought the same thing as your friend … if the question is “equality” under the law, and “civil unions” provided equality (not saying they are or aren’t equal,I’m saying if there *were* equal), would the LGBT crowd still fight for same sex “marriage?” And if so, why, if it’s no longer a rights issue?

        At least from a civil perspective (not religious).

        Unless at the heart of it, it’s more than a “rights” issue. Would that mean that at the heart of the matter, even those who do not recognize God are still somehow seeking God’s approval … without really realizing it? I mean, if it’s not about equality, than what else could it be?

        • Speaking only for myself, if civil unions provided the same rights, responsibilities, and protections as marriage, I’d accept that. A marriage ceremony in a church that supports same-sex marriage would still be an option for gay couples who wanted it.

          Unfortunately, the true hearts of many conservative evangelicals in my home state have been revealed by the controversy over the proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage (mind you, it’s never been legal in my state by law; this amendment would make it doubly illegal).

          The amendment originally banned same-sex marriage _and_ civil unions, but some ever-cautious legislators removed the civil union ban – which didn’t actually make unions legal – because they were afraid of looking like they had animus toward the LGBT community. This royally ticked off the vocal subset of the evangelical community. To me, this made it clear that, despite protestations to the contrary, the debate wasn’t over the definition of marriage, but over whether LGBT people deserved any protections at all.

          Needless to say, I stay out of this debate with people near me, because that’d be disastrous for my mental health. (See? I meandered back to the topic… barely.)

      • Hi Ivy,
        I know many people who make the same argument– that marriage is God-ordained– but given that thousands of cultures throughout the thousands of years humans have been around have had numerous forms of marriage, I find it difficult to buy that argument.

        In regard to “civil unions” vs. “marriages”– i’m not a fan. So, straight couples get to have a (real) marriage, whether or not they marry in a church, but gay couples only get a civil union, even if they do marry in a church? Yeah, no thanks. Separate but equal is not equal.

        • I agree with you on civil unions. They’ve always made me a bit squeamish – it feels like a slap in the face. “You can’t have marriage because it’s OURS, but you can have this things that’s exactly like marriage but with a different name.” No thank you.

    • Thanks for raising the concern about how Christian attitudes around traditional sexual ethic extend further into society.

  9. A reader who has requested to remain anonymous sent us this comment via email and asked us to post it:

    “As a middle-aged, straight, single lady – and called to be single – I don’t see myself as having any place bearing witness to a traditional or a progressive sexual ethic for others, including one that would insist upon celibacy. Being single/celibate requires grace, as does marriage/partnership. Being comfortable being alone, seeing singleness as something more than just a cross one has to bear, finding place in community (especially when the church has become so largely focused on the family), being committed to those whom God has brought into one’s life as a single person – all require grace. Finding joy in all this – grace. And, having experienced God’s grace for me to be single, I don’t find a place for me to determine that God will provide grace for singleness/celibacy for every person who is LGB and/or T. What if the grace he provides is instead for same-sex marriage?

    It is really easy, and tempting, to simplify a sexual ethic to the point where it becomes formulaic, even if we don’t intend to do so. When this happens, we run the risk of diminishing both the person and the God who loves that person.

    There are folks who have really studied and wrestled with the topic, know the original languages, examined the sociocultural context, and yet hold varied conclusions about what Scripture says regarding sexual ethics. So where does that leave me? I don’t know Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, and am limited in my ability to study to that depth. But I do know a little bit, and am learning more, about humility – about admitting my limitations and not inflicting them on others. For me, I’ve found it much better to seek where God is bringing life in an individual’s situation. And by that, I mean an individual I actually know, who I’ve journeyed together with, and who I call friend.

    Can I really say that God won’t work in that person’s life if they are in a relationship?
    Can I really say that God won’t work in that person’s life if they are single?
    If I lay down any feeling of rote obligation to share my thoughts on how others should approach their own sexuality and relationships, is God able to pick up the slack?
    If I lay down my assumptions regarding that person’s relationship with God, might I understand ways God is working in their life that I hadn’t seen before?”

  10. I think it’s all about the attitude one approaches the conversation with, how and when it becomes a conversation, and the words used that straight people might not realize can cause further shame. When I still attended church and hung out primarily with Christians, it was often the side comments, jokes, and attitudes rather than the actual sit-down discussions that made me feel uncomfortable. When people are aware that this is a topic now open for discussion and that there might be people in the room who are personally invested in it, they seem to be alright – a lot more careful. It’s the quick one-off sentence, when it’s lumped in with everything else, that produces shame. I understand that if you believe homosexuality, or acting on an orientation other than straight, is a sin it’s easy to lump it in with lying, cheating, theft etc. – like it’s an obvious choice, where there is a moment in time you either decide to act/be or not. The distinction needs to be made that it’s not a moment thing, it’s not a this one time I _________ and I repent. It’s so much different, and don’t think straight people even think about what living lgbtq is like – it’s such a part of who you are that you don’t really know where the lgtbq part of you starts or finished.

    Alison, this is why your statement bothers me – “When someone doesn’t have a Traditional sexual ethic, I believe it is my place to introduce them to the love of Christ further…” – does this mean that because a person doesn’t have a traditional sexual ethic, they don’t already know the love of Christ? Or that we only know a piece of it – I like to think that God is gracious with all of his love, to all of his people, and doesn’t limit how it’s shared (even if it is experienced differently by each person). This statement, and others of similar nature, come across as saying “How can you speak of God, know God, or have a real relationship with God since you identify as LGBTQ?” I think this is the most damaging statement I have heard, and one that people don’t often realize they are making. Personally, it would have been so helpful if people instead said “We all have fallen short”. It is the saviour mentality of these statements that really says “You will never be good enough for God as you are; you will never be good enough to be involved in discussions/debate; you will never be good enough to usher, deacon, take care of children etc…so let me tell you how to be”.

    And then statements like WaitingforDawn’s “that people who embrace a secular ethos feel the need to reject ALL of Christian morality” just makes me get all sorts of crazy! Yes, your one friend make not hold to any Christian morality, but there are a lot of lgbtq who do – and you may not know it because there is no room for them to share how they practice faith alongside living lgbtq. Lumping us all together leaves no one with room to breathe or speak or share. And you may not have meant it, but broad statements like that make it very personal – lgbtq Christians are not distant from the church, it’s easy to assume that a group of people who regularly go to church, bible study, volunteer, tithe etc. hold to ‘ALL of Christian morality’ but really, they don’t all agree on everything. And in this group there may be people who identify as lgbtq but have married straight, or never married, or just aren’t telling you. We Christian lgbtq people find each other, and there are more of us than you would probably think.

    I guess sensitivity with the words and language used in any discussion about homosexuality/trans etc is the main thing. Not tossing it around in general conversation either, helps.

    //Bi, married straight to a man I absolutely adore. That doesn’t make me straight, nor does it mean I’ve lead a promiscuous life//

    • Wow, you hit the nail on the head. Those small comments that people don’t even realize they’re making can crush you like a bug. Just recently I was downtown with a group of younger girls from my church, very sweet but also young and sheltered, and they saw a trans* person on the street. Their hushed voices, giggles, and air quotes made me feel so small, ashamed, and *outside* – like I was not and would never be a part of this family (the church). I wish I had spoken up but I was afraid of outing myself as a deviant. And it’s fearful people like me who contribute to the culture of shame.

      To the original question – a great way to keep your traditional sexual ethic from becoming a source of shame and self-hatred is to SPEAK UP. Don’t let people sit comfortably in their assumption that their attitude towards lgbtq people is Christlike. That goes for straight and non-straight people alike.

      • Ivy, thanks for your reply. I like the sentiment behind the “speak up”, but it isn’t possible for everyone to do and maintain the spiritual support/friendships they’ve built in the church. When I did, it made every conversation boil down to “You just think that way because your a leftist leaning feminist bisexual and have built yourself a false idol that you call ‘God'”. It makes real community hard sometimes.

        So I would say, speak up when you feel safe; be careful who you pick and how you tell your story.

        It would be really helpful for those who are allies to speak up and show there is room for other voices. Even if our ethics are different, to acknowledge not everyone thinks so black-and-white on the issue…or even to point out damaging language, jokes…sometimes being a ‘killjoy’ can save another persons life.

    • Thanks so much for highlighting the importance of how those side remarks can truly snowball towards something much bigger. There’s an unfortunate tendency to group and stereotype others. We very much respect and cherish our friends who have come to different conclusions about sexual ethics. Sometimes we’ve found that it’s hard to have a meaningful conversation if we don’t first step back to talk about how we arrived at our conclusions. There are a lot of LGBTQ people doing their best to grow towards Christ with a wide range of conclusions on diverse matters.

  11. I can only speak from personal experience on part of the question. I attended catholic church and school till graduating at 18. When I first looked at this question it seemed dramatic and not relevant to me. Coming to terms with my sexuality in high school reading next to nothing about homosexuality and having it deemed ssa (to me ssa makes being gay sound like a problem to be fixed) made me feel like I was less of a person and less of christian. I wanted even less to do with catholicism. I’m 23 and I still don’t know how to approach Christianity or religion on a personal level.
    Also the way ssa was worded in my book and briefly discussed made it seem like I was broken just for being gay. There was nothing about…well you can be gay and catholic. And yet even though I feel rejected by the faith I was raised in I still find myself defending catholics…-_-”
    Question: What would a progressive sex ethic be like?!? I’m not sure if either alone could work.
    Sidenote:: Churches with more tradition and history also have a problem of corruption and inability to grow or unwillingness to do so; so correcting or updating simple things like terminology is an uphill battle…actually they tend not to actually investigate issues they don’t understand or speak to those outside of their tradition…
    Ok I give up before I confuse myself even more…..

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So many faith communities have approached these discussions by trying to avoid using LGBTQ terminology, which can be especially challenging. We hope you’ll stick around the comment box 🙂

  12. As a priest I have seen great emotional damage and suffering caused by the sexism and homophobia of traditional sexual ethics but will not share the stories of others. My own mental health as a bisexual woman who lives with PTSD from clergy sexual abuse–and that of the wonderful husband who, as partners do, has become somewhat of a co-survivor–has been negatively impacted by traditional sexual ethics as presently mediated by the RC hierarchy. The heteronormativity of the church led me to distrust my sexuality for many years and, in particular, feel terrible shame for a briefly sexual aspect in college of a long term, loving and holy, friendship , entirely loving and holy, This did not help my recovery process from the abuse, to put it mildly. It also made sex extremely difficult for us by pressuring intercourse or nothing which increased my trauma and led to it being a pretty rare part of our marriage. The blanket condemnation of self-pleasure rather than a careful discernment of ways it can be loving and healthy versus ways it can be selfish or destructive also caused us great harm and is a huge contributor to rape culture and marital rape–especially among teen and young adult men who pressure women and girls for sex instead of taking care of themselves, and conservative Catholic women taught that the only way to avoid pregnancy is periodic abstinence–and that they have little say in that because are to “render the debt” whenever demanded by their spouse who has no other acceptable alternative for sexual expression–leading them to, in some cases, use their wife as living inflatable dolls–hardly loving or Christlike. In contrast, my Protestant husband has always known God gave him that as a gift for both him and for me — allowing him to enjoy pleasure and to never ever pressure and to be, without TMI, extremely generous about my pleasure and extremely ready to stop and forego his own if I get triggered. Extremely loving and non-selfish, in complete opposition to traditional teaching. This personal experience is also why I dissent from the Catholic claim that same sex love even in a faithful marriage is inherently unholy and unloving and unlifegiving because it is not physically oriented to reproduction–there are many other ways our sexuality can give life.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective as a priest. Pastors constantly find themselves in places where the rubber meets the road.

  13. This has been our most engaging Saturday discussion to date. We’ve been thinking about your responses for over a week now. You all gave us a lot to think about! We will be replying to some of the individual comments tonight and tomorrow. Thanks for being patient with us as we get caught up!

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