It’s so rare to hear the words “religion,” “God” and “sex” intermingled in a positive way that I had to give a shout-out to this philly.com piece about Mount Airy’s Beverly Dale, a minister whose two favorite topics are “God and sex.” Though she’s definitely ruffled the feathers of some (she’s even been called the “whore of Satan”), I think that anyone who encourages people to become more comfortable with their bodies and to appreciate, take care of, and treat them with respect, is on the right track. Sex (safe sex, of course!) has been shown to do everything from help you live longer to make you look younger.
Her mission is to reconnect the body and spirit, to heal the sexual wounding she believes has been fostered by organized religion and its tendency to denigrate the body as carnal, hence evil – something to be ashamed of and repressed.
The Christian church is “afraid of sex, passion, and pleasure,” Dale says. “These are very powerful forces and can get people in trouble if they’re not careful. But rather than dealing with them in a moral or ethical way, we put a lid on them.”
Although I’m sure this isn’t the norm, I actually grew up with some very dear Catholic friends who couldn’t even say the word “sex” without blushing and who thought of masturbation as a sin. It didn’t stop them from having sex, but it definitely kept them from getting annual pap smears and talking to anyone about how to stay physically or emotionally safe. At a time when teens are having sex so soon, I think a little more openness within religious venues about how to make smart sexual choices would only make communication between parents and their kids a little easier and help everyone, adults and teens alike, feel more comfortable with their bodies.
Of course, religion alone is a touchy subject, let alone partnered with sex. What do you think, Be Wellers? Should sex be talked about in religious venues more openly?