Being a Christian in this day and age is different than it has been in recent history. For most of America’s past, there has been an official/unofficial Christian majority. I’m not saying this because we need to “get back to basics”, I’m just stating it as an observation. Even today, we have a president who panders to a Christian voter base and claims to uphold biblical standards. I find that particularly laughable, but he does that because there’s still a very large part of the country that wants that in a president.
But as I said before, times are changing. I feel it. I feel like a country that used to love people like me in the 80’s now thinks I’m a crackpot. I’m a Bible-thumping, blind-faith, conservative WASP who refuses to go with the flow. Even some Christian peers are taking contemporary positions on issues that catch me off guard. More and more I hear them and waver. More and more the Christian voices I hear are either trying to blend in with popular rhetoric, or completely wage war with it.
So I’m writing a blog. Not in opposition to people, but in search of better ideas. Because both “sides” seem to me to have something in common: they both let the culture dictate the standard. With that foundation, there seems to be only complete assimilation or wholesale rejection. That dichotomy plays itself out every day on Facebook and Twitter. I’m all for spirited debate, but a debate requires at least a modicum of goodwill. 99% of the time on the internet, and even on TV, I encounter pithy, moralistic shouting. Even our “friends” become strangers to be damned when they dare disagree with us. So I’m writing a blog because I want to write what I want. But also because you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. I’m not going to hide it behind pictures of my dog and then shove it in your face every time I get angry reading the news. Lastly, I write because when I have an outlet, I can begin to develop a discipline of asking questions. I want to be provocative, sure. But this blog is to be more introspective. I’ll get further into my whole train of thought later, but I want it to be clear that I don’t have most of the answers. What I want is better questions.
Specifically, I want better questions about sexuality in this culture. I don’t know if it’s a visceral reaction to a repressed, puritanical sexual ethic from our Christian heritage or an extended sexual revolution, but we as Americans are obsessed with sex. So many films were fast-forwarded in my childhood due to an overly steamy love scene in an otherwise clean story. In college particularly I was inundated with sexuality from all sides. Sex was ripe, low-hanging fruit that had but to be plucked. That message was everywhere, as though that was the real purpose of college. Now I’m not saying I didn’t like it to some extent. For most people in their prime of life, sex should be an enticing prospect, even Christians. It’s how we’re wired. But as a person who had specific religious morals, it was difficult to live in. It seemed overdone. Like it was the main event. I once read “sex is best when it’s the least interesting thing about you”. So either these people lived extremely fascinating lives, or they were way too enamored with sex.
The internet age has erected a lot of obstacles for the church in America. The growth of porn, forums for stupid ideas, and the increased reach of Hollywood are great for some, but a burden for others. And there is a lot of material from pastors and biblical scholars on the internet to combat some of that. This blog will be a little different. I’ve grown up in the church, but I have no formal education. I’m not an expert in the Bible or sexual psychology. But I’m an expert in the English language, and I’m pretty good at asking questions. Besides, most of the information and guidance I got about sexuality didn’t come from the experts. It came from friends, movies, my parents, school, and mentors. From there, it was on me to make the decisions for myself. The best thing they taught me was to think critically and question constantly. So that’s what we’ll do here.