sex and safety

[thinking of Ghomeshi made me think of the relevance of this quote from Wendell Berry – for those not familiar with Berry, be assured that the context here is the loss of community and the exploitation of consumerism much more than it is a loss of ‘public morals’]

Seeking to ‘free’ sexual love from its old communal restraints, we have ‘freed’ it also from its meaning, its responsibility, and its exaltation. And we have made it more dangerous. ‘Sexual liberation’ is as much a fraud and as great a failure as the ‘peaceful atom.’ We are now living in a sexual atmosphere so polluted and embittered that women must look on virtually any man as a potential assailant, and a man must look on virtually any woman as a potential accuser. The idea that this situation can be corrected by the courts and the police only compounds the disorder and the danger. And in the midst of this acid rainfall of predation and recrimination, we presume to teach our young people that sex can be made ‘safe’ – by the use, inevitably, of purchased drugs and devices. What a lie! Sex was never safe, and it is less safe now than it has ever been.

– Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community

on reading the bible “toward love”

As a training ground, the Bible shows the things that God loves and the things that repel Him. Caring for those who are weak and broken is high on the list in both testaments. Doing this with kindness and mercy instead of arrogance and judgment are also important. Working humbly with Him in order to develop our own lives allows Him to enrich our experience immeasurably. And reaching out to care, in whatever ways we are good at. fills life with meaning and with joy….

I have had countless experiences of reading the Bible and suddenly knowing that I have been treating others badly by insisting on my own way. I get lost in a story and the next thing I know, a conflict with someone at home or at work plays out before my mind and I realize that I acted or spoke selfishly. Then my heart softens and I often, not always, find a way to build a bridge to the other person.

– Peter Fitch (from his recently released, Learning to Interpret Toward Love
that “describes his own story of gradually realizing that this truth would lead to a new way of seeing and accepting people with different sexuality.”)