Tuesday, November 29, 2016

An Interesting Conversation:

The other week I had the privilege of being invited to have coffee with a local lesbian progressive activist and a professor at one of the local Universities in my city. We had a wonderful conversation and drank a lot of coffee.

She wanted to talk to me because evangelical Christianity piqued her interest, as a sociological phenomenon. She was most interested in our sexual ethic, and peppered me with questions about why we thought certain things were sinful. She was shocked to learn that some things which she thought I would frown upon I was completely fine with within the confines of marriage. We had a respectful, civil conversation, though she couldn't help but laugh out loud several times when I articulated viewpoints quite commonplace in Christianity. She said I was the first person she'd ever actually talked to who believed that sexual expression ought only to take place within marriage, and that I was the only person she'd ever met in real life who thought that marriage could only happen with the union of a man to a woman. She said that if she ever met anyone who had seen someone for more than three or four weeks, without having sex, she would not first assume that this person had some sort of religious conviction, but rather that this person must bear the psychological scars of some sort of traumatic abuse. She followed this up by saying, "So do you see how strange what you're saying sounds to us, to those of us here in normal America?"

Before I could answer, I was distracted by those two words: "normal America." Most of the people in the pews of my church would consider themselves to be "normal America." They would view this woman-with her sexual openness and her dismissal of monogamy-as part of some freakish cultural elite, out of touch with "traditional values." But I suspect she's right. More and more, she represents the moral majority in this country, committed to "family values" of personal autonomy and sexual freedom. She is normal, now.

She snapped me out of my daydreaming by asking again, "Seriously, do you know how strange this sounds to me?" I smiled and said, "Yes, I do. It sounds strange to me too. But what you should know is, we believe even stranger things than that. We believe a previously dead man is going to show up in the sky, on a horse." And that started us on another round of coffee and further discussion...  

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