Speaking of Religion, Science, and Sex

So here goes this blogging thing. I have never written a blog before, but sometimes the thoughts in my head come out as blog posts. So I am not really sure why I haven’t ever considered writing one. For my Writing for Religious and Social Change class, one of the assignments is to respond to a class reading, so that’s what I am going to do. Currently, we are reading Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett. She hosts a radio show entitled On Being. While I have not been familiar with her work until quite recently, Tippett is quickly becoming someone with whom I identify and admire.

In chapter three, she argues that in our world today there is often a distinct line drawn between religion and science. However, that has not been the case in history. Normally, religion and science are intertwined. It is only a recent development that the two are separated.

This prompted our professor, Adam Copeland, to ask the question what other subjects often seem like they do not relate with religion? (Only, Adam worded the question more elegantly than me). While I hesitated with the answer, my immediate thought was sex. Now granted, I spent last semester researching Christianity and sex, so my mind goes there often.

Conservative Christianity promotes waiting until you are married to have sex. It is seen as a dirty act before marriage but after marriage is regarded as good and important. But there is not a switch that just flips for many people. Sex is still seen as bad to them after marriage. It seems that Christianity and sex cannot mix, just like religion and science supposedly cannot. However, I believe that to be a bold-face lie for both of those topics.

It is time to change the conversation, to ask the questions: How does this scientific finding influence my faith? How does this religious text work with what scientists have found about the natural world? How can we teach sex differently to emphasize the spiritual benefits?

For both sex and science, religion can enhance the topic in so many ways if we put them together constructively. Tippett says, “It is a crazy irony of Christianity’s divisions that those traditions that hold the text most sacred sometimes discourage the God-given powers of the human mind to read and interpret. And those that encourage the life of the mind have sometimes left the text behind.”

So how do we move forward to a place where topics like science and sex once again become part of the conversation in religion? I don’t have an answer; I am not exactly sure what to do beside start incorporating those into my conversations about religion. Maybe then, other people will begin doing the same.

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