Sitting around in bars talking about sex

I definitely haven't had time to blog as much as I'd like lately. As they say though, you make time for the things that are important.

Like finally getting around to writing a post about last week's Theology Pub, where about 8 Christian (and Christian-ish) people sat around in a bar and talked about sex, generally cordially. Our conversation was facilitated by my Jewpiscopalian friend, Blaire, who posed the question - "The Bible says sex is a sin. Does anyone care?" Pleasingly provocative, I thought. Our conversation was interrupted regularly by people looking for the Seattle Athiest/Agnostic meetup group, which was meeting in a room adjacent to ours, and seemed to be angry about something political.

Blaire's question was immediately updated to "Well, the Bible says some forms of sex are sinful. Who cares?" We had a good conversation in response, but one which I thought would have been aided by folks from outside a progressive Christian(and -ish) mindset. We spoke a lot about social acceptance of homosexuality, politicization of sexuality, those sorts of non-personal things. I really wanted to get into some of the juicy personal morality kind of issues that progressives so infrequently talk about with any confidence. As such, I'm not sure we really answered the initial question fully. It's a three part series so we were probably just getting warmed up. Next time!

This time we did cover some interesting ground, I think, in talking a lot about changing Christian perceptions about sexuality. The conversation happened the day before the ELCA Lutherans decided to allow partnered homosexuals to serve in an open capacity in ordained church leadership, and we spoke a bit about how even some Evangelicals were drifting towards a position of acceptance of homosexuality in some forms and practices. Good conversation as well around the use of Scripture in our formation of sexual moralities. Consensus, of course, was that fundamentalism on the issue just doesn't make any sense these days. Things that changed everything: birth control, feminism, the Gay Rights movement, AIDS, and so forth. I'd add in the development of the field of evolutionary biology as well, but my cynicism tells me that evolutionary biology hasn't yet changed as much as it should in American Christianity.

I have some thoughts on sexuality, of course, and I'm looking forward to two more of these conversations! Sex is always a healthy thing to talk about, if you ask me. If you're in Seattle, join us at the Blue Star in Wallingford on Thursdays, September 3 and 17 for more conversation facilitated by my good friend Blaire.

Now I'm off to the library to pick up The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

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