John Pavlovitz – A Letter to Survivors of Sexual Assault

John Pavlovitz

To every person who has survived harassment, abuse, or violation:

Dear Friend,

I’ve been thinking about you and wanted you to hear a few things today, in case you never hear them for anyone else. I so hope this reaches you.

I imagine these days must be difficult for you.

Not that every day isn’t difficult given what you’ve endured, but I imagine these are especially painful times—
to see the headlines and the hashtags, and to be continually reminded of the personal hell you’ve walked through;
to watch people debate the veracity of accusers,
to see survivors cross-examined by strangers,
to hear supposed adults suggest a child’s consent,
to listen to professed Christians defend predatory politicians using the Bible,
to see lawmakers take the side of the victimizers,
to witness admitted offenders being rewarded. Continue reading “John Pavlovitz – A Letter to Survivors of Sexual Assault”

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CS Lewis – On ‘Sexual’ Morality

Essay also known as “We Have No Unlimited ‘Right to Happiness'”. This title was shortened further, somewhat inaccurately, by the Evening Post. A live animation of a C.S. Lewis essay in the artistic style of my desk lamp. Is that wrong? Written to a secular audience in 1963. I

You may watch more such summaries of  the ideas of CS Lewis on the C.S. Lewis Doodle Playlist.

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Courtney Bailey Parker – Fallen Angels? Christians and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Sexuality remains a very contentious matter in evangelicalism, as, we have to admit, is the case in other Christian traditions. Of course, nobody can deny that we live at a time of over sexualisation, even of little girls, to such an extent that media, both religious and secular is constantly warning about the serious consequences of this phenomenon. However, many evangelicals respond to this social pathology with pudibond (i.e. ‘prudish’, if you want) reactions that are reminiscent of neo-Platonism, and have no connection to Christian anthropology and the proper biblical understanding of human sexuality, which is not rooted in the fall (and, thus, inherently evil), but in the perfect plan of God for a humanity that bears, be it in ‘broken vessels’, his perfect image.

In a recent extremely well written article done for Her.meneutics, the Christianity Today‘s blog for feminine matters, Courtney Bailey Parker, a a PhD student in English at Baylor University with a concentration in Early British Literature, who blogs HERE, discusses the manifestations and implications of this distorted view of human sexuality.

I paste below a few quotes from this excellent text.

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I never gave much thought to the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show—which airs Tuesday on CBS—until the broadcast a few years ago, when my college students came to class buzzing about a new catchphrase their classmates coined: I’d rather marry a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret model. It became an overnight sensation on social media.

These students went on to launch the Live31 Movement, encouraging women to live out the characteristics of the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31 and promoting their cause with T-shirts and hashtags. Like most online campaigns, Live31 fizzled fairly quickly, but the dichotomy the campaign endorsed—the Proverbs 31 wife vs. the Victoria’s Secret model—has stuck with me over the past few years. Why was it so easy to come up with that, to position the Victoria’s Secret model as the perfect foil to the Proverbs 31 woman? Continue reading “Courtney Bailey Parker – Fallen Angels? Christians and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”

How prostitution is dealt with across Europe

How prostitution is dealt with across Europe - map

Source of this map, The Guardian.

Catherine Woodiwiss – In the Image of God: Sex, Power, and ‘Masculine Christianity’

The Sojourners have published a very insightful article by Catherine Woodiwiss, on a very up-to-date topic: sexual violence in religious contexts.

Here the first part of this text:

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Most of us are too familiar with this story: an Upper Midwestern Baptist minister claims that “God made Christianity to have a masculine feel [and] ordained for the church a masculine ministry.” Or a Reformed Christian pastor mocks the appointment of the first female head of the Episcopal Church, comparing her to a “fluffy baby bunny rabbit.” Or a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor in California says physical abuse by one’s spouse is not a reason for divorce. Or numerous young evangelical ministers brag about their hot wives in tight leather pants.

Fewer of us are familiar with this story: Tamar is raped by her half-brother Amnon. Tamar protests her brother’s advances, citing the social code of Israel, his reputation, and her shame, to no avail. Their brother Absalom commands her to keep quiet, and their father, the great King David, turns a blind eye.

What do these contemporary statements above, delivered into cultural megaphones with conviction and certainty, have to do with the Old Testament rape and silencing of Tamar? The difficult answer is, quite a lot. The narrative dominance of these stories rests on power and control, which — whether intentional or not — speaks volumes about whom the church serves and what the church values. Continue reading “Catherine Woodiwiss – In the Image of God: Sex, Power, and ‘Masculine Christianity’”

– Todd Akin, ‘Legitimate Rape,’ and Gospel Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault

The foolish statement of a Republican candidate, who argued, in the context of the fight against abortion on any conceivable grounds, that victims of ‘legitimate rape’ are rarely, if ever, getting pregnant, stired up heated debates in the US and beyond. And rightly so, as such statements are just another horrible expression of the misogyny that dominates American conservative circles.

Read below an analysis of this matter , by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, published recently by Christianity Today.

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The controversy over the Missouri congressman’s comments gives Christians a chance to understand sexual assault with wisdom and theological depth.

ited States Representative Todd Akin and U.S Senate candidates started a national discussion about sexual assault this week after Akin’s unwise choice of words in an interview Sunday night.

The Missouri Congressman who attends a PCA church said to a St. Louis TV anchor that a woman’s body is capable of preventing pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” He claimed a woman’s body can typically fend off pregnancy during such rape, as he argued against allowing abortions in cases of rape, claiming such pregnancies are uncommon in the first place.

Rep. Akin’s statement is as follows: Continue reading “– Todd Akin, ‘Legitimate Rape,’ and Gospel Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault”

Valerie Hudson – What Sex Means for World Peace

The article with the title above, published by Foreign Policy, raises a very important issue which, in our man-made world is most often neglected. Here is the main argument:

Using the largest extant database on the status of women in the world today, which I created with three colleagues, we found that there is a strong and highly significant link between state security and women’s security. In fact, the very best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is not its level of wealth, its level of democracy, or its ethno-religious identity; the best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is how well its women are treated. What’s more, democracies with higher levels of violence against women are as insecure and unstable as nondemocracies. Continue reading “Valerie Hudson – What Sex Means for World Peace”