Friday, October 17, 2008

Economics and Sexual Matters

It's Friday morning in Dallas, Texas, and in a few hours, I am leaving for Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It's been a busy week. On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of participating in a forum at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City to launch the new book, "Dispatches from the Religious Left." Yesterday, the Religious Institute held a colloquium in Dallas for clergy and sexual justice leaders from throughout the state of Texas. Tomorrow, I keynote a women's conference in Grand Rapids, and on Sunday, I will preach at a large non-denominational church and do a workshop on being a sexually healthy congregation for its leaders.

People are hungry for our message, from the Blue State of New York to the Red State of Texas to the Purple State of Michigan . On Wednesday, my colleague Tim Palmer and I met with one of the editors at the Dallas Morning News. He asked something like, "how in a time of economic crisis can you get people to pay attention to your message?"

I told him that our issues are also economic issues. That poor and low income women are much more likely to get pregnant unintentionally, have abortions, their teens more likely to have babies as teenagers. That poor and low income gay, lesbian, and transgender persons are more likely to face discrimination, not have health insurance, and not have the resources to obtain legal assistance for benefits.

But, that I also believed that as middle class families are affected by the economic crisis that families will be strained, marriages will be strained, domestic violence may increase, that teenagers will face stresses and losses that they are not prepared for -- and that clergy must be prepared to deal with how job losses and loss of resources affect individuals and families relationships and sense of self.

People are hungry for our message -- that their sexuality is part of God's gift to us, that sexual and gender diversities are part of that blessings, and that we must make responsible sexual decisions. It's a privilege to bring it to people across the country.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish, I wish, I wish, you would make a comment on sex work and social justice...