Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sex Education for Conservative Politicians - Redux Mark Souder

Dear Mr. Souder (and Mr. Pekar if you are listening):

I know both of you say that your faith is important to you, so maybe you'll listen to some advice from this sexologist minister.

I know you've fought against comprehensive sexuality education and promoted abstinence only education -- even in a video with your mistress.

But let me share with you some of the things we teach in sexuality education that we think every public figure -- indeed every person -- needs to know.

You can have a sexual feeling without acting on it.

A sexually healthy adult understands the difference between a sexual relationship that can be life enhancing and one that might be harmful to oneself and others. In other words, sex is never worth losing your job or your family over. NEVER.

A sexually healthy adult lives according to their values. It is one thing for a person in an open relationship who works for the right of each person to make their own decisions about their sexuality to have outside experiences-another for people like you to act in a way that is directly oppositional to the public policies you espouse. Frankly, I find it hard to understand how you can live with yourselves as you pursued this affair (or in Mr. Pekar's case, "rented" a boy). Surely someone has taught you about the importance of living with integrity.

I wish I believed that your situation would help other conservative policy makers back off from trying to legislate other people's sex lives. Remember that line, people in glass houses...But since I end up writing a similar column to this oh every six months or so, I'm not too optimistic.

What happens next is up to your families and your colleagues and your own soul. May you find a way to repair your families and your life...and may you indeed serve as an example to your colleagues.

In Faith,

Rev. Debra W. Haffner

1 comment:

Desmond Ravenstone said...

What timing -- the same day you write this, I read another discussion group post from another fellow asking whether seeing someone else to meet certain sexual needs or desires constitutes "cheating."

If it means lying or hiding from your partner, of course it does!

That being said, we also have to understand what leads so many folks to cross the line, while still making clear that such understanding is not the same as condoning. Hope my own thoughts on the subject contribute meaningfully to the conversation.