U.S. Religions Quietly Launch a Sexual Revolution
Written by Frederick Clarkson, first published in the WomensENews commentator on February 24, 2010
A religious think tank has issued a manifesto about breaking the silence in religious communities about a host of sexuality issues. It hasn’t stirred much media attention, but Frederick Clarkson thinks it could be revolutionary.
(WOMENSENEWS)–The Religious Institute has just issued a 46-page report on the state of sexuality in religious communities and a manifesto that seeks to transform the status quo.
Goals include improved pastoral care of marital relationships, domestic abuse and infertility, and training for prospective clergy in sexuality-related matters.
The institute calls for religious leaders to provide lifelong age-appropriate education for youth and adults and to become more effective advocates for comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health in society.
Clergy are often first responders in matters of domestic violence and potential (and actual) suicides by young people struggling with sexual identity. The Religious Institute points out that these first responders have usually received little to no training for the job.
A singular strength of the document is that it offers an uncompromised progressive vision that does not conform to recent fashions in seeking “common ground” with conservative evangelicals and Catholics.
Particularly striking in this regard is its call for a society in which there is full access to reproductive health care, including abortion, marriage equality and full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the life of religious communities.
Since it was announced two weeks ago, the report, “Sexuality and Religion 2020: Goals for the Next Decade,” has generated little media attention beyond a few regional newspapers and online news sites.
Sometimes, this is the quiet way revolutions begin.