Monday, March 29, 2004

Let's Hear It For The Good Guys

Do you cringe when you see the words "God" and "sex" in the same sentence? Do you wish that churches and religious organizations would just shut up about sexual issues? That's understandable, given that the angry denunciations of conservative churches tend to drown out the voices of more liberal religious groups. For a refreshing change of pace, check out the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, which says in part:
Sexuality is God's life-giving and life-fulfilling gift. [...] Our culture needs a sexual ethic focused on personal relationships and social justice rather than particular sexual acts. All persons have the right and responsibility to lead sexual lives that express love, justice, mutuality, commitment, consent, and pleasure. Grounded in respect for the body and for the vulnerability that intimacy brings, this ethic fosters physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It accepts no double standards and applies to all persons, without regard to sex, gender, color, age, bodily condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

God hears the cries of those who suffer from the failure of religious communities to address sexuality. We are called today to see, hear, and respond to the suffering caused by violence against women and sexual minorities, the HIV pandemic, unsustainable population growth and over-consumption, and the commercial exploitation of sexuality.
I had never heard of these folks until I walked into church yesterday and found a copy of the declaration tucked into the order of service. But it appears to be the basis of a decent-sized, and growing, movement. The declaration has been endorsed by 2,250 ministers, priests, and rabbis nationwide. If you're looking for a religious community, there are probably worse ways to find one than searching the list of endorsers for your city's name.