Monday, July 28, 2008

The Separation Of Church And Sex

I admit its been a while since Ive been to church. So its quite possible things have changed a bit since my last visit. I was raised mostly by Southern Baptists who as a rule frown on any type of activity that might be considered fun. Which pretty much rules out everything except for the occasional fried chicken dinner.

I do know that while I was going on a regular basis, I don't recall the subject of sex ever being discussed. Unless maybe it was in reference to one of the "Thou Shalt Nots"...or the random bible story. So imagine my surprise when I read an article about several churches across the country openly speaking to their congregants about sex. Not just speaking to them.....but encouraging open discussion about topics such as oral sex, full body massage and the joys of role play.
(These people obviously aren't Southern Baptists)

The clergy who are involved in opening up these discussions state that having a strong united faith as a couple isn't enough. That a good sexual connection is just as important to the health and strength of the marriage. So they are encouraging their congregations to not just have sex, but to have lots of it.

(Do I hear an amen on this one?)

These same church's further promote this type of open discussion by holding seminars about these topics, using biblical dialogue such as Genesis 2:24 which says "A man shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be of one flesh" to illustrate this thinking. With names for their seminars like The 30 Day Sex Challenge " or "The 40 Nights of Grrreat Sex" couples were given daily planners, where a typical week would be as follows:

"Sun: Worship together"
"Mon: Give your wife a full body massage"

"Tues: Quickie in any room besides the bedroom"

"Wed: Pleasure your partner"

"Thurs: Read 1 Corinthians 7 --How can I please you more?" ........... and so on and so on.

Now I'm not sure what to think about this new open thinking happening in church. I do agree that a couple needs to be on the same page with a lot of issues such, faith, family and of course sex. And YES I completely agree that a strong and healthy intimate relationship makes a couple closer and maybe better able to relate to each other about the day to day issues.

But I'm not sure Id feel comfortable speaking to my minister about the most personal intimate details of my life....The thought of that talk just creeps me out. Of course that could be the Southern Baptist "anything fun is sinful" coming out in me. *grin*

Having said that, I have to say that had there been a few of these sorts of talks in church when I was would have made all those hours of sitting on those hard wooden pews a little more bearable......

Throw in a little chocolate with that...and you wouldn't have been able to pry me out of church with a crowbar.

Can I get an Amen?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Environmentally Incorrect

"So kill the polar bears and nuke the penguins? That's your plan Jen"?

NOOOOO...don't be silly... of course not. I have no issues with the polar bears...But I think you give me far too much credit for having the kind of power it takes to "NUKE" something......If I were going to nuke the penguins, I would have done so when that annoying movie Happy Feet came out. Unless.... when you say "nuke" you are referring to act of microwaving. Then who knows, maybe with the right dipping sauce and side dishes.......I bet they'd taste yummy, just like chicken.

Maybe I am a little environmentally incorrect. So what...get over it! It doesn't mean that I don't care about the world around me. I do understand we only have one planet..and our survival is dependant on the planets survival. I can understand the balance created by the food chain...and I realize that if we knock the stool out from under ourselves by destroying those smaller links in the chain...then we, those who are at the top of that same food chain will be the ones left twisting in the wind.

I was raised in a small rural farming community. Ive seen many examples through out my life of what we get from this planet and what it means to be responsible for it. Growing up most of my friends were country kids who worked on family farms for summer jobs...Picking or planting peanuts, watermelon and tobacco. I know some of our local farmers have even been honored on a national level for using farming practices that are not only land friendly but provide habitat to local wild life. My grand parents have always had a huge vegetable garden and put up (canned) everything they grow. I have been lucky to be able to experience and see first hand what it means to conserve and value what you get from the land.

So YES I get it. I understand that conservation is not just a question of what we WANT to do but what we NEED to do.

Having said that, I also know growing up the way I have, in a small rural community where the economy can be sometimes rather slow, that most of us don't have unlimited resources. That most families live paycheck to paycheck. While being environmentally conscious is obviously desirable..its not always economically practical. And economics is the biggest motivator of change. Like it or not..that is the way it is.

We as people might feel a tug at our hearts when we see those polar bears...or the rain forests being burned...But those are only images for most people and day to day are out of sight out of mind. The things that get to us on a daily basis are those things we are forced to deal with because they are a part of our lives, such as the rising cost at the gas pumps. When you are already living a life where every dollar is spoken for...that can leave you with little to no room left to move.

So even though our social conscience might be telling us that being environmentally friendly is the best way to go, We still have to ask ourselves is it economically realistic? How many people can really afford Hybrid cars? Yes they are better for the environment...but out of the eight or so manufactures that currently have a hybrid available....only two are under $20,000. dollars. That means most are out of the price range of average families. And what about those new "green" light bulbs....Sure they will cut down on the amount of energy required to use them, thus maybe saving a little money long term. But the cost to upgrade to these new bulbs isn't done cheaply. Bulbs cost an average of $30 each, multiply that by say a 6 to 10 light fixtures or lamps per home. In my home alone I counted 9 which equaled a cost of $ 270. That might not seem like much to some, but when times are tight..which they are for a great many people....things such as light bulbs that aren't a necessity can be done without.

Which brings me to another point....when those same bulbs burn out...and they eventually do. You cant just dispose of them like other bulbs. They contain mercury...and have to be disposed of accordingly. To me it makes little sense to create something that is more energy efficient...and environmentally friendlier to use...and then make it out of materials that will eventually be toxic to dispose of?

I'm sure there are those who wont agree with me on this, but its seems to me like this is a simple math problem. A family only gets X number of dollars each month. Each of those dollars is allocated to certain basic, clothing, mortgages or rent, utility bills, car payments, insurances, medical expenses....etc. Just the normal things that the average family has to deal with. When the cost of gas rises...its not just about what it costs to a family to drive. Doesn't it also increase the cost of food and clothing and many other products? Which could mean that same family going without some of the basics let alone being able to afford any of the extras that they want.

So maybe it seems environmentally incorrect of me to focus less on the land and animals who inhabit this planet with us and more on the economic and political side of what it means to rid ourselves of our addiction to fossil fuels. But I feel if you want people to care enough to take action and make real significant changes quickly....then it has to be about the things they deal with and relate to in their day to day lives.