Last night for our Wednesday night service at my church, Unity Church of Crystal Lake (www.uccl.org ) our pastor Rev Tom Wendt, gave a sermon on sex and spirituality.
He had mentioned to me on Sunday when I said I was coming, that he thought I’d like it as he was addressing religious discrimination against women and against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. It was a great sermon, quite moving and impassioned. I felt like my straight white male heterosexual pastor got me and my communities (women, gay people).
But I felt his sermon was about religion and sexuality – not about spirituality and sex. Those seem like two very different topics.
First, the “religion and sexuality” piece. It was these very issues that first led me to consider turning away from the religion of my youth (my subsequent continued turning away has been much more profound, but this was the starting point). I remember being mystified by the church’s enamorment with “virgin birth” – it seemed to me to think that birth absent sexual activity was superior and from that i read a denigration of sex and the body. Hmm, thought 16-year-old Diane, this may not work for me…..
Then, when I figured out that I’m gay (shortly thereafter, but in earnest in my 20s) I thought well this FOR SURE will not work for me. It seemed that the church wasn’t overly fond of women (“we are made in the image and likeness of God” ——- and “women can’t be priests because Jesus was a male” always struck me as rather absurd contradictions) but that was mild compared to it’s overt HATRED of and discrimination towards gay people. This again, struck me as particularly ludicrous given Jesus’s teachings (sort of like my favorite bumper sticker of all times, “Who would Jesus bomb?”). So my hunch that the anti-woman thing was just a power trip and had nothing to do with any theology was exacerbated by the vitriol about gay people.
I went to a screening of a film called “Fish out of Water” recently at McHenry Community College. My pastor was on a panel of ministers who talked about these issues after the film (it’s about the verses in the Bible used to discriminate against gay people). I stood up and talked about how appalled I was at the stance of many so-called christian churches about gay rights. So antithetical to what Jesus taught. I feel churches should be on the forefront of gay rights in general, gay marriage in particular.
So Tom’s excellent sermon fit in very well with that point of view – that if Christianity is about love and tolerance – well, then, it should be about (doh) love and tolerance.
When Tom had said he was giving two sermons (one yesterday, one next Wednesday) on sex and spirituality I was thinking about what that means to me. At some point in time I came to what I thought of as a very startling conclusion – that sex, God and creativity were all the same thing. I thought this was a pretty original idea, and, a bit shocking, but quite true. One of my friends kindly told me that I was not exactly the first person to have come up with this thought, which was, actually sort of reassuring.
Much is made, especially in the ‘religion and sexuality’ dialogues of the connection between sex and procreation, which having subsumed the word ‘creation’ does indeed involve creativity of the most delightful order (babies being such a divine creation, after all). But I think all creativity is very sexy (including in the ‘standard’ meaning of that word) and that sex and sexuality are (or should be!!) expressions of creativity of the highest order – way above and beyond the physical realm of procreation. One can see the direct correlation in poetry, music and all the great art of all types that erupts out of people who are falling in love. We become wellsprings – our cups so very much flow over when we are enamored of another. The creative muse – when embodied – is not just someone to whom we dedicate our works, but, seems to me, someone with whom we’d like to be creative with in a much more personal way. At least for me, that is how muses have been.
And the connection to God and to All That Is – to me sex is probably as close as humans can come to the Transcendent All. There’s a great line from a cult musical duo of my youth, Fraser & DeBolt “I’m you, you’re me, we’re all the same person – peacock feathers floating around your bed.” That dip into limbic consciousness and the releasing of the onerous burden of ego-self – it seems to me that that takes us both back to the womb, at one with mother, and to The Cosmic Mother’s embrace – to be part of everything.
It’s struck me as I’ve observed life that much of what gets denigrated is, in fact, the gold, the heart of the matter, that which truly matters. And much of what is striven for is the dross, the ephemeral, the insubstantial.
it’s funny, i wanted to write these two posts tonight – this one and the one on The Great Reset – and they seemed disconnected – just that I had both on my mind. But now I see they are very much connected and they both are like The Velveteen Rabbit – that is, encouraging us to be REAL above all.
And to me, a heartfelt emotionally rich sexual connection with another human being is as real, as soulful and yes, as spiritual as life can get.
What’s your take? Sex/Creativity/God = same thing? Similar thing? Diane, you’re blipping nuts?