What religions really have to say about sex
Usually when you find “religion” and “sex” in the same sentence (or on the same website), it’s bad news. Either someone’s going to hell or someone’s really pissed off that they’re being shut out or judged or sent to hell. Which is why — no matter your position on sex, religion, or hell, for that matter — the site Religious Institution is a refreshing change. It is a “multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society.” Yep, that’s faith and sex in the same sentence — and on the same website — and no one got a black eye.
The site just launched their Denominational Statements database, which lets you search and browse the official positions of major U.S. religious denominations on 20 different sex-related issues, from abortion to bisexuality to erotica to homosexuality to assisted reproduction to sex ed to “singleness.” So far there are statements from 28 different denominations, mostly Christian, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist — but the database is a work in progress, so look for more to be added soon.
Of course, knowing the raw data won’t always make the conversation about sex and religion more civilized. If someone thinks you’re going to hell for being gay, you don’t really need to read their white paper explaining why. But if you’re bi and looking for a denomination that will embrace that, this database will help you find a church home (hint: United Church of Christ Congregations). And even if you’re neither bi nor looking for a church home, it’s important to realize that the debate about sex and God isn’t as black and white as some people would like you to think. These are nuanced issues that are too important and too complicated to be reduced to slogans on signs at overheated rallies. And we’re sure someone out there thinks we’ll burn in hell for saying that.
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