Yesterday, when I wrote this, Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church, was still alive.
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An atheist and a Christian walk into a skype call…
Sounds like the beginning of a terrible joke OR a super fun conversation between two very different people with very different experiences. My friend Jonalyn and I spent some time a few weeks back discussing the separation of church and state, gay marriage, tolerance vs. acceptance vs. celebration, and many other fun things in a….shall we say… wandering conversation for video series Emerald City.
For those of you paying attention, we did this once before and discussed what kinds of sex count as real sex, intimacy, and “stewarding virginity” which is just the greatest phrase ever.
Check us out:
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Related Post: Our past conversation on sexuality and virginity
Last week I recorded my second skype chat with Jonalyn Fincher, the Christian blogger I talked with that other time about what sex counts as real sex. Remember that? Wasn’t it fun? We sure thought so, so we did it again and it’ll be posted soon!
After our conversation, we were musing about how fun and rare it was to have these kinds of curious, respectful conversations about touchy topics (this time we talked about the Bible in politics, marriage incentives, and divorce, among other things) with people on the “other side” of the issue.
I don’t know about you, but I feel very isolated among the likeminded. It’s a product of growing up in Boston, where I went to college, where I work now, and the internet communities in which I participate. The “other side” that manages to make it to my newsfeed is always the most extreme, most egregious, most politicized distortion of the views of ordinary people. Talking with Jonalyn is an opportunity to remember that crossing the aisle for these convos doesn’t have to be done gloves-up, full of scorn.
So this week for Role/Reboot I wrote about how rare and delightful (and important!) these conversations are:
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I am SO excited about this post. A few weeks ago, I wrote about what counts as “real sex.” I find that our traditional definition, (penis in vagina) is pretty limiting and sometimes damaging because it a) is insulting to queer people who have sex in non-p-in-v ways, b) reinforces a pleasure disparity (because the “main act” is something that most women don’t orgasm from) c) perpetuates the mythic importance of female virginity d) contributes to rape culture by deeming certain forms of sexual violence “more traumatic” than others.
A blogger named Jonalyn politely pointed out that she had a few issues with my piece, and when we started to tweet-debate the topic, she suggested we take our conversation to a bigger stage. Her site, Soulation, is a hub for people who want to explore Christianity compassionately and thoughtfully. We recorded a video debate that was supposed to last for 15 minutes and went on for 40 because we were having THE BEST TIME. I’m not kidding, it was by far the most fun I had that week.
It may shock you to hear that I am not, in fact, a Christian (I know, SO shocking). When Jonalyn reached out about recording our conversation, I was initially wary of jumping into unfamiliar waters where our perspectives would inevitably boil down to a clash of “sex is for fun!” vs. “sex is for God!” I am pleased to say that we both played nicely and used our listening skills to try to find common ground. Surprisingly, there was lots of it!
It’s not often that I get the opportunity to debate this stuff with someone who approaches it with the same level of enthusiasm that I have for sex talk and approaches from a different angle with different core assumptions. Such a treat!
Get more of Jonalyn on Twitter!
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I’m busy, and sleepy, and my coffee consumption is about 8oz behind where it needs to be, so ignore your email for 10 minutes, go find a quiet conference room, and watch some videos that will make you smile:
The Austin Police Department released an It Gets Better video:
Soledad O’Brien is on a serious hot streak. Here she is up against mega pastor Joel Osteen:
Does anyone else have a super crush on The Ill Doctrine’s Jay Smooth? Here’s Jay on why Obama’s leaked tape from 2008 isn’t the same as Romney’s 47%. Can he just talk to me sleep every night? We don’t even have to cuddle.
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