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Forget purity, become a slut

The article started out sounding so sweet: “Christian author Nadia Bolz-Weber plans to create something beautiful out of the rings once used to pledge abstinence.”

Awww, how nice. And what “beautiful” thing does this Christian author plan to do with purity rings that are no longer needed? Why, create a golden vagina sculpture, of course. What did you think?

Yes, it’s true. HuffPo reports, “What should Christian feminists do with their old ‘purity’ rings, symbols of a patriarchal theology that has harmed countless women? Melt them down, says progressive Christian author and theologian Nadia Bolz-Weber, and create something completely new. … Bolz-Weber said she plans to melt down the rings that people send her and recast them as a ‘golden vagina.’ She said that the project … is about ‘reclamation’ of women’s bodies.”

As a thank-you for sending a ring, “You will receive a certificate of Impurity as well as a shameless impurity ring.” (Note the url on this page is called “Nadia being wicked.” This is a pastor, folks – one who is encouraging people to be wicked and shameless.)

Nadia Bolz-Weber

In case you missed it, Dr. Nadia Bolz-Weber calls herself a Lutheran minister and a “Christian feminist.” She founded the House for All Sinners and Saints church in Denver. According to Wikipedia, “Bolz-Weber is known for her unusual approach to reaching others through her church. Heavily tattooed, she is considered a ‘performative pastor.'”

First of all, isn’t “Christian feminist” an oxymoron? What feminist in her right mind would accept the authority of an all-powerful male God and subsume her femininity to His authority? Isn’t this antithetical to feminism?

Secondly, why bother becoming a Christian pastor if your goal is to rewrite Christianity to suit your own particular agenda? This is what Ms. Bolz-Weber appears to be doing. Why not just make up your own religion in which you worship the goddess Zykeo or something?

I think I can answer that question. The purpose is not to worship the goddess Zykeo. The purpose is to subvert Christianity, mock it, redefine it and ultimately to eradicate it.

But in this column, I want to examine why “Christian feminists” believe sexual purity is a problem, and why the opposite – sexual license – is the solution. If you blame biblical values and the male patriarchy for oppressing women’s sexuality, is “wicked” and “shameless” rutting the answer? Will this cure women’s problems, or will it create more?

In the post-sexual-revolution culture we live in, the notion of chastity is not only unusual, it’s radical. I live in a deeply rural and conservative area, and most of the young women I know stayed chaste until marriage. The result – get ready for a massive shock to the system – is a group of young women who bring to their marriage no regrets, no diseases and no history of promiscuity. Somehow this fails to cause problems the rest of their life.

It astounds me to realize how many progressives conclude casual and unrestrained (and most importantly, unmarried) sex is the answer to all womanhood. Why is the solution to any perceived oppression, tyranny or subjugation … more sex?

Trouble with school? Go have sex. Trying to meet new people? Have sex with them. Stalled in your career? Have some more sex. Depressed and suicidal? Yep, more sex, preferably with a succession of strangers who will walk out of your life the moment it’s over. And should you find yourself pregnant, guess who’s waiting to help you out?

In her frantic efforts to redefine the Bible to say what she wants it to say, Ms. Bolz-Weber is forgetting something very important: Sex is inextricably associated with procreation. No matter how much birth control women practice, there is a chance sex will result in pregnancy. What then? Will Ms. Bolz-Weber try to define abortion as a holy sacrament to whatever god she claims to worship?

Another, less tangible problem with unrestricted sex, particularly for young women, is the emotional, spiritual and physical damage it causes. In the poignant book “Unprotected,” a campus psychiatrist named Dr. Grossman documented the fallout from sexual license on the young women she counseled. These women weren’t empowered; they were suicidal. Dr. Grossman’s experience and research flies in the face of all the information young people are fed growing up: that sex is empowering, that sex is liberating, and most of all, that no-strings-attached promiscuity (“hooking up”) is emotionally risk-free. It’s not – especially for women.

Oddly enough, I don’t object to Ms. Bolz-Weber’s unorthodox approach to pastoring. The church is for the sick, not the healthy, and she clearly resonates with some people whose brokenness exceeds the ability of other pastors to reach. But the problem is, she doesn’t lead people out of their brokenness, but rather encourages them to marinate in it.

Worse, by encouraging young women to melt down their purity rings (and thereby encouraging them to behave like sluts), she creates brokenness from an unbroken person. This is more like an anti-pastor.

HuffPo writes, “Bolz-Weber said she recognizes that for many Christians, an emphasis on purity comes from a genuine desire to lead a holy life. But she said problems arise when people substitute purity for holiness, since purity is easier to regulate. The two concepts are not interchangeable, she said. ‘The difference between purity and holiness is that purity is always about separation – separating ourselves from people who are less religious, separating ourselves from our sexual natures, from our desires. But holiness is always about connection – to God, to ourselves, to our nature.”

So the best way to connect with God is to give in to our animal nature and slut around? On what planet? (Maybe Planet Zykeo.)

I’m certain the purity movement Ms. Bolz-Weber mocks caused some harm among hardcore adherents. But here’s something she, nor any other progressive, will ever admit: What kind of good has it caused? How many diseases were dodged, how many hearts weren’t broken, how many suicides were avoided?

Sexual purity offers young women one tremendously powerful tool that will serve them well throughout their entire lives: self-control. When women cultivate the ability to control their hormonal urges and recognize the strength that comes with self-control, that strength not only extends into other aspects of their lives (career, addictions, hobbies, etc.) but will be passed on to her children, thus benefiting future generations.

We’ve already seen the effects of broken bodies, suicides, disease and mental anguish that has plagued millions of women since the sexual revolution. Maybe it’s time to re-embrace what Ms. Bolz-Weber so roundly mocks: purity.