The Solution to a Violent World: Remember the slogan, “Make Love, Not War!”? Guess what?! There is truth to that adage. Researcher James Prescott showed the link back in the 70s by studying societies who limit adolescent sexuality through repressive measures and the nearly 100% guarantee that such societies are also violent. Pause and let that sink in a minute….
We are a violent society. This summer we saw white people chanting Nazi slogans and, apparently, they hope for an all-white America by any means necessary including violence and intimidation. This reflects our own dis-ease with the body and it is not coincidental that, as the largest arms seller in the world, we are also very uneasy and conflicted about sexuality – particularly those bodies that are different. Race and class are some of the ways we push people down.
But there are other ways of contributing to violence other than carrying assault weapons at rallies or misusing the badge of a police officer.How about simply using anti-body religious teachings? The church has been against bodies through the millennia. Now, once again a group of misguided Christians are condemning sexual minorities – including those who love and support them – in a document released in September called the “Nashville Statement.” We may be tempted to ask, “How long, O God, before we begin to love as You love?” And, the answer is this: “It will last until we begin to make peace with these sensual and sexual bodies and placing value on some bodies ore than others.”
A friend who is a nurse has no interest in God or the Church. (She got too much forced religion as a child!) And yet, when she begins to talk about the body she speaks eloquently and often in a hushed tone of awe! This “non-believer” uses words like “miraculous” and “wonder” when talking about our bodies’ abilities to heal from illness, or even the intricate way in which our bodies are designed to move.
We can do better than this. We don’t have to be a violent society. I ask you to join us at the Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith and be a part of the solution. Love your body (and the bodies of others) like God does! All bodies are beautiful and our differences do not have to separate us. And then, go into your world and “make love” – in fact, make a lot of love happen!
Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale,
Chair and Founder