Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Baptists and "frank" talk about sex

How's that for a title?  Yes, I know, I was going to talk more about poverty and in a sense I am, only now I will attempt to address, poverty of the soul.

This started when I read in The Tennessean newspaper this morning that a select group of Baptist members, the leaders of their Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission were meeting in Nashville and they were bringing in leaders from the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and a Sociologist from the University of Texas.  A Senior Pastor from a Baptist church in Austin, TX, would also speak.

Now, I appreciate these gentlemen for their knowledge and established expertise, but whenever I have talked about sex, I made sure there were women present as my thoughts on sex start with the traditional process, one man, one woman, no others and certainly not in public.  It troubles me that gathering such as this appear to ignore the fact that our problems with sex typically start with the youngsters.

In fact, I wrote a letter to the editors of The Tennessean commenting on this gathering and wondering why they had called in so-called experts on the subject.  My take on the matter is that the proper teaching on sex should start in the home where attentive parents, realizing their children were of age would make it a point to have a very specific discussion with them on the subject.  Why this seems to be difficult apparently comes down through the ages starting when sex was supposed to be - dirty.

How sad, how very sad.  Sex is a beautiful expression of love between two partners who have announced their intention to live the rest of their lives together and it should be assumed that they will have sex - hopefully regularly, and it is quite possible that children will be the result of the intercourse.
Eventually, the day will come when it is the parents responsibility to jointly take their children into their confidence to explain how they were conceived.  The parents might be surprised to learn that their children are already informed concerning the process, but that should not relieve them of their joint responsibility to answer all of the a child's questions.  And then, encourage them to share this knowledge with their closest friends and have the doors of the home open for further discussions with family, friends and neighbors.

Believe me, none of this happened in my family as I was coming of age, but I did grow up on a farm and learned the basic "mechanics" of sex by merely observing the farm animals.  I was fortunate to have a "good" girlfriend and while we talked about sex on occasion, we were not enticed to do it.

It was while I while I was in the Air Force that the government agreed to marriage with Japanese nationals and as a Personnel supervisor, I was assigned the task of counselling the guys who wanted to get involved.  I was amazed to learn the real reason for the marriage had to do with the easy sex that brought the two together.  In fact, over half of those I talked with already had a child on the way.  With that knowledge, the "script" I had been provided with was useless.

I have four children but unfortunately, their Mother and I had separated long before such discussions were appropriate and they seem to have survived without me.

But as an employment counselor, I have seen more lives wasted because of what basic ignorance of sex provides than any other basic reason.  One or the other drops out of school so they have enough income on which to live and then the second child comes along and they both have to have a job.  Then, they get tired trying to maintain that pace and one or the other meets someone else who will help to ease the pain.  All the while, since their educational efforts were terminated, they begin to notice that the newer employees are better prepared and the era of "dead end" jobs sets in.

There are variations to that scenario of course, but what no one seem to realize, as these youngsters are having fun in bed, potential employers are constantly upgrading their labor force so that there is little interest in hiring the middle aged job applicant with children that can only add to the potential costs of hiring such people.

I have to believe there are other scenarios I could point to, but my basic premise remains.  Parents have a responsibility for training the children they bring into this world and through their children, advising others of the high costs of sex without commitment.  It ought not to be a religious institution laying down the law in opposing irresponsible sex.  From my viewpoint, they only get in the way of helping people do what needs to be done if we are to actually, love one another.

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