Anonymous asked:

(Part 1) I've only just started getting into christian discussions surrounding the topic of sex and now understand that sexuality is a gift from God. I understand that it's not sinful to have a sex-drive and neither sinful to want sex. I have a problem though with conservative teaching around the issue of sex. I feel as if conservatives constantly say that lusting, masturbating, homosexuality, having sex outside of marriage is sinful, but give no truly helpful advice to help those who are

(Part 2) “struggling” with these sins. Their advice sounds like a person must completely deny those sexual desires, and I don’t think that’s entirely healthy. My question for you is how would one express their sexuality in a healthy way without falling into “sexual immorality.” I’m not sure if there is even an answer for this, but I would love to hear your input.

I’m actually doing a series over on my blog right now about unlearning purity culture and developing healthy sexual ethics. And my book - Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity - comes out in February and discusses the development of healthy sexual ethics and how to develop a healthy sexual ethic after recovering from purity culture.

So, yes, I have lots of ideas! Stick around and you’ll hopefully find some good ones.

fearfulwonderfulmonster asked:

What would you say to a spiritual leader who teaches equality of the sexes in ministry and partnership, but also occasionally drops the notion that men should be "pursuers" in relationships?

It would depend on my relationship with the leader, but I’d ask them questions about why they think that, especially in light of their other proclamations on equality. I wouldn’t go into this conversation looking to start a debate, but to bring attention to a contradiction in teachings.

Anonymous asked:

Do you know of any books by bisexuals of faith on the interaction of those two things?

vellophone:

diannaeanderson:

The only books I know of that discuss minority sexual orientations and faith are ones written mainly by gay men or lesbian women. I really don’t know if there are bisexual texts, as a lot of both the queer community and the Christian community have spent time erasing us.

Someone should write this book and call it “Saved Bi Grace!”

I do love a good pun.

Anonymous asked:

I hear this word a lot, but what exactly is "fundamentalism"? How would you define that? (I grew up Southern Baptist, and a lot of things you've said remind me of things I learned or was exposed to around that culture of christians.)

Fundamentalism is a system of beliefs that has several different elements:

1. A strict, literalist interpretation of Scripture.

2. A rigid, legalistic approach to the practice of the faith (“True Christians do X/are X.”)

3. The enforcement of the idea that you are either in or out and you must follow very specific methods of interpretation and practice in order to be “in.”

Evangelicalism shares some characteristics with fundamentalism, but historically has had a bigger tent when it comes to varying belief systems within it. However, that has been changing with the advent of a new, stricter form of Calvinism that’s being pushed by a lot of very powerful people in the evangelical church.

queenofattolia said: I really hope this means you watch Orphan Black.

(In response to the Felix making a kissy face gif). It does. It does indeed. One of my favorite shows on TV right now. Felix is literally The Best.

Anonymous asked:

Any advice for people trying to leave fundamentalism/legalism and trying to sort out their faith?

Find safe people to talk to. This has been the number one thing that has helped me over the years of sorting through my faith and figuring out where I want to go. Developing what Captain Awkward calls a Team You is immensely important in any situation, but even more so in a situation of leaving a fundamentalist, strict environment.

What should qualify someone to be a Team You member?

-Someone who will not try to quash your anger when you experience it. Someone who affirms that what you’re feeling is okay.

-Someone who is willing to listen to you without judgment or without trying to explain away abuses you may have suffered. Someone who can get angry on your behalf but also doesn’t go off half-cocked.

-Someone who can be trusted with your secrets - and that includes not demanding to know them as a rite of passage into a friendship. People on Team You know that you need to reveal parts of yourself in due time and don’t require you to share your whole life story right off the bat.

-Fundamentalism specific: a good Team You member won’t make fun of you for not having seen X Culturally Important Movie or not having had X Toy Everyone Had When They Were Young. They understand that things are different in the fundamentalist world and you don’t have the same experiences everyone else does.

As best you can, try to find people who are safe, whom you know you can trust, and who will have your back when you’re dealing with backlash from leaving fundamentalism - even if “having your back” means coming over with coffee and a movie.

For you, recognize that your feelings and emotions are valid and that you can trust yourself. A lot of religious fundamentalism consists of denying your own emotions, your own heart, in the name of “trusting God.” It can be really hard to get a handle on what you feel after leaving a fundamentalist environment and learning to trust yourself can be a long, hard process. As much as you need safe people around you, you also need to be a safe person for yourself. You need to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, to ask yourself why you feel the ways you do, etc, etc. You need to give yourself room to just be you and to figure out just who you are.

Grace. Grace. Always grace with yourself. And find people who will be grace-full with you.

misentropic asked:

just to nitpick a tad-- "polygamy" isn't necessarily the situation you describe... it just means that multiple people are married, regardless of gender, although when you use that word there are obvious historical connotations so it's an understandable mix-up. "polygyny" is closer to what you're looking for. Thanks for the support :)

Ah, yes, thank you! I’m still working out a lot of the vocabulary and don’t always get it right. I’ll keep that in mind - thanks!

Anonymous asked:

What people have impacted your faith the most?

I’ve been looking at this question for about an hour now and I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with a response. There are a lot of different ways this can be taken - a lot of people have impacted my faith in negative ways, and a lot of people have changed it in positive ways too. And it’s kind of impossible to pin down the precise influences around the different events in my life. I also feel like, in making a list, I’ll miss people out and thus disappoint some.

I do know that the theology department at the University of Sioux Falls has changed and challenged my faith in myriad ways. Dr. Ralph Wood at Baylor introduced me to liberation theology, which basically saved my faith from total loss. Lots of people have shared their stories with me over the years and challenged me to think in new and different ways.

This is an incredibly hard question. Oof.

Anonymous asked:

How did you decide what major to go for in college?

It’s a really long story. Settle in.

So, I was in debate throughout high school. I loved it. LOVED. IT. I was bad at it, but I loved it. So when I got accepted into college, I decided to double major in communications and political science. My dream was to go work for CNN and be a foreign correspondent with Anderson Cooper (no joke).

Then I went to church camp in the June after graduating from high school. Through a somewhat heartbreaking (at the time) set of circumstances, I was there at church camp instead of out in Salt Lake City for the high school debate Nationals. Earlier that year, my partner and I had come within one round of qualifying for the tournament and, I’ll be honest, I spent a good chunk of April and May hoping one of the teams who did qualify would suddenly drop out/be disqualified so my partner and I could step in as alternates.

But that never happened and so I ended up out in the Black Hills for yet another year at church camp.

This next part is weird and will probably make for a lot of side-eyes and weird looks. During the week, I felt like I was being pulled toward doing something else involving ministry instead of going into political studies. I spent a lot of quiet time reading and thinking and praying, and by Thursday, I’d basically decided that God was calling me into being a bible studies/theology major instead of political science.

I spoke to that week’s camp speaker on that Thursday, and was going to tell the camp about the ways God was working in my life that night during chapel. But I never got a chance to because (here comes the weird part), there was an unexplained phenomenon that appeared to be a demon possession in the middle of chapel. One of the kids - who had, honestly, been acting strange all week - tried to stab the speaker with a pen. It took five grown men to hold the teenage boy down and the camp was basically thrown into chaos. I heard and saw things that, to this day, I cannot explain.

The entire night was derailed, and yet, it confirmed for me that ministry was where I wanted to be. Not because it was “exciting” or because I wanted to exorcise demons, but because I saw the power of a community coming together under faith and I wanted to be part of that.

It’s been a long and twisted journey since, but those moments and that week at camp are really what changed my life. It’s weird. I don’t know.

Anonymous asked:

Hi Dianna! Is there any chance you could speak to BDSM or other fetishes? As a committed Christian who is also kinky, I don't feel as though I can be honest about my sexuality in church. I would love to hear you provide some thoughts for how Christians who have sexual variations can 1) maintain a consistent Christian sexual ethic even though their sexuality is different and 2) be more accepted by their church communities.

Yes! (I’m guessing you’re the same person who sent me an email about this over the weekend - my apologies for not getting back to you quickly! One of my goals for today was to sit down and respond!).

For me, a consistent sexual ethic applies no matter what fetishes or kinks a person has - it must be consensual, with an intentional approach to treat the other person as a human being, and it should be mutually pleasurable. These apply whether you’re having vanilla missionary style sex or zipping up a pleather body suit and getting in a sex swing.

With kinks and fetishes, I believe the important thing to keep in mind is that not everyone has the same kinks or the same comfort level with such activity. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a kink the other person does not, it is not okay to force that person to try out your kink just for your satisfaction. If they are interested, if they actively and enthusiastically consent to trying out this new thing with you, then that’s your business! But if you have to spend time cajoling your vanilla partner into trying out some light BDSM, that’s not a healthy situation.

From what I know of the fetish/kink community (which is, admittedly, not a whole lot), ethics of consent and safety take heavy precedence over sexual satisfaction. Forcing kink into a relationship isn’t good and it isn’t ethical - and from what I know, many in the kink community already know and accept this. I actually really appreciate the heightened awareness of consent that I’ve found in reading about the kink community.

That said, there are bad apples in every bunch, and I think kinks shouldn’t get a pass simply because they are kinks. There are some people who get into BDSM because they get satisfaction out of dehumanizing others, and so I think it’s useful to interrogate yourself about why you’re drawn to certain kinks. This is not to be a corrective to try and turn everyone vanilla, but rather to make sure that the motivations for a kink aren’t extending out of, say, a desire to dehumanize and humiliate women in general.

And that last part could easily simply be me speaking out of my lack of experience with the kink community. If someone would like to do a guest post for me about Christian sexual ethics in light of fetish/kink experience, I’d be happy to talk to you about!

Anonymous asked:

Other than purity culture, what other things could you see yourself writing about?

I write a lot of things that never make it to publication - I think every writer has a draft folder tucked away somewhere full of half-started ideas that never actually got anywhere. I also have a few projects up my sleeve that you’ll hopefully be seeing more of in the future.

Right now, actually, I’m researching and exploring the the conflation of violence and masculinity that you see throughout particularly American culture. It’s a really interesting topic to me, especially in terms of how modern Christian culture has interpreted “manly” duties. But that still ties back into purity culture in a lot of ways.

So for things completely outside my wheelhouse? I would love to work in film. Film criticism has always been a hobby of mine and in a different world, I would have loved to find a way to be a film editor or music video director or film critic. I love the ways in which movies/TV combine so many different forms of art at once and create a unique artistic experience. A good film, to me, is the ultimate in performance art - it is experiential and relies simultaneously on a director’s vision and the shared experience of watching something with strangers. (Thanks to Drs. Greg Garrett and Jim Kendrick at Baylor University, I’ve gotten to have a little taste of understanding and exploring film as art).

So, yeah, I suppose that’s what I’d do if I wasn’t doing this. I was talking to my neighbor last night (we have a lot of stoop conversations) and we were talking about the strange feeling of being back in your hometown after spending most of your twenties away, and I commented that I’d never pictured myself ending up where I am, but I’m really glad I am where I am and who I am and doing what I’m doing. And I stand by that statement - as little money as writing makes, as torturous as it sometimes can be, I don’t think I’d trade it for anything in the world.

Anonymous asked:

What are 3 things you would like to see happen in the Church(as a whole) in your lifetime?

1. Women’s ordination/women pastors, across the board. The recognition of women as prophets.

2. Full acceptance and participation of Christian members of the queer community - no more “debates” about whether or not people are sinning by merely being who they are.

3. A renewed fight for justice and liberation in all forms that challenges the previous theocratic agenda of the church (which would require undoing nearly 2000 years of the church being tied to the state, so I realize that’s a pie in the sky idealistic hope).