Written By: Indigo Rey Miller
“Let’s talk about sex,” doesn’t mean what it used to. At one time these provocative song lyrics spoke specifically to the act of sex and would never have been spoken openly in many of our church communities. Mennonites, and the majority of Christians, have a long history of shutting down conversations about the body, but the past few years have forced our hand.
Mennonite Church USA got a cold shock when influential Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder’s decades of harassment and sexual abuse of more than 50 women finally came to full light in 2013. The Mennonite Church has had to grapple with what it means to face the reality that leaders—champions of peace and ethics no less—and members of our own congregations are capable of such persistent violent disrespect for the bodies of humans.
Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement and a wave of sexual assault survivors coming forward over the past year should be no surprise to Mennonites. Now the lyrics “Let’s talk about sex,” have a profound relevance in our churches and communities. Now it’s a plea for our faith communities to explore the complexities of our embodied human sexuality, both as a healing response to profound trauma and a hope that we can learn to embrace the embodied existence God has gifted us.
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