I’ve just finished reading Kristy Burmeister’s new book, “Act Normal”. It’s a memoir of her experience of being stalked by a schizophrenic member of her congregation, and of the aftermath of that trauma. Although she does eventually return to Christianity, her church community’s response drives her away, leaving her spiritually homeless for a number of years. Basically, to boil it down, the elders of her church refused to take action to protect her. At first they deny that anything is… Read more

Previously in My Introduction To Geh Sex and Is One Of These Virtues Not Like The Others? I talked about some of the problems with both secular and Christian narratives surrounding sexuality. I want to situate chastity in a completely different way, as just a normal old virtue that you pursue not because you are this fragile, sacred vessel of virginity, but because you want to have your sexuality be determined by an overall vision for your life rather than… Read more

Previously in My Introduction To Geh Sex I talked about my experiences with sex education and my increasing dis-satisfaction with secular narratives about sexuality when I was growing up. My increasing interest in the question of sexual morality happened to coincide with my girlfriend coming out as polyamorous. In theory, that shouldn’t have been a problem for me. I considered jealousy to be a ridiculous emotion. Both of us had always had boys on the side. I didn’t own her,… Read more

My first real sexual education came from my grade six, seven, eight teacher. Obviously, we did the usual grade five introduction to human bodies and the facts of puberty. In our little corner of the greater Toronto area, this involved a couple of anatomically questionable felt figures named Bernie and Bernice. They went through puberty by having really unconvincing breasts and testicles velcroed onto them. But the first time that we talked about sex in school it was with Mrs…. Read more

My father is an engineer. His job is, he works designing, testing and trouble-shooting airplane engines. Ever since childhood I’ve had the basic concepts in engine design explained to me multiple times. It has something to do with air being sucked in at high velocity and emerging from the back of the engine, creating thrust. There are sometimes propellers involved in this process, and lots of fans, and the word “torque” may or may not have appeared in my father’s… Read more

In general, I have my reservations about the image of “spiritual warfare,” not because it’s an inherently bad idea but because it too often means importing a kind of fantasy machismo into spirituality. Too many of the people who really like the idea of doing battle against demons haven’t ever actually been in a war, and it’s clear that what they are picturing is something more like being Aragorn, fearlessly charging out and mowing down the servants of the Dark… Read more

It’s that time of year again – the annual season of arguing about whether “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a rape anthem or not. I know what you’re all thinking: “Melinda,” you are asking yourselves, “can you relate this question to NFP?” Why yes. Yes I can. The argument in favour of “Baby It’s Cold” is basically an argument that these coy refusals are a way for a woman to get sex in a context where she will be shamed,… Read more

Okay, so I’m slowly, painstakingly working on the NFP book — there’s a bunch of personal stuff going on, and also I sprained my ankle and now everything is taking about twice as much energy as usually. So pray for me if you can. In the meantime, I wrote a piece for Aleteia about an experience that I had a number of years ago when I was really having trouble going back to Confession after my miscarriage. It’s something that… Read more

One of the most recent developments in the #metoo trend has been the emergence of the #churchtoo hashtag, which invites believers to talk about the specific ways in which Christian culture contributed to their sexual victimization. It’s a moment to stop and reflect on the ways in which the culture within our Churches can make an environment that protects abusers, and that sidelines or even shames those who have been victimized. There are a few trends that run through a… Read more

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