Christianity

Women sexually targeted by the Clergy

[caption id="attachment_878" align="aligncenter" width="405" caption="Photo © Hamed Masoumi"]Photo © Hamed Masoumi[/caption] The dynamic between powerful leaders and their loyal followers seems to promote the very best and worst in people. We could talk about the rampant child abuse all over the world by clergy of all religions (and feel free to bring that up in the comments below), but tonight I want to talk about predatory sex against women. A recent Baylor University study shows that:

One in every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader, a survey released Wednesday says. The study found that the problem is so pervasive that it almost certainly involves a wide range of denominations, religious traditions and leaders.

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...Women older than 18 who attended worship services at least once a month were asked in the survey whether they had received "sexual advances or propositions" from a religious leader. The study found that close to one in 10 respondents -- male and female -- reported having known about clergy sexual misconduct occurring in a congregation they had attended. (Source. You can read the study here.)
That last bit is true about me. (more…)

my past

Tweeps Speak: Open Relationships

Adapted from airgap on flickr For one year I was romantically entangled with a polyamorous man. He explained that he and his partner had agreed to have an open relationship where each person could love and enjoy other people sexually as long as they always stayed completely honest, practiced safe sex, took care of all each other's emotional, physical, and practical needs first, and felt secure together--not jealous or afraid of losing one another. There was an underlying commitment that went along with their willingness to "spread the love" and explore other sexual avenues. I soon learned that he and his partner were quite the normal couple with problems, insecurities, and hard work. Our experience ended up showing me that I was not inclined to take part in a polyamorous relationship, especially as "the other woman". I was too selfish, insecure, and I treasured exclusivity too much to be prepared for that type of experience. I did not feel secure, trusting, nor loved. Perhaps this was his fault; perhaps it was the situation. Maybe it was me! And although it did not work out, the relationship caused me to wonder: If we're perfectly healthy emotionally and mentally, are we more inclined to be monogamous or to have multiple love partners? Does it depend on the individual? What is the reason for jealousy and the desire for security? What makes us cheat? Could having an open relationship help a couple? Or does it harm them in the long run? Is it only about sex?

Survey says..!

I recently polled my Twitter pals about the titillating topic of open relationships. Keep in mind that most of my tweeps are non-religious folks from all walks of life. If you'd like to respond, please comment! I'm fascinated by the variety of opinions and research on this topic. Let's see what they had to say using 140 characters! I'm keeping things anonymous to conserve their privacy.

Part A: "What do you think about open relationships?"

They're ok, if you can handle that sort of thing. don't think I could though.
I think whatever people can make work for them relationship-wise is fine by me, I've seen open relationships work out fine. [cont.] I think in a way Open Relat. may be easier, as there r far less boundaries 2 worry about crossing, no fear of being cheated on.
Not for me. [x2]
Whatever works for two (or three, or four...) consenting adults is none of my business whatsoever!
I like them! :) I think they're much more realistic than what you're told to expect, relationship-wise.
Not a big fan, but my ex-wife was a fan.
Read more and check out Part B on Monogamy vs. Polyamory below the cut! (more…)

religion

Do you Pinky Swear?

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” What if–instead of swearing on a bible, holy book, or other boring document–we could pinky swear? I’d even go for a “cross my heart” every once in a while. Well, the folks over at secularpinkyswear.org Read more…