Friday, August 26, 2005

Stopping in briefly

...with thanks to Steph for her comments on my last post. She's right--young men are not getting, from older men, consistent messages about their position and responsibility in matters sexual. My hope for church involvement is dimmed somewhat by the number of clergy abuse scandals, not just those involving clergy and young children, but the equally distressing cases of male clergy pursuing inappropriate relationships with female congregants. I don't know what other seminaries are doing to address sexual ethics explicitly, but mine is not, I think, doing a lot. The question of boundaries and right relationship did not really come up at all in my Christian Ethics class. It *was* addressed, and firmly, in my Pastoral Theology class, but that was taught by a woman, and I sometimes think men need to hear this stuff FROM A MAN, and one they respect. Last year, as an exercise in one of my classes, I was leading a group discussion of the story of Rahab the prostitute (Joshua 2). I was pointing out that in society Rahab was on the low end of the power spectrum as a woman and a prostitute, and one male student seriously disagreed, stating that women in sexual matters actually have ALL the power. Good heavens, what a belief! And it's endemic in the culture. A man has no power over his own impulses, and a woman, by being a focus of his attraction, has actual power over him? No wonder men feel so wounded when confronted with consequences for their behavior. There is a lot of work to be done, and not all with straight men, either.

CPE group is pushing every limit I have. It was good to get out to the clinical piece yesterday and re-ground in a sense. If my purpose is to be stretched I will be nine feet long when I am done with this unit--but I am actually very grateful for it all.


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