Nadia Bolz-Weber wants to kiss 1990s-era purity rings goodbye

Religion News Service | 12/13/2018 | Staff
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(RNS) — Nadia Bolz-Weber wants your purity ring.

She’s collecting the rings — made popular in 1990s-era programs such as “True Love Waits” — for a protest project inspired in part by the biblical prophet Isaiah.

Swords - Plowshares - Spears - Hooks - Irreverent

But instead of beating swords into plowshares or spears into pruning hooks, the irreverent Lutheran minister and best-selling author plans to melt down the collected “promise rings” and have them recast into a gleaming metal sculpture of a relevant portion of a woman’s anatomy.

Anyone who sends Bolz-Weber a ring by Monday (Dec. 17) will receive a silicone ring imprinted with the word “shameless” along with a “certificate of impurity” in return.

Project - Bit - Marketing - Shameless - Reformation

The project is a provocative bit of marketing for “Shameless: A Sexual Reformation,” the forthcoming book from Bolz-Weber, founder and former pastor of House For All Sinners and Saints, a Lutheran congregation in Denver.

It’s also a serious commentary on the legacy of the “purity movement” of the 1990s and early 2000s in the era of #MeToo, #ChurchToo and #TimesUp.

Culture - Bolz-Weber - People - Wires - Sexuality

That culture, said Bolz-Weber, left people with “frayed wires” when it came to sexuality and desire. It suggested, she said, that in order to please God, “you need to make sure you’re not even thinking sexual thoughts.”

Such teachings, whether explicit or implicit, were the hallmark of Christian-themed sexual abstinence programs that were common in evangelical youth culture 20 years ago. But they contradict other biblical claims, said Bolz-Weber, such as the idea that sexuality is a gift from God.

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“What the church teaches is like a passive-aggressive test of our willpower, like God is saying, ‘You’re going to be designed this way but if you love me you’ll ignore it, right?’” she said. “It’s pernicious, the lies we tell kids in God’s name because of our own hang-ups.”

Bolz-Weber’s is the latest addition to a growing chorus of voices rethinking...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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