Adam Snider

Posts Tagged ‘sexuality’

Unitarian minister speaks out against Alberta gov’ts cuts to sex-change operations

In Faith in Action on April 14, 2009 at 8:33 am

This letter is just one of many reasons that I’m happy to call myself a Unitarian Universalist (yes, I’ve decided that it is appropriate to identify my religious beliefs in that way):

In a $36-billion budget, the Alberta government chooses to eliminate $700,000 for gender reassignment surgeries. By my calculation that’s a whopping 0.00194 per cent of the budget.

Sorry, but to me this looks like a convenient opportunity to disguise blatant and cruel discrimination as fiscal prudence.

If it wasn’t tragic, it would be laughable.

And the saddest thing is that the government will now have to spend considerably more than they will save in defending this policy before a human rights tribunal.

It’s wrong, mean-spirited and petty, and for what it’s worth, against my religious principles.

Rev. Brian Kiely, Unitarian Church of Edmonton

The emphasis in the final paragraph is mine, but it serves to highlight the way that my church matches my beliefs. I can’t think of too many other religions where a minister would sign his or her name to a letter like this. For that reason, among others, I can’t think of too many other religions where I’d feel comfortable exploring my spiritual side.

For a look at my own opinion on this issue, check out my (unpublished) letter to the editor, “Cutting coverage for sex-change operations shameful,” on my other blog, AdamSnider.com.

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Sex and Spirituality

In Spiritual Experiences on February 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm
"they sleep" by caro*naf

"they sleep" by caro*naf

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was only appropriate that I talked about sex.

You might wonder: What does sex have to do with spirituality?

For a lot of people, sex and spirituality are very closely linked, especially if they base their moral code on their religious beliefs. Many religions talk about sex as sin, at least if it occurs outside of marriage.

For these people, their spirituality dictates their sexuality.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with premarital sex. Sex is not a sin. If anything, sex is a gift from god.

There are, of course, moral issues surrounding sex—rape, adultery, pedophilia, you name it—but sex itself is not a bad thing.* I can’t imagine too many people would disagree with me on that point.

Where a lot of people, both religious and non-religious, will disagree with me is in my belief that sex is a spiritual act. At least, it can be a spiritual act.

I’m not going to suggest that by going out and having a one-night stand, you’re getting closer to god. In order for sex to be a spiritual act, there has to be a connection with your partner (i.e.: a spiritual connection).

What is it about sex that makes me think of it as spiritual?

Primarily, it’s the connect with another human being on the most intimate of levels. Short of giving birth to someone, there is no deeper way to bond with a person than to have sex with them. If the sex is truly intimate, and not just a physical act, you’re accessing every part of your partner, and they’re accessing the deepest parts of you—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Part of my personal understanding of god is that “he” is not so much an external being as much as an internal, human force. This isn’t to say that humans are gods, but that we all have an element of the divine within us. To open oneself completely to another is to give that person access to that spark. Sex connects us to the spirit of the person we are with and, by extension, with the great Spirit of Life.

Sex is also a sort of zen-like experience. For me, and I assume for most people, having sex is the ultimate “in the moment” experience. It’s pretty rare that I find myself thinking about anything outside of the moment while I’m in it.

Because of the zen-like nature of sex, there is a strange sort of spiritual element that make me feel at peace with the entire universe. Of course, a lot of that is because of the happy-fun-time chemical cocktail coursing through my body while I’m in the act, but I see little value in separating the physical from the metaphysical. After all, it’s only through our physical selves that we can experience the metaphysical (I realize that this statement is a paradox of ridiculous proportions, but it’s what I believe).

Now, having said all of this, the spiritual element of sex is rarely something that I’m actually conscious of during the act.

Physically, sex is just plain fun. I think it goes without saying that sex is pretty awesome, even when these spiritual elements are removed from it.

But, for me, it’s the spiritual side of sex that makes it really worthwhile. It’s as much about connecting with my partner’s spirit as it is about physical pleasure.

As usual, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. How do you related sex and spirituality? Do you related the two, or do you see them as entirely separate from one another? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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*By no means am I suggesting that people who commit adultery are the same as rapists and pedophiles; I was simply listing some sex acts that I believe are immoral.