Open-Door Policy Part 3

Gary Bauer's office problems signal a problem in our Christian understanding of both sex and work.
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"If we start tackling those big problems of our excessively work- and money-motivated culture, the subsequent issues of sex will make more sense and fall into place in the larger scheme of things."—Sarah E. Hinlicky

"There are many questions about sex in contemporary society to which ‘wait until marriage’ is simply not a response. So we wind up talking past each other."—Lauren F. Winner

This is the conclusion of a three-part dialogue. Read part one, which appeared November 11, here and part two, from November 12, here.

From: Sarah E. Hinlicky
To: Lauren Winner
Date: November 12, 1999, 12:38 PM EST


I think we agree on two main points. One, that sex is public business, not private, and we have to have some idea of how society is to deal with it; and two, that Christians, as members of a wider society, need to exert their influence on it. So far, so good.

Having said that, I suspect that our disagreements are basically strategic. The Bauer campaign is all the evidence I need that a community of repristination-minded Christians functioning in any kind of "set apart from the world" motif is going to fail. I see no reason to think that another campaign, or institute, or educational reform, or what have you, is going to be any different. That is the way of "places where Christians sought to be in this world but not of it" in this country. They work awhile, maybe a very little while, and then they fall apart. The very "stuntedness" that you lament in evangelical Christian dialogue is the heritage of these set-apart Christian impulses earlier in our nation's history. (And, incidentally, that kind of doublespeak about sex was never a part of my religious ...

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