AA: more on Asexuality & the Church

Got a new message via the askbox today:

I am fascinated by your project to get responses from church leaders about asexuality. Although now in my 50’s I only recently (in the last 8 years or so) heard about asexuality and decided that this describes me. I am a Christian and have been decidedly underwhelmed about my friends (who have faith) and their reaction to me being asexual. I was writing a paper about 5 years ago as part of my MSc (I am a therapist) and came across this website [Blogger’s Edit: just got another message; the website Jo meant was this one], and in particular Myth 8. How direct and how dismissive and a clear allusion to Catholic belief and doctrine.

I would be very grateful to hear/ read any conclusions you draw when your project is finished. I enjoy reading your blog, particularly because I have so few people I can compare ideas with, or learn from who are interested in similar things to me. Most asexual people I know are less than half my age and just want to meet other ace people, or are academics that I read, but they are more focussed on theory. I want to find out more about how being asexual influences peoples lives, or what it means to be asexual and how it interacts with every other aspect of life.

I don’t write much myself – I don’t feel very articulate, but all this helps me make sense of my own life much better.

Thanks
Jo

First of all, thanks for your interest in the project.  It’s good to hear there are people out there finding worth in it.

More importantly, though, I’m glad that you were able to find out about asexuality.  In an ideal world, we’d be taught about these things as kids and not have to discover it on our own, but I guess that would inconvenience the straight people or something.  It’s much more important that I memorize the capitol of Maryland in fifth grade, isn’t it?  [incoherent grumbling]

But anyway, yes, it’s irritating when people apparently don’t know how not to be some form of rude or disappointing about it when you come out.  Despite mostly keeping my orientation to myself, I’ve had a few experiences with that before.

[Edit: Ah, okay, so that was the website you were referring to.  Let’s just see what–

MYTH 8: Religious are asexual

Question: What do you call a person who is asexual? Answer: Not a person.

WHAT THE HECK.

Asexual people do not exist.

WHAT THE HECK.

Sexuality is a gift from God and thus a fundamental part of our human identity.

WHAT THE HECK.

Augggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.]

On the church email project: I do plan to write up some sort of data analysis/reflection post when the responses seem to have stopped, maybe in a week or so.  Hopefully more than one person from each denomination will reply.  It may be too soon to tell any patterns yet, except for the fact that an awful lot of people don’t like communicating with anonymous emailers, apparently.  Sometimes I forget that not everyone is at home with the internet as I am.

Still, I have to wonder what their deal is — are they worried about anonymous internet atheists swooping in to harass them?  Is that something anybody does?  I thought the way my email was worded was fairly polite.  Or maybe they want to ensure that I’m someone who has a chance of attending their particular church services before they’re willing to engage with me, in which case, wow, go jump in a lake.  I’m trying to think of a generous explanation to give for their behavior and I’m not coming up with any.  But I digress.

It’s very sweet of you to send me a message telling me you like reading this little blog.  I’m glad to be a resource for that.

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8 responses to “AA: more on Asexuality & the Church

  • doubleinvert

    Make no mistake, your blog is an excellent resource. I’ve been learning a great deal in the short time I’ve been following you.

    -Connie

  • apprenticebard

    On the update- wow, that is… Really depressing. :(

  • Calum P Cameron

    I seem to recall we as a species already proved that using theology to justify intentionally dehumanising a person places you firmly on the wrong side of history. I mean, there were speeches and marches and even a civil war over it.

    • acetheist

      I think it’s just because they don’t realize we exist… but that’s still rather alarming.

      • apprenticebard

        Based on how a lot of Catholics talk about “sexuality”, this is probably another case of using “asexual” as a sort of equivalent of “agender”. As far as I can tell, the Catechism uses the word “sexuality” to refer to some nebulous concept that encompasses sexuality, romance, gender, and a more general ability to have relationships of any sort. I really need to read Humanae Vitae sometime, I’m sure it’s explained in greater detail there. :/

        But regardless of what they meant, just the way it’s presented here is upsetting. It’s generally not a good idea to say “all humans have this trait”. But it’s definitely not a good idea to follow that up with “anyone who doesn’t have this trait is therefore not a person”.

        • acetheist

          Very true. However, (getting somewhat offtopic here) it’s interesting that you raise that point about Catholicism’s view of sexuality/gender as one unified subject, since I’ve heard that the sharp conceptual division between sexual orientation and gender identity is a relatively new and Western one, or at least that’s what I’ve seen a lot of QPoC saying.

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