John Chuchman's reflection on sexual morality cuts to a bottom line insight of Jesus and, indeed, all the major religions as they interpret 'the Golden Rule'. At the bottom line of all of our discussions, all of our thinking about our sexuality, we have to learn to respect ourselves, and to respect others. Everything else flows out of that.
II: Paradigms of Virtue
Our traditional Patriarchal Paradigm of Virtue
taught, promoted, and enforced
by Church hierarchy
reflects a dualism
that has long plagued our spiritual growth.
mind over body,
male over female,
biological over relational,
otherworldly over worldly,
domination over equality and relationship.
It emphasizes chastity as
a pinnacle of perfection
with all sins against it grave matter
endangering human salvation.
An alternative paradigm of Virtue
is an Egalitarian-Feminist one,
embodying human reason
based on the fundamental equality
of men and women
in the human community.
In this paradigm,
power is redefined from control to respect
and proper relatedness.
There is no hierarchy of virtue in this paradigm.
This paradigm integrates the virtues
that govern both sexes equally
individually and socially.
Leaving behind the unhealthy
and distorted view of chastity
in the hierarchical paradigm,
the egalitarian sense
balance between sexuality as personal virtue
and social justice.
Love and Justice here
are mutually enforcing virtues
guiding all human relationships.
Justice, Fidelity, Self-Care
guide human relationship to the common good
in particular relationships
and relationship with self.
The sexual aim for human beings
is to become fully integrated sexual human beings
through marriage, partnership, celibacy, or the single life.
It demands an appreciation and respect for
the emotional, relational, bodily, spiritual, and psychological
dimensions of ourselves and others.
This reflection was originally published on John Chuchman's blog
and is republished on Catholica with John's permission.
The "flamingos in love" background image used to support John Chuchman's reflection has also been sourced from www.bestroyaltyfreeimages.net. The photo is credited to Kjunstorm. The image is displayed under the Creative Commons license which can be read at: flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/.
John Chuchman is a bereavement counsellor. He is a graduate of John Carroll University and former Ford Motor Company executive (1959-1992). He has been a Hospice volunteer since 1990. John has received Pastoral Bereavement Counselor certification and a Certificate in Spirituality (Kino Institute of Phoenix, Arizona.) In 2000, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. His website provides information about his regular retreats and information about his books. he also writes a "Poetman" blog which you can find on the website or via this link: [Visit John's blog] | [Visit John's website]
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©2011 John Chuchman
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