Sacred Sex Dialogue Urged on Comstock's 140th Anniversary

Released: 2/28/2013 7:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: America's Sexuality Day
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Religious and Secular invited to Nationwide Reflection on Sexual Understanding Against Censorship this weekend.

Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Pa, February 28, 2013 -- Sex, religion and politics have never been historical strangers to each other.

Since the March 3rd anniversary of America’s landmark sexual censorship law, the Comstock Act of 1873, occurs on a Sunday this year, the organizers of America’s Sexuality Day—a cause that promotes the importance of sexual education and understanding every March 3— saw it as a special obligation, albeit possibly a controversial one, to highlight religion in 2013. The theme, “Holy Sex ! What Do Americans Hold Sacred?,” Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3, is a national invitation for reflection, asking Americans, regardless of belief, to dialogue with family, friends and colleagues in places of worship, at home, or anywhere they deem appropriate, on what the sacred in sex means to them personally and responsibly in a multi-cultural democracy. The event even challenges people to invite someone with oppositional viewpoints from themselves, to a respectful, co-learning experience about each other’s beliefs of sex and the sacred.

The anti-Comstock, free speech tribute is extended to a three-day weekend this year, so that the Moslem Jummah, Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sunday observances are included (Buddhist, Hindu and many other religions don’t have a designated one day of the week for gathering, though often a weekend day is chosen in the U.S.).

Acknowledging the coincidental timing between Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and the convening of the Papal conclave, the organizers state while the “Holy Sex! ” phrasing is an intentional alarm to universal sexual accountability, it isn’t meant to be an affront to any faith, to atheist principles, or to people who individually or congregationally view sex as private and doctrinally veiled. “The meaning of sacred sex, for that which is taboo, forbidden, concealed and that which is held dear and precious, can overlap for someone who is not religious, just as much as it does for a devout practitioner,” says America’s Sexuality Day’s founder, Crystal Syben Haidl, adding, “Striving to understanding our own sexual rules and complexities gives us a chance to understand the unique process in others, and visa versa.”

It’s this fundamental necessity for both protecting diverse and shared boundaries, while advancing open, societal knowledge that America’s Sexuality Day emphasizes to be at risk in our democracy. Drawing a parallel from the Comstock Act’s continued legacy of current laws that restrict sexual expression in the arts, education and lifestyle, in contradiction to our First Amendment, Haidl cites the difference is the latter’s valuing of individual choice over the broad dangers inherent from narrowly thought, political and corporate mandates. Noting that sexuality is not yet a protected speech, she cites that the etymological roots to religion— religare to “reconnect”, “rebind” and relegere, “reread”, “re-legislate” — imply a continually reexamined pledge to understanding knowledge. In that vein, perhaps we could all aim to be politically and sexually religious, she says.
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