Monday, July 16, 2007

Religious Groups Work to Translate Sex-Education Message -

Religious Groups Work to Translate Sex-Education Message -
"When the Rev. Evelyn Perez describes the strong feelings sex generates to the Latino teens in her church sex-education classes, she uses the metaphors of their cultures.

Sex, she tells those whose families come from Mexico, 'is like eating a jalapeƱo -- it is hot!' For her Puerto Rican students, she relates it to the weather in their families' homeland: 'You know how hot it gets.'

The students, ages 13 to 17, understand instantly, she said.

The conversations are part of the transformation of a faith-based sex-education curriculum designed for black youths. 'Keeping It Real,' written a decade ago, uses biblical wisdom to help teens sort through sexuality with trained facilitators.

The Latino version, '¡ManteniĆ©ndolo Real!' was presented last week at the annual National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality."

The Presbyterian Church might take a good look at what is going on here. This is a good time, especially since the 217th General Assembly, for what I think is the third time in 10 years, asked that the PC(USA) sexuality curriculum be revised to bring it more in line with Biblical teaching. The official GA217 record of this action (Item 12-11) can be found on Les, the GA business tracking web site. (BTW -- does anyone know how this GA directive is being implemented?)

From my perspective as a father and as a member of my congregation's CE committee, our children don't need another course in plumbing. They already know most of that from the curriculum pf public or private schools. The church can perform a critical pastoral function here by discussing what role sexuality plays in human relationships and how God's plan is worked through such relationships.

When one sees how such a beautiful gift can turn so ugly, as demonstrated by any number of stories that are told in our newspapers or viewed on video screens, a compelling case can be made for the Church to speak with an unambiguous, clear and compassionate voice to our young people.

The National Black Religious Summit of Sexuality is on to something here. I hope the PC(USA) follows their lead, and finds ways to speak to our own youth in faithfulness to God's Word, using words and imagery they can understand.

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