Sex, meaning, consequences

Come Sunday, and one’s thoughts turn to sex. At least if one has been reading the “Week in Review” section of The New York Times. “Lately,” writes Randy Kennedy, “it seems that a slight virginal breeze has been blowing through the worlds of publishing, theater and Hollywood.’

Not a moment too soon, say those of us rasining children. While your reading Kennedy’s essay, consider whether this observation doesn’t speak in a broader way to some of the intellectual struggles currenlty undreway in the mainline Protestant churches.

The sociologist Alan Wolfe, who has conducted hundreds of interviews over the last two decades for books about the country’s beliefs and politics, said he saw a reflection in such works of the way people seem to struggle now for a greater sense of societal structure. “They do want to go back to a more conventional sexuality, morality, whatever,” said Mr. Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. “But they do not want to go back to an era of repression. So a kind of muddled, middle position is where it seems to me that most Americans are these days.”

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