As someone who grew up in the Christian tradition in the 90s, this was a book I am very thankful for. It was not uncommon in the circles of my youth to have any conversations about sex include all of the following: don’t even THINK about sex until you are married…before marriage you need to suppress your sexuality, be ultra-modest, and be careful to not tempt the boys… when you DO get married tho, flip that switch and unleash your inner nympho… oh, and also, love is only ever supposed to be between a man and a woman (and based on the genitalia they were born with), etc, etc. So, y’know, SUPER healthy stuff.
Bolz-Weber is a tattooed, pierced, cursing, recovering alcoholic, Lutheran pastor. She gained some recognition when she was leading a church in Denver called, the House For All Saints & Sinners. It is known for being a church that really DOES accept all… addicts, homeless, all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and anyone who seeks a home in the church but has maybe not found it elsewhere.
In this book she addresses the church’s hangups with sexuality, for example: the damage that comes from preaching the idea that if you wait until marriage, you will have a perfectly happy, easy, and fulfilling sex life starting right on the wedding night… the damage that the church does by shaming anything other than “the traditional” view of marriage… she talks openly about having an abortion, and the reaction of those in the church to that news… she touches a bit about the shame that can be perpetuated in the church for those who have been abused…etc.
For anyone looking for some freedom from a similar upbringing, this is a wonderful book… although in complete honesty it was sometimes tough to hear long-held beliefs challenged (even if I don’t actually hold to them anymore). For those who have been hurt by the church in terms of their sexuality, I think this book could potentially be a healing balm for some of those wounds. *I would put a bit of a trigger warning on it though, for any who have suffered through emotional or sexual abuse at the hands of the church. This book absolutely does not condone any of that, but some of the stories told might be triggering.