Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pastors and Sex..thinking pastor Ray and JZ

Pastor Ray and Pastor Jacob Zuma are redefining the discussion on pastors and sex. We are talking sex again! Perhaps JayZee, would not qualify as a real pastor, but the way things goes these days, who cares? There remain a group of churches, who feel that he is annointed enough to wear the cloth. So, with tolerance stretched to new levels, in a spirit of brother and sisterhood, let's join hands and sing, Kum-bah-jah. Afterall, Pastor Ray and JayZee shared the same pulpit at some point, spreading the love (so to speak).

What I am interested in is how they are redefining the mores in a country that are predominantly Christian. My observations: I am aware of the rising tide of secularization, which desacralise open public discourses on all issues, yet, I also maintain that there has also been and upsurge in privatised religiosity, in particular the neo-charismatic, free-spirited, prosperity type. This is merely an observation, not a value judgement on these movements or churches.
Then, the new leaders of these, come are under intense public scrutiny-they gain celebrity status and their views on matters, matter. Also, how they handle, sex and marriage. So, understandably there was a huge public uproar when Pastor Ray divorced his first wife and soon after that married again. Some left his church, others joined perhaps, to get closer to the fire of God.
Further, these stories are timely reminders that pastors and public leaders are mere human beings, no demi-gods. They share the same struggles, vulnerabilities and needs. We also need to appreciate that theological differences exists with regards to morality, marriage and issues on sexuality.
However, society, at least as articulated through media, dispite open-ness and greater appreciation for a wide array of sexual expressions and positive appreciation for sexuality, remains surprisingly conservative, especially with regards to what is expected of public leaders.
Dispite condemnation and outrage, there is also no deep, ongoing debate on how to appreciate our sexuality as a divine gift of our Creator.

On the other hand, I need to note my own discomfort at the media reports on the behaviour, of our president. If the reports are accurate, on the birth of his latest offspring on Oct 2009, from another friend's daughter, then it supports the perception that he continues to have casual sexual intercourse, without the proper or any (?) use of condoms. If this is correct then it evidently undermine his authority in leading our nation in the fight against HIV infections. Whilst some would argue that his own sexual exploits and adventures, remain his private business and also embedded in the mores of his culture, these reports however strengthen the image of a president, who have scant regard for the scourge which plague our nation and subcontinent. In this respect, I would argue that he urgently need to set the record straight, and come out publically to shed light on his views. Otherwise, the questions will linger. Pastors, will have to talk sex, this time.
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