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Nadia Bolz-Weber attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on February 7, 2019 in Dana Point, California. (Getty Images)
Nadia Bolz-Weber attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on February 7, 2019 in Dana Point, California. (Getty Images)

‘Shameless’

Pastor makes waves by calling ‘purity culture’ equivalent to ‘rape culture’

By WITW Staff on February 13, 2019

Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is calling for a sexual reformation within Christianity — the likes of which, she says, hasn’t been seen since the namesake of her church, Martin Luther, sparked the Protestant reformation in 1517. Modern Christianity’s aggressive moral policing of sexuality — and women’s sexuality in particular — is spiritually counterproductive and even destructive, Bolz-Weber argues in her new book, Shameless.

“This idea that salvation comes through sexual repression. That shit comes out sideways,” Bolz-Weber told The New Yorker.

“Purity culture equals rape culture,” she continued. “It says to young women that your bodies aren’t your own and you can’t be a sexual being until you are the property of your future husband.”

Bolz-Weber’s path to faith wasn’t always easy. She was raised in a conservative evangelical sect called the Church of Christ, and as a young teenager was forced to attend a Christian charm class due to her loud and “mannish” mannerisms.

At age 25, she had an abortion. “I was making two hundred dollars a week and hadn’t seen a dentist in six years,” she told The New Yorker. “There was no way I could afford a child. I was devastated, but not because I felt I’d done something evil or even wrong. I was destroyed by the sadness of my life situation.”

It wasn’t until 2016, when Bolz-Weber divorced her longtime husband, a Lutheran pastor, that she said she rediscovered good sex and began to understand how living a sexually fulfilled life could lead to greater spiritual satisfaction as well.

“It’s not about being good,” she said. “It’s about grace.”

In November, the progressive Christian pastor made waves with a project in which she asked women to send her their purity rings so she could melt them into a vagina statue. At the Makers Conference earlier this month, Bolz-Weber presented the statue to feminist icon Gloria Steinem in person.

Watch video of the inspiring (and hilarious) moment below:

Read the full story at The New Yorker.

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