What is it about sex education that makes the church so rigid in supporting its introduction in schools?
The combative attitude and the refusal to accept today’s realities are puzzling. Is this really the Christian way to do things?
Teenage pregnancies are on the rise and so are HIV infections among 15 to 24-year-olds. Women die trying to abort every day.
Every day, cases of sexual predation are reported in the media, some involving toddlers and the elderly. These are the tragic realities.
The church should play a pivotal role in supporting sex education instead of demonising it.
And if there are Christians who believe the church is wrong on this stand, why aren’t they speaking up? The stony silence does not serve anyone.
The morality argument is moot. First, because some churches are not exactly paragons of morality and second, because the same children the church claims to be protecting sometimes suffer in the hands of religious leaders.
One need not look too far for church-related scandals that point to moral decay.
Take Pastor James Ng’ang’a of Neno Evangelism, for example, who has been in and out of court many times, fighting off criminal charges.
The litany of insults from his mouth that have been captured on video can’t be repeated here. Or Pastor Kanyari of the Sh310 panda mbegu (plant a seed) scandal, who has since rebranded and is still going strong with his ministry.
There are many more stories that follow a similar trajectory. We are yet to hear the church condemn these men of the cloth loudly and publicly.
As loudly and publicly as it did when it was rejecting the introduction of sex education in schools.
After all, these men’s actions and words prove that they belong behind bars, or in hell and not on the pulpit preparing souls for heaven.
And, speaking of heaven, do you remember Pastor Thomas Wahome of Helicopter of Christ Church, who charged his flock Sh1,000 each to check whether their names were in the Book of Life? There seems to be no end to the madness.
There are many Christians who value morality, but the truth (and this should set us free) is that morality just isn’t there. Or at least not in its fullness.
The church has also been hit by sex abuse scandals. In an open letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Pope Francis condemned child sex abuse and cover-ups by the clergy and apologised for them.
This was after a report indicating the involvement of 300 priests and thousands of victims in Pennsylvania, US.
Sex scandals are nothing new to the church, of course, but perhaps it was the scale and magnitude of the one in the Catholic Church that made it hit global headlines.
The church needs to face up to the realities of the world today, as not everything can be solved by hiding behind Bible verses.
And, if indeed every Christian lived by the principles of the Good Book, vices like corruption, which is the bane of this nation, would be non-existent. Especially since most politicians are professing Christians.
Let’s agree that as Christians, we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God in many ways, but that’s no reason to turn a blind eye to the truth about sex: that children as young as nine are aware of it and are having it.
And that no number of sermons on abstinence can turn off the hormones.
The church should respond to the changing needs of its congregants as zealously as it did when its leaders vowed to continue accepting money from politicians.
In this age of information, there’s only so much shielding that the church can do. It is an exercise in futility.
The children will get what they are looking for from video games, phone apps and conversations with their peers.
A few churches know this and have started deliberate programmes to teach children about sex and sexuality.
Supporting sex education is the Christian thing to do.
The writer is the editor, Living Magazine; [email protected]