Catholics chat about sex, religion

April Samuelson

Students gather at Kent Newman Center Parish Fireside Lounge last night to express their views on Catholicism and sexuality. STEVEN MANTILLA| DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

Last night Nick Hosmer, pastoral associate for Campus Ministry at the Newman Center, asked a room of Catholic students to raise their hand if they believed the act of sex is the sinful part about sex.

No one raised their hand.

The Catholic Student Association hosted a discussion about Catholicism and sexuality last night. Topics ranged from the separation between the “Don’t do it” message the church gives about sex before marriage, whether or not sex is meant only for procreation, and balancing college life outside the church with the one in it.

Sophomore nursing major Kris Nelson said the problem with the “Don’t do it” message is it makes no distinction between having sex within a relationship or having sex with an entire hockey team.

“Everything is considered to be the same sin,” Nelson said. “There’s no change.”

Senior zoology major Lisa Melnik said the boundaries of right and wrong aren’t clearly defined.

“One of the problems is people don’t hear details about what the church teaches and the history,” Melnik said. “All they hear is ‘don’t have sex before marriage,’ but that brings along the question of what can you do and what can’t you do. There aren’t a lot of details.”

Sophomore nursing major Erin Wood said sometimes the message people associate with the Catholic Church is not actually coming form the Catholic Church.

“I had a friend in junior high who went to a Catholic school who had people brought in who said hugging and kissing before marriage is wrong, but if you want to hold hands, that’s OK.”

The group also discussed whether procreation was the main purpose for having sex. Sophomore nursing major Lucy Bednarz said considering children adds responsibility to the decision to have sex.

“I think that as my mom always said ‘sex should always be open to the idea for children,'” Bednarz said. “She said ask yourself, ‘Are you ready for sex and are you ready for children because that is what it is really meant for.”

Ellen Euclide, senior economics and Spanish major, said in a world where a woman can support a child on her own, children shouldn’t be the only consideration.

“I don’t think it’s to say that sex should be for the purpose of procreation but to know that you will be at that point in your life and be able to take that responsibility,” Euclide said.

Hosmer asked the group if there was a problem with someone pole-dancing and then going to church the next day.

Melnik said everyone does things outside of church but saw pole-dancing as extreme.

“Now after all, don’t we all go out to clubs and under normal circumstances this would be like ‘what am I doing here?'” Nelson said. “Sometimes though you want to dance and have a good time.”

Melnik said those are the people they should be trying to bring to church.

“I think that those people who are doing it without the church’s value may be the ones who need to be here the most,” Melnik said.

Bednarz said the church’s views should always be considered.

“We should have to think before we act and if we realize what we are doing is wrong, we shouldn’t do it,” Bednarz said. “We shouldn’t rely on reconciliation because that would be hypocritical.”

Contact religion reporter April Samuelson at [email protected].