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A progressive pastor wants people to send her their old purity rings so she can melt them down into a golden vagina sculpture.
Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Christian theologian and author, is the founding pastor for the House for All Sinners and Saints church in 2008, which is LGBTQ-inclusive and focused on reclaiming Christianity for those who have been made to feel that they don’t belong.
Bolz-Weber’s latest project in this vein is her upcoming book, Shameless: A Sexual Revolution, about overhauling antiquated Christian ideas on sex, gender, and purity. As a part of promoting the new book, Bolz-Weber tweeted a request that women mail her their old purity rings so she could melt them down and reform them into a golden vagina.
ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm inviting women to mail in their purity rings for a massive art project. @SweetBirdStudio is collaborating with me to melt them into a sculpture of a vagina, click here to join in and get your certificate of impurity! https://t.co/tbaJJdbxeJ #shamelessbook— Nadia Bolz-Weber (@Sarcasticluther) November 26, 2018
Most popular in Evangelical Christianity circles in the ’90s and early ’00s, purity rings were given to young girls as a physical representation of their pledge to abstain from sex until marriage. Bolz-Weber says that the result of these symbols and theology was shame and disconnect. She says she wants the art project and her book to help women reclaim their bodies and spirituality from purity culture, and emphasized pure does not mean holy.
“The difference between purity and holiness is that purity is always about separation—separating ourselves from people who are less religious, separating ourselves from our sexual natures, from our desires,” Bolz-Weber said. “But holiness is always about connection—to God, to ourselves, to our nature.”
Bolz-Weber said on Twitter that everyone who sends in a purity ring will get a “Certificate of Impurity” in return.
The certificate states that the recipient vows “to live a SHAMELESS, open, and free life, with love for themselves and their body, knowing that they are already holy.” Bolz-Weber said the idea is to tell former purity ring wearers that no human can take away the holiness God gave them.
H/T Huffington Post
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.