Liberal Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber unveiled a sculpture of a vulva made entirely of old purity rings to protest evangelical purity culture and presented it to pro-abortion second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem.
Bolz-Weber, the founding pastor of Denver’s House for All Sinners and Saints, showed off the sculpture — which was made by melting down the old jewelry — during the 2019 Makers Conference last week.
“Every single thing and person that seemed so powerful and inescapable, I name them and then I just go ‘footnote,’” Bolz-Weber told conference attendees. “I mean, seriously, Pontius Pilate? He’s a footnote. Your bully from middle school? Footnote. Your depression? Footnote. Your s—-y boss? Footnote. All of those things are very real, and the harm that they have on us and the world is also real.”
“But to me, the whole point of having faith is it allows us to believe in a bigger story than the one we tell ourselves. Those purity rings are a footnote,” she declared, unveiling the sculpture.
“The [rings] we couldn’t melt down spell out the word ‘freedom’ and were woven into this heart,” Bolz-Weber said, gesturing toward the sculpture.
“Isn’t it amazing?” she said while presenting the sculpture to Steinem amid audience applause.
In some evangelical Christian circles, purity rings, also known as “promise” or “chastity” rings, were given to young girls as symbols of a promise they made to abstain from sexual activity until marriage.
The controversial pastor, who has defended the use of so-called “ethically sourced porn,” first announced her art project at the 2018 Makers Conference, where she explained she wants to “take down” the “church’s teachings around sex” and evangelical purity culture.
“This thing about women that the church has tried to hide and control and that is a canvas on which other people can write their own righteousness ― it’s actually ours,” Bolz-Weber told HuffPost. “This part of me is mine and I get to determine what is good for it and if it’s beautiful and how I use it in the world.”
She then put out a call on Twitter, asking any women who no longer use their purity rings to donate them to her for use in the sculpture. In exchange for donating their ring, the pastor said she would give each person a copy of her new book, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, in which she argues that Church teaching on sexuality has caused harm to many people.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett