It’s On Us holds discussion on spirituality, intimacy

Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Jack Parsley | Reporter

Sexual assault is a cancer to society – a cancer brought on by the brokenness in society, Dr. Ryan Richardson, associate chaplain and director of worship and chapel, told students on Thursday.

Richardson led a discussion with a group of Baylor students about God and sex as a part of the Let’s Talk About It series put on by the It’s On Us Student Advisory Council for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Left unchecked, the brokenness that is in our culture breeds violence,” Richardson said. “Our human selves do not know how to respond to being rejected, so when we feel rejected, we lash out in violence.”

Richardson began his talk with an explanation of epistemology, the theory of knowledge, and what it really means when the Bible talks about knowing another person.

“The Bible very much alludes to this notion that knowing is about a sexual relationship,” Richardson said. “To really know something is to be transformed by it and to transform it.”

Richardson went on to address sexual assault as an attempt to steal the knowledge that comes from an intimate and loving sexual relationship.

“What happens if you don’t know yourself, but you want to know someone else? They attempt to steal something that cannot be stolen,” Richardson said. “You cannot steal the knowledge.”

Richardson concluded his talk by talking about the satisfaction that comes with a spiritually healthy sexual relationship.

“A good relationship that is right, true and laced with spirit and truth is one that will satisfy forever,” Richardson said.

Georgetown junior Audrey Hamlin, president of It’s On Us Student Advisory Council, introduced Richardson and facilitated the question-and-answer session after the talk.

“I hope people came away with from it with a better understanding about why it is so important to combat sexual assault with an understanding of how beautiful and God-ordained sex is in a meaningful relationship,” Hamlin said.

Students had the opportunity to ask Richards a wide variety of questions about sex from a Christian perspective and sexuality in Baylor’s Christian culture, such as ‘Can there be a healthy sexual relationship outside of marriage?’

“If we define marriage as the blessing of God over a relationship, I am going to say no. If we define marriage as a minister saying ‘God blesses this’ then I am going to say yes,” Richardson said.

The It’s On Us Student Advisory Council will host three more discussions about sex on the three remaining Thursdays in Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The next two talks will be about the medical perspective on sex and the sociological perspective on sex, and the last talk will bring all three speakers together to have one large discussion on how sex and sexual assault affect Baylor’s campus.

“The upcoming talks talking about sex from a medical perspective, sex from a sociological perspective and the concluding panel will be a really great way to continue talking about the issue and continue these conversations and hopefully initiate change not just with the issue of sexual assault but in how we conceive of sex,” Hamlin said.