Homeschool Alumni Challenges Sexual Suppression Within The Church
For Immediate Release: June 6th, 2017
The Scarlet Virgins: When sex replaces salvation
Anatole Publishing, LLC
For questions call (580)554–2207 or email Rebecca@newcrunchymom.com
Spiritual abuse survivor speaks out on the suppression of sexuality within the Christian purity movement in book The Scarlet Virgins released June 1st, 2017.
“Spit-in water”, “de-petaled flower,” and “a chewed up piece of gum.” Homeschool alumni Rebecca Lemke and her peers heard these cringe-worthy phrases from Christian purity culture throughout their childhood. A push for purity by thought leaders like Joshua Harris was spurred on by cultural sexual permissiveness and high teen pregnancy rates in the 1990s. The enormous reach of this movement began to pervade Evangelical circles, even reaching the tiny Oklahoma town where Lemke grew up.
While the movement got its start as an effort to promote virginity, it quickly morphed into a legalistic and spiritually crushing agenda. Proponents of the purity movement drastically overstepped the bounds of theological soundness, causing a generation of young people to suffer from the crushing weight of being told their worth was found in whether or not they had kissed, hugged, held hands, or had sex.
In her new book, The Scarlet Virgins, Lemke addresses the spiritual, social, physical, and emotional consequences of the purity movement. While she regularly encounters backlash from openly discussing the issues that proceed from purity culture, such as sexual suppression, self-harm, and apostasy, she is firm in her desire to take a stand. “I don’t believe talking about something sensitive makes is de facto taboo,” Lemke says. “It simply means it needs to be discussed with empathy and respect.”
The Scarlet Virgins serves two purposes: To tell survivors of the purity movement that they are not alone, and to promote healing for those who have been wounded. The book can be purchased by going to the author’s website, scarletvirgins.com, or Amazon (digital and physical).
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