To be young, single and ordained

Readers respond to "So a Priest Walks Into a Bar," by Astrid Storm, and "The Hot Chick's Lament," by Amy Reiter.

By Salon Staff
Published July 28, 2003 8:27PM (EDT)

[Read "So a Priest Walks Into a Bar," by Astrid Storm.]


Astrid Storm's anxiety about finding a suitable boyfriend is one more sign that the Reformation went too far. In its infinite wisdom, the Orthodox Church allows married men to become priests, but if a priest is single at ordination, he stays that way.

If only the Rev. Storm had gotten a hint from the Orthodox and made sure that she was safely married before she was ordained. Who knows? She could have wedded a fellow seminarian. I suspect that the best husband for a female priest would be a male priest: It might set a good example of Christian life. Then again, it might seem like the punch line of another stale joke.

-- Katheryn Gallant

I found Astrid Storm's piece on dating by priests deeply disturbing. Not because the idea of clergymen and women dating is odd -- as a Protestant, I know full well that pastors are allowed to marry and of course those that aren't are allowed to date. The thing that disturbed me was the complete lack of any reference to spirituality or any relationship with God. Reading this article, one would think that being a priest is just having some job that makes it hard to get dates. What role is Christ playing in the Rev. Storm's search for a partner? Its seems like none at all. One would think that a person whose job it is to counsel others in their relationships with God would have some sort of relationship herself. How can she lead a congregation to God if she's not following Him herself?

-- Greg Packnett

Hang in there, Astrid. I know a little (just a little) whereof you speak. As a onetime Roman Catholic seminarian, I find that woman assume that I am either (a) a pedophile, (b) gay, (c) utterly uninterested in dating and women in general, or (d) someone who holds women in contempt. None of these are true, of course.

You, not being a just a former seminarian, but an actual ordained priest with a parish, must endure this nonsense so much more than I do. Forget it. It's their problem, not yours, and your occupation (I won't throw the word "vocation" in here) actually might turn out to be a pretty good litmus test for weeding out the losers in the dating pool.

What the heck, I'd ask you for a date in a heartbeat. And I don't find Roman collars especially erotic.

-- Larry McKenna

All Rev. Astrid Storm needs to do is be honest and up front about her needs: seeking a Christian man, interested in dating, but not in sexual intimacy outside marriage. This can certainly be expressed in a personals ad, for example, or stated during a phone call or on a first date.

-- Lisa Hirsch

Astrid Storm (now, there's a name for a priest) might strike less confusion in potential and actual dates if the Episcopalians could bring themselves to avoid using Catholic nomenclature like "Mass" and "Mother". Is this common throughout the US church?

While the English and Australian Protestant churches (in Australia, I suppose the closest analog to Episcopalian is Anglican) do have their "high church" elements -- whom many suspect rather regret the Reformation and the loss of all that wonderful Catholic theatricality -- in general they eschew the formal Mass and Mother or Father for the more engaging "service" and "minister".

-- John Hampshire

[Read "The Hot Chick's Lament," by Amy Reiter.]

You'd think that one of the benefits to the saturation of pornography on the Net is that it would free up other communal areas (like theatre) for more serious, sexual inquiry, but the existence of this show contradicts that assumption. Seems the helpless anxiety Americans feel regarding their sexual worth has made porno-thought the end-all be-all hip perception, which is absurdly sad, considering that the entire point of porno is to be as mindless as possible, so that expedient release might be inspired (i.e., money made). Reading this article, I found I didn't sympathize with anyone. The female performers evidently have a vacuum-packed bubble of narcissism sealed around their minds, preventing them from realizing that the only dignified response to their self-exploitation is indifference.

And while hooting at them like a drunken, fraternal jackass is pathetic, it's no more pathetic than flashing flesh for purposes of social gain. If these women want a good idea of the crassness of their souls, they need only glance down at the swollen, sneering faces of the whooping morons in the front row. All the greed, contempt, stupidity, and infantile desire smeared like so much guano across the faces of the men is the same greed, contempt, stupidity, and infantile desire of a teasing, porn-addled mentality (although the gals, as per usual, are more clever at hiding their amoral motives).

Let's face it, they deserve each other. Now, if only there was a place for the rest of us to go ...

-- Theodore Flumberglunk

Salon Staff

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