Over a decade ago, pastor Lia Claire Scholl began a ministry among women who work in the sex industry. Her experiences with these women challenge our society's expectations about care, morality, and the Gospel. In part two of our interview, we learn about the personal costs of her work as a "harm reduction activist," and the vulnerable edge of caring for those who have passed beyond the range of social acceptance. We discuss her work and her recent book, I Heart Sex Workers: A Christian Response to People in the Sex Trade.
Also on the show, Alexander Badenoch discusses the relationship of writers' block to radio.
Whether we look at stories from the Old Testament, or at the role Mary Magdelene played in the ministry of Jesus in the New Testament, we see that Christian faith has a long and tangled history with those involved in sex work.
Lia Scholl practices radical acceptance for those who the church has vilified and shamed. It's not just something she preaches, but something that she really tries to reflect in her life. Borrowing a term from addiction counseling, she refers to herself as a "harm reduction activist." Harm reduction is a philosophy of service that meets people where they are, respecting their individual decisions, and providing options for healthier choices.
Scholl serves on the Board of the Red Umbrella Project, which amplifies the voices of people who have done transactional sex, through media, storytelling, and advocacy trainings, at our monthly storytelling series in New York City, and with support for advocacy projects and campaigns that promote the human rights of peple who trade sex for something they need.
Scholl writes about these experiences, and the religious ideas that fuel her sense of calling, in her recent book, I Heart Sex Workers: A Christian Response to People in the Sex Trade, published by Chalice Press.
Also on the Show
Our foreign correspondent, Alexander Badenoch, files his installment in our occasional series examining the effects and mythology of writers' block.
Alec is a lecturer in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and currently holds a postdoctoral appointment at the Sorbonne in Paris. He is the author of the award-winning book, Voices in Ruins: West German Radio Across the 1945 Divide.