At the age of 13 Jewish people celebrate Bar Mitzvah (Bat Mitzvah for girls) which marks their coming of age.
Afterwards youths and girls are considered responsible for their own actions and participate in the life of the community.
The equivalent in Christianity is Confirmation which is something quite different.
Confirmation ties the individual into a false theology of belief - the Christology of which Jesus knew nothing.
I believe that we should return to the rite of passage that celebrates puberty as a natural and joyful part of life.
Instead of guilt, fear, and shame we should encourage joy, happiness, and delight.
The sexual development of the individual would then receive a blessing from God and would no longer be a thorn in the side of adults.
Young people would no longer feel that their sexual feelings had to be hidden from parents and society.
They would feel more comfortable with their own sexuality as part of adult life in community with others.
There could even be education and training in responsible sexual activity - including homosexual activity - which respects the wishes and rights of the loved one.
There would no longer be this unhealthy separation of body and spirit which has so blighted Christianity.
The individual would experience a synthesis of body, sexuality, and spirituality (which is love) in a loving response to others.
Sex is the consummation of love.
The heart mediates between the body and the spirit.
In Jewish practice circumcision is the mark of consecration to God.
This creates a link between sexuality and God (the Creator) which allows the individual to feel more relaxed about sexual feelings.
This takes place at a deep unconscious level.
The development of sexuality coincides with feelings of love for another.
If the desire that is experienced is tempered with respect for the other then there is no harm in sexuality - homosexual or heterosexual.
The difficulty for homosexual people is the minority status of their feelings.
The number of people who will respond positively to homosexual advances are considerably less than those for heterosexual people.
Therefore homosexuals experience greater levels of rejection which can lead to suicidal feelings.
This is why it is vital to have gay sex education in schools - or even churches.
This education would help with rejection and feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
The incidence of suicide in gay youth is about four times that of heterosexual youth for the above reasons.
A rite of passage with education and training would help greatly to alleviate sexual abuse in our society.