Archive for the ‘gay spirituality’ Category

>About Jesus

June 15, 2010

>Yesterday Jesus burned.

Lightning struck a 6 story statue of “Touchdown Jesus” and it burst into flame.

Whether this statue was considered a graven image depends on how literal you take the Bible. Rick and Bubba, for instance, might think God smote the image of Jesus cause we just ain’t supposed to do that. This video is loud, but short.

UPDATE: here’s the song that clip comes from:

At any rate, while on the subject of Jesus, my blogger-friend Michael Bayly has brought up that Jesus really was a sissy. So many of us get called sissies, I guess if Jesus was one, it’s OK for us, too.

Michael’s post was actually based on a lecture by Dr. David Rankin from the 1980’s he heard on tape, which he transcribed and took excerpts from. Now I’m doing the same to Michael’s post, but it would be worth your time to read it yourself. Jesus was a sissy.

Jesus was able to feel and express a wide range of tender emotions. He wept
without shame, even raved and screamed and moaned and won no battles. He was an intuitive thinker, often the victim of wild imaginings and flights of fantasy.
He responded to beauty, embracing the birds of the air and the lilies of the
field. He nurtured little children, relating to them in the manner of a mother.
He freely touched other men and kissed them.

Rankin continues,

Does Jesus really fit the American ideal of manhood?” Rankin asks. Can we
imagine Jesus as a United States Marine? As a linebacker for the Detroit Lions?
As the Marlboro Man? “By almost every standard in our culture,” concludes
Rankin, “Jesus was a real live honest-to-goodness sissy.

Michael, and Rankin, point out that Sunday School teachers and some preachers portray Jesus as a warrior. Rankin says they were right in saying we should be more like Jesus, but wrong in their reasoning.

A man who walked around the countryside without position, without
possessions, searching for the meaning of life. A man who lingered lazily in the
fields in order to study the flight of a bird and the petals of a flower. A man
who embraced the lowly and the outcast and the leper and the stranger while
protesting their condition. A man was so physically frail that he could not even
carry a wooden cross to the top of a hill. A man who suffered a humiliating
defeat while blessing the enemies who had arranged his death. A sissy. One of
the greatest models in religious history was an honest-to-God, real live,
long-haired, soft-bodied sissy.

So why am I sharing this?

There is a link between Rankin’s words and today’s society. Michael quotes from Matthew Fox’s book, “The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.” (Emphasis mine)

Homosexuals offer humanity certain vital gifts that society would be
foolish to refuse. [One of these is] a flexible perspective on gender [which]
provides a kind of bridge between men and women. Heterosexuals in particular can become stuck in their society-created gender roles, and homosexuals remind everyone that sexuality exists in the realm of metaphor and not literalism.

When one’s sexual role is not determined by one’s body parts, life, imagination, and passion come alive. David Deida observes that “the gay and lesbian community is acutely aware that the sexual polarity is independent of gender. But you still need two poles for a passionate play of sexuality to persist in a relationship: masculine and feminine, top and bottom, butch and femme – whatever you want to call these reciprocal poles of sexual play.”

Gays and lesbians have much to teach the straight world about sexuality and about restoring passion to relationships. . . . [Also] there is a long history in many cultures of homosexuals as spiritual leaders. Many years ago, a Native American woman took me aside and said to me that it is well known among Native Americans that gay persons have always been the spiritual directors to their great chiefs.

Homosexuals, it seems, don’t just bridge male and female worlds, but human and
spiritual worlds. A homophobic society deprives itself of a deeper spirituality.
This same woman (who was also a Catholic sister) said: “When I give retreats to
gay people, it is always a deeper experience than just giving a retreat to a
mixed and mostly heterosexual crowd.”

No one knows about the sexual orientation of Jesus. But we do know many of his traits, and many homosexual men share them.

Jesus: God-like. Son of God. Or God. It doesn’t matter. It was his mild, peace-loving, nature-admiring, male-bonding demeanor that made him like God. God is love, after all.

And it is what connected him to the Father.

Fox says,”Homosexuals, it seems, don’t just bridge male and female worlds, but human and spiritual worlds. A homophobic society deprives itself of a deeper spirituality.”

Native Americans recognized it. Our culture has become so far removed from the nature and teachings of Jesus, that we can’t see that. But we are learning. We are progressing. We will get there.

>Anglicans, Gays and the Big Picture

August 11, 2008

>Two articles in Saturday’s Birmingham News, in their Religion section, looked at the issues surrounding the recent Lambeth Conference for Anglicans. My links are from other papers, because I couldn’t find the stories on the Birmingham News site.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams used century’s old Anglican diplomacy to weather the recent Lambeth Conference which ended with Williams suggesting that more time is needed to consider the issues that threaten to divide the denomination. The issues, of course, are whether to allow gay clergy and blessing of same sex relationships.

Lambeth ended without the issues being resolved, just as expected.

But the Archbishop is OK with gays, according to some letters recently disclosed that he wrote in 2000 and 2001. The letters were written to Deborah Pitt, an evangelical Christian who asked for his opinion.

I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it has about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness.” he is quoted as writing.

The Story

Another article looked at Black Episcopal bishops questioning conservative ties to African Anglicans.

The differing opinions on acceptance of sexual minorities has led conservative Episcopalians in the United States to form ties with African Anglicans, at the expense of black Americans here in their own country, according to a prominent black bishop from Maryland, Bishop Eugene Sutton.
Sutton likes to point out “the historical anomaly of dioceses that have nothing to do with the black community going all the way back to Africa to make these relationships.” And he says that the use of scripture to oppose homosexuality is reminiscent of Biblically based arguments supporting slavery and racism.

I don’t know how many black bishops there are in the Episcopal Church, but eight attended Lambeth, and all eight favor gay rights in the church.

That is in contrast with the perception of black clergy in general. Most gay advocacy groups as well as the mainstream media seem to promote the idea that blacks are more opposed to gay rights than whites; therefore all blacks are opposed to gay rights. (Completely discounting the fact that there are black gays and lesbians. Really. Even here in Bessemer.)

Not so fast, according to Jasmyne Cannick , who points out that prominent black clergy are supportive in a post following the California marriage ruling and reprinted in part as a blowback in the L. A. Times.

“Nationally, the list of prominent Black clergy supporting the right of lesbians and gays to marry has grown exponentially over past several years to include among others: Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. William Sinkford, President, Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Peter Gomes, Harvard University Chaplain, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, his wife Rev. Marcia Dyson, and Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

“Yes, that’s right, the pastor whose comments were inaccurately portrayed by the media as being unpatriotic and then used by presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s opponents to distract voters, is and has been a supporter for equal rights of lesbian and gay couples. That somehow was missed in all of the criticism being hurled at Wright.”

Cannick also points out that the perception is that “gays are white and blacks are homophobic,” and that the perception is wrong.

It is sometimes joked that every prominent person in Bessemer is a minister, most of whom are black. The mayor, at least one council person, the mayor’s assistant, the police chief, neighbors, friends; all either are actual ministers or act like they are at times. But not one has taken a public stand on issues of sexuality that I am aware of. Some of my African American neighbors and friends are supportive, but who knows about the rest of the crowd?

Well, we do know at least two white Bessemer clergy members that are supportive of gay rights, and at least one city council member. How about the rest of you?

Meanwhile, read some of Bishop Gene Robinson’s posts about the conference at his blog, Canterbury Tales from the Fringe. Thanks for this link to Chris at Blethers.