In lgbt equality, inclusion on May 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm
An eastern Louisville Baptist church has ordained an openly gay man as a minister with unanimous support from church members.
Highland Baptist Church on Sunday ordained Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard, a local gay-rights advocate who started the church’s gay and lesbian outreach group last year.
Church Pastor Joe Phelps says ordaining Blanchard was “new territory” for the church but in April it moved to support his ordination.
The Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based gay rights organization, hailed Blanchard’s ordination as 1 of only about two dozen at Baptist churches in the U.S.
In Uncategorized on May 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm
b. May 29, 1947
“It’s not so much a dream as a calling from God.”
In 2003, The Rt. Rev.V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire, making him the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. His ordination caused a global rift within the Episcopal Church and led to international debate about the inclusion of gay clergy in church hierarchy. In the weeks leading up to his consecration, Robinson received hate mail and death threats, triggering the FBI to place him under 24-hour protection.
Gene Robinson grew up outside Lexington, Kentucky. The son of poor tobacco sharecroppers, he was raised without running water or indoor plumbing. He recalls his childhood as rustic and religious, with Sunday school and services at a small Disciples of Christ congregation.
Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of the South and his Master of Divinity from the Episcopal General Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained a priest in 1973.
Despite doubts about his sexual orientation, Robinson married in 1972. He and his wife moved to New Hampshire where they raised two daughters. Robinson worked as youth ministries coordinator for the seven dioceses of New England and cofounded the national Episcopal Youth Event. Robinson divorced his wife and came out in the mid-1980’s.
Robinson is the coauthor of three AIDS education curricula. In Uganda, he helped set up a national peer counseling program for AIDS educators working with religious institutions.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force honored Robinson with a Leadership Award in 2004. In 2007, he received the Flag Bearer Award from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) for leadership and inclusion in faith communities.
In 2008, Bishop Robinson and Mark Andrew, partners for more than 19 years, exchanged vows in a civil union ceremony in New Hampshire.
Bibliography“Episcopalians Approve Gay Bishop.” CNN. August 6, 2003
“Gene Robinson Biography.” Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. June 20, 2008
Monroe, Rev. Irene. “Perspective: Gene Robinson.” Windy City Times. June 11, 2008
Steele, Bruce C. “Robinson Redux.” The Advocate. July 17, 2007
ArticlesBurns, John F. “Cast Out, but at the Center of the Storm.” The New York Times. August 3, 2008
Costello, Andrew. “Let God Love Gene Robinson.” GQ. June, 2008
Goodstein, Laurie. “Episcopalians are Reaching Point of Revolt.” The New York Times. December 17, 2006
Goodstein, Laurie. “Gay Bishop Plans His Civil Union Rite.” The New York Times. April 25, 2008
Keizer, Garret. “Turning away from Jesus: Gay Rights and the War for the Episcopal Church.” Harper’s Magazine. June, 2008
Lawton, Kim. “Interview: Bishop Gene Robinson.” PBS. May 2, 2008
Millard, Rosie. “Interview: The Rev. Gene Robinson.” The Sunday Times. July 27, 2008
BooksIn the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (2008)
FilmsFor the Bible Tells Me So (2007)
Other ResourcesEpiscopal Diocese of New Hampshire Website
In Uncategorized on May 26, 2012 at 10:26 am
b. May 16, 1929
Adrienne Rich is one of the leading American poets. Her ability to combine poetry with politics has made her a model for poets and activists.
“ The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet. ”
Adrienne Rich became a published poet in 1951 at the age of 21, when W. H. Auden selected her first book, A Change of World, for the Yale Younger Poets Prize. She has published nearly twenty volumes of poetry and several books of non-fiction.
Rich’s poetry has been honored with numerous awards including the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Her collection of poems Diving into the Wreck received the 1974 National Book Award. The American Academy of Poets bestowed the Wallace Stevens Award on Rich in 1997 for “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.”
“When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Revision,” Rich’s 1971 celebrated address to the Modern Language Association, challenged many traditional assumptions of literary scholarship and prompted the inclusion of women’s studies and feminist criticism in academia. Rich advocated equality for women, gays, and those disenfranchised by race and class.
Rich is active in movements for GLBT rights, reproductive freedom, and the progressive New Jewish Agenda. In 1981, she received the Fund for Human Dignity Award of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
In 1997 Rich declined the National Medal of Arts, saying, “Art . . . means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage. The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate. A president cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.” In 2003, Rich joined other poets in protesting the war in Iraq by refusing to attend a White House symposium on poetry.
Selected works by Adrienne Rich:
- An Atlas of the Difficult World, 1991.
- Blood, Bread and Poetry, 1986.
- Dark Fields of the Republic, 1995.
- Diving Into the Wreck, 1973.
- Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, 1976.
- On Lies, Secrets and Silence, 1979.
- The Dream of a Common Language, 1978.
- The Fact of a Doorframe, 1984.
- The School Among the Ruins, 2004.
- What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, 1993.
- Your Native Land, Your Life, 1986.
In Gay pride on May 24, 2012 at 9:50 am
When the seventh month arrived – the people having settled in their own villages – they assembled in Jerusalem as one body. Then Jeshua begot of Jozadak, together with the other priests, and Zerubbabel begot of Shealtiel, together with his family, began the building of the altar of the God of Israel so that they might make burnt offerings as was stipulated in the law of Moses, the godly one. They built the altar first, for they lived in fear of the peoples who lived around them…
Fear is a powerful motivator. The cruelty that we enact due to fear is limitless. We slander, we provoke, we rationalize, we even kill. In the spiritual realm fear casts just as strong a shadow. Take for example the bullying behavior of those who fear the Sacred. As opposed to the behavior of those who love the Sacred.
In The Expression of the Emotions in Man and AnimalsCharles Darwin reminds us that fear is preceded by astonishment. Hence, in the world of ancient Israel “fear” or astonishment about God is the beginning of wisdom. In this passage of scripture though, fear is the sense of danger that we live with when we know that others do not like us. Fear is what we feel when we know others want us gone from their neighborhoods, and will seek our harm to get rid us.
In Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 9:30 am
b. May 21, 1925
d. Oct 12, 2011
The momentum is there, and that’s not going to be stopped. It’s moved from hopes of a grass-roots movement, to the actuality of a grass-roots movement. And it’s taken 40 years to do it.
In 1957, the Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. dismissed astronomer Frank Kameny. Though a WWII veteran with an M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University, Kameny was discharged because he was gay. Rather than accept a common practice of the times, Kameny fought for his rights. He successfully challenged anti-gay policies of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the US Department of Defense and the US Civil Service Commission.
Kameny sued the Army Map Service and lost his case. On appeal he lost again, and after the Supreme Court denied his petition to direct the case to be reconsidered, Kameny realized his objectives would require a broader movement. In 1961, Kameny co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C with Gay Pioneer Jack Nichols.
Kameny was the first to bring open activism to the gay rights movement. The D.C. Mattachine Society contacted public officials to attempt to change policy. They published a newsletter, The Gazette, and campaigned to overturn security clearance denials, employment restrictions and dismissals of gay men from the Federal workforce. In 1963, Kameny began a movement to repeal sodomy laws and challenge the APA‘s classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.
On April 17, 1965, Kameny led the first public picket for gay rights at the White House. With support from the Daughters of Bilitis, the Mattachine Society extended its protest to the Pentagon and the Civil Service Commission. He helped launch the first organized gay and lesbian demonstrations for equality. These seminal demonstrations by activists from New York, Philadelphia and Washingon D.C. were held annually each July 4th at Independence Hall from 1965 to 1969 and were called annual reminders. They paved the way for the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
Inspired by Stokely Carmichael’s “Black is Beautiful,” Kameny dubbed the phrase “Gay is Good” as a slogan for the movement. He led the fight for gay rights into the 1970s and ran for Congress in 1971 on an equal rights platform. The APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973 and the Civil Service Commission lifted its ban on homosexuality in 1975, an action President Bill Clinton formalized many years later.
In 2000, Equality Forum with WHYY/PBS produced the documentary film “Gay Pioneers” about Frank Kameny and other early activists. In 2006, the Library of Congress incorporated over 70,000 letters, documents and memorabilia from Frank Kameny into its permanent collection. The Washington, D.C. City Council honored Frank Kameny in 2007, hailing him as a “true freedom fighter.”
In Uncategorized on May 17, 2012 at 10:15 am
My sisters and brothers, if you should wander from the truth and another should bring you back, remember that whoever turns sinners from the error of their ways saves them from death and cancels a multitude of sins.
James is a tough book to read. It enjoys its present position toward the end of the Greek Scriptures due to the great reformer Martin Luther who considered it a “right strawy epistle.” Although in Luther’s defense, it appears he missed the major emphasis of this book: faith formation as the key element in communal living.
I can also commensurate with James – it takes hard, hard work to build the beautiful community. That is the community where justice and righteousness or harmony and balance mark all relationships.
James (in theory the brother of Jesus and leader of the church in Jerusalem) is interested in the question of power. Particularly the question of how power plays out in a community of equality. James exhorts us to be stringent in the disciplines of the faith. These disciplines call on us to relinquish our hold on control, turn to those in need, and let go of carefully crafted priorities so they may be replaced by priorities of the crucified and resurrected One.
-full reflection at The Bible in Drag
In Marriage on May 16, 2012 at 10:32 am
Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.
Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins! Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)
But that’s not all. In biblical society, when you conquered another city, tribe, or nation, the victorious men would “win” their defeated foes’ wives as part of the spoils. It also commanded levirate marriage, the system wherein, if a man died, his younger brother would have to marry his widow and produce heirs with her who would be considered the older brother’s descendants. Now that’s traditional marriage!
- full post at Jay Michaelson, Religion Dispatches.