In Sexual Orientation on September 27, 2012 at 11:24 am
The kindom of heaven is like a buried treasure found in a field. The ones who discovered it hid it again, and rejoicing at the discovery, went and sold all their possessions and bought that field.
Or again the kindom of heaven is like a merchant’s search for fine pearls. When one pearl of great value was found, the merchant went back and sold everything else and bought it.
Mathew 13: 44-46
Let’s play “word substitute.” Instead of “kindom of heaven,” let’s read “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.” The parables then would read sexual orientation is like an unknown treasure that once discovered brings great rejoicing. And sexual identity once discerned is as rich and glorious as a pearl of the greatest value.
If you are playing this game with straight friends they will not get how freeing and affirming these parables are. For them, sexual orientation and sexual identity have never been hidden or sought after. It’s hardly a treasure but more of a given constant. For queers, however, the discernment of deep identity markers which set us apart from the (hetero) norm can be either an experience of anxiety or liberation – often a mixture of both. Even more reasons for us to identify with the thrill of these parables. Leutwyler’s self portrait captures the sense of “neediness” which lends urgency to the searching and boundless joy in the finding
-continue reading at The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture.
In Uncategorized on July 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm
Sharp words cut like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18, James 3:1-12
This proverb is a reversal of the old childhood mantra: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…” Well, supposedly words will never hurt us, but they do. Not only the slurs flung our way, but the very words that jumble in us as in the word-art above. Those discerning their orientation – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning persons – are especially vulnerable to sharp words, receiving their thrust deep into the psyche.
The queer community for a number of years has been reclaiming words. In a very healthy way we have taken the swords meant to hack us and turned them into shields of honor. “Faggot,” “queer,” “gay,” “homo,” “sissy,” “butch,” “dyke” and others are now internalized as points of pride instead of points of shame.
The lesbian biblical scholar Mona West states it succinctly: “Oppressed peoples over the years have understood the power and importance of choosing their own words to name themselves rather than allowing the dominant culture to assign negative meaning to certain words that are used to demonize a group of people. Words are powerful tools used to describe experience and shape reality” (from the article Queer Spirituality).
-Read David Popham’s full reflection at “The Bible in Drag“
In Marriage and family on July 3, 2012 at 8:25 am
As the battle over gay marriage heats up in this election year, one evangelical Christian writer is calling for a truce, fearing that the outspoken opposition to gay marriage among some church leaders could alienate an entire generation of religious youth.
“Evangelicals have been so submitted to these culture wars for so long, so that’s hard to give up,” evangelical writer and speaker Rachel Held Evans, 31, told msnbc.com. But “the majority of young Christians really, really, really want to stop with the political emphasis.”
Held Evans, who regularly speaks at Christian colleges, said the young Christians she meets are much more open to gay rights than are older generations, an observation backed up by polling data.
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A 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows the generation gap between young Christians and their elders is large, with 44 percent of white evangelicals aged 18-29 in support of marriage equality compared to only 12 percent of those 65 and older.
According to the same survey, nearly 70 percent of young Christians also agree that religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues.
– more at U.S. News.
In Sexual Orientation on June 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm
New book by Raymond Alikpala says ‘being gay is a special grace from God’
Coming to terms with one’s self is not easy for homosexuals in a society where gender is limited to either male or female.
Raymond Alikpala, 46, a lawyer and formerly a seminarian, knows very well the anguish of living in the shadows having done so in the first 38 years of his life.
“I came out because I was tired of hiding who I really am. I wanted to be able to finally live my life honestly and proudly. I stopped caring about what others would think should they find out I ambakla (gay),” says Alikpala.
He shares his story of growing up a devout Catholic and harboring the secret of his homosexuality in a book “Of God and Men” to be launched June 16, 2012 at 3 p.m. at Bestsellers Bookstore, 4th Level, Robinson’s Galleria, Pasig City.
Alikpala said a number of his friends encouraged him to write his story “as catharsis for my years in the closet.” He felt however that “it was much more than that.”
Perhaps because of his years in the seminary, Alikpala’s objective in writing the book is more evangelical. “To spread the good news that God loves bakla, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders and transsexuals as much as She loves all Her other children.”
–Yahoo News, Philippines
In Sexuality and Gender on June 1, 2012 at 10:18 am
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, has received major gifts in excess of $10 million (€8 million).
This constitutes the largest donation ever received by any LGBT arts organization.
A gift of $8.8 million was made by Charles W. Leslie, in memory of his long-time partner of 48 years, Fredric D (Fritz) Lohman who died in 2009.
-full report at Gay Star News