Terence

Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

God’s Rainbow Realm (Matthew 13:44-46)

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

Untitled Self Portrait with C.B.M. by Kim Leutwyler @ http://www.celesteprize.com/artwork/ido:56554/

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.

Parisians celebrate being gay and Muslim at end of Ramadan

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm

A group of LGBT Muslims celebrated Eid Al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, with pride and joy on the banks of the River Seine, Paris

28 AUGUST 2012 | BY DAN LITTAUER

Photo by HM2F.

Last weekend, a group of LGBT Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan with a special feast on the banks of the Seine.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and partake in charitable giving and peace-making.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking.

It is both a family and community occasion to celebrate the end of fasting, and thanking Allah for giving them strength throughout the fast.

During Eid Al-Fitr, Muslims have a special celebratory meal, the first daytime meal they would have had in a month. It is a joyous family occasion and also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.

On a sunny afternoon last Saturday (25 August) a group of 25 LGBT Muslims came together to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with a picnic on the banks of river Seine, Paris.

Attendees were part of a LGBT Muslim free expression group, arranged by Collective of French Muslim Homosexual organizations (known as HM2F), which meet every month in the LGBT centre of Paris.

more at  Gay Star News.

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Slurs (Proverbs 12:18, James 3:1-12)

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

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On being Proud.

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Yesterday morning, an envelope slipped through the letter box. It felt like an invitation to something and on the back were the intriguing words “10 Downing Street”.

It turned out to be an invitation from the Prime Minister to a reception to celebrate the LGBT community in the United Kingdom.

Will I be going? You bet I will.

Receiving that invitation made me realise in some small part why I’ll be marching in today’s Glasgow Pride march.

Now, Pride is an emotion that Christians tend to be a little wary of. After all, didn’t our Lady have something to say about scattering the proud in the imagination of their hearts? Surely she wouldn’t be found dead on a gay pride march?

Well, think again. Our Lady will be marching today in the form of a group of folk from St Mary’s, Cathedral. (Notre Dame de Glasgow indeed).

The word “pride” covers a number of things in English these days – some negative and some positive. The proud hearts that Mary was wanting to send on their way were surely those of the haughty and the disdainful. Rather a different crew to those marching from Kelvingrove into town today.

The pride that is celebrated today is a sense of delight in the well-being of one’s self and others. Entirely a different thing, I think.

I’ll go to the Prime Minister’s reception full of pride in many people.

-full post at  What’s in Kelvin’s Head?

(weblog of Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow)

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Trans Girl at the Cross: “Being Transgender is not a Choice”

In Trans Issues on July 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

I knew from the time I started writing blogs, I would be entering a stage where there would be some controversy.  The idea of being a Christian transgender person will fly in the face of many on both sides; the church and the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community. 

 

 

The word Christian can spark heated debate on how the church has treated the LGBT community.  To mention that I am transgender in the church has lit a few fires of disagreement.  When you put the two together, you have napalm.  If not handled correctly and without proper education, the firestorm can rage out of control, damaging all with in its path.  But as a wildfire is known to do, it can burn away the old and make room for new life, so heated, healthy debate is not always a bad thing.

In my inaugural post here on ChicagoNow, one of the individuals that left comments made a few statements I believe I need to take time to discuss.  Before correcting some common misconceptions about being transgender, I want to take a minute to agree with one of his statements.

I agree that many in society today believe that the Bible, the Word of God, is full of bigotry and prejudice.  There have been many church leaders in the news recently that have done nothing but condemn the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community.   Charles L. Worley of Maiden, N. C. preached a sermon that went viral on YouTube.  He preached that he thought gays should be fenced off from the rest of the population so they would “die off”.  With rhetoric like this, how is any non-believer ever going to think that God, above all things, is a loving God?  How is anyone going to think anything other than God is a God of punishment when he really came to die on the cross and forgive our sins?  I praise people like Andrew Marin and The Marin Foundation for their work in Chicago connecting with the LGBT community and spreading God’s love to those that have felt rejected by the church.  We need more people like that working to build someone up in God, instead of tearing him or her down.

-full post (the first of two) at Trans Girl at the Cross, Chicago Now

 

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Queer Eye for the Mormon Bishop Guy

In Sexual Orientation on July 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

Last year, as a sitting Mormon bishop, I came out publicly as an ally to my LGBT sisters and brothers in and outside the church.

In the aftermath of my talk in Salt Lake City apologizing to the LGBT community and LGBT Mormons for the pain that they have gone through and recognizing that all too often that pain has been inflicted in the “house of their friends,” their families, their religious institutions, and their communities, people have asked how I made my journey from an adversary to fence sitter and finally to becoming an ally and advocate.

One of the turning points was when I first began developing personal relationships and friendships with LGBT individuals. For me this came about first in a surprising way. I began watching a television show called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. As is sometimes typical for Mormons on a variety of issues, I was late.  I didn’t see it until a year or two ago, when it went into syndication.

What seemed to be a unique twist on the typical makeover show became for me my first significant introduction to the LGBT community. I had never had contact that I knew of or built a friendship with an LGBT person outside of work. The show spoke to me from the start. It had a catchy synth intro that reminded me of the dance grooves we used to club to in the late ’80s when I was at Brigham Young University, where I met my wife for the first time.

For me it was much more than watching five gay men help get straight guys’ act together in grooming, home decor, fashion, culture, and cuisine. It began to create a bond for me to these men. They had a certain synergy that kept me wanting to watch more. I liked them as people.  I saw them as individuals expressing their God-given talents and trying to make people’s lives and the world a little bit better. As Carson Kressley, the show’s fashion guru, would often say, it’s not a makeover show, it’s a “make better” show.

-full commentary at Advocate.com

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Gay, Christian, and Proud in Love Free or Die.

In Marriage and family on July 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

Winning a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, Love Free or Die has already become a pivotal film this year as President Obama has embraced its subject matter: gay marriage. Even more timely, the Episcopal Church has just approved a same sex blessing service.

The documentary follows Gene Robinson, the first openly gay ordained Bishop who becomes a symbol of both LGBT pioneering and exemplary Christian values of compassion, forgiveness and tolerance.

From Robinson’s chronicles of discrimination abroad to his relationship with his partner Mark, the film takes a personal look at the role faith plays in his and others’ lives, brushing aside the notion that Christianity is only for fundamentalists and evangelicals. Compelling for secular audiences and non-LGBT viewers, the film finds that the greater love that guides people must be shared.

Robinson has faced so much open hatred for his lifestyle that he wore a bullet proof vest to his own consecration. The film shows Robinson discovering another plot on his life, prompting deep questioning and thanks to above. Bishop Robinson was invited by Barack Obama to give the invocation at the opening inaugural ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.

This scene of Bishop Robinson speaking before serving cups of water at the Gay Pride Parade is riveting, and a rallying cry that should be seen in its entirety and taken to heart.

–  full report by John Wellington Ellis, at Huffington Post.

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Priest Who Denied a Lesbian Communion Is No Longer Welcome in Archdiocese

In Homophobia and bullying on July 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

The priest who denied communion to a Catholic lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral Mass is no longer in active ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, where the incident occurred.

Father Marcel Guarnizo refused to offer a host to Barbara Johnson at St. John Neumann parish, Gaithersburg, Maryland, back in February.  The incident made international headlines.  Shortly afterwards, Guarnizo was placed on leave from ministry for unspecified “intimidating behavior,” and now the Archdiocese of Washington has revealed that he will no longer be ministering within its borders.

MSNBC. com reports that Chieko Noguchi Scheve, director of media and public relations for the Archdiocese of Washington, announced on July 10th:

“Fr. Marcel Guarnizo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow, Russia, who was given a temporary assignment at St. John Neumann parish. That assignment period has ended and Father Guarnizo is no longer in ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington.

“Scheve did not comment further on the matter.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 New Ways Ministry /   Bondings 2.0.

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Father Bernard Lynch, Gay Catholic Priest, Reveals He’s Married To A Man, Non-Celibate

In Sexual Orientation on July 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

In a new book, Father Bernard Lynch, a gay Catholic priest who has incurred the wrath of the Vatican for his views supporting LGBT Catholics, not only says he is non-celibate; he reveals that he has been married to a man for the past 14 years, and has officiated over the weddings of many gay and lesbian Catholic couples.

The Vatican, he says, is trying to “get rid” of him, while he has been operating a counseling program for closeted gay priests in London since 1992.

Lynch, who has been a Catholic priest for 40 years, left for London from New York in the early 90s, after he was completely cleared of charges related to child abuse allegations made by a man who recanted his story and whom court testimony showed to be a pathological liar. The scandal had Father Lynch at the center of a media firestorm. He believes to this day that right-wing Catholic groups and now-deceased Cardinal O’Connor of New York, angry at his advocacy on behalf of LGBT people and people with AIDS, were behind his trumped up indictment. He had previously gained awards for his AIDS advocacy from politicians and AIDS activists, while local church officials and the Vatican became concerned about his advocacy.

via Huffington Post.

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Berlin Cardinal Re-Affirms His Support for Lesbian and Gay Relationships

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Berlin has re-affirmed his support for same-sex relationships which he made at a German conference of Catholic lay people back in May.

London’s Tablet magazine, an international Catholic periodical, reports:

“The Church must rethink its approach to remarried divorcees and gay relationships, the world’s youngest cardinal has said.

“Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, 55, made his comments in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit and said that while the Orthodox Church considers only the first marriage sacramentally valid, divorce and a second marriage is tolerated. Asked whether this could be a model for the Catholic Church, he replied that the Church should talk about it.

Commenting on gay men in relationships he said he tried not to see them as just violating natural law but as people trying to take responsibility for each other in lasting partnerships. ‘We must find a way of allowing people to live without going against church teaching,’ he said.”

– more at  New Ways/ Bondings 2.0.

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