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 Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm
Come and bless Adonai,
all you who serve Our God,
ministering by night in God’s house!
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
and bless Adonai!
May you be blessed from Zion
by the One who made heaven and earth!
During Pride month I ponder the place of queer people in the congregation of God worshipers. In the face of traditional and ongoing discrimination by religious bodies I can scarcely believe that this invitation to come and bless and to be blessed is for me. If I come will the door be open? If I bless will hearts be receptive? As one who is among those cast out and silenced, how shall I respond to this invitation?
There is an intrinsic fear among the various spiritual expressions toward queer folk. It is the fear that tans-les-bi-gay-intersex-asexuals transgress the purity of the congregation. We who seek out forbidden pleasure are polluted by our sexual “proclivities.” Our impure presence reflects upon others casting our “shame” beyond ourselves and onto all we associate with. As those in ancient times, we are made to feel that we should shout “Unclean! Unclean!” giving time for the clean to flee unscathed.
People like us are rarely granted entrance to the assembly of the Sacred. Our presence may contaminate and make profane that which is holy. Often we find the door to the divine barred.
In Sexual Orientation on June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm
GAY Catholic group Acceptance Sydney is celebrating their 40th anniversary with an exhibition of photographs, personal stories and historical material at the Surry Hills library.
Officially opened by former premier Kristina Keneally last week, the exhibition illustrates the support groups history, the challenges it has faced and the individual stories of its members.
“For 40 years, Acceptance has practised just that: accepting people for who they are and sharing their Christian faith journey in community,” said Keneally.
“The exhibit is a chance to celebrate that history.”
Exhibition coordinator Tim has spent hundreds of hours sorting through newspaper archives and personal collections to put the exhibition together: “It’s a powerful statement to say you can be gay and Catholic,” he said.
-full report at Sydney Central
(I live in the Surrey Hills, so my immediate response to the headline was that it’s extraordinarily close to home – but this report refers to “Surry”- without the “e”).