Author Topic: gay jesus?  (Read 7858 times)

Offline brokeplex

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gay jesus?
« on: March 29, 2015, 11:36:28 am »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kittredge-cherry/test-gay-passion-of-chris_b_6888978.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592 

Gay Passion of Christ Envisioned and Attacked

Jesus arrives as a gay man of today in a modern city with "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision," a controversial series of paintings that are newly available as a book.

The paintings and the new book that I wrote about them have been attacked as blasphemy by conservative Christians. But we refuse to concede Jesus to those who act like they own the copyright on Christ, then use him as a weapon to dominate others.

The contemporary queer Christ figure is persecuted, killed and rises again in the 24 paintings by New York artist Doug Blanchard. A surprisingly diverse group of friends join the gay Jesus on a journey from suffering to freedom.

Right-wing Christians denounced us as "blasphemers" and condemned our book as an "abomination," "disgusting" and "an outrage to mock Christ in this manner." Facebook canceled ads for the book because it was too "shocking." When the LGBT community protested, the social media company reversed its decision and "resurrected" the ad.

LGBT Christian visions are important now because conservatives are using religion to justify discrimination against queer people. Whenever anyone commits violence against another, Christ is crucified again -- including when LGBT people are attacked or killed because of who they are.

Every group envisions Christ in their own image from their own context, and now there is a gay vision of Jesus, shaped by the political, economic and cultural forces of our time. LGBT people often identify with the hurt and humiliation that Jesus experienced on the cross.

As Easter approaches, Christians around the world remember Christ's Passion -- his suffering in his final days as he was betrayed, arrested and brutally killed. Many LGBT Christians and their allies turn to "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" for inspiration.

Blanchard's gay Way of the Cross shows a contemporary Christ figure who stands up to priests, bankers, politicians, soldiers, and police -- all of whom look eerily similar to the people holding those jobs today. He is jeered by fundamentalists, tortured by Marine lookalikes, killed as news cameras broadcast his pain, and rises again to enjoy homoerotic union with God.

The queer Christ is intended to broaden, not limit, how Christ is perceived. Every image of Jesus is insufficient. It is valuable to have images of the "queer Christ" along with all the others to show that Christ is with all human beings in our full diversity.

Crucifixion is the most common theme in LGBT Christian art. Artists consider it the best way to express the horrors inflicted on queer people, to advocate justice and perhaps to offer the hope of new life.

The queer Christ is encountered in members of the LGBT community who have been martyred through anti-LGBT hate crimes, driven to suicide, killed by AIDS or executed in countries where homosexuality is a still capital crime.

The growing number of queer theologians say that the queer Christ is here to free and empower people who were wounded in Christ's name. Those who were rejected by the church for homosexuality may find that the gay Jesus welcomes and understands them. When believers open to the possibility of a queer Christ, it becomes easier to see the God within the LGBT community.

I have blogged about a wide variety of LGBT Christian images by dozens of artists. Many are included in my book Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More. But none has had as much impact as Blanchard's gay Passion of Christ paintings. Accessible but profound, they are so popular online that my blog series about them was published recently as an illustrated book.

Nobody knows for sure what the historical Jesus looked like or whether he was attracted to other men. Some progressive Bible scholars do argue that Jesus had a same-sex lover, but that is not the point of his life.

What the gospels emphasize about Jesus is the wildly inclusive way that he loved. He lived in solidarity with outcasts, including prostitutes, lepers, immigrants, widows and the poor. Christians believe that in him God became flesh -- a total, shocking identification with all people, including the sexually marginalized.

"Christ is one of us in my pictures," Blanchard says in the introduction to the book. "In His sufferings, I want to show Him as someone who experiences and understands fully what it is like to be an unwelcome outsider."

Blanchard, an art professor and self-proclaimed "very agnostic believer," used the series to grapple with his own faith struggles as a gay New Yorker who witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In the book each image is accompanied by my essay on its meaning, artistic and historical context, Biblical basis and LGBT significance, plus a short meditation with a scripture and one-line prayer. The images come alive in a video made for the book launch. Excerpts from the book will be posted daily during Holy Week at the Jesus in Love Blog.

Blanchard's Passion provides a 21st-century version of the traditional Stations of the Cross, a set of artistic images used for meditation on Christ's suffering and death. The Stations of the Cross remains one of the most popular devotions among Catholics and some Protestants, especially during Holy Week and on Good Friday.

The gay Passion of Christ breaks the deadly illusion that Jesus belongs exclusively to a particular time or group. Many condemn the gay Passion of Christ paintings as blasphemy, but I see them as a blessing that builds faith and a better society.


Offline CellarDweller

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 12:44:30 pm »
I read about this the other day, you can see the images here.


http://www.jesusinlove.org/passion-of-christ/


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline brian

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 02:02:09 pm »
I have been exchanging with Doug Blanchard  (We are both Anglican/Episcopalian) in the blogoshere for many years now although blogging is slowly disappearing. He posted his paintings quite a few years ago, Very moving. 

Offline brokeplex

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 04:57:16 pm »
I thought the images were very interesting and appropriate to discuss during Holy Week. I am not surprised that some Christians do not accept this vision of Christ's ministry, but I continue to be heartened by the growing acceptance of Gay Christians in even some of the most fundamental of Christian denominations.

Offline brian

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 05:24:43 pm »
Last week I sat behind 2 ladies in church who were obviously new to Anglican liturgy. My only interaction with them was to exchange the peace.
On monday night I received a phone call from the curate of my church. He is evangelical, unlike my vicar and bishop, and I had an hour long session with him last year in which he told me he is moving towards acceptance of gay marriage.
Anyway his call was because he was worried I my have overheard one of the women. He said they are new Christians and live near me and one made a very homophobic comment to him. He told her she should not say that as there are gay Christians in our congregation.  I told him I do get upset about official comments but would not take much notice of a visitor even if I had overheard her.  However it was nice of him to phone and show concern.
My vicar and bishop are very supportive of same sex marriage ( a reason for moving to live here) but they are a little cowed (in my opinion) by the nosiy opponents who threaten to leave. I would say 'good riddance' but understand they cannot do that so easily.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 07:12:19 pm »
I thought the images were very interesting and appropriate to discuss during Holy Week. I am not surprised that some Christians do not accept this vision of Christ's ministry, but I continue to be heartened by the growing acceptance of Gay Christians in even some of the most fundamental of Christian denominations.

And not jus gay Christians, but also gay people who feel call to serve in the ordained ministry. One of the best and most personally meaningful sermons I've ever heard was preached by the seminary intern that we have serving in my church; he's gay and partnered.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline brokeplex

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 09:11:59 pm »
Last week I sat behind 2 ladies in church who were obviously new to Anglican liturgy. My only interaction with them was to exchange the peace.
On monday night I received a phone call from the curate of my church. He is evangelical, unlike my vicar and bishop, and I had an hour long session with him last year in which he told me he is moving towards acceptance of gay marriage.
Anyway his call was because he was worried I my have overheard one of the women. He said they are new Christians and live near me and one made a very homophobic comment to him. He told her she should not say that as there are gay Christians in our congregation.  I told him I do get upset about official comments but would not take much notice of a visitor even if I had overheard her.  However it was nice of him to phone and show concern.
My vicar and bishop are very supportive of same sex marriage ( a reason for moving to live here) but they are a little cowed (in my opinion) by the nosiy opponents who threaten to leave. I would say 'good riddance' but understand they cannot do that so easily.
thanks for sharing that experience, I think that this experience is being repeated over and over again in the Christian communities across the country. I was raised Southern Baptist and have sporadically attended church most of my life : Easter, Christmas, etc. increasingly I am finding that it is not rare for Southern Baptist Convention churches to as congregations welcome warmly not only single gays but gay couples. My own church, although a member of the SBC (which as a convention does not look kindly on same sex marriage), has always been inclusive and open to gays. in fact I joined that church specifically because my friend Van Cliburn was a member of that church, and as most know Van was openly gay going back to at least the 1980's. 

Offline brokeplex

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 09:14:09 pm »
And not jus gay Christians, but also gay people who feel call to serve in the ordained ministry. One of the best and most personally meaningful sermons I've ever heard was preached by the seminary intern that we have serving in my church; he's gay and partnered.
that is great to hear Jeff. certainly Gay people have a ministry not only to other gays, but to the community at large. the community at large can benefit from the perspective of those who are in the tiny minority, we often see things that others don't.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 09:24:17 pm »
that is great to hear Jeff. certainly Gay people have a ministry not only to other gays, but to the community at large. the community at large can benefit from the perspective of those who are in the tiny minority, we often see things that others don't.

Yes, that's quite true. And they can also show that minorities can be subject to the same experiences and problems as everyone else. For example, that sermon I mentioned actually had nothing to do with gay people. It was only incidentally delivered by a gay seminarian. The subject actually concerned an experience he and his partner had with a homeless panhandler--something that can happen to anybody waiting for a bus or a subway in this city. It was a very good sermon. I think the young fellow has a good future as a preacher.

Let's just say his sermon has stuck with me more than any of our rector's sermons!  :laugh:
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 08:44:05 am »
Last week I sat behind 2 ladies in church who were obviously new to Anglican liturgy. My only interaction with them was to exchange the peace.
On monday night I received a phone call from the curate of my church. He is evangelical, unlike my vicar and bishop, and I had an hour long session with him last year in which he told me he is moving towards acceptance of gay marriage.
Anyway his call was because he was worried I my have overheard one of the women. He said they are new Christians and live near me and one made a very homophobic comment to him. He told her she should not say that as there are gay Christians in our congregation.  I told him I do get upset about official comments but would not take much notice of a visitor even if I had overheard her.  However it was nice of him to phone and show concern.
My vicar and bishop are very supportive of same sex marriage ( a reason for moving to live here) but they are a little cowed (in my opinion) by the nosiy opponents who threaten to leave. I would say 'good riddance' but understand they cannot do that so easily.


This was great to read, I'm glad he cared enough to contact you.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline milomorris

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 08:34:16 am »
A few thoughts...

- Blanchard's work is fantasy. There's nothing wrong with that, but I think that Cherry's article places a little too much gravity on the work. To say that this fantastical "what if" about Jesus is theologically important is a bit of an overstatement.

- Cherry is right when she points out that "Every group envisions Christ in their own image from their own context." But it is important to understand that those tailored images are not the object of worship. In other words, while we might a see a black Jesus in a few places and churches around the US, very few African-Americans actually think Jesus was black. Images of the standard Plantagenet Jesus are not a barrier to the full exercise of Christian faith to black people, and I don't see how the idea of a gay Jesus opens any doors of faith for sexual minorities.

- I would be interested to read the source material used by those that posit that Jesus had a male lover.

- I don't see the suffering of Christ being in any way analogous to the plight of sexual minorities--or ethnic minorities for that matter. Sexual minorities have been persecuted because of innate behavioral traits. Ethnic minorities have been persecuted because of innate physiological traits. Conversely, Jesus was persecuted because of his ideas and his message.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline brokeplex

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2015, 10:04:51 am »
A few thoughts...

- Blanchard's work is fantasy. There's nothing wrong with that, but I think that Cherry's article places a little too much gravity on the work. To say that this fantastical "what if" about Jesus is theologically important is a bit of an overstatement.

- Cherry is right when she points out that "Every group envisions Christ in their own image from their own context." But it is important to understand that those tailored images are not the object of worship. In other words, while we might a see a black Jesus in a few places and churches around the US, very few African-Americans actually think Jesus was black. Images of the standard Plantagenet Jesus are not a barrier to the full exercise of Christian faith to black people, and I don't see how the idea of a gay Jesus opens any doors of faith for sexual minorities.

- I would be interested to read the source material used by those that posit that Jesus had a male lover.

- I don't see the suffering of Christ being in any way analogous to the plight of sexual minorities--or ethnic minorities for that matter. Sexual minorities have been persecuted because of innate behavioral traits. Ethnic minorities have been persecuted because of innate physiological traits. Conversely, Jesus was persecuted because of his ideas and his message.
a very interesting post Milo!

yes, the historical Jesus is undoubtedly rather different than how he has been portrayed over the past 2000 years by various Christian cultures. an interesting popular book about the historical Jesus, although not an academic history text per se, is O'Reilly's "Killing Jesus" - his other books in the "killing" series are also interesting.

but what the works of Blanchard concern are really not the historical Jesus but the perception of Jesus by countless millions thru the millennia. As Christianity evolved as a "personal religion", the adoration of Jesus, and for that matter Mary his mother, and other saints became less and less historically accurate and more a reflection of the personal needs and wishes of the believer. after all to "take a leap of faith" (salvation) is to encounter an emotional personal experience. so naturally various cultures have rendered Jesus in the forms that they are most comfortable with. the fact that gay Christians are seeing Jesus in a "gay" formulation is not a surprise and is entirely within the experience of Christians for 2000 years. you mentioned the fact that Blacks have often perceived Jesus with African features, Europeans have painted him often with Northern European features - as a cases in point.

and as a theological point: the belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus implies strongly the Jesus paid the sacrifice for our separation from the Creator, and offered us a gateway back to God. that in itself would imply that Jesus identified (s) with all of us, all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations.

whether Jesus historically had or didn't have a sexual relationship with John "his beloved" isn't the point (see the Gospel of John). the fact that he could have, and it is no where excluded, is what is important.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2015, 10:23:59 am »
- I would be interested to read the source material used by those that posit that Jesus had a male lover.

I recall reading--but I don't recall where reading  :-\ --that the supposition has been that it was John, because John is referred to as "the disciple Jesus loved." Also, apparently the Last Supper was actually a Greco-Roman--style banquet, with everybody reclining on couches of some sort, and John apparently shared a couch with Jesus. As he was dying Jesus also gave his mother into John's care--or so the Gospel says.

Personally, I think it's wishful thinking.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2015, 10:24:58 am »
and as a theological point: the belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus implies strongly the Jesus paid the sacrifice for our separation from the Creator, and offered us a gateway back to God. that in itself would imply that Jesus identified (s) with all of us, all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations.

Agreed. So what he looked like, or whom he might have had sex with doesn't matter because he came for the salvation of all of humanity.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline brokeplex

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2015, 10:32:23 am »
Agreed. So what he looked like, or whom he might have had sex with doesn't matter because he came for the salvation of all of humanity.
within the context of "personal salvation" it matters to the individual.

within the context of a historical Jesus or Christianity as a whole, it doesn't matter at all.

Offline milomorris

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2015, 10:46:56 am »
I recall reading--but I don't recall where reading  :-\ --that the supposition has been that it was John, because John is referred to as "the disciple Jesus loved." Also, apparently the Last Supper was actually a Greco-Roman--style banquet, with everybody reclining on couches of some sort, and John apparently shared a couch with Jesus. As he was dying Jesus also gave his mother into John's care--or so the Gospel says.

Personally, I think it's wishful thinking.

hehehe...I'm sitting here laughing at the idea of Jews lounging around during Seder.

Giving one's mother (or wife, or any other family member) into the care of another man is something that was done among men who shared a personal brotherhood bond. These types of bonds were quite common in ancient times, and I have read where Peter and Andrew, and Phillip and Bartholomew also shared something like it. It is easy to draw homoerotic conclusions about men who form these bonds, and many have done so with the bond between St. Sergius and St. Bacchus which was formalized via the ritual of Adelphopoiesis. And I'm not saying that homosexual men did not engage in these bonding rituals, I only point out that most of the men who did so were not romantically involved with each other.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline milomorris

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2015, 10:49:47 am »
within the context of "personal salvation" it matters to the individual.

I suppose it can be important to an individual. But I have to wonder: does a woman (for example) need to consider Christ in a female form in order to achieve personal salvation?
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2015, 12:16:37 pm »
hehehe...I'm sitting here laughing at the idea of Jews lounging around during Seder.

That is kind of funny, isn't it? And perhaps an indication that the Last Supper was NOT a Passover Seder.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline southendmd

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2015, 01:26:38 pm »
"Every group envisions Christ in their own image from their own context."
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR5vupwpRJc[/youtube]
photobucket sucks

Offline milomorris

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2015, 11:23:22 pm »
That is kind of funny, isn't it? And perhaps an indication that the Last Supper was NOT a Passover Seder.

Well, according to Mark 14, it was a Passover meal.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2015, 08:29:23 am »
Buddy Christ approves of this conversation!





I suppose it can be important to an individual. But I have to wonder: does a woman (for example) need to consider Christ in a female form in order to achieve personal salvation?

I remember being in Catholic school, we were taught that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were three in one, and God was always referred to as "Father" or "He".   Although, you have reminded me of a bit a saw a comedienne perform on TV once.

"My father was a reverand and he told me once:  "God is neither black nor white.  God is neither male nor female.  God is neither gay nor straight.  Do you understand what I'm trying to say?"

and I said:  "Yes dad.....God is Michael Jackson."

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline milomorris

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2015, 08:40:52 am »
and I said:  "Yes dad.....God is Michael Jackson."

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

BWAAAHAAHAAHAAHA!!!

Right?!?!?
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2015, 06:39:01 am »
... a comedienne perform on TV once.

"My father was a reverand and he told me once:  "God is neither black nor white.  God is neither male nor female.  God is neither gay nor straight.  Do you understand what I'm trying to say?"

and I said:  "Yes dad.....God is Michael Jackson."

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:



 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2015, 11:31:25 am »
;D


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline brokeplex

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Re: gay jesus?
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2015, 04:50:11 pm »
I suppose it can be important to an individual. But I have to wonder: does a woman (for example) need to consider Christ in a female form in order to achieve personal salvation?
I don't know. from the standpoint of Christianity, salvation is a "leap of faith" , so if your faith is furthered by visualizing Jesus as a woman, or gay, or black - then the faith is furthered by you doing so.