Thursday, October 04, 2007

What’s your vision?

JesusInLove.org is seeking your input on its new vision statement.

Your comments will guide the queer spirituality website in launching series of exciting new projects, including videos, image collections and daily meditations.

Please share your thoughts on the following draft statement:

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Overview:
JesusInLove.org promotes progressive spiritual arts for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our allies. Open to all.

For home page:
JesusInLove.org is an online resource center for progressive spirituality with an emphasis on art and images. It was created by author Kittredge Cherry to foster spiritual growth and creative expression for queer people and our allies. Centered in Christ, we seek interfaith understanding and the freedom to imagine and experience God in new ways.

For “about” page:
Re-envisioning God is one of the most important spiritual tasks of our time. Jesus In Love is a network of people and websites that affirm gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people and our allies by displaying and discussing progressive spiritual art and issues.

Jesus In Love has expanded to address all forms of progressive spirituality. We still honor Christ, but now we seek interfaith connections. We are still grounded in queer experience, but we actively welcome all people. We continue to promote books and writers, but we now give strong support to art, artists and art lovers of all kinds.

JesusInLove.org was founded by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry in 2005 as the first website devoted to the gay Jesus and the queer Christ. She called it Jesus in Love because she was motivated by the life of Jesus—who was in love, in every sense of the term.

Our logo shows the face of Jesus inside a pink triangle, the symbol imposed on gay prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Inside the pink triangle, Jesus joins in transforming queer suffering into power.

JesusInLove.org receives thousands of visitors per year. It cosponsored the first National Festival of Progressive Spiritual Art in 2007.

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The statement will be revised based on comments received. So tell us what you think. Or respond to the following questions:

What would you add, delete or change from the JesusInLove.org vision?

What do you like about visiting JesusInLove.org?

Please post your comments here or email kitt@JesusInLove.org. Excerpts from your emails may be posted on the blog to facilitate discussion.

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Thank you for sharing your vision and bringing new life to the Web and the world.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very perceptive Jewish friend taught me years ago that there is only one faith, but there are many religious traditions that express that one faith. For that reason, I prefer "inter-religious" or "trans-religious" to "interfaith." But I very much like everything else about your vision statements. Warmly, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

(submitted by email and posted by Kitt)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for including me in this new vision statement. It really is wonderful, and I am glad that you are doing this… The work you are doing provides wonderful resources for teaching my courses such as "Religion, Art, and Visual Culture."…

I do not identify myself as queer, but am a strong ally. So here's my one comment from that perspective, and I am pretty sure this is nothing you haven't heard: Is the logo, with the stereotypical image of Jesus in the midst of a pink triangle not, quite literally here, binding Jesus into one identity? I'm really channeling my students' responses here, and asking, what about the other Jesus's? I understand your point about "transforming queer suffering into power," I'm just a big fan of what I would call "singular transformations." In other words, to explain your logo, I have a few steps to make: First, I have to explain the nazi use of the pink triangle, which they'll conclude was a bad thing, and second have to make another approach to say why the image is appropriated for queer rights, and then a further take on how and why Jesus might be understood as identifiying as such. Does that make sense? Again, as someone who studies religious symbols on a regular basis, what I find is that the simpler the better. In the end, my students may not be your primary audience, and thats fine, I just wonder about the few shifts I'd have to make with them to get the point of the symbol.

I hope this makes sense, and I really don't mean to provide anything negative. I suppose I'm just looking for some further thoughts on how to get the point across that Jesus was in love.

Best wishes,
Brent

(submitted by email and post by Kitt)

Yvonne said...

Hi Kitt

Thanks for asking for my feedback.

I have come to the conclusion that the concept of Christ (the Anointed One) is an aspect of the Divine which relates to compassion, and which has been expressed in different ways in different religious traditions (e.g. it has a number of similarities with the idea of the Bodhisattva). So Yeshua / Jesus was A Christ - not the one and only unique embodiment of the Christ principle. So my view of him is rather more similar to the Sufi view. I think the idea of making your site more interfaith, or interreligious, is great (as I am sure that you are not one of those people who wants to convert the whole planet to Christianity, but rather celebrate the diversity of religions). So I would talk about Jesus-centred rather than Christ-centred, since the whole concept of Christ is so loaded with Nicene-creed overtones.

Hope that helps!

Mel said...

I think your mission statement is clear, concise, and compelling. The sentences above are the only sentences that bother me. They seem defensive...We still honor Christ BUT..Still grounded in Queer experience BUT...We continue to promote books and writers BUT...

These apologia assume that people who find your page knows what you were in times past. It sounds like there has been a paradigm shift and that you're trying to convince us that it was a good shift (as though others think it isn't.)

WHY NOT SOMETHING LIKE:
We honor Christ and at the same time seek interfaith connections. We are grounded in queer experience and at the same time welcome all people. We promote progressive books and writers and at the same time give strong support to art, artists and art lovers of all kinds.

I don't know. It's fine. Reading that paragraph just set off some weird alarm bell in my inner sanctum.

HUGS,
Mel

(submitted by email and posted by Kitt)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including me in the discussion.

Although your "GLBT" and "queer Christ" perspective still sounds foreign to me, and, to be honest, still makes me uncomfortable, the wording you have chosen ("allies") is inclusive and welcomes me in. Your website now sounds like a place where more orthodox, straight Christians like me are invited to come and listen. I have no suggestions for changes.

I appreciate hearing your voice in cyberspace, and I am so glad that we are sisters. May the Holy Spirit keep leading all of us into truth, love, and freedom.

(submitted by email and posted by Kitt)