Sunday, May 31, 2009
Today is Pentecost, when the church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles in tongues of flame. Pentecost is also the final scene in my novel about an erotically alive Christ, Jesus in Love: At the Cross. The book includes a gay love story between Jesus and his disciple John. Here is an excerpt that imagines the first Pentecost from the viewpoint of the risen bisexual Christ.
When the Holy Spirit loved me, our contact produced a ripple of energy similar to a heartbeat. She was ringing me like a bell, and the “sound” would roll on forever.
“It is without end, because it is without beginning,” She said. She rang me again, and this time when the edge of her heart crossed mine, the rapture made me lose control and we melted into One.
Our union was so powerful that the people there could actually see and hear Us, like tongues of fire and a whoosh of wind. Our appearance didn’t scare them because they had been expecting Us. Some of my disciples stopped singing long enough to exclaim, “It’s the Holy Spirit!”
We kissed everyone in the room, being careful to cool Our kisses to a comfortable temperature for humans. We licked them with Our flaming tongues. They welcomed Our electric kisses. Each of them inhaled sharply and deeply in preparation for a sigh. We swept into them as breath, passed through each soul’s new doorway and fertilized the sacred chamber within. At the same time, their sparkling souls penetrated my divine heart and swam into a new womblike space that had just unfurled for them. The glorious friction made me feel flushed. Holy Spirit and human spirit were wedded, catalyzing a chain reaction of power bursts. Every soul in the room ignited in such a way that flames appeared to blaze from each person’s body. They looked around at each other’s auras in astonished admiration.
All that happened on one inhalation. When they exhaled, they could taste how much God loved them as We flowed over their tongues. They let their tongues flutter and writhe in ecstatic abandon. Each one released the tension of the wedding consummation in his or her own unique speaking style. Some of it sounded like gibberish to them as they praised God. Others spoke in exalted words.
For John, it came out as a quotation from the prophet Isaiah: “My whole being rejoices in my God, for He has wrapped me in the robe of justice, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
The Holy Spirit and I rode the sound waves of their voices, still actively making love. We granted everyone within listening range the same gift that I had received that morning: the ability to hear pure thought.
…Two passersby from far-flung Phrygia were the first to speak up. “Hey, do you hear that?” asked one.
“Somebody’s speaking Phrygian! Let’s go see who it is,” the other replied.
They hurried to the upper room and knocked on the door. My disciples were still jabbering their thanks to God, no longer afraid to let others see and hear them. They propped the door open for the crowd that was gathering as the ecstatic voices carried me to people from every nation who were living in Jerusalem.
Kittredge Cherry blogs at the Jesus in Love Blog and edits the Jesus in Love Newsletter on queer spirituality and the arts. She offers GLBT and progressive spiritual resources at JesusInLove.org.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Love is the focus here, but this week we look at hate -- the hatred aimed at GLBT people and how it affects us. We will post daily as part of “Blogging for Truth,” a group blogging project from May 25-31. These are stories that must be told. The truths told here at the Jesus in Love Blog this week have not been published before. As founder of JesusInLove.org, I emphasize love. I live by and promote Jesus’ teachings on love, I believe that he loves everyone, and I tell myself that hate has no power. However, I was immediately struck when I read the invitation to join Bloggers for Truth: “LGBTQ bloggers and all allies are invited to write articles about the truth of our existence and lives. …To blog your personal experiences, and how the hate affects you personally.” Nobody ever asked me before about the day-to-day realities of lesbian life in America. I’ve always told myself that I was not affected by anti-gay hate. I was never physically harmed in a gay bashing. I faced homophobia, but I didn’t let it stop me. The invitation from Bloggers for Truth woke me up to truths I have not wanted to face: Yes, I have personal experiences of anti-gay hate. They didn’t stop me, but -- yes, they did affect me. Starting tomorrow I will recount one experience and try to assess its impact on me. And later in the week, a guest blogger will tell all about “the hate that hate produced.” We are not writing directly about public pronouncements by the “Anti-Gay Industry,” which are described in detail at the main Bloggers for Truth site. Those anti-gay statements set the stage for the personal encounters we will describe. _____ P.S. These posts expressed so much fear and hate that I decided to delete them as soon as Bloggers for Truth Week ended. --Kitt, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I found a gem when reviewing old files -- a 20-year-old L.A. Times article about me and my partner titled “Marriage Between Homosexuals is Nothing New for Some in S.F.”
Wow, same-sex marriage wasn’t even new to us way back in 1989. It sure seems like it should be accepted and legally recognized by now!
The article by Jennifer McNulty of Associated Press ran in the Los Angeles Times on March 26, 1989. It describes our 1987 Holy Union ceremony as a lesbian couple at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco.
I still agree with what I said in the article: “I don’t think we need the state to tell us our marriage is real.”
Update: The article is available online now at the Los Angeles Times archives:
Monday, May 11, 2009
Rev. Neil Thomas, pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles, sends this report from Clergy Call for Justice and Equality, held last week:
“I have spent much of this week in Washington, DC. I was one of 300 clergy of various faiths and denominations who had gathered to speak with our Congress and State legislators about LGBT equality. So often our legislators hear from Christians who do not represent a more progressive faith message and it was refreshing for them to hear from people of faith who advocate for LGBT inclusion. I have done this before and I have to say that the feeling on Capitol Hill this time was far more optimistic and hopeful that on previous occasions. I left with a feeling that for once our words were heard and real change is happening.”For another first-person report on Clergy Call 2009, visit the Rev. Cyn blog of Rev. Cynthia Landrum, a Unitarian Universalist pastor in Michigan: http://revcyn.blogspot.com/search/label/HRC Thanks, Neil, Cyn and everyone else who went to Washington for GLBT justice!
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Clergy Call for Justice and Equality -- two days of prayer and lobbying for GLBT rights -- begins tomorrow, May 4, in Washington, DC. May God be with them! Clergy of all faith will gather from across the U.S. to worship together and get “tools for the journey,” including specific training on lobbying. Then Tuesday, May 5 is “Lobby Day,” when they make lobby visits to assigned politicians. They will raise progressive religious voices in favor of important laws such as the Hate Crimes Bill and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. They will also support an end to the military’s Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. This looks huge. My partner looked over my shoulder as I was browsing through the announcement on my computer. “Are those all the attendees?” she asked. “No, that’s only the SPEAKERS!” The Clergy Call is sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. I’m thrilled that the HRC is doing so much about spirituality these days. They are also joining with MyOutSpirit.com to sponsor this year’s National Coming Out Day on the theme “Coming Out Spiritually.” More about that as we get closer to National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, 2009.