Oil on canvas, 24” x 30”
Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise, a humorous painting that supports marriage equality, is the top LGBT spiritual arts story for 2009, JesusInLove.org announced today.
The painting above got the most visits and enthusiastic comments at the Jesus in Love Blog on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender spirituality and the arts.
The top seven GLBT spiritual arts stories of the year were named today by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry. She founded JesusInLove.org to promote artistic and religious freedom with a blog, e-newsletter and related websites.
“2009 was an exciting year for queer spirituality and the arts,” Cherry says. “LGBT people and our allies found inspiration, laughter, eroticism and God through a wide range of new artistic creations. In a sense, we were all sailing on Noah’s gay wedding cruise toward a future of love and equality.”
Here’s a round-up of the year’s best with links to the original posts at the Jesus in Love Blog:
1. “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise pictured” was the most popular story of 2009. Happy gay and lesbian animal couples mingle with today’s GLBT celebrities in the painting by Ohio artist Paul Richmond. His gay version of Noah’s ark even has drowning sinners -- opponents of gay rights such as Ann Coulter, Fred Phelps, and Larry Craig with his toilet!
2. “An Erotic Encounter with the Divine” was the most influential and top gay story of the year. “Soon after I began silently inviting the Divine Presence to be with us during lovemaking, I noticed that both Scott and I became more aware of each others bodies,” gay Iowan Eric Hays-Strom wrote in a powerful post. It was reprinted in the Dignity USA newsletter and other blogs, as well as generating lots of other positive feedback. It continues to get huge traffic at the Jesus in Love Blog.
3. “300 protest transsexual Jesus play” was the year’s biggest controversy and the top transgender story of the year. More than 300 conservative Christian protesters picketed the Scottish opening of “Jesus, Queen of Heaven,” a play by Jo Clifford about a transwoman Jesus. Clifford’s goal was to create greater understanding of transgendered people like herself
4. Ruth and Naomi were the favorite GLBT saints and the year’s top lesbian story. Ruth expressed love for Naomi in the Bible with famous vows that are often used in weddings: “Whither thou goest, I will go…” Visitors enjoyed the post about Ruth and Naomi so much that it ran twice in 2009, launching a major series on GLBT saints. “Whither Thou Goest” by Atlanta artist Trudie Barreras illustrated both posts.
5. “Gay artist says Jesus never married” got the most comments of the year at the Jesus in Love Blog. A new poster by California artist Dirk Vanden states, “FYI: Jesus never married, nor commanded nor advocated nor performed ‘marriage,’” The poster sparked a passionate blog debate about Jesus’ position on marriage.
6. “Transvestite Jesus appears in photo project” was the most thought-provoking story of the year. A transvestite Jesus and a female Jesus appear in a new series of alternative Christ photos by Colorado artist Bill Burch. The project inspired a South African blogger to write a major essay and stirred controversy at the artist’s school .
7. “Gay Mohammad art censored” got the most hate mail -- for two years in a row! Gay Mohammad images by Iranian-born artist Sooreh Hera were censored from a Dutch art exhibit. The artist defended her work as an expose of Islamic hypocrisy on homosexuality. It was posted back in February 2008, but STILL gets more hateful, obscene comments than anything else by far. Most of the comments are left at the Gay Spirituality Blog, where it is cross-posted. There were 44 comments (22 made in 2009) as of Jan. 7, 2010.
Founded in 2005, JesusInLove.org presents a positive vision of GLBT spirituality and tracks censorship of queer religious art. “We specialize in new gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender art that is too queer for religious institutions and too religious for GLBT organizations,” Cherry says. She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its national ecumenical officer.
JesusInLove.org has reached thousands of people all over the world, won many honors -- and gotten a lot of hate mail from religious conservatives
“The ongoing religious bigotry proves that Jesus in Love is needed now as much as ever,” Cherry says. “Christian rhetoric is being misused to justify hate and discrimination against GLBT people, but Jesus taught love for all.”