Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Hidden Perspectives interviews Kittredge Cherry on LGBT religious themes
Hidden Perspectives, a project for “bringing the Bible out of the closet,” posted a new interview with author Kittredge Cherry on interactions between LGBT people and religion.
“My Christian faith gave me the strength to come out as a lesbian almost 30 years ago,” Cherry says in the wide-ranging interview. “Later I learned that my journey was unusual. Many LGBT people start out feeling condemned as sinners by the church, and find liberation by rejecting religion. But I felt condemned by society and found liberation through the church. I could never imagine a God that didn’t totally love LGBT people.”
Artists, singers, poets, academics and storytellers will challenge homophobic assumptions about what the Bible says at the day-long Hidden Perspective Festival on Sat., June 1 at the University of Sheffield in England. Cherry wrote text for a booklet to accompany an exhibit of the LGBT Stations of the Cross paintings by Mary Button.
Hidden Perspectives is a large-scale pioneering public engagement project that aims to open up Bible interpretation to under-represented groups. The project is jointly organized by Katie Edwards, who teaches Bible studies at the University of Sheffield, and LaDIYfest Sheffield, a grassroots feminist collective.
Kittredge Cherry is a lesbian Christian author and art historian who writes about LGBT spirituality and the arts at the Jesus In Love Blog. She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its National Ecumenical Officer. Her books include “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus: Woman Christ, and More.”
Click here for Cherry’s full interview at HiddenPerspectives.org. Here is an excerpt:
Hidden Perspectives: Do you have a personal story about LGBT and Religion/The Bible?
Kittredge Cherry: My Christian faith gave me the strength to come out as a lesbian almost 30 years ago. I grew up mostly secular and did not believe in God. I hid my sexual orientation in the closet and lived a lie because I was afraid of the stigma and discrimination against homosexuality. My father’s death in 1983 led me to go an interdenominational church, where I experienced the reality of God reaching out personally to me with love. I got baptized and Christianity gave me a whole new way of looking at the world: I knew God loved me and created me as I am, so I could stop worrying about other people’s disapproval. Later I learned that my journey was unusual. Many LGBT people start out feeling condemned as sinners by the church, and find liberation by rejecting religion. But I felt condemned by society and found liberation through the church. I could never imagine a God that didn’t totally love LGBT people.
Hidden Perspectives: What do you wish to communicate through your blog?
Kittredge Cherry: I want the Jesus in Love Blog to communicate that God is madly in love with everyone -- including LGBT people and people who don’t believe in God. I am committed to presenting ideas in an impartial way that appeals to non-believers as well as people of faith. Because I grew up secular, I feel an affinity for atheists and for people who are alienated from the church. My blog speaks in a special way to people who are outside the official church, but still have spiritual needs. I also seek to nurture artists who are creating queer Christian images. These images are badly needed, but they face a lot of opposition from conservatives and almost no institutional support. Like me, they’re too queer for the church and too Christian for most LGBT people and allies. I thank God for places like Hidden Perspectives where LGBT interpretations of the Bible are welcome.
Click here for Cherry’s full interview at HiddenPerspectives.org.
Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts