Friday, June 26, 2009

GLBT spiritual art blog marks 2nd year

Today we celebrate our second anniversary as a blog on GLBT spirituality and the arts. Thanks for all your support over the years! Here’s our official news release: Los Angeles, CA -- June 25, 2009 -- The Jesus in Love Blog ( celebrates its second anniversary as a blog about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) spirituality and the arts. The blog has presented a positive vision of GLBT spirituality and tracked censorship of queer religious art since June 26, 2007. The Jesus in Love Blog is written by Kittredge Cherry, lesbian Christian author, minister, and art historian. It is part of, an online network that includes a website, videos, e-newsletter and image archive. “I founded because Christian rhetoric was being misused to justify hate and discrimination against GLBT people,” Cherry says. “I hope to stimulate dialogue and consciousness of love by displaying and discussing the art that affirms GLBT people and our connection to God.” Blog traffic and comments have grown steadily for the past two years, with many visitors giving high praise to the Jesus in Love Blog. A review by online magazine declared that is “a rather heavenly idea.” Cherry compiled content from into the book “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More,” which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award last year. “We have won many honors -- and we also get a lot of hate mail from conservative Christians,” Cherry says. She reports that a typical comment is, “Gays are not wanted in the kingdom of Christ! They are cast into the lake of fire.” “Right-wing Christian bloggers labeled me ‘a hyper-homosexual revisionist’ and denounced my projects as ‘garbage,’ ‘insanity,’ and ‘a blatant act defamation and blasphemy,’” Cherry says. “The ongoing religious bigotry proves that is needed now as much as ever. Jesus loved everyone, including sexual outcasts.” The Jesus in Love Blog will continue to display and discuss art on GLBT spiritual themes for gay, lesbian, bi and trans people and their allies. Cherry sums up the blog’s purpose by quoting the mission statement: “We hope that the new visions will free people to experience the divine in new ways and lead to a more just world.” For more info, visit or contact

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gay artist says Jesus never married

“Jesus Never Married” by Dirk Vanden, 2009
Jesus supported love, but not marriage, according to a thought-provoking new poster by gay artist Dirk Vanden. Large white words against a rainbow background state, “FYI: Jesus never married, nor commanded nor advocated nor performed ‘marriage.’” At the bottom is a Biblical quote from Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Vanden says that he creates artworks such as “Jesus Never Married” to help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people who are “seeking equality, legitimacy, legality -- acceptance -- of ourselves and our unions and families.” The poster is a welcome contribution to the current debate about same-sex marriage. Conservatives often use Christianity to justify denying lesbian and gay couples the right to marry. However, Jesus Christ himself was apparently not a big supporter of marriage. There are no records that he ever got married or performed a marriage. Christian tradition says that Jesus supported marriage because he did his first miracle at a wedding -- where he turned water into wine. As Vanden notes, “He went to weddings and got drunk, but he never performed one.” In the Bible Jesus spoke against divorce and adultery, but he said nothing at all about marriage (or about homosexuality). Since he didn’t advocate marriage for heterosexuals, it’s interesting to consider what Jesus would think of today’s movement for same-sex marriage. Vanden’s “Jesus Never Married” piece is also a bumper-sticker. He displays it proudly on the back of his van. “In my lifetime I have seen amazing changes,” Vanden says. “More are yet to come! I hope I have helped!” For more info on Vanden and his art, visit:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Love between women honored

“Whither Thou Goest” by Trudie Barreras, 2004 Acrylic, 18” x 14”
Love between two Biblical women is celebrated in “Whither Thou Goest” by Atlanta artist Trudie Barreras. The painting shows Ruth pledging her love to Naomi. Ruth’s famous vows to Naomi are often used in heterosexual weddings. Few people realize that these beautiful words were originally spoken by one woman to another:
“Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee. For whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
Now is a good time to reflect on Ruth and Naomi because same-sex marriage is in the news and June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month (even officially proclaimed by President Obama this week). The painting “Whither Thou Goest” was commissioned in 2004 by Rev. Paul Graetz, pastor of First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta, for a sermon series that he was doing on the Book of Ruth. It remains in the permanent collection of First MCC of Atlanta, where it hangs in the meditation chapel. First MCC of Atlanta is a progressive community of faith that welcomes people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth and Orpah. After their husbands die, Naomi urges both of them to remarry. The painting shows Orpah leaving while Ruth stays with Naomi.