Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009’s top 7 GLBT spiritual arts stories named

Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” by Paul Richmond, 2009
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, 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 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, 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. 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.”


Trudie said...

What a fabulous idea! This gives us a chance to get the year's entries in perspective and revisit our "faves" easily and quickly. Way to go, Kitt!

eric said...

Wow! Most influential and top gay story of the year on JIL? I'm honored!

I like this post, Kitt, and not only because my work is mentioned. :D I like it because it gives a good overview of the hot items on your blog!

Jo Clifford said...

Thank you Kitt.
I'm with Eric... what a wonderful selection of stories!
Many congratulations to you, dear Kitt

Turtle Woman said...

I vote for Noah's wedding cruise!
It was so funny and fun. Loved the toilet overboard for Larry Craig. Pat Boon's guitar sinking, and Ellen etc. cute couples on board. Animal couples were loveable too. Two female elephants, love it! I went out and bought the print from the artist!!

Kittredge Cherry said...

Congrats Eric and Jo, for being among the top stories of the year!

I agree with what Eric said in his comment -- it’s good to review the whole year for the hot items and highlights. It helps me know what direction to take this blog in the new year, too.

I thought it would be fun to set up a poll for people to vote on their favorites. Sort of a “people’s choice” award. Thanks Trudie, Turtle, and everyone else who voted.

Kittredge Cherry said...

I need to congratulate Trudie, too, because her painting “Whither Thou Goest” illustrated the posts on Ruth and Naomi. Thanks, Trudie!

Ann said...

Art in the midst of disaster and poverty Haitian art

Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks, Ann, for a link to some beautiful Haitian art that reminds us again of the resilience of the human soul. The earth may shake, but the Spirit endures. May God be with all who are affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks for voting, everybody! Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise was still the top story in our blog poll, and the rest of the votes were evenly split among the other stories. These results encourage me that the Jesus in Love Blog is meeting the needs of a diverse audience.

I’m glad that our variety of stories speaks to a wide range of people. We’ve got some great stuff planned for this year, too!

Sveta said...

Dear person in charge of this site... how can you post such stuff? where did you get this? how can you read the Bible and not see that God is against such things? He destroyed the Sodom and Gomorrah for they had done such wrong things. (Genesis 19) and also there is a lot about it in the new testament how this kind of stuff will appear more and more in the last days. please read the
Bible once more. God is love but therefore he hates sin. for ex: he loves when a new human being comes to life therefore he hates abortion. i accidently got to this site and dont have enough time to give u all the verses from the Bible where it says how God hates this. here are some:
Leviticus 20:13
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 18:22, 24

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind, it is abomination. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things

i really want for all these people to turn to God and get saved. Jesus died for them...He loves them... He wants them saved... I will pray for you....i really, really hope that you are gonna take time and read the Bible better throught... Before reading just pray for God to talk to yout hrough his word...May God bless you! =]

Trudie (via Kitt) said...

Whoever Sveta is, whose comment is on the blog homepage -- one more revisiting of the absurd misinterpretation of the Sodom and Gomorrah story really ought NOT to be printed! If Jesus himself is not taken to be the authority on what the "sin of Sodom" really was, why should we pay attention to anyone else's ravings?

(Trudie's reply to Sveta, reposted by Kitt)

Kittredge Cherry said...

Sveta, here are some Bible verses for you, direct quotes from Jesus in Matthew 7:

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Thanks, Trudie, for correctly pointing out that the sin of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality.

Progressive Christians have an alternative understanding about why Sodom was destroyed -- NOT because of "perversion,” but because they were unconcerned and abusive to strangers, the poor, sick, and disadvantaged. This is based on explanations of Sodom's destruction within the Bible itself. For example, "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy…" (Ezekiel 16:48-50). The homophobic interpretation came later.

Here are some links to gay-positive studies of the Sodom story if anybody wants to follow up:

In this sense, some of today's conservative Christian leaders are "Sodomites"!