Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Blasphemy update: Queer Our Lady artist thanks supporters

Our Lady of Controversy
by Alma Lopez

After facing blasphemy charges for her queer “Our Lady” last month, artist Alma Lopez is back from Ireland and thanking her supporters. All the supportive emails, including five from friends of the Jesus in Love Blog, are now posted on her website.

Click here to see all the emails at almalopez.net. She has posted letters of support the following friends of this blog: Trudie Barreras, Yvonne Aburrow, J.C. Fisher, Douglas Blanchard and myself (Kittredge Cherry).

Lopez thanks those who supported her in the face of a censorship campaign by conservative Catholics who attacked Ireland’s University College Cork for hosting “Our Lady and Other Queer Santas” (Saints), an art show and speech by Lopez. According to news reports, they compromised the university’s email system by bombarding it with thousands of negative messages and petitions.

The exhibit was part of a Chicano/a culture conference, which proceeded as planned despite pickets by right-wing Christians and a counter-demonstration by atheists. There were about 50 attendees, including scholars from Arizona, Germany, Mexico, England, Ireland and Spain. There are unconfirmed reports that the university may face government investigation under Ireland’s new blasphemy law.

Lopez offered thanks and an update in the following recent email to me:
Thank you for this email and all of your support during this event. We just returned from Ireland. We feel good about the exhibition, the conference, and the many Irish citizens who were very supportive. We also feel good about engaging in the Irish blasphemy laws. Hopefully, this incident will prompt them to act against those laws.

I will be posting your email as well as all the supportive emails sent via your site onto my site where I archive all the responses to this print.

The opposition has made an impact on her art. In a new version of “Our Lady,” Lopez has the Virgin of Guadalupe wearing boxing gloves, ready to defend herself in a powerful painting titled “Our Lady of Controversy.”

For more info, see our previous post
Our Lady and Queer Saints art attacked as blasphemy - Show support now!

Speaking of censorship… This post originally included a trailer for an Alma Lopez video on the controversy, but Facebook blocked it with a message saying, “You are trying to post content on Facebook that has been marked as abusive.” I moved the video to a separate post, and you can click here to see it. Later Facebook let me share the video.

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Sage said...

Hi Kitt,

I am grateful for the many supportive emails Alma received while in Ireland. I regret there was not one from me. It seems, since the stroke I experienced 6 weeks ago, I am forgetting to do a lot of things. I now realize I have to do things immediately or they go by the wayside.

I went to the emails page and attempted to read all of them. I thought it would be important, though difficult, to read the negative ones as well just so I could try to understand the underlying consciousness behind them. But the very first negative one was so over-the-top I quickly realized I could only read the supportive ones. Maybe I'll try again later. Maybe I won't.

Thank you again Kitt for everything you do with this blog and all the people you support and all the people you uplift and provide an alternate christian/spiritual perspective to.

BTW, after living here in Arizona for 14 months now, my partner and I have decided to move back to The San Francisco Bay Area. Rather than return to San Francisco we have decided to move to Oakland which is where we both feel much more at home anyway. We probably won't move for several more months. But its gonna happen. This move will likely infinitely increase the probability that I'll eventually get to meet you in person one day since i travel alot between the Bay Area and LA when I'm based in The Bay Area.

Many Blessings.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Sage, it’s not too late to send a supportive email to Alma and the Irish University. The conference is over, but I’m sure they would still like to hear from supporters. Alma keeps adding emails to her website. If you look through her website, you can see them organized by year dating back to 2001.

Reading all the supportive emails at Alma’s website is a good idea. They’re interesting because each one is unique, unlike the negative ones, which were mostly produced by people clicking to send the same form letter. She hardly posted any of the negative ones.

Understanding the underlying consciousness behind the negative messages is a noble and worthy idea. But it’s frustrating because what lies behind them seems to be UN-consciousness, maybe based on fear and pain.

Best wishes for your move to Oakland!

Sage said...

Thanks Kitt,

I think you're right about the negative emails. I am slowly learning there is a distinct limit to the need to be gallant in this life. I'll pass on reading the negative responses. And, I send an email NOW to Alma :-)

Kittredge Cherry said...

Great! Sage, I’d love to know what you wrote to Alma.

Sage said...


Hello and Blessings Dear Alma,

I was introduced to your wonderful and passionate art through our mutual friend Kittredge Cherry, specifically through her blog, Jesus in Love. First, I want to congratulate you on your recent exhibit in Ireland. I realize it took courage and love to do it and move through it. As a same gender loving man who through my writing and teaching attempts to bring healing to the centuries old rift that has occurred between sexuality and spirituality/religiosity I stand with you, arm in arm in love and beauty. I want you to know I am able to feel your inspired connection to Our Lady and to The Sacred Feminine through the art you produce. This is a gift. I pray you will be able to share this gift with the world for all of your days on this current earth walk. May you know peace. May you know strength. May you always be surrounded by supportive hearts, souls and voices near and around you. May your light never be dimmed by the energies of fear and discord that are always present but that never have the last word. May your own heart continue to burn with the flame of love that caresses your work and kisses the earth and gives us hope and knowledge that a new word of compassion and oneness is ever emerging upon us.

Ashé. Namaste'. Om Shanti Shalom. Amen.
sage mahosadha

Kittredge Cherry said...

Wow, Sage, the last half of your message to Alma is a (((BEAUTIFUL))) blessing! I know that you addressed it to Alma, but I am printing it out to use in my own prayers for myself and others. It seems to me that it could be a blessing for all artists and creative people who work with queer spiritual themes… for all sacred activists, including you.

Thank you so much for writing your message and sharing it here. May your words return to bless you as well. ♥

I pray you will be able to share your gifts with the world for all of your days on this current earth walk….

Sage said...

Thank you for your kind words Kitt. You humble and honor me. There was one typo in that blessing. I meant it to read, "...knowledge that a new *world* of compassion..." Sorry about that :-)

Yewtree said...

What a beautiful letter, Sage!

I think Alma Lopez's art is beautiful - I find the images of Mary as a goody-two-shoes be-robed figure very alienating - Alma's pictures are much better, and make Mary a powerful goddess.