Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gay Nativity scene in Columbia sparks outrage

Gay Nativity scene in Columbia at the home of Andrés Vásquez Moreno and Felipe Cárdenas Gonzalez

A gay Nativity display in Columbia was condemned by the national Catholic Church as “sacrilege” while thousands of Columbians are criticizing the gay Nativity on social media websites.

A storm of controversy erupted when a gay couple in Columbia displayed a Nativity scene with two Josephs at their home in Cartegena this week.

Andrés Vásquez Moreno, a political analyst, and Felipe Cárdenas Gonzalez, an entrepreneur, set up the gay manger scene in hopes of helping their country move toward marriage equality. The couple was united in a civil union four years ago, and Columbia is considering laws to legalize same-sex marriage.

I have been in touch with them, and Moreno told me, “Thanks for your message and support, in Colombia has been very violent against us.” He gladly gave permission to share their photo of the gay Nativity scene here on the Jesus in Love Blog.

The attacks prove the ongoing need for religious images that affirm LGBT people. I believe that queer Nativity scenes are true to the spirit of the Christmas story in the Bible: God’s child conceived in an extraordinary way and born into disreputable circumstances. Love makes a family -- including the Holy Family. Everyone should be able to see themselves in the Christmas story.
Special thanks to Colin for alerting me to this news story.

Related links:
Nativity Scene With Two Josephs Enrages Conservative Colombians (Advocate)

Outrage over gay couple’s homosexual Nativity scene with two Josephs and no Mary (Daily Mail)

Hate crime targets gay and lesbian Nativity scene at California church

Vandals knocked over the same-sex couples in a manger scene at a church in Claremont, California in 2011. Police investigated the attack as a hate crime.

Gay and lesbian nativity scenes show love makes a family
What if the child of God was born to a lesbian or gay couple? Because, after all, LOVE makes a family, including the Holy Family.

Conservatives attack my lesbian and gay Nativity scenes

Nasty accusations of blasphemy were hurled when conservative bloggers discovered my gay and lesbian Nativity scenes. “ NOT the criteria for making a ‘Family,’,” said one of the critics.

Can you imagine? A gay Nativity scene

Video and commentary on Amsterdam’s gay Nativity scene with live actors

Queer Nativity project

Seven people from 3 countries sent images for the 2011 Queer Nativity project at the Jesus in Love Blog. They present Christ's birth in an amazing variety of liberating, loving new ways.

Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts


Terence Weldon said...

The problem with the heteronormative world we live in, is that the majority straight population automatically see everything from that perspective. So it is, that any presentation that offers a different perspective, is seen as "shocking". In fact, if we are to take seriously the virgin birth or the Gospel accounts of Jesus' own views on family, there is little to support the usual presentation of the Holy Family as a model for our times.

Black theologians shocked the White establishment decades ago by discussion of Jesus as Black, and with paintings of the Black Madonna: but these were no less valid than the standard images of Jesus in Western art - as clearly, obviously White, which he most certainly was not.

If it is acceptable for White artists to produce images of Jesus as White, it is equally acceptable for Black artists to present him as Black.

If it is acceptable for straights to think of the Holy Family as some sort of archetype of the modern nuclear family, it is equally valid for the queer community to imagine them in their own terms.

If this means that some people are shocked - good. Sometimes people need a shock to the system, to show them that other ways of seeing the world are possible.

(See, for instance, my post this morning on "Walking in Our Shoes"

Kittredge Cherry said...

Jesus did not enshrine the hetero / biological family. Thanks, Terry, for bringing up Jesus own views on family. Jesus challenged traditional family values at almost every turn, ignoring his blood relatives in favor of those who became his “brothers and sisters” by loving God and neighbor. I imagine he would have been displeased (or amused?) to see how we worship the manger scene.

Consider what Jesus said in 11:27-28:

A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”

He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."