A Homosexual Bishop?

The linked blog is called “Mystic Call” and the blogger. Carmen Rose is pretty spectacular in my book! I keep reading through her post to try and find a short passage to excerpt here, but trying to select one over another is proving difficult. This is a valued read for anyone, believer or non-believer.

I want to draw attention to the comment by DrDave. I’l acknowledge that it is hard- for obviously both this guy and the writer heard the same sermon, and I deid not. But I can’t help but get the impression that they really didn’t hear the same sermon, not really. Or I’m left to wonder if DrDave is just being dismissive. It is easy to consider that for DrDave, the Church is all right, just the way it is (or was before there was a gay bishop), but that may not adequately reflect his POV. Still he doesn’t address what is needed within the Church because it has listened to/ is listening to false teachers.

This notion of false teachers is such an interesting one. The apostle Paul didn’t get a very warm reception by Jesus’s followers, especially those who had supposedly walked with Jesus. Jesus himself was seen as a false teacher by the established “Church” of his time. We only view it differently today after many decades of hindsight, and given that God isn’t talking through burning bushes any more, we may still have it all wrong and not even know it.

Please read her blog entry. I highly recommend it.

Mystic Call: A Homosexual Bishop?.

Queer Look Podcast to Return Soon!

It’s a long story why I stopped producing the queer Look at the Bible Podcast, but the short answer is that it is about to return! Each week, I’ll look at the week’s lectionary readings from the QP (the queer Perspective, and assign each a QP ranking. That is, just how “queer” is the scripture on a scale of 1 bible (not at all queer) to 5 bibles (way way queer!). Most consider that the Bible is condemning of homosexuality, but I think what we are going to find is that the vast majority of it has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality, and will score a 1bible ranking. The passages that appear to be about homosexuality will be few and score a 5bible ranking. There is just the question about what to do with the issue of passages that appear pro-homosexual, and those which appear as anti-homosexual. In terms of my QP ranking, I won’t make any distinction/ for or against, it is still queer. but I will talk about each to see what we can learn about how pro- or anti the passages might actually be.

A Queer Look at the Bible isn’t intended only for the religious, but for everyone, even those who see themselves as atheists or agnostics. But I’m not trying to convert you. You are welcome here, no matter what your faith (or lack of faith) tradition. and here is why. If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, or transgendered person, the Bible impact your life today, here in 2009. Doesn’t matter if you are a believer or not. The Bible serves as the foundation of all of the opposition to GLBTQ rights, as well as many of the conservative movements, such as to deny a woman’s right to choice. The growing battle cry of this radical right movement, is Religious Liberties, as if they own the Bible, and everything in it is on their side. but they don’t, and it isn’t. and the more everyone knows about that the easier it is to see through the fallacious arguments that they put forth.

Let me say, as straight (ha ha) forwardly as I can. I am not anti-God. I am not anti-Bible. I am not anti-Faith. I just think that the Bible has been co-opted by the radical right, and t is time to take it back and put it out there for anyone to pick up and consider. And the best way to do that it to take a new look at it- a Queer Look. If I can rightfully be accused of anything, it may be that I can come across as anti-religious. Like many theologians since the beginning of the Judeo-Christian story, I ask that rather than simply wearing “religious” as an adjective to describe oneself, consider it a journey to be traveled. Consider it a puzzle to be pondered. consider it a question to be asked rather than answered. I am fairly anti- those who self-righteously think they have all the answers. I certainly don’t have them. But I have and can ask and explore questions. I think that when we are willing to ask, and see where the question takes us, we can find things we never anticipated. That for me, is about hearing God.

I’m going to start by producing an audio podcast in the iTunes enhanced podcast format, but there will also be an MP# file to download for other brands of players. Each week’s podcast will be a part of a blog post that has notes and stuff I want to share. Feel free to comment here, but please be warned. I have no patience for folks who can;’t do any more than tell me I’m going to hell, or can’t say anything except to quote scripture, or issue some blanket generalized statement with out anything backing it up. I will only accept comments from real people (no anonymous postings) who register for the site. If you don’t have the guts to have a name and an email, I don’t have the time for you. But feel free to disagree with me- just be man or woman enough to represent yourself authentically.

So you ready for a Queer Look! Great! Glad to have you along!

Changing Homosexuality or Suppressing the Self?

Years After Resigning in Disgrace, Archbishop Speaks Out – NYTimes.com

This piece from the New York Times contains a few very large issues to ponder. I can’t necessarily speak to all of them in this blog entry but will raise them at least. Over the next week, I hope to write a blog entry for each question. But weigh in- let me know what you think- leave a comment.

1) The organized Church’s role in maintaining the status quo. Who is benefitted by the status quo?

2) Do people change their sexual orientation or simply suppress their real selves and delude themselves about who they are and/or their orientation?

3) The problem of understanding God as a “loving God” when there are so many homosecxuals.

4) What is the nature of a faith journey?

I think the last 2 are the most interesting of the topics for me, however, all 4 are big and there can be valid or thoughtful viewpoints from divergent opinions.

Years After Resigning in Disgrace, Archbishop Speaks Out – NYTimes.com.

Toledo Bishop Bans Dissident ‘New Ways Ministry’ to Gays – Catholic Online

The link below is to www.catholic.org, so expect the tone of the article to be anti-gay, but it is a good read nonetheless. The article describes how the Bishop Blair forced a pro-gay catholic group, New Way Ministries from using a local convent for a workshop. The group has been cited for failing to provide the full catholic teachig on homosexuality which includes “the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination.”

I’m posting it here, because I am struck by the faith and tenacity of the groups director, Francis DeBernardo. Bernardo has promised that his pro-homosexual workshop will take place in Toledo, saying “We might not be able to use a Catholic facility, but we’ll reach Catholic people.”

It is often easy for GLBTQ christians to just walk away from the church. For some, not so easy- they stay despite their opposition to the church’s teachings, and lead a double life, or may be in the closet to the church. Others leave and find a more accepting congregation like the MCC, but most just leave and lose their faith. I have much respect for those who work to change the Church, even in small ways- even when it seems unchangeable. In this, are lessons about true faith and conviction!

Toledo Bishop Bans Dissident ‘New Ways Ministry’ to Gays – Catholic Online.

Why I Use the Lectionary

Gayest Jesus Ever
Gayest Jesus Ever

So, I  want to say something about why I’m using the lectionary.  First of all the lectionary, is a set of prescribed scripture readings that follow a three year calendar, and were intended to be used by all churches.  Theoretically, people who attend a Catholic service, and a Methodist service and an Episcopalian service on any particular Sunday, would all hear a sermon based upon the same scriptures.  Now, in reality, this doesn’t happen exactly- not all preachers/ministers/priests stick to the lectionary, but some do.

 
My reason for using it is three-fold: First of all, because it s easy.  I don’t have to work very hard to decide what I’m going to talk about each week. And by following it, I have scriptural references that align to the general church calendar, and all of the Bible is basically covered over three years.  Secondly, I can potentially be less often criticized for selecting only those scriptures that “fit” my agenda.  Now, in all honesty, I expect I’ll receive this criticism anyway, but it isn’t as applicable as if I hand picked only a few scriptures that easily fit the category of “gay friendly.” And lastly, what appeals to me most, is offering a new and different perspective upon a scripture that many people think they already know.  If at least one person looks at a scripture and realizes that there may be more in it that they had previously considered, then I’ve been successful.  So, it is a good thing, if someone sat in church on Sunday and heard one interpretation of a scripture, and then they listened to my podcast and were prompted to consider something new in the same scripture!  Agree with me or not-but be willing to consider the possibilities.
 
There are many problems with using the lectionary, and most if not all are quite valid.  There may be times where looking at scripture NOT a part of the lectionary would be useful.  So, it isn’t a hard and fast rigid rule.  Just a starting place.  The composition of the lectionary, like the entire Bible itself, was human (male specific) determined .  In that sense the lectionary, is one male-centered editorial decision based upon an deeper male dominated editorial decision.  
 
I don’t mean to suggest (well, I’m open to discuss this…) that the Bible is human authored.  I know for many people of faith it is a critical cornerstone of their faith to believe that the Bible is the literal Word  of God. It may or may not be.  But either way, men, at differing times in history have made choices about which of those words were to be included and which were to be kept out.  Men (human and biologically male) decided which were valid and which were not, even if all were the Word of God in the first place.
 
What are your thoughts on the lectionary?