Wednesday, October 31, 2007


"'Whether their sexual preference is to be a homosexual or being gay, that's their problem,' Da' Priest says. 'I'm the street, I'm the street priest, and I have real good Christian values on what I believe in, and I am against homosexuality.'" [For the full article and audio, see here.]

I never heard of Dooney Da Priest, a songwriter! However, his above statement is crucial for every single decent person, and for everyone who considers him/herself to be a Christian, to read and understand.

Christianity has become defined in the minds of most people as being not only a judgmental religion, but the rhetoric, actions and/or silence and inaction on the part of all too many professing Christians and clergy has had the effect of equating being "Gay" with being "immoral" in the minds of others, including many, if not most, LGBT people.

The mantra that being Gay is equivalent to being immoral, and is against the will of God, has been spewed so often in and from most churches, and is believed by most clergy and church-goers within the institutional Church, that one can not only believe that lie, but one can feel free to hawk his/her "Christian" credentials by affirming his/her disdain for homosexuality; so many professing Christians can justify to others their homophobia by appealing to the fact that they are "Bible-believing Christians."

As you well know, I lay the lion's share of the blame for homophobia and its destructive consequences at the feet of the institutional Church! It has been responsible for untold suicides, bashings, and murders; it has been responsible for lives lived in quiet and not so quiet desperation; it has been responsible for fracturing families as well as fracturing human beings within their families.

As I've written:

"Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep’s clothing take the Bible, God’s love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.

"The tradition-bound parts of the Church have so indoctrinated people, many of whom have never even set foot in a house of worship, that many people even disown their own children when they 'come out' and divulge their sexual orientation to those whom they thought unconditionally loved and cherished them. There are many children living on the streets because their own parents trusted ignorant clergy and their followers over their God-given duty and privilege to nurture and embrace their own children!

"The Church should concentrate on the real sins that deserve our attention and that cry out to God for redress, such as invading another country on false pretenses; the working poor who can't afford medical insurance; the Supreme Court ruling that people can't sue their insurance company in state court for denying needed medical services; many elderly people having to decide whether to buy food or medicine; the gigantic rip off perpetrated by drug companies, hospitals, and the medical establishment on sick and vulnerable people. Why not focus on and address issues such as these, instead of obsessing on who loves who and who sleeps with whom? Such obsession tells us much more about the pathetic and moribund state of much of the Church than it does about the reality of the lives of GLBT people."

[For the full article, see here]

To the degree that any professing Christian can keep silent in the face of the grinding oppression and destruction of others, it is to that degree that he/she had better examine his/her claim to being a "Christian!"
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Monday, October 29, 2007


I can't think of any reason why most all LGBT people, and decent people everywhere, aren't outraged at the fact that our LGBT brothers and sisters being demonized, and denied full and equal civil and sacramental rights! I do think that the outrage is there, but most feel that to express that outrage, and fight for the same civil and sacramental rights as are enjoyed by all other citizens in the U.S., would hammer home a truth that few really want to confront: The fact that many of those whom they consider "friends" would turn on them at a moment's notice if they did insist on those rights, and that LGBT people and allies would have to face their needed "season of suffering" (To use Martin Luther King's apt words.) before those rights are won!

When one is both filled with self-loathing, and when one wants to be accepted, and when one wants friends and allies, it is disconcerting, to say the least, to risk realizing that their "friends" and their "acceptance" are contingent upon LGBT people "keeping and knowing their place." For example, even in churches, many in the congregation know who are Gay, and will embrace them, even giving them responsible positions in those churches, be it as teachers, deacons, music directors, etc.

However, deep down those Gay people fully realize that if they insist on the same rights as the others in that congregation, such as the right to marriage, or even anemic "commitment ceremonies" as a phony substitute for marriage, all hell will break loose, and their "friends" will quickly turn on them, and it takes someone of enormous ego strength to contemplate this reality, and have to face this reality, if he/she wants to be approved by others.

So, the choice comes between adhering to the status quo where LGBT people remain second class citizens, deprived of full and equal civil and sacramental rights and are "allowed" to be conditionally accepted and used on those terms, OR insist on being treated as everyone else with all the rights and privileges accorded others and know that their "friends'" gloves will come off and they will betray their true colors and turn on them, thereby profoundly hurting them emotionally, and have that hurt culminate in their being prevented from engaging in those ministries to which they have been called in the church; being similarly betrayed and emotionally, if not physically, hurt in secular society by many who either don't go to church or who do go to church who discriminate against LGBT people, even to the point of violence, all the while thinking that they are doing God a favor by so doing.

One of the worst mistakes we can make is to be inauthentic so that we can win others' approval, and be accepted, fully knowing that that "acceptance" is contingent upon that inauthenticity, even carrying that inauthenticity to the point where many Gay people have not only internalized homophobia but externalize that homophobia so that they demonize and condemn others who dare to assert their right to sit at the same table, partaking of the same food, as everyone else.

Jesus says, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) This admonition isn't only given for the benefit of Christians, but for all people who seek to live an authentic, fulfilling life!

If you're liked and accepted for being something other than who you are, and you compound that inauthenticity by self-loathing that manifests itself in your own misery, and you then further compound that self-loathing by expressing homophobia to others who do seek to live free and equal lives, you are not only committing a great sin against yourself, but you are committing a great sin against the truth and against others, thereby helping to retard the realization of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all LGBT people.

This retardation can also be seen to take the form of begging, and being grateful, for crumbs in the form of incrementalism: for example, settling for Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions rather than fight for full marriage rights; voting for a politician because, although he/she still demeans you, he/she seems to demean you less than another politician; justifying voting for reactionary candidates by viewing oneself as not being a single issue voter (In this connection, see "The Pathology of the Gay Conservative".); justifying homophobic religion by attending homophobic churches, and giving credibility and justification to homophobic clergy by attending their churches and putting money in their collection plates which also help get their message out how Gay people are responsible for assorted ills in society, such as the breakdown of the family, the ephebophilia scandals that have rocked the RC Church, and for Hurricane Katrina.

When the chickens come home to roost due to selling out one's integrity, selling out one's brothers and sisters, and selling out the principle of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all, and LGBT people are then forced to confront the ugly truth regarding the cost paid by, and incurred due to, those sell outs, maybe it will only be then that Jesus' statement will hit home: when one sells his/her soul, when you sell yourself out, when you sell others out, you will reap the whirlwind of having sacrificed justice for living a life of illusion bereft of authenticity, justice, and love.

And, when one finally realizes that fact, despite living this inauthentic life, he/she has pushed back the clock when full and equal civil and sacramental rights could have been achieved, then he/she will be far more motivated to become meaningfully activist.

Never be afraid! Never unduly care what others think of you! And never, never, never, seek to curry favor with others by selling yourself short or selling yourself out, and/or selling our brothers and sisters out for any reason!

For to do so is no less a sin than than are the expressions of hate out of the mouths and actions of the most virulent homophobic elements in our society! Because, you see, that hate expressed by those homphobic elements is largely fueled, and made possible, because of those LGBT people and "allies" who favor the status quo so as to be somewhat "accepted" and, like all bullies, religious, political, and other homophobes are emboldened both by our silence, as well as by those who curry favor with them by selling themselves and others out, and by settling for incrementalism at the expense of justice for everyone, as most recently seen in the pathetic ENDA bill and by Obama's keeping Mary Mary and McClurkin on board.

Only when our outrage is expressed, when meaningful grassroots activism occurs that is contingent upon taking to heart Jesus' admonition that we are never to sell out our souls, so that LGBT people and allies demand that LGBT people be treated with the same dignity as accorded everyone else, that full and equal civil and sacramental rights will be won, and not a moment before!
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Saturday, October 27, 2007


What makes the Democrats throw our Transgendered brothers and sisters under the bus so pathetic, is that that betrayal is being done for political expediency and for their own chances to maintain their elective offices, and all this cowardice occuring even in the face of the fact that Bush is sure to veto ENDA anyway.

So, even when the Bill is going to be vetoed, many Democrats still won't stand for principle and keep Transgendered people in the Bill by their both voting for their exclusion and then refusing to vote for an Amendment for their inclusion as being entitled to full and equal civil rights regarding employment conditions.

Along with Obama's keeping Mary Mary and McClurkin on board, and neither Clinton, Obama, nor Edwards expressing support for same-sex marriage, this incident should tell all LGBT people and allies that Democrats can't be counted on to carry the water for full and equal civil rights, nor can they even be counted on to help in even such a basic matter as employment discrimination. Indeed, even when some Democrats agree to support the Bill that excludes Transgendered people, they have allowed so many loopholes, that the passage of the Bill as it now stands is likely to make it worse, not better, for LGB people, to say nothing of its fracturing the LGBT communities.

As I've written before, it's only when outrage is expressed at the grassroots level (and that requires passion for equality, and coordinated activism by LGBT people and allies) that the political organizations, be it political parties or the HRC, are likely to become righteous and aggressive advocates for full and equal civil rights for LGBT people, and not before! Without such advocacy, political expedieny and careerism will always win out at the expense of principle and the welfare of others!
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


From Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign:

“I did thank him [Obama] for announcing he would be adding an openly gay minister as part of the tour and for his willingness to call on religious leaders to open a dialogue about homophobia. We hope that Sen. Obama will move forward and facilitate face to face meetings with religious leaders, like Rev. McClurkin, and the GLBT community to confront the issue of homophobia.” [For the full article, see here]

Please tell me how Obama aligning himself with a hateful homophobe like Mcclurkin will in any way help " confront the issue of homophobia."? What kind of double talking nonsense is this anyway? (And who the hell is McClurkin to be called a "religious leader?")

It's typical "liberal" rhetorical nonsense that doesn't seek to offend or in any way be seen as being politically incorrect! Solmonese doesn't want to call it as it is, presuming he sees it for what it is: pure political expediency by just another political whore (Although I hate to use the word "whore" in this context, as prostitutes do serve a useful function for people.) at the expense of the basic principle of equality for all, and at the expense of the freedom and safety of LGBT people!

Sonmonese said, "I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community’s disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to ‘break the curse of homosexuality.’ There is no gospel in Donnie McClurkin’s message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. [Ya think?] That’s a message that certainly doesn’t belong on any Presidential candidate’s stage.”

True enough! However, he speaks of "our community's disappointment." Disappointment? What about the use of the word, "outrage?" Is the LGBT community for which Solmonese says he speaks merely "disappointed" with Obama's alignment with ignorant, hateful homophobes from whom he seeks to gain more popularity?

Where is the outrage, the revulsion, from the HRC that claims to speak for LGBT people, and that has a mandate to fight and agitate for full and equal civil rights for LGBT people? If the HRC's fighting and agitating is taking the form of sugarcoating Obama's alignment with rabid homophobic elements in our society; translating righteous "outrage" with the anemic word "disappointed" to describe that alignment, by a self-styled "liberal" no less, the HRC may well be showing itself to merely be one more ineffectual and increasingly unnecessary bureaucracy!

With friends like these, who needs enemies? For the President of a major Gay Rights organization to do anything but outright condemn Obama's alignment with the likes of McClurkin, with no added verbiage to somehow sugarcoat the reality of that alignment and what it truly means for LGBT people and for the political process in 2007 America, is nothing short of disgusting!

This state of affairs again points out that the only way that organizations like the HRC will become truly and meaningfully activist is when there is grassroots activism that forces them to become aggressive in fighting for LGBT civil rights or, absent that, to give up their presumably handsome salaries and fold up shop!
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Sunday, October 21, 2007


Pam's House Blend has a provocative post regarding Barack Obama entitled, "Why is Obama touring with 'ex-gay' homophobe Donnie McClurkin?

Part of the post contains a statement by a spokesman for Obama: "'This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level,' Joshua DuBois, the campaign’s religious affairs director, said in a release. 'This concert tour is going to bring new people into the political process and engage people of faith in an unprecedented way.'”

McClurkin, being discussed and critiqued on Keith Boykin's site, has the following: "Comparing gays and lesbians to liars, McClurkin explains, 'There are certain things like, you know, anybody who has a lying problem; they get to the point where they hate being so, having such a lack of character that they make a change.'" So, McClurkin, an "ex-gay" who managed to "pray away the gay," demeans the validity and Godliness of same-sex love and it is with such a person that Obama is now aligning himself by going on a "concert tour" with him.

So, Barack Obama is aligning himself with the likes of Donnie McClurkin, undoubtedly in an attempt to court the Black Church vote, playing on the homophobia of a lot of its clergy and members, as well as in his undoubtedly futile attempt to win over some "conservative" religious and even non-religious votes.

He strikes me as being another political whore who is more than willing to throw LGBT people under the bus to gain some votes to propel himself into the White House.

Notice: With the exception of Dennis Kuchinich and Mike Gravel, none of the Democrats seeking the Presidential nomination is in favor of same-sex marriage and, beyond their paying lip service with the most mealy mouthed expressions of their desire for equality (whatever that means in the context of their denial of full and equal civil rights for all of our citizens), they really don't seem to me to give a damn about the fate and fortune of LGBT people.

Just as the non-inclusive ENDA bill throws our Transgendered brothers and sisters under the bus for pathetic incremental perceived gains, that, when you read the bill, shows there to be so many loopholes that to pass that non-inclusive bill is to actually impede equality and retard future attempts at full equality, Obama and most other "liberals" are more than willing to demean and deny dignity and civil rights to our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Maybe such betrayal is poetic justice for LGB people and those "Gay Rights" organizations that seek incrementalism at the expense of others, and who capitulate to political expediency at the expense of principle (See my October 16th post, "SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER EXPRESSION"), as that is what the Obamas of the "liberal" political world are more than willing to do to to them in the guise of "...meeting people at the grassroots level."

Unless LGBT people and allies stand together, and settle for nothing less than full and equal civil rights, and all the dignity that those rights confer on people, the more the LGBT communities will court the contempt evinced not only by the reactonaries in the political and religious arenas, but also by the "liberals" in those arenas.

When political expediency and/or downright selfishness is allowed to trump our standing together and fighting for the basic principles of equality for all LGBT people, that pathetic betrayal encourages the demeaning treatment of LGBT people by assorted politicians, clergy, and the lemmings who follow them, and also leads to the fragmentation and increasing political impotence of the LGBT communities, as is evidenced by both the reactionary as well as the "liberal" politicians, one of whom will occupy the White House in 2008, and who will make judicial appointments consistent with his/her ideological agenda of exclusion, prejudice, and discrimination of LGBT people; continue to set the tone where such exclusion, prejudice, and discrimination is viewed as "acceptable" in all too many segments of religious and secular society!
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Friday, October 19, 2007


UPDATE, 10/21/07 This state of affairs is not only interesting, but looks like it is one more saga in the twisted world of the homophobic closet in the RC Church, and among the highest circles in the Vatican.

When any Roman Catholic Bishop, even the Pope himself, pontificates about how the expression of same-sex love between two consenting adults is a "sin," and when any RC prelate attempts to prevent the acquisition of civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people, keep these stories in mind. And, remember that these stories only have to deal with Cardinal Roger Mahony and the sex abuse scandals of the Los Angeles diocese.

The demented machinations and coverups within the RC Church regarding its long-standing sex abuse scandals extends far beyond the designated clergy and coverups involved in the Los Angeles Diocese.

All too much evidence has surfaced that shows that those who frequently scream the loudest in their condemnation of LGBT people and same-sex love, be they Roman Catholic prelates, leaders and members of other denominations, or politicians, are frequently among the most demented in our midst.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Don Charles, on his excellent blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr, has another excellent post, in two parts, that resonates with my post of last Tuesday entitled, "Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression."

In his excellent discussion of the thesis of Gabriel Rotello, and the dynamics and consequent categories of thought regarding sexual orientation and gender expression, Don Charles offers a "reality shock" to Gay and Straight people alike, regarding self-image, stigma, and the "reality" behind those who experience same-sex attraction and love.

The title of his two part post is, "The Angel Gabriel." I strongly urge you to read both Parts 1 and 2 of his post.

An excerpt from his post follows that I hope will further entice you to read both parts of his post:

"Homosexual men and women have been burned by widespread myths that we all secretly desire sex changes, and that we all have a fondness for crossdressing. How many times, as a child, was I falsely accused of wearing women's lingerie? I can't count them all. I know from experience that we get confused with transvestites and transsexual persons on a regular basis, and we're punished for that reason. Consequently, we obsessively try to observe the heterosexist mandate that a man be 'all-man' and a woman be 'all-woman'. Fear of guilt-by-association makes many of us shun very masculine women and highly effeminate men, even while we conceal our own 'butch' and 'femme' traits."
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


If this turn of events doesn't signal the eventual demise of the Anglican communion, I don't know what does.

"Dozens of conservative parishes will start ordaining their own clergy in an open revolt against their bishops if the Church of England continues its liberal drift, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

"Dr Rowan Williams was told that evangelicals would increasingly defy Church rules and their own bishops by parachuting in outsiders to carry out irregular ordinations of "orthodox" candidates.

"The warning came from Reform, a 1,700-strong evangelical network, which is setting up structures to allow it operate as a resistance movement within the Church.

"The Rev Rod Thomas, Reform's chairman, [Pictured] said that members must prepare for 'courageous action' as the Church became driven by an increasingly pro-gay agenda."

For the full article, see here

And it all has to do with love and sex! Forget the Gospel of grace; forget love; forget the mandate given us by Jesus to not judge or condemn anyone!

Demonize the Gays, and sabotage and splinter, if not obliterate, the whole Anglican communion on the sole basis of condemning those whose affectional-sexual orientation presumably differs from those who are instrumental in further fostering a climate of hate, both within their "communion" and within the larger society as well.

Here is an excerpt from Reform's web site:

"Our understanding of God's way of life for his people includes:

"The special teaching responsibility of ordained leaders within the every-member ministry of the body of Christ, and the need to provide for its continuance.

"The unique value of women's ministry in the local congregation but also the divine order of male headship, which makes the headship of women as priests in charge, incumbents, dignitaries and bishops inappropriate.

"The vital importance of monogamous life-long marriage for the care and nurture of children, and the well being of human society.

"The rightness of sexual intercourse in heterosexual marriage, and the wrongness of such activity both outside it and in all its homosexual forms.

"The urgent need for decentralisation at national, diocesan and deanery level, and the need radically to reform the present shape of episcopacy and pastoral discipline, to enable local churches to evangelise more effectively."

And, given their understanding of "God's Way of Life," that condemns homosexuality, and prohibits women from being "priests in charge, incumbents, dignitaries, and bishops," they characterize themselves as not being "Some sort of correctional institution"; not being "Men in black suits being stern." See here

Believing women to be subordinate to men, and believing in the "wrongness" of homosexuality in "all its homosexual forms," whatever those are, sounds like they're running a "correctional institution,"and being "men in black suits being stern," to me!

If they truly believe that they are showing the love of God, given their attitudes toward women and Gay people, they are nothing short of delusional, and have absolutely no idea of what comprises the Christian life!

And, yet, given their negative and hostile attitudes toward women and Gay people, and given their willingness to violate the appropriate protocol and procedures of the Anglican communion, and even being instrumental in the sabotage and likely breaking up of that communion, they still have the temerity to call themselves "Christians!"
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My friend, Don Charles, sent me an excellent essay by Gabriel Rotello that I want to share with you, and that deserves to be read by everyone who is committed to full equality for LGBT people.

His essay appears on The Huffington Post, and it is entitled, "If ENDA Doesn't Protect the Transgendered, It Doesn't Protect Me."

The following is a small excerpt from that essay:

"The decision by the Democratic leadership in Congress to eliminate transgendered people from ENDA, the bill to ban discrimination against gays in the workplace, has ignited a genuine firestorm in gay political circles.

"It's heartening to see that LGBT activists are coming out of the woodwork to insist that any meaningful bill that does not protect the transgendered isn't worth the paper it's written on.

"But criticism that the bill is a betrayal of the most vulnerable among us, while well-intentioned, doesn't go anywhere near far enough.

"A bill to protect gays from discrimination that excludes transgendered people isn't merely a betrayal of the transgendered -- it's a betrayal of all gay people. Because (as I wrote in an Advocate column a few years back, which I will quote from liberally here), in a very real sense, all gay people are transgendered."

Please read the whole essay, as it opened my eyes to a crucial dimension of LGBT studies and issues that I had not thought of before, and that Don Charles had long ago (See, for example, his essay, "Why Gay People Exist") pointed out in his posts, utilizing the Bible as well as Gnostic writings to support his thesis. It was only after reading Rotello's essay that I was able to see and appreciate the interface between his thesis and that of Don Charles' contention that supports that thesis in the spiritual sense.

The major cause of antipathy toward Gay people has largely to do with many of them not behaving according to established, taken-for-granted, gender roles: in mannerisms, sexual positions, sensibilities, and other assorted sentiments and behaviors that offend what most people consider to be "normal."

If, in fact, androgyny (or any departure from typically expected binary sexual identity and stereotypical gender expression) is part and parcel of one's being Gay, stigma and discrimination against Gay people have much, if not most, to do with the perceived "abnormality" of many Gay people's gender identity and expression, and that contention makes it that much more important that Transgender rights become embodied into law, for to do anything less doesn't get at the heart of many of the causes of the hate directed at Gay people, and will do virtually nothing to remove the effects of discrimination against Gay people.

Sexual orientation and conscious and unconscious gender expression might well be coterminous, inextricably enmeshed with each other, undoubtedly by God's design. Being Gay is a gift from God, and it doesn't matter that those who see gender expression and sexual orientation in binary terms vehemently disagree! God is sovereign, and He doesn't make any mistakes!

So, to deny Transgender people civil rights in the ENDA Bill, might well be cutting off the very reason that Gay people are discriminated against in the first place, thereby doing virtually nothing to reduce prejudice and discrimination against Gay people; thwart the very reason that ENDA was proposed in the first place.

As I've long contended, misogyny lies at the heart of homophobia! However, Rotello has taken this contention one giant step further. He contends that gender identity and expression are inextricably linked with sexual orientation, and that contention forces us to see that the fundamental basis of antipathy toward Gay people is not so much their sexual orientation (although that certainly is a factor), but is largely due to the fact that their sexual orientation is frequently (though certainly not always) enmeshed with their mannerisms and sensibilities that are not culturally and anatomically consistent with what many define as "male" and "female."

If for no other reason, Transgender rights must be included in ENDA! And, being Gay should also be seen as God-given (For it is!), displaying all of the varieties and complexities regarding sensibility, mannerisms, interests, and identity that are parallel to the seemingly infinite varieties we see in all aspects of God's creation.
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Monday, October 15, 2007


"American Idol star Clay Aiken is caught up in another gay controversy after parishioners at a church where he is set to perform a Christmas concert demanded assurances the singer isn't a homosexual.

"Aiken's sexuality hit the headlines last year when a former Green Beret soldier revealed he had spent a night of passion with the crooner, but Aiken refused to discuss the issue when it came up in interviews.

"Then, fans threatened to file a class action suit against the singer if it was proven he was gay.

"And now, elders at a Wichita, Kansas church want to make sure the singer is heterosexual before green-lighting plans for him to perform for their congregation on November 26th."

[See Pam's House Blend for the full post entitled, Kansas church calls Clay Aiken's bluff.]

Has it come to this?

In a country that has more formally educated people than we've ever had, we seem to be getting more foolish, more stupid, and more hateful. And, we're becoming more gullible, in that we give the ignorant and the haters and hate-mongers who seem to have absolutely no concept of the Gospel of grace, of Jesus' teachings, even a semblance of credibility, or even allow them to be taken seriously by others.

When will Christians worthy of the name say, "Enough is enough?" I won't be associated with madness, stupidity, and hatefulness like this? I won't in any way support clergy or any professing Christians whose rhetoric and/or actions in any way contravene the Gospel and teachings of Jesus?

Unless we actively confront these traitors to Jesus, albeit holding our sides in laughter at their bufoonery, their madness will increasingly become more identified with "Christianity" than it already has become in the eyes of many people, particularly young people.

The following is a partial response I made on my friend, Bishop Leland Somers' excellent blog, Musings of a Progressive Bishop:

" say, 'I’ve become increasingly skeptical about Christianity and about the United States of America.' I firmly agree with the last phrase, but I do my best not to confuse most of the institutional Church, which has acted shamefully to the oppression of others, including their support and/or silence over the Iraq war, torture (one poll showed that professing 'Christians' were more in favor of the use of torture than were non-Christians), oppresson of others, and other assorted atrocities, with members of Christ’s Church. Anyone who can remain silent in face of the oppression of others, or who actively or tacitly supports such oppression, is not a Christian, and that fact has to be both recognized, acknowledged, and widely advertised, lest all Christians are viewed as hateful, harsh, censorious, judgmental, twisted freaks!"

"All Christians worthy of the name, who are Christians in fact, are not able to sit by and silently watch the destruction of this country; other countries; the oppression of others, such as Gay people; the hateful and exclusionary rhetoric emanating from those who call themselves 'Christians.' They must be called out, and confronted for the demented hate-mongers that they are, and we must continue to do our very best to let people know that these haters are diametrically opposed to Christianity, regardless of what they call themselves! They spit in the face of God; they are preaching a false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion that has absolutely nothing to do with the Gospel; they are rapidly coming to define 'Christianity' in the minds of all too many people; they are enjoying a credibility that they certainly do not deserve! And we must never tire of alerting all who will listen to these facts!

"The Apostle Paul wrote, 'But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' (Galatians 1:8) And he felt so strongly about that fact that he repeated that statement in the very next verse. Paul preached the Gospel of grace, or God’s unmerited favor to all those who have implacable trust in Him! So, Paul was writing that if anyone who preaches any other gospel but that of God’s grace, let him be 'accursed.'

"To be 'accursed' means to be 'damned by God!' In other words, Paul felt so strongly about this issue, that he said that if anyone preached the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, or exclusion, and anything other than the grace and love of God, 'God damn him!' Amen!"

Flee these demented clergy and professing Christians who are wolves in sheep's (or wolves') clothing! Refuse to give them any credibility! Don't support them with your money or attendance at their churches! Don't in any way support their "ministries!"

In this country, as the late attorney Melvin Belli said, "Money doesn't talk! It screams!" If money (which perversely affirms their credibility) is witheld from homophobic clergy, that is a language they will understand. If one in any way does support them, or in any way gives them credibility, he/she is actively complicit in their homophobic madness, and has as much blood on his or her hands as do the homophobic clergy and their followers themselves!
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Sunday, October 14, 2007


"In an interview with La Repubblica newspaper, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico said he frequented online gay chat rooms and met with gay men as part of his work as a psychoanalyst. He said that he pretended to be gay in order to gather information about 'those who damage the image of the Church with homosexual activity.'

"Vatican teaching holds that homosexual activity is a sin.

"It's all false; it was a trap. I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the Church with my psychoanalyst work," La Repubblica quoted Stenico as saying."

[For the full article, see here.]

Why anyone would give any credibility to the Vatican by either providing money, or by one's mere membership in a RC Church that adheres to the Vatican policy regarding LGBT people, is a mystery to me! By so doing, one is explicitly stating that he/she agrees with the exclusion of Gay people from the life of the RC Church and from the acquisition of civil rights!

I've heard Gay Roman Catholics say that "It's my Church too," but that is lousy logic! Do you have the ability to excommunicate anyone? Do you help set the policy of the Vatican? Do you have access to any pulpit where you can preach? Do you have any ability to affirm Gay people within the life of the church that you attend if it adheres to Vatican policy regarding Gay people? Clearly not! If you are Gay and are a member of a homophobic church, you are kidding yourself if you believe that it's your church too!

Here is a man who is undoubtedly Gay who is so frightened about his sexual orientation (and, undoubtedly, his career) that he is not only denying that he is gay, but he has undoubtedly concocted a story equivalent to "The dog ate my homework" nonsense and, on top of that, he provides a gut wrenching homophobic justification for his deception.

And, the very fact that he is a "psychoanalyst" who is so homophobic is similarly gut wrenching, as I can imagine the amount of damage he has undoubtedly done to countless patients/clients who have gone to him for advice and for help. And I can imagine the tortures he has endured in his private life, given his disconnect between his life and his rhetoric, his having to hide who he is, and his living a lie and mouthing homophobic sentiments while being "a top official in the Vatican's Congregation of the Clergy."

Whenever any institution helps create this kind of deception, fear, self-loathing, and hatred it is time for all people of good will to stop and think whether they want to lend legitimacy, or give credibility, to such an institution that would hurt, damage, and demonize countless numbers of people, and whether or not Jesus would countenance such fear, damage, and homophobic values, rhetoric, and behavior!
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Friday, October 12, 2007


"A new book [David Kinnaman, "UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity.] based on research by the California-based research firm The Barna Group found that church attitudes about people in general and gays in particular are driving a negative image of the Christian faith among people ages 16-29...The vast majority of non-Christians — 91% — said Christianity had an anti-gay image, followed by 87% who said it was judgmental and 85% who said it was hypocritical.

"Such views were held by smaller percentages of the active churchgoers, but the faith still did not fare well: 80% agreed with the anti-gay label, 52% said Christianity is judgmental, and 47% declared it hypocritical.

"Kinnaman said one of the biggest surprises for researchers was the extent to which respondents — one in four non-Christians — said that modern-day Christianity was no longer like Jesus."

[For the full article, see here.]

When what purports to be "Christianity" is perceived as judgmental, hypocritical, and homophobic and diametrically opposed to Jesus' teachings, and then that perversion of what is called "Christianity" is then identified with the real thing, we have what's called a work of perversion!

Christianity is about following Jesus! It's about extolling as virtues, and doing our best to live up to the virtues, of "love" and "grace." As Christians, we are to be agents of God's grace in this world, and we are to live our lives in such a way that they wouldn't make any sense if God did not exist!

This book verifies the fact that the greatest danger to Christianity are those who call themselves, "Christians," and are, in fact, haters and hate-mongers who appeal to the virtue of Christianity to justify their evil that is largely manifested in their antiChristian messages of condemnation of others because of who they are! Hence, Christianity has become identified in the public's mind with antiChristian rhetoric and behaviors that will take a long time to overcome, if we can ever overcome that perversion at all!

That's another reason why it's crucial that Christians worthy of the name, those who are Christians in fact, speak out against those who contravene and make a mockery of Jesus' teachings; confront those who pervert the Gospel of grace into one of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion!

And when professing Christians remain silent when clergy (or others), either through their rhetoric and/or their actions, oppress LGBT or any other groups of people, or attend the churches of pastors who engage in discriminatory rhetoric and/or actions, they are complicit in giving implied consent to that oppression; they are thereby helping to fuel the increasing perversion of Christianity!
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Thursday, October 11, 2007


Pam's House Blend has another excellent post entitled, "Ain't that America: noose Mania," where blogger Pam Spaulding details some of the recent incidents of nooses being hanged on assorted public structures, undoubtedly designed to intimidate Afro-Americans, as well as to express the racism that exists in these twisted people's hearts.

Beyond the obvious, these series of incidents not only show that racism is certainly not dead in America, but that all of us can be considered to be minorities who are potential targets of hate. Therefore, when one discriminates against another person based on mere superficial skin color or mere sexual orientation, he/she is exhibiting the very same kinds of hateful behavior as the person who hangs a noose so that others can "get the message" that that noose is designed to convey, particularly given our Nation's history of racism.

When Afro-American clergy and their followers, for example, demonize Gay people, they are doing the very same thing to Gay people as is being done to them when a noose is publicly displayed!

All people who in any way discriminate against LGBT people should be ashamed, and Afro-American clergy and their followers who discriminate against LGBT people should be especially ashamed, both for spitting in the face of God, for betraying the Gospel of grace, and for defaming others just as they were, and are, defamed! Of all people in the United States who should know the horrors of persecution, and who should be solidly behind the movement for all people to have full and equal civil and sacramental rights, it should be Afro-Americans!

Additionally, what makes homophobia in the Black community so egregious and pathetic is the fact that homophobic clergy and their followers are aligning themselves with people who would not likely want their daughters to marry their sons; who would not like to have them as neighbors; who might even have empathy with those who would publicly hang nooses for all to see. They are frequently aligning themselves with those who hate them!

In recent years, the coarsening of American culture has exponentially increased, and it has been clergy in most of the institutional Church, through their hateful, homophobic rhetoric and/or through their silence in the face of such rhetoric that stimulates the oppression of LGBT people, who have helped foment and exacerbate this increase!

There is money to be made, fame to be achieved, self-righteousness to be made visible, and one's inner rage to be externalized, in creating "the enemy,""the other!"

And LGBT people have now become the minority group du jour to be in the cross hairs of the "religious" and non-religious haters. However, as the hanging of the nooses makes crystal clear, Afro-Americans are still targets of hate, so the spectacle of homophobic Afro-Americans makes their homophobia that much more surreal!

And, when members of one minority group discriminate against members of another minority group, they are making it that much more likely that there will be a further increase in hateful acts against ALL minority groups, including their very own!

We are to make no mistake: When one discriminates against anyone for who he or she is, that person is doing the equivalent of hanging a noose in public, inviting hatred from others that feeds on itself until we are all engaged in a war of all against all!

And it's a crying shame when clergy and members of the institutional Church are directly and/or indirectly implicated in this hateful madness!
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I'm very rarely envious of anyone, but I'm envious now, in that I never thought of the apt term, "Thug Christianity," for much of what I've been dealing with on this blog for the past couple of years. My friend, Bishop Leland Somers, coined that term, and I intend to use it again (giving him the credit, of course), as it puts most of the problems created by the institutional Church in perspective.

Here's an excerpt from his excellent October 9th post on the subject that promises to be one of many:

"Thug Christianity has stolen Jesus, God and Christianity in the USA. It is a perverse and disgusting replacement of the real Jesus with a fake and a fraud who will support war, capital punishment, oppression and exploitation based on corporate greed and all of the other evils embraced by the American Empire of the 21st Century under the morally degenerate leadership of George W. Bush and the Republican fraud machine, aided and abetted by the Democrats, most of whom owe their souls to the rapacious corporatist cabal that actually runs the United States Government."

For his full post, please see here.

As I've written before, LGBT people can be seen to be canaries in the mine shaft! Miners would place a canary in the mine so that if there was any poisonous gas being emitted, the canary would die and, thereby, warn the miners that they were in danger of facing a similar death. Hence, the way LGBT people are treated by the institutional Church shows the true nature of most of the institutional Church, and its toxic effect on all who align themselves with it, in a way that nothing else currently does!

As LGBT people are treated by the institutional Church and others, we can see the true colors of those who disparage, denigrate, discriminate; the leadership and membership of the institutional Church, be it through their rhetoric and actions and/or through their silence and inaction, show their hypocrisy and mendacity by their helping to lead the way in justifying homophobia both within the institutional Church and within society in general.

Beyond the many gifts LGBT people have given to the Church and to society, they are providing an extra "gift," in that they are now called upon to play a crucial role to bring into sharp relief for all to see the true animus that lies behind so much sanctimonious rhetoric and professions of "love" given by all too many clergy and their followers.

LGBT people are now the recipients of the hatred and naked hostility that has emanated from most of the institutional Church as long as there have been minority groups against which to discriminate. LGBT people are now in the cross hairs of "Thug Christianity," and, thanks to LGBT people, its hateful animus is again being brought into the light of day!

Christians worthy of the name must educate people as to what Christianity truly is, lest we turn over the term, "Christian," to the thugs who will do just about anything to consolidate their power and, of course, to keep that money rolling in!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Let California Ring, advocating for same-sex marriage rights, put out this excellent, succinct, video. Unfortunately, it probably won't dissuade the cowardly Governor of California, Arnold Schwazenneger, from vetoing the Bill affirming same-sex marriage as he did the last time, but it will hopefully reach the hearts and minds of all decent people in California and elsewhere, to come to understand how Gay people are victims of tragic, egregious, discrimination regarding marriage rights.

The video can be seen here.
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Monday, October 8, 2007


"Colin Hart, Director of the conservative evangelical Christian Institute, said: 'In a democratic society people must be free to express their beliefs without fear of censure. A homophobic hatred law would be used by those with an axe to grind against Christians to silence them....'" [For the full article, see here.]

Isn't it remarkable that the call of Jesus for us to be loving to others, to be agents of His grace in the world, has become so distorted, so twisted, that in the minds of many, professing Christians included, "Christianity" is identified with hatred and with the many dangers posed to LGBT people?

What an indictment against most of the institutional Church when laws seeking to prevent hateful rhetoric that can affirm discrimination against others, and lead to suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people, are viewed as "threatening" so-called "Christians'" "religious freedom."

This despicable mockery of Christianity by so many institutional Church leaders and their followers is an embarrassment to Christians worthy of the name, and also shows how dangerous these leaders and followers have become to the realization of Jesus' Great Commandments to us to love God and to love others!

And these limited, frequently hateful, human beings have caused, and continue to cause, untold harm to others through their justification of hatred and discrimination, as well as to the civility of a society that views itself as being comprised of decent human beings.

When what all too frequently purports to be "Christianity" becomes the enemy of Jesus, it has become the enemy of all Christians worthy of the name, and must be confronted for the enemy that it truly is.

What is equally disturbing is the profound silence of most others in the institutional Church when hatred is spewed from pulpits and other venues in the name of the Prince of Peace.

These haters and hate-mongers, and the cowards who give them a pass through their silence that serves to enable that hatred, have nothing to do with Jesus, and have nothing to do with Christ's Church!

Don't you think it's time that we told people the truth of this fact?
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Sunday, October 7, 2007


This "Fellowship Sunday Sermon: October 7, 2007," is by the Moderator of the UFMCC. It's excellent, and I wanted to share it with you:


The Reverend
Nancy L. Wilson
Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches

"Pressing On In Faith: To 40 and Beyond!"
by The Reverend Nancy L. Wilson

INTRODUCTION by Rev. Wilson: This month, MCC congregations around the world are observing Fellowship Sunday, marking the 39th anniversary of the founding of Metropolitan Community Churches.

On October 6, 1968, 12 worshipers gathered in Troy Perry's living room in the Los Angeles suburb of Huntington Park, California, to worship God.

The world took little notice that day.
In fact, the local neighborhood in Huntington Park hardly noticed!

But the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah was on to something when he advised, "Do not despise the day of small things." That October Sunday in 1968 -- a day of "small things" by all outward appearances -- would grow into the international movement of Metropolitan Community Churches over the next four decades and challenge the Church Universal with Jesus' Gospel of radical inclusion.

Anniversaries by their very nature offer us opportunities to honor our history, to look at the present with fresh eyes, and to consider our future. In the sermon below, originally delivered at MCC's General Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, earlier this year, I invite us to see where God has brought MCC today and to consider the opportunities God has yet ahead of us.

But first, let me take just a moment to look back and remember...

1968 was the year I graduated from high school. It was the year that both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated in the U.S. Russia invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the reform government there. John Lennon sang Revolution and student protest movements broke out across Europe, Japan, and the United States. Melissa Etheridge was born; Helen Keller and Karl Barth died. I was on my way to college, not having any idea that I was a lesbian, or that the church movement founded by Troy Perry -- a movement that would change and consume my adult life -- was about to be born. I was passionate then about peace, ending the Vietnam War, about overcoming racism. The word "feminist" was not yet in vogue, and it still seemed to be impossible for me to become ordained as a minister. I tried to think about being something else, and ended up becoming a religion major anyway.

In 1968, Stonewall had not yet happened. The phrase "Marriage Equality" didn't exist. We didn't protest "hate crimes"(though they happened all the time). HIV/AIDS was still far off. The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name was still in the closet, both politically and spiritually, 39 years ago. We didn't – we couldn't! - imagine that something such as Metropolitan Community Churches would be blossoming in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, after having taken root in North America, Europe and Australia and New Zealand for decades.

We never dreamed that there were so many who were hungry for a Jesus and a faith that were so radically inclusive.

Though... actually... Someone did dream it.

And here we are.

Happy 39th Anniversary, MCC! May God bless each of you as we enter into this new, 40th year for MCC. May the fruit of 40 years of love, work, preaching, healing, changing laws and changing lives be evident and obvious in us today!

Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches

Pressing On In Faith: To 40 and Beyond!

Hebrews 11:1 - "Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Sermon originally delivered at MCC General Conference, Scottsdale, Arizona . July 2, 2007

The Book of Hebrews in the Bible, especially the famous 11th chapter, reminds of us of the stories and people of faith. It teaches us that faith is about vision and spiritual imagination; it is more than what we can see in the present moment.

MCC is on the brink of our 40th year and we have our own stories, don't we? We have our heroes and our "cloud of witnesses!" -- Joseph Gilbert, Ivor Holmans, Evelyn Kinser, Bobbi Powell, Jackson Hall, JoNee Shelton, Jimmi Irving, and so many more.

Here at this General Conference, here in this room tonight, there are so many stories. You don't get into a room like this without a story! There are over 1200 stories right here! (If you haven't told your story to MCC's Oral History Project, we need to hear from you! Write to to learn how you can participate.)

What Rev. Elder Don Eastman calls MCC's "Founding Narrative" is the story of a young man, still in his 20's, who could not wait for the Church to get over its homophobia, who dared to preach and celebrate the Eucharist in his home, at a coffee table, with 12 friends -- and who dared to call it church. No one gave him permission. No one gave him a map or an insurance policy; he had no guarantees. No one told him it would be easy. But he did it anyway, the way young people just do it. Troy Perry had faith and he practiced faith. And for these 39 years, he's inspired faith!

Today, young LGBT people in Jamaica, some in their teens, many in their twenties, are risking their lives for justice and freedom and dignity. Most of you have read the recent stories of homophobic violence there. I met a young Jamaican man, Gareth, nearly two years ago. At age 27, all he was trying to do was go to social work school. He had not aspired to be a gay leader, nor an AIDS activist. But destiny caught him in its sights and he could not say no to the needs of his own people. Gareth told me that what they needed most of all is spiritual community. It is spiritual community that can fuel and inspire a movement for human rights. It is spiritual community that MCC is uniquely gifted to offer.

Sunshine Cathedral MCC has partnered with MCC's Global Justice Team and Regions 3 and 7 to hold worship services and training events in Jamaica -- they have seen firsthand the suffering, the fear and the despair. The young man who led the choir during the very first MCC service Jamaica in December of 2006, was murdered in early 2007. Every time we go there -- every time! -- there are those who have been killed, or who are missing, or who have been beaten just for being gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We struggle to find allies on the ground and we work to confront the familiar patterns of police brutality. We partner with Human Rights Watch to bring this to the attention of the world. Their story is our story -- their desperate need, their great faith -- it is our story, too.

In Pakistan, an underground church of 200 men and women shelter LGBT teens who are threatened with death by their families. In our hearts, we know they are MCC; their story is our story, too.

Today, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, our church partners with the Rainbow Railroad, helping refugees from virulently homophobic countries find asylum in the country that was the first to permit gay marriage. Over 50 people gather for a support group at MCC Toronto. Their story is our story, too.

Young people from the SoulForce Equality Ride, including our own Angel Collie, walk by faith right onto the campuses of conservative Christian colleges to talk about the spiritual violence done against God's LGBT children. They walked right into the office of Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Seminary of Louisville, Kentucky, demanding a conversation about his idea to eliminate gay babies in the womb by tampering with their DNA. They are filled with a God-given passion for justice. Their faith, their story, is our story, too.

Mother of Peace Orphanage in Africa shelters children whose lives have been challenged by HIV/AIDS, is a place of hope and healing whose partnership has enriched MCC these past two years. Their stories are our stories, too.

Teenagers gather this year in Abilene Texas, to pilot a new MCC curriculum for teens, authored by Beth Stroud, a defrocked lesbian Methodist minister. Their story is our story, too.

Homeless queer youth who find shelter at MCC New York are putting their lives back together. Their stories of faith are our stories, too!

Tom Hanks, a gay man, a Bible scholar and a friend of MCC, wrote the commentary on the Book of Hebrews in the new Queer Commentary. How great to be able to go the Queer Commentary for this sermon! He quotes the late John Boswell, professor of history at Yale University, who said that homophobia and religious intolerance always go together. It was the Southern Baptist Convention (which, by the way, only recently apologized for slavery), said 20 years ago that "God does not hear the prayers of a Jew," and that now proposes a 21st century version of a Final Solution for LGBT people by altering our genes in-utero. Rev. Dee Dale, who also lives in Louisville where Dr. Mohler lives, said she is grateful that she knows the "God who made all my genes, including the gay ones!" And I loved the comment from Rev. Chip Carson, who said, "I wish they would spend more time looking for the hypocrisy gene!" What would we do without humor? If there is a "gay" gene, it and the humor gene must be connected somehow!

Young people see hypocrisy with a kind of sharp radar that sometimes still surprises and embarrasses those of us who are older and who grew up in a culture more used to living with hypocrisy. Sometimes things just wear us down after a while, and we resign ourselves until some young voice asks, "Why?" Or, "Why Not?"

The Book of Hebrews says that God's Word is a sword. It is "not a club to bash the weak," says Tom Hanks, "but a 'sword' to pierce the conscience of the oppressors and call them to repentance, As a sword, God's Word does not load us with false guilt, but unmasks real guilt of the oppressor as well as the failures of the oppressed..."

What Tom calls the "inquisitional violence" of the church has to stop! It is killing people, it is killing the church, and it is killing Jesus, I am sure! The voices that want to put down LGBT people in the church are the same voices that reject women's call to ministry, and that fail to acknowledge diversity as an inherent, intricate, beautiful part of God's pattern of creation. When we see vestiges of inquisitional violence that we inherited from our churches of origin, we must heal it; we must overcome it in ourselves. We must allow truth and freedom to breathe in us. We must find the ways to live as Christians in a religiously pluralistic world, and to live in peace and mutual respect.

Hanks continues: "Jesus freed us from the fear of death --and from all lesser fears as well..." For those of us within Metropolitan Community Churches, that means a range of fears about the future: of turning 40, fear of failure, fear of coming out of the closet again and again, fears of what others may think about what I believe.

He notes that the root sin, according to Hebrews, is not listening to the liberating voice of God and not having faith in that voice and in God's power to liberate: "At the age of 40, Moses finally decided to be true to himself, and to the God who created him: he refused to be called 'the son of Pharaoh's daughter' -- his safe, comfortable closet was shattered! He opted to share the lot of oppressed slaves, God's chosen people, and lead them to freedom."

Hanks says that faith operates in making visible our faith in the future: MCC has mostly been below the radar, doing our work and building our communities for these past 39 years. While HIV/AIDS threatened to destroy us, at the same time, the Internet has made communication of our message possible as never before; and it has enabled emerging LGBT communities all over the world to be connected into a global community. Our future is about serving those young, emerging communities with all the passion of the early church, with all the passion of a Moses finding himself at 40! Life begins at 40, the old adage says, and there is so much life in us, and so much liberating work to be done!

There are LGBT people with HIV/AIDS who won't live to be 40 unless we step up to the plate and reach out. The work we do in partnership around the world can only strengthen us locally, at home. Those of you who know that, must testify to the others who think we cannot do both.

Our calling is to "Make visible the values" that Jesus preached and lived and died and rose for so long ago: Justice, love, freedom and truth! We must be the face, and hands and feet of a Jesus who cares about justice, who risks for inclusion, who still dares to say "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." The world is hungry for that Jesus.

While we are gathered here this week, I urge us to do several things about our faith:

Allow yourself to experience the "Great Cloud of Witnesses" that surrounds us every time we are together like this at an MCC General Conference. When we are gathered, they gather too --those who died too young, those who longed to see what we see, those who could never have imagined MCC in Romania or Eureka Springs, Arkansas; or a conference on fighting homophobia in Turkey. Those who could not have imagined legal marriage being achieved, or a virtual church. These witnesses are part of our gatherings; they pray for us, they inspire us -- sometimes they haunt us. Always they remind us to remember who we are and to have faith in the God who created and called each one of us. They are that great communion of saints: Jim Sandmire! Edith Perry! Michael Mank! Call out their names!

Hebrews 12 urges us to "Lay aside every weight and sin that clings so close." This week, here in this place, let us have the faith to get rid of burdens and fears and to let go once more; let us have faith to put our ministries, our churches, our people, our future, our values into God's hands. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse and heal and renew us for the years ahead, so that whatever might be holding us back gets identified and offered up.

Sometimes ministry gets to us. Sometimes we end up carrying in our hearts and bodies and minds more than our share of pain, or despair, more than we can reasonably bear. You know, it's really not our church, it's God's. Let something go: some burden, some pain, something that has overwhelmed you, something that is so big you have stopped praying about it. This is a Holy Place, it is Holy Ground; it is big enough and near enough to the heart of God to handle anything! Jesus is here, even when he makes us uncomfortable! Get something done inside of you, that will open up the future for you, that will give you space and peace and hope in a new way. It takes faith to do that and we can do it together! We must be open to all that the Holy Spirit wants to do in us and through us.

Finally, Hebrews admonishes us to "run the race with patience, looking to Jesus." Hebrews doesn't say this, but I think of it as a relay race. And at nearly 40, MCC, it is time for some of us to be passing the baton. Time for others of us to be sprinting to the finish line. Time for still others of us to be taking up a new baton in new ways. We do what we do not only for those who are in our churches now, but for those who are waiting – waiting to hear we exist, waiting to hear MCC's message and ministry, waiting to find the door, or waiting for us to make the door wider and more visible and accessible. MCC's Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, taught me a phrase this year -- "leveraging our assets." Well, faith is an asset, and our young people are our assets! Let's find the ways to leverage that faith and the energy of those young activists!

It takes faith to run this race. The author of Hebrews' called Jesus a pioneer, a leader of that faith. That same Jesus is here today among the thousands and ten of thousands and millions, especially young people, who need to know us and who need to find us, on the margins, in the shadows, keeping faith that we will have the courage to reach them with the radically inclusive love of God. I know we will.

Amen and amen.

+ Nancy

The Reverend Nancy L. Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches
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Saturday, October 6, 2007


Don Charles sent me a wonderful review of this film that I'm eager to see.

This is that review of the film, "The Bible Tells Me So".

Also, please watch this trailer for that film.
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Friday, October 5, 2007


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers sent me this poignant piece that should be read by everyone who presumes him/herself to be a decent human being!


Whether you are homosexual or not, you should repost this in support of your friends and loved ones who are. Love is not defined by color, creed, or gender.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday

I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the woman who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didnt have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am a warrior for my country serving proud, but can't be my true self because gays aren't allowed in the military.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends I'm a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.

I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to "teach me a lesson."

This is the boy, Matthew Shepard. On October 7, 1998 Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson lead him to a remote area east of Laramie where they demonstrated unimaginable acts of hate. Matthew was tied to a split-rail fence where he was beaten and left to die in the cold of the night. Almost 18 hours later he was found by a cyclist who initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Matthew died on October 12 at 12:53 am at a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. KILLED BECAUSE HE WAS GAY!!!

[Taken from Yahoo]
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Tuesday, October 2, 2007


"Conservative Christians will throw down the gauntlet to the Archbishop of Canterbury this week and demand that he disown the US church over gay bishops." [For the full article, see here.]

Although I have used the label "progressive Christian" in some of my writings, I've never felt comfortable with that term, any more than I feel comfortable with the designation of others as "conservative Christians."

You are either a Christian or you're not! A Christian adheres to the Gospel of Christ, a Gospel that is not open to interpretation!

That Gospel mandates us to be agents of God's grace in this world; live by implacable trust in Jesus to guide us and deliver us through (although not necessarily from) our sufferings and hurdles in life; live lives of love; peace; reconciliation; inclusiveness!

There is no other Gospel, and there is no other Christianity! When one seeks to exclude any of God's children from full and equal fellowship and/or seeks to deny others civil and sacramental rights, he or she is not a Christian, regardless of what he/she calls him/herself!

Of course, there is a large tent within Christianity that can, and should, accommodate all types of theological perspectives! However, those perspectives must be circumscribed by the Gospel message as outlined above, or else those perspectives can't in any meaningful way be considered to be within the Christian rubric!

Christians aren't handmaidens to the secular powers that be; they are not haters or hate-mongers; they do not in any way advocate prejudice and/or discrimination, either through rhetoric and/or action; they do not remain silent in the face of the oppression of others; they seek to impact the culture by preaching and living out the love of God for all of our fellow human beings; they exude kindness and harmlessness to people, and have the faith in God that requires us to speak truth to powers that undermine, if not contradict, Jesus' call for us to realize that the Kingdom of God can easily be grasped by living up to the mandate of Jesus that we love God and love others, even those whom we perceive to be our enemies.

Let's not be suckered into believing that there are different stripes or kinds of Christianity! Let's not be sanctimoniously "liberal" in thinking and saying that some Christians are more "Bible-believing" than others! The fallacy that "conservative Christians" are more "Bible-believing" than are the "progressive" or "liberal" Christians is patently false!

Those who selectively choose Bible verses that support their preconceived prejudices and conveniently ignore those verses that contradict those prejudices are not "conservative Christians!" Indeed, they are not "conservative," in that they don't adhere to the Gospel of Jesus; they are not "Christians" as they don't adhere to the Gospel of Jesus!

Biblical literalism doesn't denote a Christian! Indeed, knowledge of the Bible doesn't denote a Christian!

Being called by God, obedience to God's call on one's life, showing forth the love of God, and loving and trusting God through Christ define a Christian! Indeed, even if one doesn't know or understand a word of the Bible, he or she can be a Christian, if he/she loves God and loves others! Christians worship God and not the Bible!

The Church of Jesus Christ is a large, open tent! Yet, it will never be large enough to embody hateful and exclusionary rhetoric and actions by those who are wolves in sheep's clothing who demean and humiliate others in the name of "God" and in the name of "love!"

The institutional Church, unfortunately, has within it all too many leaders and members who embody those hateful values! On the other hand, the Church of Jesus Christ (not to be confused with the institutional Church that can, but frequently does not, intersect with the Church of Jesus Christ) only contains within it people who adhere to the only Gospel to be found in Christianity, and Jesus' Church is impenetrable to, and has no place for, those who refuse to adhere, or are incapable of adhering, to that blessed Gospel!

For professing Christians to advocate prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, and the oppression of others makes a mockery of the term "Christian," and shows that they are not agents of the Prince of Peace, but are witting or unwitting agents of the Devil whose rhetoric and/or actions do untold damage to others, as well as to the credibility in the minds of so many others of Christianity itself!

It's high time that it was made very clear: Those who profess to be Christians and who, by their hateful rhetoric and/or actions, make a mockery of the Gospel and of Christianity are deluding themselves!

However, none of us is to be deluded by them, and we are to educate intelligent, decent, and sensitive people to this fact so that they are not deluded by them either!
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Monday, October 1, 2007


"On Sunday - the deadline set by church leaders for the Episcopal Church to roll back support for same-sex unions - the U.S. church's presiding bishop said unequivocally at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral that there would be no retreat.

"'All people - including gay and lesbian Christians and non-Christians - are deserving of the fullest regard of the church,' the Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori declared during an hourlong discussion before services. 'We're not going backward.'

"Jefferts Schori said these are the views of the church's bishops as well as its lay members - who have increasingly affirmed rights for same-sex couples. As such, Jefferts Schori's comments served as the punctuation to a historic day."

[For the full article, see here.]

Rev. Jefferts Schori has shown herself to be a woman of God who sees the Church as being Christ's instrument to spread and live His Word of grace and inclusion to ALL of His children! She gets it!

The "conservatives," who are actually "reactionaries" who, during times of slavery and segregation, would be the very ones to fight for those institutions because "that's what the Bible says," will one day soon be seen as anachronisms, much as the "Christian" segregationists of the 1950's and 60's are today!

It's an outrage when leaders, or members, of any church or denomination seek to exclude anyone from full fellowship, and it is even more of an outrage that these types of people have been able to attain to leadership positions in the institutional Church while holding ideologies and positions diametrically opposed to the Gospel of Christ!

Rev. Jefferts Schori has shown herself to not only be a woman of God who understands the Gospel of grace, but has shown herself to have the guts to stand up to the reactionary forces aligned against her! God bless her!
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