LGBTQI+, Queer Theology, Queering the Stations of the Cross(es), Scripture

Queering the Stations of the Cross(es): A woman wipes the face of Jesus

Wiping Jesus’s face on his way to death is seen as an act of charity, hinting at justice, a justice-to-come. In the Catholic tradition, the woman’s named Veronica, which in Greek means “true image.” A true image of God touches a true image of God.

A Prayer:

Wounded God, Helpless Savior,
Our readied hands seek to help. Our palms are wide open.Help us to discern how to bring about the kin-dom of misfits and no-bodies. Guide us in empathy toward the battered, bruised, hurt, broken, and hated. Push us in the direction of justice beyond charity. Amen.

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LGBTQI+, Liberation Theology, Queer Theology, Queering the Stations of the Cross(es), Scripture

Queering the Stations of the Cross(es): The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene

The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene

in the gospels, we already met a simon, simon peter.

he was foolish, but brave.

the one who made the confession that jesus was the messiah (matthew 16:16).

now that jesus bears the cross, he is found nowhere near: a run away.

a new simon was found, one who was trustworthy and strong, simon of cyrene.

where’s the in-between simon?

the simon, like me, who you can tell silly secrets to without shame.

where’s the in-between simon who needs some friends to help carry the cross with them.

where am i in the story?

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LGBTQI+, Queer Theology, Queering the Stations of the Cross(es), Scripture

Queering the Stations of the Cross(es): Jesus falls thrice times

(Guest post by asescalante)

Like the many before him who would fall, and the many after who will fall, Jesus falls. Under the weight of that which will eventually kill him he falls; this weight is not simply the physical burden of wooden beam(s), but is the weight of the Empire that would find the innocent guilty, the weight of your closest friends abandoning you in your time of need, the weight of public humiliation—the weight under which Jesus falls is the weight of physical, societal, psychological, emotional pain.

The failure of Jesus is the impossibility of his message: love your enemies; the kin-dom of God is within you; who is my mother? Paradoxical, confusing, and secretive, that which Jesus taught and lived was a message that’s whole intention was the subverting of that same weight that would later crush him.

May we fall; may we fail.

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LGBTQI+, Queering the Stations of the Cross(es), Scripture

Queering the Stations of the Cross(es): Jesus carries the cross

Crosses were not places of forgiveness, but of hate, torture, and death. Imagine carrying your death weapon, which will be used to kill you later that day. Horrible! Yet, isn’t this how some treat those in the LGBTQ+ community, or immigrants, or of different races? Their bodies become the cross. Rather than love and respect their bodies and identities, they are their own torture weapons.Our bodies should be blessed, not crosses!

LITANIES TO MY HEAVENLY BROWN BODY (CONTD):

BLESSED ARE THE SISSIES

BLESSED ARE THE BOI DYKES

BLESSED ARE THE PEOPLE OF COLOR MY BELOVED KITH AND KIN

BLESSED ARE THE TRANS

BLESSED ARE THE HIGH FEMMES

BLESSED ARE THE SEX WORKERS

BLESSED ARE THE AUTHENTIC

BLESSED ARE THE DIS-IDENTIFIERS

BLESSED ARE THE GENDER ILLUSIONISTS

BLESSED ARE THE NON-NORMATIVE

BLESSED ARE THE GENDERQUEERS

BLESSED ARE THE KINKSTERS

BLESSED ARE THE DISABLED

BLESSED ARE THE HOT FAT GIRLS

BLESSED ARE THE WEIRDO-QUEERS

BLESSED IS THE SPECTRUM

BLESSED IS CONSENT

BLESSED IS RESPECT

BLESSED ARE THE BELOVED WHO I DIDN’T DESCRIBE, I COULDN’T DESCRIBE, WILL LEARN TO DESCRIBE AND RESPECT AND LOVE

Amen.

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Christainity, LGBTQI+, Liberation Theology, Politics

god’s promiscuous, indiscriminatory Love

Her broadened my view of incarnation. I was so fascinated with Samantha (the operating system) and the ways she fleshed her voice while interacting with Theodore. This is not your normal romcom. It pushes the limit for what it means to be in a relationship, how one can love non-bodies, and the power of love. Theodore and Samantha shared all the benefits of a relationship even fighting. When their relationship started to hit the rocks, Theodore asked Samantha how many other people she loved. Her compelling response,

“The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love. I’m different from you. This doesn’t make me love you any less. It actually makes me love even more.”

This quote quite wonderfully sums up process theology’s doctrine of God. To get a little technical, in God’s Consequent Nature (Whitehead term, classically it’s called the Economic Trinity), God grows in love as time paces on. In a sense, God evolves with the world. Samantha, too, has intuition to react, love, and grow with Theodore and everyone else who has her as an operating system. This does not mean that God cannot be personal or that God has faults. Rather, God’s love pursues all, and by all, I do indeed mean other animals, plants, rivers, rocks, etc. as well as humanity. Laurel Schneider wrote a piece a few years ago titled “Promiscuous Incarnations.” This strongly connects with Her and, of course, V-Day with a beautiful re-interpretation of John 3:16.

“Promiscuous incarnation suggests excess and indiscrimination in divine love. It puts power and the inexorable pull of gravitational attraction in “God so loved the world.” It restores sexual bounty and openness to God, which means that it welcomes the end of racialized hierarchies that depend upon sexualized regimes of control. It dismisses purity as a divine attribute and replaces it with the cacophonous mixture of differences that constitute divine time-being” (245).

Schneider, I believe, rightly describes God’s love for the world as promiscuous. In her article, she defines promiscuity in three ways. Only two of them though define what she means when she attributes it to God, namely a third gender, and to indiscriminately love all. Schneider’s goal is to change the discourse about divinity and flesh from the commonly held idea that divinity imparts itself on flesh, i.e. it is God who works through the body that’s totally depraved. Rather the flesh/body show us the divine (233).

Body/flesh in Western culture and society is seen as a burden that we must bear. Arcade Fire sings “My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love, but my mind holds the key.” We need to shed the body to set the spirit free, which is ultimate freedom. What then if God works through the flesh, the body, that which is not spirit? Possibly then we could argue that spirit and flesh is not so different. That God is in all and beyond all. God is the More and with that is indiscriminate.

Let me end with the last paragraph from “Promiscuous Incarnations.”

“Promiscuous incarnation implies a God outside of human control and even outside of religious rules but not outside of human life and experience, not outside of human hungers and desires, not ever far away from ecstasy or grief. Somehow, if indeed the stories of Jesus are to be the way to divine incarnation, Christians can claim that God always becomes flesh for a purpose and so can be found whenever that is pursued. That purpose is radical, compassionate, promiscuous love of the world to such an extent that suffering in any person, any body, is a wound in God’s flesh, a diminishment of God’s own beloved, a gravitational pull on God to come, again. And again” (245).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

AnarchoLove

*This post was inspired by the work of Laurel Schneider at Vanderbilt University. She wrote an article, available for download, on her website titled “Promiscuous Incarnation,” which portrays God’s love for everyone and everything.  It’s a must read.

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Beliefs, Christainity, Justice, LGBTQI+

Theological queerness is not simply a question of queer theology disrupting ‘mainstream’ theology; rather, all theology is somehow simultaneously strange, weak and marginal, and potently disruptive of a mindset which says it is possible to comprehend (or encompass) all the mysteries of the universe. Gerard Loughlin comments,

“Even when theology was culturally dominant it was strange, for it sought the strange; it sought to know the unknowable in Christ, the mystery it was called to seek through following Jesus. And of course it has always been in danger of losing this strangeness by pretending that is has comprehended the mystery, that it can name that which is beyond all names” (Loughlin 2008, p. 144)

[Passage from Susannah Cornwall, Controversies in Queer Theology, 2011, pgs. 28-29]

Paul

unknowing and theological queerness

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Justice, LGBTQI+, Philosophy, Politics

anxious for revolution

Like any new relationship, we set high expectations for the New Year. Of ourselves we determine that this year we will be fit, love more, find a new job, get out of debt, and the list goes on. These demands give way to disappointment and if we weren’t already anxious about the resolutions, we certainly are now for disappointing ourselves. I understand these moments of high anxiety as a symptom of capitalism. Economic theorist and philosopher Karl Marx explained, “Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.”*

Chilean Protest

Marx knew that capitalism was out of control. That it was far too big and there was an “economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.” In capitalism, it is the overlords, the CEOs, the bourgeois that control the means of production as well as politics, ideology, foreign relations, and culture. Back to my main argument: how does capitalism create anxiety? Simply, persons without the power: the workers, the proletariat, “the least of these” acknowledge, at least subconsciously, that they are under the control of bosses, cops (who use force to sustain the capitalist system), and patriarchy.

Hence we demand high expectations of ourselves because this is the only way we can relate to the world. This is all that we know. We live in an America of bosses beyond bosses, cops beyond cops, and a stock market as our conscience! Possibly, to relieve this symptom, we need a high dose of an egalitarian community. Jon Grinspan wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times titled, “Anxious Youth: Then and Now.” To summarize, the anxiety in Millennials is nothing new or creative. Even in 1859, young persons were concerned about their love lives, when to get married, and if they were ever going to find a job. Here’s a gem from the article:

“Another solution (from the anxiety) was to find like-minded young adults, to share, as one later put it in his memoir, their “baffling discouragements and buoyant hopes.” Nineteenth-century young people were compulsive joiners. Political movements, literary societies, religious organizations, dancing clubs and even gangs proliferated. The men and women who joined cared about the stated cause, but also craved the community these groups created. They realized that while instability was inevitable, isolation was voluntary.”

In the 21st century, we realize instability is inevitable, but we are too busy hiding behind screens. Of course, I believe social and political change and agitation can happen through the use of social media. Just look at what was accomplished two years ago with SOPA. Yet, this protest was particular to the internet.

Yet, we still need bodies!

We need them protesting, present at hearings, in Congressperson’s offices, and gardening. Our future depends on it.

If we direct our anxious energies toward housing reform, ending poverty, fighting for LGBTQQII+  and women’s right, environmental concerns and changing economic policy; something might change for the better!

A portrait of Jenny and Karl Marx.

A portrait of Jenny and Karl Marx.

*All the Marx quotes come from The Communist Manifesto, which was published in 1848. If you have never read anything by him, the Manifesto is a good place to start.

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