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October 2013
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Sergius & Bacchus
Queer creation
New info on St. Francis
Hildegard of Bingen
Nouwen's struggle
Man inspires Rumi
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glbt spirituality & arts
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Jesus in Love supports lesbian, gay, bi trans and queer  (LGBTQ) spirituality, with an emphasis on art and literature. It promotes artistic and religious freedom and teaches love for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is based on these beliefs: God loves all people, including sexual minorities. The creative process is sacred. The queer visions, especially the gay Jesus and LGBT saints, will free people to experience the divine in new ways and lead to a more just world.


Jesus in Love was founded by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry as her personal gift to the world.  


October brings the feast of Sergius and Bacchus, favorite saints in the LGBTQ community. They lead the way to a variety of other queer spiritual news and insights in this month's newsletter.
Saints Sergius & Bacchus: Gay martyrs

Saints Sergius and Bacchus by Rick Herold

Saints Sergius and Bacchus were third-century Roman soldiers, Christian martyrs and men who loved each other. Their story is told at the Jesus in Love Blog in words and pictures for their feast day (Oct. 7).


The close bond between Sergius and Bacchus has been emphasized since the earliest accounts, and recent scholarship has revealed their homosexuality.


A classic example of paired saints, Sergius and Bacchus are most popular queer saints.  The Roman Catholic Church dropped Saints Sergius and Bacchus from Maaloula Syria them from its official calendar in 1969 -- the year of the Stonewall Rebellion. More info

(Above: "Saints Sergius and Bacchus" by Rick Herold. Warning: his home page has male nudity)

(Right: Saints Sergius and Bacchus from their monastery in Maaloula, Syria)
Queer creation: Adam & Steve

Adam and Steve in Hawaii by Tony de Carlo

Who says God didn't create Adam and Steve?!   


Artist Tony De Carlo has done more than 20 paintings of Adam and Steve as the original gay couple in response to those who oppose LGBT rights by saying, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."


Many of his Adam and Steve paintings are posted at Jesus in Love for the annual Queer Theology Synchroblog. More info

(Credit: "Adam and Steve in Hawaii" by Tony de Carlo
New info on Francis of Assisi's queer side
Francis and friend in cave by Jose Benlliure y Gil
Saint Francis of Assisi is "a uniquely gender-bending historic figure" according to Franciscan scholar Kevin Elphick.

He continued his research into the queer side of Saint Francis this year with a trip to Assisi, where he photographed images of the man who may have been the saint's beloved soulmate.

Overview: Francis of Assisi's queer side 

Details: Brother Elias: Same-sex soulmate to a saint?

(Credit: Francis and the man he loved in "They shelter in a cave" by José Benlliure y Gil, 1926) 

Hildegard and Richardis:
Medieval nuns who loved each other

Hildegard of Bingen and Richardis by Lewis Williams
Nouwen struggled with his homosexuality
Henri Nouwen by Robert Lentz


Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest and bestselling author who wrestled with his homosexuality. Nouwen never discussed his gay sexual orientation in his 40 books, but he confided his conflict over it in private journals and conversations. Some say that this personal struggle added depth to his books such as "The Wounded Healer." More info 


(Credit: "Henri Nouwen" by Robert Lentz,


Same-sex love inspired Sufi poet Rumi
Rumi and Shams from
Rumi is a 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose love for another man inspired some of the world's best poems and led to the creation of a new religious order, the whirling dervishes. It is well known that his poems were based on his love for another man, but the queer possibilities are rarely discussed. More info 


(Credit: Rumi and Shams from "Dervish Whirl,

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Click to see recent highlights from the Jesus in Love Blog:


Wenceslas and Podiven: Good (gay) King Wenceslas


Tyler Clementi: Gay teen driven to suicide by bullies


May you receive many blessings during October, which happens to be both LGBT History Month and Clergy Appreciation Month. What an unlikely combo!

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