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June 2015
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Queer Icons
New books
Joan of Arc
Harvey Milk
Rainbow Christ Prayer
Resurrection song
Julian of Norwich
Stonewall saints
Rosa Bonheur

glbt spirituality & arts
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A Latino artist's "Queer Icons" made a big splash in the national news lately. They lead off the LGBT Pride Month newsletter.

"Queer Icons" show LGBTQ people of color in art by Gabriel García Román

"Queer Icons" by Mexican American queer artist Gabriel Garcia Roman reveal the holiness of LGBTQ people of color in much the same way that traditional icons open a window to heaven.

His subjects are community  activists and artists"I'd like to think of them as a hybrid between saints and warriors," he says. Like traditional icons, they gaze directly into the viewer's eyes, daring them to see what is sacred. More info 


(Credit: "Emanuel" (left) and "Julissa" from "Queer Icons" by Gabriel Garcia Roman)

New books: LGBT Christian books for June 

"That We Might Become God: The Queerness of Creedal Christianity" by Andy Buechel (foreword by Mark D. Jordan)


"A Disreputable Priest: Being Gay in Anti-Gay Cultures" by Ian Corbett


Summary of both new books
Joan of Arc: Cross-dressing warrior-saint

St. Joan of Arc by Robert Lentz Joan of Arc was a cross-dressing teenage warrior who led the medieval French army to victory. This queer icon and girl-power hero was killed for wearing men's clothing by the church that later made her a saint.

Joan's belief that God was the source of her gender-bending queerness makes her an inspiring role model for LGBT people of faith. More info

(Credit: "Saint Joan of Arc" by Robert Lentz)

Harvey Milk Day celebrates equality   

Harvey Milk icon by Robert Lentz
Equality for all is celebrated May 22 on Harvey Milk Day, the birthday of LGBT rights pioneer.

As America's first openly gay man elected to public office in a major city, Milk was responsible for passing a tough gay-rights law in San Francisco before his assassination on Nov. 27, 1978. 
More info

(Credit: "Harvey Milk of San Francisco" by Robert Lentz,
Rainbow Christ Prayer honors LGBT spirit

Stained glass rainbow flag with cross by Andrew Craig Williams

Celebrate Pride Month with the Rainbow Christ prayer.  Colors of the rainbow flag reveal the many faces of the queer Christ in the prayer that begins:


Rainbow Christ, you embody all the colors of the world...

Click for more


(Credit: "Stained-glass Rainbow Flag with Cross" by Andrew Craig Williams)

Resurrection song offers queer vision

   I think of the questionable history,

   I think of the fascination with death,

   I think of the role of Christianity

   In spreading human distress,

   But it's alright, it's alright,

   The Resurrection's here! ... 


A queer sensibility shines through lyrics by Lucia Chappelle in a song performed on Easter at LGBT-affirming Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles. More info

Julian of Norwich celebrates Mother Jesus
 Julian of Norwich by Robert Lentz  

Julian of Norwich is a medieval English mystic who celebrated "Mother Jesus."  It's not known if she herself was queer, but her genderbending ideas were. 
"As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother," Julian wrote more than 600 years ago. More info
(Credit: "Julian of Norwich" by Robert Lentz
 Saints of Stonewall inspire LGBT justice

Stonewall painting by Sandow Birk
LGBT people fought back against police harassment in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, launching the LGBT liberation movement.

Their rebellion against government persecution of homosexuality is celebrated around the world during June as LGBT Pride Month. The Stonewall Uprising continues to inspire liberation movements and a variety of artworks. More info

(Credit: Detail from Stonewall painting by Sandow Birk)
Rosa Bonheur: Cross-dressing painter honored "androgyne Christ"

Rosa Bonheur by Ria Brodell
Rosa Bonheur, the most famous female painter of the 19th century, was a queer cross-dresser who honored what she called the "androgyne Christ." She had long-term relationships with women.


Her achievements grew out of an unusual religious upbringing in the proto-feminist Saint-Simonian sect. Bonheur's gender-bending lifestyle has been covered extensively by scholars, but her spirituality has received much less attention until now. More info 


(Credit: "Rosa Bonheur" from "Butch Heroes" by Ria Brodell)

Make a Pride Month donation in June

Rainbow flag Support the Jesus in Love Newsletter with a donation during LGBT Pride Month. More info

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Thanks to everyone who has given time, talent and financial support!

Have a happy Pride Month! I leave you with the closing lines of the Rainbow Christ Prayer that I wrote with theologian Patrick Cheng: 


Rainbow Christ, you light up the world. You make rainbows as a promise to support all life on earth. In the rainbow space, we can see all the hidden connections between sexualities, genders and races. Like the rainbow, may we embody all the colors of the world! Amen. 


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