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March 2016
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
"Hiding" music video article
New books: March 2016
Level Ground Fest
RIP Ibrahim Farajaje
Saintly male pair
Malcolm Boyd
Marcella Althaus-Reid
LGBTQ Christian films
Peter Gomes
Passion of Christ book

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LGBTQ spiritual lives take many turns, from torturous ex-gay therapies to friendship with a First Lady. Music, art, books and memory enlighten those journeys for readers of this month's newsletter.
Music video reveals gay church issues 
Ray Isaac in Hiding video
Gay love in the church, electroshock "conversion" therapy and Christianity's role in suppressing homosexuality are exposed in a controversial new music video by Australian pop singer-songwriter Ray Isaac.
"The message in my video is that everyone deserves to be loved for who they are without conditions," he said. Based on his own experiences, the music video "Hiding" has offended some religious groups. More info 

(Credit:  Ray Isaac plays a gay priest overseeing anti-gay electroshock therapy in his "Hiding" music video) covers gay Passion of Christ censorship on social-media  Jesus Dies by Doug Blanchard covered the latest controversy over "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision," saying:
"These portraits still strike a nerve. An ad for the series was recently banned from Facebook, which initially classified it as an 'adult product' that sought to 'promote pornography.' Ultimately, Facebook approved the ad after an appeal was submitted."

Advocate article (Feb. 24, 2016)       Facebook debate         More info
New LGBT Christian books: March 2016

"The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice" by Claudia Rapp. (Murray was an Episcopal priest who described herself as "homosexual" or "pseudo-hermaphrodite" )   

"Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son" by Brad and Drew Harper

Click for summaries of both books 
Festival uses art for LGBT faith dialogue  

Kittredge Cherry and Deborah Jian Lee
Level Ground Festival used art to create dialogue on faith, gender and sexuality in Pasadena, CA, Feb. 24-27. Pictured at the festival are Kittredge Cherry of Jesus in Love and speaker Deborah Jian Lee, author of "Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism." More info 
RIP Ibrahim Farajaje: Queer theologian Ibrahim Farajaje
Ibrahim Farajajé (formerly Elias Farajajé-Jones) died Feb. 9 at age 63.

He was known as a queer theologian, AIDS activist, interfaith scholar and spiritual leader.

At the time of his death he was serving as provost and professor at the Starr King School for the Ministry, a Unitarian Universalist / multireligious member school of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.  More info 
Saints were "brothers by affection"

Sts. Polyeuct and Nearchus by Robert Lentz
Saints Polyeuct and Nearchus, Roman soldiers in Armenia, are a primary example of same-sex lovers in the early church. 

The men had a strong desire to spend eternity together.  Shortly before Polyeuct died, he spoke his last words to Nearchus: "Remember our secret vow." More info

(Credit: Saints Polyeuct and Nearchus by Robert Lentz, 

Malcolm Boyd: Pioneering gay priest  

  Malcolm Boyd

Pioneering gay Episcopal priest Malcolm Boyd died one year ago on Feb. 27, 2015, at age 91. 


His 35 books include "Are You Running with Me, Jesus?" a collection of his prayers / poems with a million copies in print. This 1965 spiritual classic includes a prayer that begins "This is a homosexual bar, Jesus." More info 

Marcella Althaus-Reid: Queer theologian 

  Marcella Althaus-Reid

Marcella Althaus-Reid was a queer theologian whose controversial books include "Indecent Theology" and "The Queer God."  


Born in Argentina, she became the first woman appointed to a chair in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 2006. She held that post when she died -- seven years ago on Feb. 20, 2009.


 More info in English or in Spanish 

15 ways to celebrate LGBT Christian love

Rainbow heart
A list of 15 films, books and gifts provides ways to express LGBTQ love while affirming Christian faith.

The LGBT Christian love list was created for Valentine's Day, but can work all year round.   Includes the best book version of Song of Songs. Treat a loved one -- or yourself!  More info 
Peter Gomes taught "scandalous gospel"

Peter Gomes was a gay black Baptist minister at Harvard and one of America's most prominent spiritual voices for tolerance. He used his national celebrity as a "gay minister" to make the religious case for LGBT people, even though he reportedly disliked being labeled. More info

(Credit: "Peter Gomes" by Jon Dorn)
Gay Passion of Christ book available now
Book cover Passion of Christ A Gay Vision

Meet Jesus as a young gay man of today in a modern city with "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" by Kittredge Cherry with art by Douglas Blanchard.   

Passion book open to Jesus Rises  

Highly recommended for Lent, Holy Week and Easter


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The popular blog series on the gay Passion of Christ will be back at the Jesus in Love Blog again this year from Palm Sunday (March 20) through Easter.

I close with a quote from Ibrahim Farajaje's invocatioin prayer in "Equal Rites":

"Ours is a remembrance rooted in a spirit of solidarity and a spirit of resistance -- a resistance that strengthens and empowers us to live and act boldly."

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Kittredge Cherry
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