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May 2016
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Liberating books for kids
Bangladesh martyrs
David & Jonathan
New books: May 2016
Christinia Rossetti
Day of Silence prayer
NCC protest
Mexican nun Sor Juana
"God Squad" host
Going Italian

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Grief over the recent killing of LGBT activists in Bangladesh is balanced this month by hope for a new generation... as the first-ever LGBTQ religious books for children are published.
LGBTQ religious children's books published
LGBTQ-affirming religious books for kids are available for the first time ever with the launch of the Good News Children's Book Series this spring.
Faithful Families page
Books such as "Faithful Families" remind children that God loves them, no matter what their family looks like -- even if they have two mommies or two daddies.
"Mr. Grumpy Christian" is for LGBTQ families to read if they hear Christians telling them that God cannot love them.
"What to Wear to Church" was written with transgender children in mind, while the gender diversity of God's creation is affirmed in "Is it a Boy, Girl or Both?" All books are by Megan Rohrer, the first openly transgender pastor in the Lutheran church.  More info

(Credit: A page from "Faithful Families" by Megan Rohrer
RIP Bangladeshi LGBT martyrs  Bangladesh martyrs
Two Bangladeshi LGBT activists were hacked to death by Islamist extremists for being "pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh" on April 25 in Dhaka.

Xulhaz Mannan was editor of the only LGBT magazine in the south Asian nation. and Tanay Mojumdar was an actor who helped publish it.  All life, including LGBT lives, must be honored and protected as God intended. More info
Biblical same-sex love found in
"David and Jonathan" art by Edward Hicks
David and Jonathan by Hicks
Tantalizing symbols of Biblical same-sex love appear when scholar Mitch Gould analyzes the painting "David and Jonathan at the Stone Ezel." It was painted in 1847 by Edward Hicks, Quaker minister and folk artist. "Let this stand as Exhibit A for the proposition that Brotherly Love had an eroticized variant," he concludes. More info
New LGBT Christian books: May 2016
"Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation" by Jim Downs. The forgotten history is religious history!
Includes MCC, Integrity, Dignity and other church groups in the 1970s & 80s.   
"Speak Its Name" a novel about being queer and Christian at a British university by Kathleen Jowitt 
"Joan of Arc: Her Trial Transcripts" by E. P Sanguinetti looks at whether the saint was a lesbian or trans* person.

"Faithful Families" is a children's book by
Megan Rohrer

Click for summaries  
Christina Rossetti: Lesbian poet and saint

Cover of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti was a 19th-century English poet whose work ranged from Christmas carols to lesbian love poetry. A devout Christian who never married, she has been called a "queer virgin" and "gay mystic." Her best-known works are the carol "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Goblin Market," a poem with a lesbian Christ figure. More info 


(Credit: 1862 cover for Rossetti's "Goblin Market and Other Poems)  

Day of Silence Prayer:
Stop bullying God's LGBTQ youth

Day of Silence logo
A prayer by Kittredge Cherry is one of the few religious resources for Day of Silence (April 15), a student-led protest of anti-LGBT bullying:

Silence is pride, LGBTQ pride
Ignoring bullies,
Claiming our right to be
Part of God's rainbow....
More info
National Council of Churches LGBT protest

LGBT protest at NCC in 1992
LGBT church leaders held protest signs in 1992 when the National Council of Churches voted to keep out pro-LGBT Metropolitan Community Churches.

Memories of the protest were sparked recently when Axios, an Eastern Orthodox LGBT Christian group, launched a new Facebook page. More info  
Sor Juana: Nun who loved a countess

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a 17th-century Mexican nun whose writings include lesbian love poetry. Her convent cell was Mexico City's intellectual hub and the largest library in Mexico.  Sor Juana was visited by the city's elite, including the countess who became her passionate friend.  More info

(Credit: "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz" by by Miguel Cabrera, 1750)
RIP: Bill Rosenahl, host of "God Squad"   
  Bill Rosendahl
Bill Rosendahl, an early supporter of LGBT Christianity and the first openly gay man on the Los Angeles City Council, died March 30 at age 70.
Jesus in Love founder Kittredge Cherry appeared on his cable TV talk show "The God Squad" in 1993. He reached out to her because he wanted queer religious voices to be heard. More info
Jesus in Love goes Italian!    
  Hands by Michelangelo
More than a dozen of the most popular articles from the Jesus in Love Blog were translated into Italian in April by the website Progetto Gionata: Portal of Faith and Homosexuality.  They include:

Why We Need LGBT Saints
English  Italian

An Erotic Encounter with the Divine
 English   Italian  
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 Your contributions bring inspiration to LGBTQ people and allies. Thank you!

I leave you with lines from my Day of Silence prayer:

Silence is solidarity...
Students, family, teachers, friends
Who care enough
To share the stigma,
To stand with the queer and questioning
Stopping hate with compassion.

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Kittredge Cherry
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