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June 2016
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBTQ spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Rainbow Christ Prayer translated
LGBTQ Methodist protest art
Julian of Norwich
New books: June 2016
Harvey Milk
Joan of Arc
Uganda Martyrs
Congrats, grads!
Rosa Bonheur
Spanish mystic Juana

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As rainblow flags fly, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated here this June by translating the Rainbow Christ Prayer into 10 languages. New books, new art and old-time saints offer more queer inspiration.
Rainbow Christ Prayer goes global
with translations into 10 languages

Stained glass rainbow flag with cross by Andrew Craig Williams
Translated for the first time into 10 languages, the Rainbow Christ Prayer matches the colors of the LGBT Pride Flag with the many faces of the queer Christ.

Today the prayer is posted for the first time in Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Polish, Portuguese and Russian. More info 

(Credit: "Stained-glass Rainbow Flag with Cross" by Andrew Craig Williams)
Methodists protest silencing LGBTQ voices  Silencing of the LGBTQ Community by David Hayward  
LGBTQ protests at the United Methodist Church conference in May inspired a new drawing of a queer Christ. Dozens of protestors at the UMC General Conference put rainbow duct tape over their mouths in a demonstration to symbolize how the church has silenced and remained silent about LGBTQ people. More info

(Credit: "The Silencing of the LGBTQ Community" by David Hayward)

Julian of Norwich praises 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
New LGBTQ theology books: June 2016  

"This Is My Body:
Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians" by Christina Beardsley and Michelle O'Brien (editors)
"Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity" by Elizabeth M. Edman.
New LGBTQ Christian books: June 2016  
"In Defense of All God's Children: The Life and Ministry of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo" by Ugandan bishop Christopher Senyonjo

"Mr. Grumpy Christian" by Megan Rohrer

More info 
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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.

He was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the USA when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.  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,
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)

Pentecost :Holy Spirit brings LGBT visions 

The Holy Spirit Arrives by Douglas Blanchard
People from every nation received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. 

The Holy Spirit is an important aspect of God for LGBTQ people.  The Spirit brings flaming gender fluidity and inspires change in the church. Celebrate Pentecost at the Jesus in Love Blog with queer art and literature. More info

(Credit: "The Holy Spirit Arrives" from "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" by Douglas Blanchard)

Hot tip: The book "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" is on sale today at for 48 percent off -- the biggest discount ever.  
Uganda Martyrs raise questions on homosexuality, religion and LGBT rights 
Ugandan Martyrs icon

Tough questions about homosexuality, religion and LGBT rights are raised by the Uganda Martyrs. Forty-five Ugandan male pages refused to have sex with their king after they converted to Christianity in 1886 -- so he executed them. They were canonized, leaving some truths hidden by their halos.


The Uganda Martyrs are important now with Uganda at the center of worldwide debate on homosexuality. How can the story be interpreted so that LGBT Ugandans have equal access to justice... and to God? More info 

Congratulations to new graduates!

Kittredge Cherry MDiv graduation 1990
Congratulations to the many students who are receiving their degrees this graduation season!

In honor of the new graduates, Jesus in Love publisher Kittredge Cherry posted photos from her Master of Divinity graduation at Pacific School of Religion in 1990.

See photos 

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)

Madre Juana of Spain: Queer abbess 
  Madre Juana de la Cruz
Madre Juana de la Cruz Vázquez Gutiérrez was an abbess in 16th-century Spain who insisted that God changed her gender in the womb.
Madre Juana also saw Jesus in queer ways, saying that Christ can be father, mother, husband, wife, or friend.   More info  

(Image: Portrait of Madre Juana, c. 1600)

New book: "Mother Juana de la Cruz, 1481-1534: Visionary Sermons" by Jessica A. Boon and Ronald E. Surtz (editors).  Book info
The Rainbow Christ Prayer takes on new meaning when read in a rainbow spectrum of languages from around the world. I leave you with  the opening lines in 10 new translations.

English: Rainbow Christ, you embody all the colors of the world... Inspire us to remember the values expressed in the rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

Spanish: Cristo del Arco Iris, tú encarnas todos los colores del mundo. Inspíramos para recordar los valores expresados en la bandera del arco iris de la comunidad de lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transgénero, intersexuales y queer. 

Chinese: 彩虹基督,你將這世上所有的色彩呈於一身。激勵我們銘記彩虹旗上代表女同性戀、男同性戀、雙性戀、跨性別和酷兒群體色彩的意義。

French: Christ Arc-en-Ciel, tu incarnes  toutes les couleurs du monde. Donne-nous de nous rappeler les valeurs exprimées par le drapeau arc-en-ciel de la communauté lesbienne, gay, bisexuelle, transgenre et queer.

German: Regenbogen-Christus, du verkörperst alle Farben dieser Welt. Begeistere uns, damit wir uns an die Werte zu erinnern, die in der Regenbogenfahne der lesbisch, schwulen, bisexuellen, transgender und queeren Gemeinschaft zum Ausdruck kommen. 

Italian: Cristo arcobaleno, tu incarni tutti i colori del mondo. Ispiraci a ricordare i valori espressi nella bandiera arcobaleno della comunità lesbica, gay, bisessuale, transgender e queer.

Japanese: 虹色の主キリストよ,あなたは世のすべての色を表しています.わたしたち LGBTQ コミュニティの旗の虹色が何を意味しているかを,想い起こさせてください.

Malay: Kristus Sang Pelangi, engkau menggenapi seluruh warna-warni dunia. Berikanlah kami ilham untuk mengingati nilai-nilai murni yang terpancar melalui bendera pelangi dari komuniti lesbian, gay, biseksual dan quir.

Polish: Tęczowy Chryste, ucieleśniasz wszystkie barwy świata. Przypominaj nam o wartościach wyrazanych przez tęczową flagę społeczności lesbijek, gejów, biseksualistów i osób transpłciowych.

Portuguese: Cristo Arco-Íris, tu encarnas todas as cores do mundo. Dê-nos inspiração para que lembremos os valores expressados na bandeira colorida da comunidade de lésbicas, gays, bissexuais, travestis, transexuais e transgêneros.

Russian: Радужный Христос, Ты объединяешь все краски мира. Вдохновляй нас помнить ценности, выраженные в радужном флаге лесбиянок, геев, бисексуалов, трансгендеров и квир сообщества.

Click here for the whole prayer in 10 languages.

Lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry and gay theologian Patrick Cheng wrote the Rainbow Christ Prayer based on the seven models of the queer Christ from Cheng's book "From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ." 

Happy Pride Month, and may the Rainbow Christ be with you!

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Kittredge Cherry
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