Sep 22, 2009

JAMAICAN HOLY/SAFE HOUSE: The Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica's only gay church!

Perhaps a enchanted rain forest, a secret meeting room, a private hide-a-way, a basement bodega, a closet, ALL suddenly transformed into the Kingston, Jamaica branch of the Sunshine Cathedral

Archbishop Drexel Gomez, retired, of The Anglican Church of Jamaica/West Indies Province. Countries that make up the ¨West Indies¨ Anglican Province are the ONLY Nations in Latin America/Western Hemisphere where it is against the law to be a LGBT citizen. Currently Bishop Gomez is chairperson of ´The Anglican Covenant´ design group which he viciously helped author in order to castigate individual, self-governing, Anglican Provinces that allow LGBT Anglicans/Christians to participate at all levels of Churchlife...Gomez and his accomplices display ¨ignorance and mendacity¨ and cause ¨untold suffering.¨ Religiously irresponsible comes to mind.


¨Most of the institutionalized Church in the world has done inestimable harm to LGBT people. In Jamaica, it's unbelievable how the ignorance and mendacity of most of the clergy and their followers in the institutional Church has caused untold suffering, including murders, of LGBT people.

Where are the voices of the clergy against this horror? Where are the voices of the sanitized professing Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere against the venomous rhetoric of the clergy in Jamaica and in all other places where homophobia is equated with "spirituality" in the minds of demented and warped individuals who have the temerity to sing such hymns in church as "Amazing Grace"?

A Christian Voice For Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights, HERE

KINGSTON, Jamaica — It takes just 15 minutes to set up an underground church.

Two boxes and a white sheet make up the pulpit. The altar is a card table. Folding chairs constitute the pews. The Rev. Robert Griffin, a solidly built gay American minister in his mid-40s, unpacks a battered cardboard box; inside is a wooden chalice, two candle holders, a communion plate and a dog-eared copy of the King James Bible. Add a pianist warming up on an electric keyboard and suddenly an empty meeting room is transformed into the Kingston branch of the Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica’s only gay church.

“We call it church in a box,” said Griffin, who travels to Jamaica once a month from Florida to hold services for Jamaica’s gay community. He helped found this congregation five years ago after reading a Human Rights Watch report about institutionalized anti-gay violence in Jamaica....

Ministers here regularly condemn homosexuality as a mortal sin, citing the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and God’s destruction of these cities because of the immoral behavior of their gay inhabitants. They also frequently quote verse 20:13 of Leviticus, which declares: "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”

“Ministers here are endorsing violent acts, calls for murder, to incite riots,” Griffin said. “I hear it being done here, I read it in the papers here, I have even heard it myself. They tell me: ‘We don’t believe in homosexuality and homosexuals should be killed because that’s what the scripture says.’” These beliefs also feed another equally pernicious notion about homosexuality. Since gayness is seen as an ungodly and unnatural act it is widely believed that the only way a young person becomes gay is by being coerced or raped by a gay man.

“That’s a misuse of the pulpit to me,” he said, with a look of outrage on his face. “In this culture, sex and homosexuality seems to pack the churches on Sunday morning. And if a minister is perceived to have not preached against homosexuality on Sunday morning, then that minister has not actually preached, if you will.”

“But we know that scripture says a lot of things,” he said. “My pushback is to ask why is that one particular verse up higher than other verses in that particular section of the Bible? There is another passage that says, 'Slaves, obey your masters.' Well, that particular part of the Bible hasn’t changed. But our attitudes certainly have changed about how we look at slavery. Global Post, click HERE


¨Jamaica may be one of the most violently homophobic societies in the world. This piece explores the dark side of Jamaica's culture of anti-gay violence and attitudes and explores the ideological beliefs that perpetuate it.¨

Homophobic Violence: Ernie Smith & Venom, click HERE

UPDATE:Man Held In Connection With Murder of Jamaican Envoy John Terry, click HERE

FURTHER UPDATE: Jamaica, a GRIM place to be Gay, read it all, click HERE

·Thanks to The Reverend Jerry Maneker
·Thanks to GLBTQ Jamaica Blogspot
·Thanks to Flickr Photosharing
·Thanks to The Reverend Robert Griffin
·Thanks to Micah Fink - Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
·Thanks to Gays Without Borders/Boycott Jamaica


motheramelia said...

Prayers for GLBT in Jamaica and around the world who are forced to worship in secret. God's healing for those who listen in silence to such hateful messages. Thanks be to God for priests like Robert Griffin.

Brian R said...

Yes, I will pray for them everytime I get depressed about the Sydney diocese. At least I can worship in an openly inclusive church which the diocese tolerates.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Prayers ascending!