Oct 6, 2009

PERMISSIBLE PREJUDICES: Or real abuse by well meaning religious people, Part II

The Reverend Professor Peter John Gomes
Public Forum on Homophobia
The American Psychoanalytic Foundation

Reverend Professor Peter John Gomes. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942, the Reverend Professor Gomes is
an American Baptist Minister ordained to the Christian Ministry by the First Baptist Church of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Since 1970, he has served in the Memorial Church, Harvard University and since 1974, as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. A member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Divinity of Harvard University, Professor Gomes holds degrees from Bates College and from Harvard Divinity School and honorary degrees from nine American colleges. He is an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, the University of Cambridge, England.

·¨It falls to me as a Christian minister and a practitioner of religion to indicate that in the matter of sexual prejudice, religion is fundamentally a part of the problem and one can only hope that by acknowledging that, it may well indeed become part of the solution as well. Perhaps the one thing that my profession and yours have in common is that we have a great deal to answer for in the question of this prejudice which we are confronting today.

·Scripture sanctioned racial segregation, and that the most religious, most churched, most piously populated parts of the country not coincidentally happen to be those places in which racism and slavery and segregation long have flourished. The most pious people found the Bible their easiest ally in maintaining the advantageous social status quo, and saw no conflict in their consciousness between their religious profession on one hand, and their heinous social practices on the other.

·I have come to the conclusion that, at least for people like myself who are practicing religious people, the way to function within the communities of faith is to address the contradiction, the disconnect, as we now like to say, between profession of principle on the one hand and grievous practice and violation of their principle on the other hand and to do so not simply with a wagging of the moral finger, but by pointing to the moral high ground which the Bible and all of our religious traditions affirm.¨

¨When anyone looks at the record of our religious treatment of the other in the culture, we find that the first and the last resort used to justify a prejudice is the fact that the Bible tells me so.¨ read it all, click HERE

A Kaleidoscope of Horrors
By Philip Kennedy

¨From the Christian emperor Justinian in the sixth century until the eighteenth century, Christian communities around Europe regularly put homosexuals to death by burning, beheading, flaying, drowning or hanging them. The ancient Christian thinkers Tertullian, Eusebius and John Chrysostom all argued that same sex relations deserve the penalty of death. ...In medieval Europe, secular laws often invoked the authority of the bible to execute homosexuals. Bologna adopted the death penalty for sodomy in 1259. Padua followed suit in 1329; Venice in 1342; Rome in 1363; Cremona in 1387; Milan in 1476; and Genoa in 1556. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain actively sought out sodomites to be burned. In the hundred and twenty five years after Calvin taught in Geneva, there were thirty burnings, beheadings, drownings, and hangings of homosexuals in that city. Scores of men and boys were hanged for homosexual activity in Georgian England. Before the advent of modernity, women in Europe were also vulnerable to execution if convicted of lesbianism. The history of churches' treatment of gay people has for over a thousand years been a history of hatred, persecution and death. To this day, standard Christian textbooks devoted to moral theology and commenting on homosexuality are usually trite treatises because of their complete silence on the long-standing brutality meted out to homosexuals by churches, whether Roman Catholic, Anglican or Protestant. For homosexuals, the history of the Christian church has been a kaleidoscope of harrowing horrors. Their fortunes have now changed. Physical violence has mutated into rhetorical violence, although there are still nine countries today where homosexual behavior is punishable by death.¨

A History of Horrors, read it all at Father Jake, click HERE

Attention Dr. Nazir-Ali, ¨quit talking rubbish¨ read it all, click HERE

Jamaicas only safe Church for LGBT Christians, read it all, click

ATTENTION RELIGIOUS RIGHT: Are you responsible when thugs bash our heads in? Why is it you who make America and the WORLD hate and fear us? read it all, click HERE

BURN BABY BURN: A Knight, a Squire, a Bishop, a Steward, Five RC Monks and millions of murders initiated by bigots at Church!¨ read it all, click HERE

There is no God authorized excuse for the cruelty, injustice and fear/hate-mongering at Church directed toward the demonizing and persecution of LGBT Anglicans/Christians/others.

A generous, kind and loving apology from Archbishop Tutu to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered citizens everywhere:

¨May I wholly inadequately apologize to my sisters and brothers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered for the cruelty and injustice that you have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of us, your fellow Anglicans; I am sorry. Forgive us for all the pain we have caused you and which we continue to inflict on you." ++Tutu

The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, The Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and recently awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama

·Thanks to Reverend Professor Peter John Gomes
·Thanks to The Public Forum on Homophobia
·Thanks to The American Psychoanalytic Foundation
·Thanks to The Reverend Jerry Maneker
·Thanks to Father Jake, at the right side bar
·Thanks to Phillip Kennedy
·Thanks to Archbishop Desmond Tutu
·Thanks to A Christian Voice For Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights, at the right side bar


Josh Indiana said...

Fine post. I love Desmond's apology. I've always been disappointed that the Chaplain of Harvard Dr. Gomes defines his role more as pastor than prophet. He ought to be one of the most important Gay Christian voices, and yet he never has been.

Bonnie said...

Hi Leonardo--I agree with Josh about ++Tutu and Dr. Gomes and I always love that picture of ++Tutu. Such joy! which is what our love of God should give us.

Lynn said...

"...religion is fundamentally a part of the problem and one can only hope that by acknowledging that, it may well indeed become part of the solution as well."

It may well indeed, if we keep working to make it so!