Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From one of the two books I've included in my Lenten practice this year is 'Taking a Chance on God' by John J. McNeill; a passage which immeadiately brought to mind two treasured siblings in Christ- M.W. & P.S., both of them living blessings and extra-oridinary Episcopal priests:

For Jesus, all human suffering was contrary to God’s plan. God and suffering are diametrically opposed, and God always seeks to remove it. The only redemptive suffering is that which is voluntarily undertake or accepted in the effort to liberate others. Any suffering that we impose on each other is anathema. Evidently, Jesus was little interested whether the suffering was the consequence of sin or was innocent. Neither piety nor its lack set any limits to his concern. In his ministry, Jesus saw the suffering of others as his task, his mission in life was to do all he could to bring relief.

This understanding gives us a norm, a litmus test, to judge whether aspects of Christian practice are in conformity with the spirit of Christ. Whatever aspects of Christian practice contradict the demands of of a personal and collective human liberation must be rejected in the name of Christian faith itself. As followers of Jesus, we are obliged by our faith to be active in shaping justice and peace in our society.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our Tribe and some notable allies- voices from the past

Slowly....make that very slowly working my way through all that is involved with transitioning from one main computer to another, I came across a collection of quotes I'd transcribed from The Advocate 25th Anniversary edition back in 1992.

Some incredible folks- many of them gone too soon and too long. Some of them amusing quite, others so voiced with the truth of our journey, at least one of them poignantly tragic for the implicit internalized homophobia; I'll probably save the original file, but these are just too good not to be shared.

"We ask that the government stop its blatant support of sheer, naked prejudice."
James Bradford, a gay rights activist at a San Francisco protest rally, 1968

"They used to say if men had sex together `What will happen to the baby population?' Well, take a look There's plenty of come to go around, thank you very much."
Gore Vidal, 1970

"I've seen too many men who are unfulfilled human beings because they have a distorted sense of what it means to be a man. True fulfillment as a human being comes when each of us is able to recognize the masculine and feminine within ourselves... That's one of the enormous contributions the strong gay movement can make."
Jane Fonda, 1976

"I think macho is the core of the American problem, which is why the gay movement is so important. America must accept that macho is not healthy."
60's radical Jerry Rubin, 1976

"I met a man in a bar in Detroit, Mich. He was in his 70's and he didn't know who I was. And then somebody came up to him and said, "Hey do you know who you were talking to? Matlovich." And this very old man just started crying right in front of me. And it really humbled me to see this old man, possibly old enough to be my grandfather, cry just because he had met me."
Sgt. Leonard P Matlovitch, discharged from the Air Force after disclosing his homosexuality, 1978

"The gay movement is the avant garde of the new quest for self-awareness, and if it should perish, we, the heterosexual `inner émigrés' won't have flanks anymore.
Jersy Kosinski 1978

"It's appalling that there have to be movements organized to give human beings the right to be human beings in the eyes of other human beings."
Glenda Jackson 1979

"You can't start talking to people about Leonardo da Vinci. Most of today's people don't know who he is."
Lena Horne on the challenge of educating the public about gays, 1979

"I pounded on my car and screamed, They misspelled it! They misspelled it! For some reason that offended me more than anything else."
Openly lesbian Massachusetts representative Elaine Noble after finding LESBEAN scrawled on her vehicle, 1984

I think we should be tying up whole cities. We should cripple this country. We should throw bombs. We should set fires. We should stop traffic. We should surround the white house."
Activist and playwright Larry Kramer, responding to the AIDS crisis, 1987

"My entire life has been one long effeminate gesture. Without it, I must admit I would have survived my adolescence in comparative safety, but it is also true that without it I would have lived my declining years in total obscurity."
Quentin Crisp, 1989

"A lot of people in England still find it difficult to believe lesbians do anything. Except perhaps knit together."
Dame Maggie Smith, 1990

"I don't take a stand on anything."
Rock Hudson, when asked what he thought about Anita Bryant, 1977

"There hasn't been a studio head I've worked for who hasn't come out and asked me if I'm a lesbian. I say "Normally this would be none of your business. However I will answer you... It's possible. I'm not practicing at the moment, but I will not say it will never happen or hasn't happened in my past."
Whoopi Goldberg

"By all reasonable accounts, we're going to lose a third of the entire Third World [to AIDS], and that's unacceptable. How could this not be the most important thing in the world right now?"
Folksinger Arlo Guthrie, 1992

"Until being a lesbian is as honorable an alternative as any other, any of us can be stopped by [ lesbian baiting]. It hurts hertro women as well. As long as you can be stopped by this accusation, it's paralyzing."
Gloria Steinman, 1992