Jesus arrives as a gay man of today in a modern city with "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision," a controversial series of paintings that are newly available as a book. Lesbian Christian Author Kittredge Cherry: The paintings and the new book that I wrote about them have been attacked as blasphemy by conservative Christians. But we refuse to concede Jesus to those who act like they own the copyright on Christ, then use him as a weapon to dominate others.
The contemporary queer Christ figure is persecuted, killed and rises again in the 24 paintings by New York artist Doug Blanchard. A surprisingly diverse group of friends join the gay Jesus on a journey from suffering to freedom.
Right-wing Christians denounced us as "blasphemers" and condemned our book as an "abomination," "disgusting" and "an outrage to mock Christ in this manner." Facebook canceled ads for the book because it was too "shocking." When the LGBT community protested, the social media company reversed its decision and "resurrected" the ad.
LGBT Christian visions are important now because conservatives are using religion to justify discrimination against queer people. Whenever anyone commits violence against another, Christ is crucified again -- including when LGBT people are attacked or killed because of who they are.
Every group envisions Christ in their own image from their own context, and now there is a gay vision of Jesus, shaped by the political, economic and cultural forces of our time. LGBT people often identify with the hurt and humiliation that Jesus experienced on the cross.
As Easter approaches, Christians around the world remember Christ's Passion -- his suffering in his final days as he was betrayed, arrested and brutally killed. Many LGBT Christians and their allies turn to "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" for inspiration.
Blanchard's gay Way of the Cross shows a contemporary Christ figure who stands up to priests, bankers, politicians, soldiers, and police -- all of whom look eerily similar to the people holding those jobs today. He is jeered by fundamentalists, tortured by Marine lookalikes, killed as news cameras broadcast his pain, and rises again to enjoy homoerotic union with God.
The queer Christ is intended to broaden, not limit, how Christ is perceived. Every image of Jesus is insufficient. It is valuable to have images of the "queer Christ" along with all the others to show that Christ is with all human beings in our full diversity.
Crucifixion is the most common theme in LGBT Christian art. Artists consider it the best way to express the horrors inflicted on queer people, to advocate justice and perhaps to offer the hope of new life.
The queer Christ is encountered in members of the LGBT community who have been martyred through anti-LGBT hate crimes, driven to suicide, killed by AIDS or executed in countries where homosexuality is a still capital crime.
The growing number of queer theologians say that the queer Christ is here to free and empower people who were wounded in Christ's name. Those who were rejected by the church for homosexuality may find that the gay Jesus welcomes and understands them. When believers open to the possibility of a queer Christ, it becomes easier to see the God within the LGBT community...source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kittredge-cherry/test-gay-passion-of-chris_b_6888978.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
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Jesus in Love Blog-youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/JesusInLove/featured
Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision: http://www.passionofchristbook.com/
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