Feb 24, 2016

The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision - at the Advocate

The leading US gay magazine, the Advocate, is running an article on Kittredge Cherry and Doug Blanchard's striking book, The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision, which I've featured before here at Gay Mystic. If you wish to join in the discussion, please follow the link. Kittredge and Doug could use some support. While there have been many shares, warmly appreciated, I'm sure, the comments sections (of the magazine and Facebook) are - as usual - littered with the detritus of some truly hateful, disturbed people.

In response to one commentator on Facebook, taunting and defying Kit and Doug to depict Mohammed as a gay man (and thereby entirely missing the point), I offered these reflections.

Actually, given the rise of anti Muslim feeling in the US and elsewhere in Western culture, it would be just as appropriate to depict Mohammad as a 'crucified figure', despised and rejected for his ethnicity and his faith. Jesus identified particularly with the outcast and the despised, extending to them God's love and acceptance, and, hanging from his tree of torture, he well represents all the outcasts of this earth . For centuries in Western Europe, ironically, the most despised figure in the culture was 'the Jew,' despised and rejected by the very Western institution bearing witness to the life of Jeshu, or Jesus of Nazareth. In our own day, the gay woman or man together with the Muslim, have now been put - unjustly - on the cross of rejection and persecution in much of the world (most heinously in parts of Africa for gays). Why is it so difficult for some people to see the obvious analogy? Kittredge Cherry and Doug Blanchard's book is not mocking the Christian faith, it is witnessing to its deepest, most authentic core. Only someone who does not understand what Jesus really represents would find offense in this striking work of art. This suggests nothing about Jesus' own personal sexuality, it simply points to the ultimate significance of his living witness, still among us, still identified with those we most despise and reject, still offering comfort and redemption, still shocking us into recognizing how easily we single out vulnerable minority groups as the victims of our own vitriol and hate.