Gay Love Is God’s Love

God-sistine-chapelBy Joe Perez

Don’t tell me you don’t believe in God and therefore you don’t need to care about spirituality. Spirituality, as Paul Tillich tells us, is about our ultimate concerns. And everyone has ultimate concerns. Joseph Campbell once said words to the effect that half the world thinks their religious metaphors are literal truths and totally real and the other half things their religious metaphors are literal falsehoods and therefore totally false.

In fact, Campbell’s postmodern view from the mountaintop which allows him to dismiss the errors of the religious and secular alike is its own kind of illusion:  a pretense that the capacity for tolerance and peace and understanding and the sort of high-level abstract thinking about mythology exists is totally real and universal, whereas in fact it exists only as an artifact of complex developmental systems in which the worldviews of the traditional religionists and atheists each play important and valuable roles in themselves, and not merely as false versions to Campbell’s higher consciousness to be deconstructed or condescendingly embraced merely as means to an end.

Premodern, modern, and postmodern views of God each have ways of understanding the value and dignity of Spirit and Gay Love as playing an important role in the Divine, however it is conceived — as a Tradition-based belief system, as a scientifically-based understanding of the general systems of evolution within Nature, or as a postmodern embrace of virtually irreducible diversity and plurality.

There are ways of embracing the essential truth behind the notion that Gay Love is God’s Love whatever your worldview and in a way that respects the integrity of that worldview as offering a genuine platform for enlightened or awakened consciousness. Maybe you will say Gay is a face of God, or maybe you will prefer to say that Homophilic self-immanence is a fundamental drive of all evolving things, or maybe you will say the same essential truth in a different formulation. Whatever the exact phrasing, Gay Love is God’s Love must be the gay liberation movement’s next great mantra.

Photo: Wikimedia

It’s Time To Mold New Grooves In The Vessels Of Consciousness

pottery-handsBy Joe Perez

(Originally posted on Aug. 25, 2013.)

Sometimes great enthusiasm builds up in me for the future of the international Gay Community when I work on this website.

Why? Because the LGBTQ rights revolution which is sweeping Europe and North America is in the midst of molding the destiny of the entire world… and the time may be coming at last for Spirituality to shape The Movement in what has been a cause lacking in the fervor of spirit.

It makes sense when you think about it. Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania, the Middle East: with a few notable exceptions like China and Russia, the rest of the world is much more religious than the much more secularized Europe. The religionists in huge parts of the world are more conservative even than the religionists in the U.S., where I live.

All this means that religion is a huge part of the challenge facing gay and bi men and everyone else seeking to live authentically themselves and love who they choose. And religion is also a source of identity, strength, and hope for many people, gay and bi men definitely included.

Our role must not be to swerve around religion and hope that everybody in the world becomes an atheist overnight in order to justify The Cause. God forbid. The world has seen enough of atheist ideologies which promised liberation and only delivered another tyranny.

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Joe Perez On God’s Gayness

gay-kiss1By Joe Perez

A spiritual teaching from my book Soulfully Gay (2007):

Human nature teaches us about the nature of God. We include gay people and straight people. Gay people love in gay ways and straight people love in straight ways. We can try to express what human nature reveals about God with words, but only poorly. We could say, for instance: God is gay. God is not gay. God is straight. God is not straight. These are fine (but limited) ways of talking about God.

God is like a gay person and God is like a straight person. There is beauty in gay people and in straight people, and God is so beautiful that God’s beauty includes all the beauty of gays and straights. There is beauty in gay ways of loving and in straight ways of loving, and God’s ways of loving are so beautiful that they include all the beauty of gay and straight ways of loving.

God made some men gay, because He made them in His image. God made gay men to love in gay ways, because God loves in gay ways. The beauty of gay men reflects the beauty of God. The beauty of gay ways of loving reflects the beauty of God’s gay ways of loving. When someone fears and hates a gay man, he or she fears and hates God. When someone denigrates, despises, loathes, and harms a gay man, he or she denigrates, despises, loathes, and harms God.

Some people have repressed the truth about God’s gayness, because they have hated and feared God. Some who have repressed the truth about God are straight and others are gay. The truth about God’s gayness has been revealed to those whose eyes are open.

Photo Credit: William Hamon (aka Ewns) via Compfight cc

The Atheist’s Spirituality

atheistBy Joe Perez

“I think that truth should be found by open questioning, which religion inhibits.” “I became aware that religious teachings could not be rationally defended.” “The religious view of the world seems incredible to me.”

These are some of the reasons that members of the Gay and Lesbian Atheists and Humanists give for rejecting religion. According to the GALAH Web site, they are a group of people whose ethics are based on reason rather than ignorance, mythology, and fear.

Approximately six percent of all gays and lesbians are atheists, according to the 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census. Officially, the only belief required of the atheist is atheism, or disbelief in the existence of a deity or supernatural being. Unofficially, many atheists also espouse a wide range of positive, humanistic values.

GALAH, for instance, supports a variety of values beyond atheism. According to the organization’s Web site, they support the separation of church and state, equal rights for gays and lesbians, public education about atheism, and the creation of social environments where freethinkers can meet.

When I learned that six percent of gays are atheists, I was surprised that the number was so low. Perhaps more people would admit to being atheist except they fear social disapproval if they admit to disbelief in God.

Sadly, there are many ignorant people who wrongly associate atheism with moral depravity, Satanism, and devil worship. Atheists therefore frequently face intolerance and discrimination.

Atheists often insist that their beliefs are not a religion but freedom from religion and superstition. However, as I see it, there are actually a wide variety of atheistic perspectives. Sometimes atheism represents a positive, healthy step in the evolution of a person’s consciousness. And sometimes, it may not. That’s when atheism becomes as rigid and inflexible an ideology as the worst of religions.

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Daniel Helminiak: Gay Identity Is A Gateway

gate1Daniel Helminiak’s website summarizes the book Sex and the Sacred: Gay Identity and Spiritual Growth:
Sex and the Sacred: Gay Identity and Spiritual Growth shows how comfort with our sexual nature is essential to spiritual sensitivity. The “gay identity” in the subtitle does not limit the scope of this book. Rather, attention to homosexuality serves as a test case: show how gay sex can be profoundly spiritual and you highlight the spiritual dimension of all sex. Ordained a Catholic priest in Rome, and a theologian, psychotherapist, psychology professor at the University of West Georgia, and the author of the best-selling What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality, Daniel applies to sexuality his lifelong pursuit: an understanding of the human basis of spiritual growth. He relies on an analysis of consciousness—effected by Bernard Lonergan, SJ, “the Thomas Aquinas of the twentieth century”—to highlight a spiritual dimension in the human mind that finds expression through religion and is oriented toward God. According to Daniel, the harmonization of this dimension with the rest of one’s humanity—including sexuality—is the essence of spiritual integration. Matters of religion, ethics, God, and salvation follow as “grace builds on nature.” This book addresses a wide audience. Religious leaders of all denominations, elected officials, educators, counselors, members of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community, non-religious spiritual questers, and anyone interested in spirituality will find this book enlightening and uplifting. Daniel inspires us all to cherish our bodies as gateways to spiritual experience. When specifically addressing the LGBT community, he treats themes relevant to us all—such as sexual diversity, sexual self-acceptance, bonding and coupling, sexual ethics, spiritual seeking, and organized religion.

Read an excerpt from the book’s Preface.