Gay Affirmative

gay-love2By Joe Perez

Today the war between homosexuality and religion rages on in the churches, mosques, and synagogues. Most conservative or orthodox or traditional religionists reject homosexual acts or the orientation itself as incompatible with ethical and righteous living. And worldwide these are the loudest voices and the most powerful and influential forces in society.

But things are changing surprisingly rapidly. In only a few decades gays and lesbians have made enormous strides towards social acceptability and won key rights and liberties. Governments in many nations recognize gay unions or marriages and attitudes have changed such that the sight of two men or two women kissing or holding hands in public does not arouse approbation.

Spiritual individualists (a.k.a. “nones” or the “spiritual, but not religious” types) tend to be more accepting of gay people because they have thrown off religions which they by and large view negatively. They have insisted upon being spiritually independent which gives them the freedom to choose their own attitude towards homosexuality rather than sheepishly obeying the dictates of church officials or fundamentalist doctrines. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your point-of-view.

But if you ask spiritual individualists for a rationale for their views, they are an incoherent and incohesive chorus. Some will tell you that discrimination against gays is wrong because it just feels uncompassionate or unloving or too judgmental. In other words, they root their disapproval of homophobes on their own individual feelings, whims. notions, and fancies. By and large, they don’t appeal to anything more substantial than their own conscience because they know better possibilities.

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The Bridge of Light Approaches

RAINBOW_PRIDE_PILLARS-SET_OF_2.205153447_stdBy Joe Perez

Back from your holidays? Our U.S. readers are returning from the Thanksgiving holiday, a celebration of national origins and family which centers around a turkey dinner, and people from around the world are heading into the busy winter holiday season. The festivals of light and warmth are coming … and will be bringing you fresh perspectives on bringing your spiritual nature into action in an illumined world.

A helpful tool for drawing the connections between life and love, spirit and soul, is the Bridge of Light day of celebration on January 1, 2014. According to its early founding notes, the holiday was founded for this purpose:

Although the Bridge of Light idea was the fruit of the GSCS, a gathering of over 100 spiritual leaders and luminaries in the international gay and bisexual men’s community, now the event belongs to anyone. All are invited to celebrate a tradition to affirm the full equality of all persons, setting visions for the year ahead, and symbolize their shared hope, unity, and spiritual heritages and principles.

The Bridge of Light tradition is part of the 4th annual World Spirituality Day, an event sponsored by Integrative Spirituality, a not-for-profit omni-denominational spiritual organization based in San Francisco, CA. World Spirituality Day is regarded as “The Earth Day for the Spirit.” Just as Earth Day is celebrated worldwide now, in many different ways, World Spirituality Day allows for a kaleidoscope of worldwide gatherings and events, big and small, year after year. Bridge of Light is one such type of event, celebrated by members of the LGBT community.