Volume 14, Issue 5: Original Blessing

Cover Stories:

The Good News of Original Blessing By: Rev. Candace Chellew Changing our focus to an “original blessing” or an “original goodness” or “original wisdom” frees us to celebrate our not just the creation around us, but the creation of our selves, the creation of our bodies, and, for our community especially, the creation of our sexuality.

“It’s All About You!” By: Lori Heine The Church must come to terms with the fact that if God is Who Jesus says “He” is, then its vicious obsession with punishing homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders must end. It is utterly untenable.

Original Blessing: Creation and Createdness By: Steve Pearson By meditating on the fact that God created us, we realize how little we truly have to hold onto besides God.

In God’s Image and Homosexual By: Rev. Suzie Chamness Examination of the story in Genesis shows God creating Adam. This one person, it turns out, is divided into two by God, one male, one female. They are each part of a single creation. Their sex differentiates them, but there is no difference in status.

Consider the Source By: John H. Campbell With a sincere belief and knowing that a Loving God is the Source of all of the good things we know, it is difficult to maintain old, harmful and negative beliefs which no longer serve us but instead restrain us from experiencing the life I feel we were meant to have, one filled with abundant joy and a sense of oneness with not only God but all of Creation.

Features:

Jesus Loves You. Here’s a Condom By: Steve Schmidt Would Jesus be handing out condoms at the Oklahoma Gay Rodeo Association? According to my pastor, of course he would.

The Space Between Us Is In-between Space

By: Rev. Cody J. Sanders Bisexual people live in-between the world of gays and lesbians and the world of their heterosexual peers. It is an exciting and unique space, yet quite often an uncomfortable space filled with suspicion and misunderstanding.

Sexuality

By: Martin E. Marty “What if” the matter were approached more through conversation and less through argument?

Sex is Ruining Marriage By: Bob Minor Marriage can’t bear the weight of our culture’s expectations for sex today. Sex as defined in America is ruining marriages.

Fundamentalism and Homophobia By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker It seems to me that the roots of homophobia are seated deep within a fundamentalist mind-set, be it “religious” or not, that takes its moral hegemony and hetero-normativity for granted.

Jesus Was Gay? By: The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson I am ready to agree that Jesus was gay.

President Obama on Uganda ‘Kill Gays’ Bill: “Odious” The top two people in the United States government slammed the Ugandan “Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009” at The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast on February 4 – and President Barack Obama described the Bill as “odious”.

Our Obligation to LGBT Ugandans By: Rev. Patricia Ackerman The LGBT community in Uganda is part of a global minority, a family, a tribe. When one part of the community is under threat of state and extra-judicial violence as we witnessed here in Uganda, the global LGBT community is called to act.

Africa Screams By: Don Charles The problem will only be solved when Bible bigotry is forcefully attacked; when African churches start valueing the lives and loves of Gay men; when African preachers start condemning mob violence instead of encouraging it; when religious hatemongers like Rick Warren, Martin Ssempa and Laurence Chai are exposed as the false prophets that they are and dealt with accordingly.

Biblical Literalism By: Martin E. Marty While beauty queens usually merit being overlooked as oracles, Miss Ashley, now heaped on by “the liberal elites,” deserves credit for her integrity and consistency.

Victory By: Robert Hanchett Having faith in Jesus means having faith in the way that he showed us how to live a victorious life.

Barriers to Authentic Sexuality By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker Sexually intact and emotionally healthy people really don’t care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes!

The Early Church and Gays By: David W. T. Brattston Compared to twentieth-first-century believers, early Christians wrote surprisingly little about homosexuality.

Letters to the Editor

From the Pulpit:

Once Upon a Time … By: Rev. Candace Chellew “Once upon a time …” are words that beckon to us and invite us to step into a new world of possibilities, a new world of creativity, a new world of hope and joy.

“Beginner’s Mind” By: Rev. Candace Chellew When we allow ourselves to get into the “beginner’s mind” we learn to say, “I don’t know,” and we say it a lot. Those are three words we don’t like to say – because we think if we say we don’t know something, we’ll look stupid or be thought of as stupid.

Silly Love Songs By: Rev. Candace Chellew Love demands a high price from us, asking us to open our minds and hearts and not turn away from those in this world who are desperate to hear a few silly love songs. Love is persistent – it calls and calls, and waits for our answer. Will we be true? Are we willing to sing silly love songs in this world?

Not Going it Alone By: Rev. Candace Chellew What would happen if you gave up any idea of going it alone and making sure that for the next 40 days you found new ways to be in community with those around you – whether they are friends, co-workers, strangers, or even enemies?

Holy Humor:

Lo-Cal Church

Health Care Workers in Heaven