At this special time of year, we think of love,
especially God's love.
As we see in Mel Gibson's magnificent movie, The Passion of the Christ, the Piscean era was two-thousand years of male-dominated brutality, where only children and women were gentle, and they were abused and kept in the shadows by aggressive male tribal warriors. A small band of a few gentle men, way ahead of their time, said that the earth could be heavenly if men were gentle and loving and treated all people as members of one happy family under one Father. Among these gentle men, the Father's most beloved Son of all, was Jesus. He explained that we are all children of God. Many followers of Jesus believe that we are all in God's family of angels, visiting earth temporarily in a dream that is made material through the magic of time. Earth can be just like heaven if we simply love one another, and we can return to heaven if we follow Christ's commandment without reservation. We have free will. We can love others, not just friends but even those who treat us badly, if that's what we choose to do.
We can find many great volumes of writing coming from various cultures, civilizations, and epochs of history to support the conclusion that Love is the greatest of all things, that Love is, in fact, the infallible language and the true word of God, who is Goodness. All of us search to understand the ultimately unknowable God by searching for Goodness. The great prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, explained that Goodness is best sought by applying Wisdom to Love. Buddha explained that Wisdom, or Enlightenment, is best found by looking for the middle path between two extremes. Jesus explained that Love can be found by hoping and striving for the happiness of others and by treating them as if they were members of our own family, just as He did.
Naturally, we shouldn't be surprised to find many books written throughout history that support some ideas that most modern thinkers of civilized cultures now find strange or abhorrent. Even the Bible, a book selectivly collated and edited by males of the Piscean era, many of whom had the questionable interests of the Roman Empire at heart, contains passages promoting ideas which most of us today find wrong-minded, arbitrary, or even downright evil, and generally out of step with the thinking of modern times and modern ideas.
in the Bible, we can find support for human slavery, the death penalty for working on Saturday, the death penalty for cursing at one's parents, rules for how to sell one's daughter into bondage, rules for locking up girls and women during the seven-day monthly period of their menstrual cycle, rules telling how to kill animals inside churches and set them on fire, a rule banning boys' and men's haircuts, a rule banning crop rotation on a farm, the death penalty for a son-in-law and mother-in-law who sleep together, as well as the banning of using two different kinds of thread in the same piece of clothing.
Yes, commandments for doing everything from waging war to murdering gay people to burning "witches" at the stake can be found in the Bible, and for 2000 years have been used by people who have cited the Bible to promote agendas now generally deemed wrong by most civilized cultures.
All the Bible passages cited in the italicized list above can be found in a letter that was written by a listener to Dr. Laura, the conservative radio and TV talk show "celebrity," who has cited the Bible to explain her desire to persecute gays, and those exact chapters and verses can be found in a document circulating the Internet, including at How to Apply the Bible to Daily Life
(which will pop up for you in a different browser).
Naturally, some others of us also like to cite the Bible, selectively, to support viewpoints which the Conservative fundamentalists disagree with, such as the viewpoints that war and the death penalty and witch-burning are antithetical to the Will of the Lord God. We believe societies, their written documents, and their rules are often fallible, often changing, and works in progress, while God's wisdom is eternal and best sought by accepting Jesus Christ's infallible teaching that God is Love. We believe that every individual can and should listen to the Love that is "written" in his or her own heart, to follow one's heart in a way that is true to one's feelings, while at the same time staying respectful of and caring about the feelings of others.
Imagine if radio talk shows and churches were dominated not by backward-thinking fascist conservatives who like to exercise power and support aggression contrary to Christ's teachings (like war and the death penalty), but were populated more by people whose agenda consists of spreading the Good News of Love and Peace throughout the world. A sermon by such people of good will might include the following one, written by yours truly and presented as follows, to be disseminated freely, with or without reference to me or this site, as you see fit.
Dear friends, the Bible reminds us that people have loved one another, just as God has loved us. Love can be between any people; love knows itself. It is never something to be feared, but rather to be cherished. Now that the Age of Aquarius is dawning, there will be no derision for any love, and people will stop labeling themselves as being capable of only specific kinds of love. Labels are for cans, not people. Men can love women. Women can love men. Women can love women. Men can love men. Love is not labeled.
A few years before he died, Allen Ginsberg told me (at a party I threw for him in New York) that everybody was bisexual. Sometimes fear causes people to repress their love. Many "straight" teen males pressure their male friends to repress their love for other guys. Many "gay" male teens likewise pressure their male friends to repress their love for girls. All repression is bad.
The Bible is not as repressed as people may believe in terms of how it portrays love between people of the same sex. There are Ruth and Naomi, and there are David and Jonathan. We don't know exactly what these people did with one another when the candles were blown out, but that is none of our business. What is our business is that their love was proud and publicly proclaimed, not kept under wraps.
In both the First and Second Books of Samuel we see
the extraordinary love of Jonathan for David:
I Sam 18:1
The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as
his own soul.
I Sam 18:3
Jonathan and David made a covenant because he [Jonathan] loved him as his own
We see how Jonathan gave David his most personal apparel:
I Sam 18:4
And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to
David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
There is no doubt about the intensity of this love:
I Sam 19:2
Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David.
I Sam 20:4
Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it
And in case we are wondering how significant this love was, King David spelled
II Sam 1:26
Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
Was their love more than platonic? Well, you decide...
I Sam 20:41
...they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
Tolerance Web Site states that, while the King James Version says
"exceeded," the original Hebrew is actually, "David became large." Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary says that the Hebrew verb in that verse is gadal [H1431], which means to "cause to wax, or to be made large." When you
love somebody as much as David loved Jonathan, you can decide for yourself what "to be made large" means. Maybe the original writer was knowingly using a clever poetic device. Of course, most Sunday school teachers would rather not talk
about this passage, and they either skip over it or say something like "David
cried the most." It's clear that David loved Jonathan, and they hugged, and
kissed, and felt tender loving warmth for one another. And that love was
beautiful because all love is beautiful. Love defines itself. It is the most
powerful force there is because God is Love.
In the New Testament we
learn about God's love from his Son, and here, too, we learn that even the Son
of God had a beloved friend:
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved
[John, the Beloved Disciple].
Jesus made a special point about love. Love is not just permitted; it is
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved
you, that ye also love one another.
Jesus, as he hung on the cross, suffering a horrible death, spoke one last time
to his mother, and one last time to his friend, to bond the two of them
together. Because John was his Beloved, Mary was to become John's mother, too.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he
loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
And saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that
disciple took her unto his own home.
Some people say that Jesus had nothing to say about gay people. Jesus did talk
about men who didn't play traditional male roles, who didn't procreate, and he
said they could be born different, or make themselves different, and that
either way was okay with Him:
For there are some eunuchs which were so born from their mother's womb...and
there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of
heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
And by the way, eunuchs can love, too. Love is great even without sex. Love doesn't mean sex. Sex may be involved in love, but holding somebody close, hugging, cuddling, just feeling that person's heartbeat can be just as thrilling as inserting a personal piece of anatomy into a private orifice. The way love is expressed is not important. Love is not a competition, a show, a drag race, a gymnastics performance. Love is whatever two people feel happy doing together at a particular moment.
Children, the purest angels of all, who haven't had the heaven driven out of them completely, don't worry about performance and being cool. They just want to make each other happy.
Jesus was no great fan of the "grown up." Thus, those who complain that gay
people are not "mature" should remember:
Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus took special pains to remind the so-called do-gooders of his time, who
pretended to be the moral guardians of society, while branding the
"transgressors" with various epithets with which to shame them, that He had
little tolerance for these name-callers:
...but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give
account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be
justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Not only did Jesus have a dim view of outspoken bigots, he had a short list of
sins that could bring doom upon a man. Notice that homosexuality is not among
these sins, while fornication and adultery are.
Fornication is using somebody's body for the sake of your own pleasure, not caring if the other person is happy. In fact, fornicators find pleasure in knowing that the person they are using is a little unhappy, and they often call that person degrading names while they are using the person for pleasure. That is not love. Hoping that the other person is just as happy as you are is love.
Sodom was destroyed for not obeying the Golden Rule. The Sodomites roamed about in packs looking for innocent men and boys to gang rape. When they told Lot (Genesis 19:5) to send out the angels so that they could "know" them, they were acting like a hellish gang asking Lot to turn over his guests so that they could have their way with them. Much of their pleasure was going to be derived in the feeling of power they had over the angels as they looked at their victims, who would have to submit to their gang bang, with terror in their eyes. Gang rape is brutal, and it was much more prevalent thousands of years ago than it is today, thank God.
The Sodomites were not acting out of love. They were doing the work of the devil.
When somebody wants to use somebody else for his pleasure, regardless of the wishes of that other person, then that is fornication, and, basically, rape. Jesus and everybody else warns that using people without regard to their happiness is a crime worthy of damnation.
But when two people love each other, and they both want to achieve the same degree of intimacy, then that is obeying the Golden Rule. It is acting in accordance with the will of the Father, who is Love.
Adultery is abandoning somebody you said you loved so that you can say it to somebody else. Once you love somebody, that person has a bond with you. You must continue to love that person and take care of that person. In Biblical times, women were totally dependent on men, and men could have more than one wife. They could have as many wives as they could love and take care of. Where did that idea go? Capitalist greed creates the idea of nuclear families in which you are tied to a "ball and chain" with no other avenues for love and intimacy. This keeps you enslaved to the company because the fear of getting fired is great. How will you take care of your dependents? But when we all depend on each other, in an Internet-like Web of communication and responsibility, there is no fear. The world is one big extended, happy family now. Once you make a friendship, it is for life. And you can have many friends.
Children can have an infinite variety of adults supporting them through life, too.
I know an Internet savvy six-year-old with a single mom who e-mails his apologies to a large number of adoring adults he can't fit into his playdate calendar. He'd like to go to museums and parks with all of them, but he is quite busy. People don't worry that he has only a single mother to take care of him. He has all of New York City taking care of him. His mother is his cook and secretary, and he teaches her how to surf the Net. Jesus trusted that children and their love would ultimately be the power that would guide our Utopia. Children now have the means necessary to tell us how to act, and since they are the most recent arrivals from Heaven, they have the clearest ideas about right and wrong. Adults, on the other hand, forgetting that they are angels from heaven, slide into a morass of decadence and depravity.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications
, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defileth a
Many gay people fear that they have sinned against their biological family, by
letting them down in some way. Perhaps they have forgotten that Jesus did not
come to earth to preserve the sanctity of biological families.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but
a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the
daughter against her mother...And a man's foes shall they be of his own
Jesus had another opportunity to define what Family meant to Him:
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without,
desiring to speak with thee. But He answered and said unto him that told Him,
Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand
toward his disiples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whoever
shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and
sister, and mother.
Of course, Jesus knew that people who followed his teachings, who were devoted
to one another, rather than competing and warring with one another, would be
reviled, but He told them to hold onto their faith:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all
manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad:
for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which
were before you.
And he was especially mindful of the so-called religious leaders who would
pretend to hold the moral high ground:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly
they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits.
What did Jesus mean by their fruits? Could it be that he was referring to
the taunting and gay-bashing and even worse atrocities visited upon young gay
people in the name of "morality"? To the ones who took it upon themselves to
ostracize the "demons" of society, the Son of God gave a stern warning:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful
works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye
that work iniquity
The organized Church is often the greatest enemy of gay people. It is the
organized Church that lobbies politicians to keep anti-gay laws in place.
Right-wing politicians and Church leaders often point to the time when one
member of the activist group, ACT UP, desecrated the Host (threw a wafer onto
the floor) in the now-famous protest inside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York
City. Many Catholics were outraged. But how quickly they forgot that their own
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, also ACTed UP against the church of His time!
[He] overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold
doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of
prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Jesus sealed his doom with this execration of the powerful church leaders of His
time, denouncing their hypocrisy, even comparing them to snakes:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside
of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of
hypocrisy and iniquity.
Today, the organized Church tells gay kids they are doomed, damned,
disordered, and disgusting. How damaging, how destructive is
that? What form of child abuse is worse than that? What crime is greater than
the crime of stealing the joyful soul of an innocent child? Jesus Christ, the
only son of God, did not mince words with the powerful church leaders who
pretended to be right and just:
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye
escape the damnation of hell?
Do you wonder if Jesus would also have contempt for organized church leaders of
our time, in the twenty-first century? How do you think Jesus would speak to
so-called spiritual leaders who demand that we have public prayer in all of our
social settings? What did the Lamb of God think of public prayer?
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has
shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret
; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
It is clear that Jesus wanted prayers to be in the closet, but did he want gay
people to be there? Did he believe that people's true feelings of love should
be hidden? Of course not! In fact, Jesus's view of the future was that all
secrets would disappear!
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that
shall not be known.
How sad that so many gay boys and girls are afraid to be themselves. They are
afraid of so many things. They are afraid that being gay means being ostracized
Being gay means mourning friends lost to AIDS...
Being gay means being a sissy...
Being gay means suffering discrimination, but listen to how Jesus
replies to every one of those fears!
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are
the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness
: for they shall be filled.
Yes, dear gay friend! These are the tidings of Comfort and Joy that God's son
brings to you. Love is in your heart, and love is the only thing that matters
to God and His son. Believe in your heart. Your heart is your star. Just as the
Star of Bethlehem guided the Wise Men and all of God's beloved people to His
son, your heart will guide your beloved friends to you. Let your heart shine
like that star, so that you may be found, so that you may be loved! Thank God
for giving you that heart, and thank God for sending you His Son, who taught
you to use it! God has blessed you, gay boy and girl. This is the Age of Aquarius. Many people believe that the young people of this time are, collectively, the archangel Michael, cutting through the nonsense of the Piscean era with their sword of freedom and intelligence. Let the word "gay" take on a new meaning--that your love is not afraid. Trust your love. Love everybody the way you want to. You don't have to let anybody repress your love anymore. The repressive chains of society are no match for Michael's mighty sword. The light of Love cuts through repression. Let love guide you. Rejoice this season. Be glad that you can love. Enjoy love. And for Heaven's sake, use protection if you decide to be truly intimate. That way, you show your love and concern not only for each other, but for the whole community. When everybody thinks about the communal good, Utopia becomes more real. Utopia is achieved when love, not guns, calls the shots. When you let love and wisdom walk together, you will never be far from the Father.