02-08-2006, 01:24 AM
due to some of the recent bad news w/ the hate crime in Massachussets & etc., here is an article that I wrote & published in a UCC newsletter when I felt God's presence telling me to have faith & be strong. It is attached.
Comments, of course, are welcome.
BTW, my first book review has been submitted & may (fingers crossed) get published in April (for Waves magazine of the UCC LGBT Coalition).
May God Bless Each & Every One of You
You are all wonderful, special, and gifts of God
We are the Angels of America - Don't give up!
"We will be citizens. The time has come" - Angels In America.
02-08-2006, 01:48 PM
I really like the analogy, Sol. Joseph is a favorite story of mine, and my daughter's, because of the idea of the coat of many (rainbow) colors, but also about anger and betrayal and, ultimately, salvation and forgiveness. One of the most beautiful parts of the story for me, is when Joseph struggles with his own capacity to forgive his brothers for their wrongdoing, and yet, does forgive them. That is so beautiful to me, because there were so many reasons he could have kept his forgiveness from them. I love our uniqueness and pride and the way we shine, especially when we band together. And, to have our faiths to sustain us and guide us, and for the God we know to be to continue to love us in the way that we know Jesus would have loved and embraced us, it is a tremendous feeling. It is so nice to read a story from the Bible being used to advocate for us instead of against us. Bravo! Peace, Vanessa
02-08-2006, 01:57 PM
This was REALLY good!
I want to dig into that story again.
02-08-2006, 05:35 PM
Thank you all! ((Big Hugs))
I am blessed w/ friends like y'all online & by God. Indeed, salvation & delieverance is possible, but we have to get through it first.
02-12-2006, 01:03 PM
Nice. I just got around to reading your piece, SolInvictus. I liked the paragraph on Joseph being falsely accused as a call to remember the truth when we hear the tired old accusations thrown at GLBT people.
02-12-2006, 03:15 PM
Glad you liked it Jamie. Yeah, its amazing how the story of Joseph parrallels with our real life struggles. I also wrote a similar article describing the parrallels w/ the Exodus, titled Let My People Go. I can post it if anyone wants to read it.
02-12-2006, 07:21 PM
In case anyone was unable to view the document, here it is:
The Coat of Rainbow Colors
“Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits… and Joseph’s master put him into a prison… Thus says your son, Joseph, God has made you Lord of all Egypt” - Genesis 37, 39, & 45:9.
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his children, because of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors” - Genesis 37:3 (Traditional Reading).
Being a Christian and gay in America or any other country can be a struggle. Homophobic people have used the Bible as a template for their anger and fear of those who are different from the majority of the population. The story of Joseph provides a parallel and metaphor for those who receive unjust persecution and suffering. Thus, the title of the coat of rainbow colors is a metaphor representing the inner and outer struggles of gay and lesbian Christians (or of any belief system).
Feeling different and being gay in an extreme conservative or homophobic environment can create feelings of self-hatred and abandonment. People and family members who do not understand may ostracize individuals based on the interpretation that homosexuality and bisexuality is a sexually deviant behavior. However, the facts state the opposite in truth: sexual orientation is not a choice or a behavior. It is a normal biological variation among all species as stated and observed by respected national and world health and scientific communities.
Joseph, the favored son of Israel, was given a coat of many colors by his father. Fabrics with such colors would have been expensive, and a modern example may be a leather or cashmere coat. His brothers became jealous of their younger brother, and intended to get revenge upon him. As a result, Joseph was thrown in a dark, damp, and isolated pit. The pit greatly illustrates the feeling on the “closet” or inner homophobia within the individual. Many gay and lesbian children, based on the belief that are “sinful” and “unnatural,” yet unable to change their orientation despite all efforts, may punish themselves through mortification, depression, and sometimes suicide. Sexual orientation and not a choice and cannot be changed. The Religious Right have often used propaganda to support their claims as they are unable to truly prove that they are wrong in so-called “ex-gay” programs. In truth, these groups consider celibacy of the individual to be a success, and follow-up studies have not been shown any evidence of any conversions.
Later, as Joseph is now a slave in Egypt, is admired by master’s wife. She wishes to seduce him into her bed, but when he refuses, she cries accusations of rape, and he is thrown in the pharaoh’s prison.
Similarly, members of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals) are sometimes falsely accused of being pedophiles, perverse, non-religious, immoral, and social/sexual deviants. Of course, studies have proven the majority of pedophiles are heterosexual, LGBT people are just as religious as others, form life-long partnerships with one another, and are normal, loving individuals positively contributing to society. Such individuals in the past included Leonardo Da Vinci, Herbert Melville, Alexander the Great, Walt Whitman, Schubert, Oscar Wilde, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sappho, Amy Lowell, and Virginia Woolf. These people were all gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender individuals.
As a result of unjust persecution, feelings of being “dirty,” an outcast, discrimination, called offensive names, harassed at work, stereotyped, and viewed as promiscuous do occur. Like Joseph being in the prison, escape may feel unlikely and a great fear of the future or unknown results. However, when such thoughts and feelings occur, do not give up. Pray and work hard until your delivered or victorious in the struggle. While the battle may not be over, victory in the war is assured. God loves you just as you are; LGBT people are not a disease or social plague, but normal, functioning individuals in society. If society promotes hate and intolerance, good cannot result of it. Jesus commanded to “love your neighbor (and enemy) as yourself” and to “do unto others as yourself.” Society’s oppression leads to suffering on the mental, spiritual, and physical levels.
While Joseph suffered in the pit and the prison, it was not for nothing. For God delivered him into Egypt to “prepare the way” for Israel’s salvation from famine as he was made a governor due to his prophetic dreams told to the pharaoh. Likewise, to quote the great Martin Luther King Jr., “continue to work that unjust suffering is redemptive.”
Despite all that he went through, Joseph remained true to himself. His suffering brought redemption to himself and his people. His coat of may colors, thus represents, celebration of diversity, uniqueness, and blessed by God. Therefore, everyone in the LGBT community, celebrate your individuality, diversity, pride, freedom from lies, and enjoying life’s journey. God loves you.
White, Mel, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America, Plume (New York: 1995).
Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, Holy Bible, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI:1989).
Joshua J. Spencer
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