Church's Code Keeps Jesus on the
For many of us who have always cast a
suspicious eye on why biblical scholars, theologians,
and ministers do not have a clue as to who the
historical Jesus was, Dan Brown's bestseller and now
blockbuster movie, The Da Vinci Code, sheds an
illuminating light onto the hysteria that maintains the
And the mystery is that there has
always been an open secret about Jesus' sexuality that
not only attacks the pillars of Christianity, but also
profoundly plays into the oppression that women as well
as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people
face today in both church and society.
And that open secret about Jesus'
sexuality - suggesting that he was gay or married, not
that the two are mutually exclusive if Jesus was on the
"down low" - point to the cultural war issues we are
wrestling with today, namely the institution of
marriage, women in the church, and gay clergy.
With suppressed information deriving
from Gnostic gospels and apocryphal texts finally
emerging from out of the closet, ecclesiastical
authorities wrestle to keep the millennia-long lid on
tight about the historical Jesus.
However, the debate about Jesus'
sexuality takes him from his mother's womb to his tomb.
The Christian depiction of Jesus as that of a life-long
virgin who had no sexual desire and who never engaged in
sexual intercourse raises anyone's suspicion, because by
today's sexual standards, Jesus' homosocial environment
of 12 men suggests, according to the law of averages,
that at least one out of the bunch was gay.
And given the nature of compulsory
heterosexuality playing in Jewish marital laws during
Jesus' time, Jesus might have been forced to be on the
Encrypted in Da Vinci's 1498 painting
"The Last Supper" is a spiritual and sensual narrative
about both the sacred feminine and homoeroticism found
in religious life.
And while many Christian
fundamentalists and evangelicals find Da Vinci's
sensuous painting blasphemous, Da Vinci's gay male
homoerotic subtext pries open the door to the alluring
quality about the Catholic Church that gay men find both
rabidly homophobic and ravenously homoerotic.
When asked in 2002 during the
Catholic Church sex scandal why so many gay men are
attracted to religious life and the priesthood, Mark D.
Jordan, professor in the religion department at Emory
University and author of The Silence of Sodom:
Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism, told The
Homoeroticism is written
into the Catholic imagination and its
institutions. Many gay believers feel a
strong calling to the priesthood or
religious life. The call doesn't seem to
deny same-sex desires; it seems instead to
complete them. It is a call to act out your
manhood against social expectations, outside
heterosexual marriage and in the company of
other unmarried men.
They are promised an
exchange of their "disordered" identity as
outsiders for a respected and powerful
identity as an insider. They want to remain
in the beautiful, sexually ambiguous space
of liturgy. They are drawn to public
celebration of suffering that redeems [and]
they want to live in as gay a world as the
Catholic Church offers.
And let's not forget the theological
significance and homoerotic overtones in ritual kissing
that was a vital part of worship during the early
centuries of the Christian Church, as passing the peace
with a hug and/or handshake is a vital part of worship
in today's Christian churches.
Kissing on the lips was a way of
binding a community together and it always followed the
communal prayer, the Eucharist, or rites of baptism and
ordination. Kissing on the lips was seen as transferring
a portion of one's spirit to another, sharing in the
collective blessing of the Holy Spirit, and it was only
permitted among those of the same gender.
While homophobia in today's Christian
churches is antithetical to the early Church, so too is
the denigration of the sacred feminine.
It is unlikely, given Jewish marital
customs, that Jesus was not married, and he probably was
assigned a wife long before he became an itinerant
preacher and met male and female disciples on the road.
Jesus is rumored to have sired a
child. And Jesus' baby's mother, Mary Magdalene, was a
woman of ill repute, according to biblical gospels.
However, who Jesus had sex with while away from home, if
not his wife, is the hysteria that prohibits us from
ever knowing the historical Jesus.
Whether Jesus had sex with males
and/or females, he tapped into the forbidden zone - his
sacred feminine. The sacred feminine is not only the
life force tied to women's ability to produce new life,
but is also the power of the erotic that
African-American lesbian poet Audre Lorde depicted as "a
source within each of us that lies in a deeply female
and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our
unexpressed or unrecognized feeling."
Our sexualities are the expressions
of who we are with and in our bodies. They are a
language and a means to communicate our spiritual need
for intimate communion - both human and divine. They are
our self-understanding through which we experience the
However, the hysteria that surrounds
Jesus' sexuality forces us all to see the walls of
partition erected in our society, in our churches, and
in our families that prohibit us from living freely in
our bodies and force some of us on the "down low."
And these walls not only contribute to the false
socialization of who we are as male and female, but
these walls also contribute to the false
spiritualization of who we are as the body of Christ.
posted 22 June 2006
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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a
collection of fourteen essays by scholars and
creative writers from Africa and the Americas.
Called one of two significant critical works on
Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late
1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of
Carter G. Woodson and
Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as
well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations
were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early
essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish
medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an
historical context for understanding 20th-century
creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone
writers, such as Cuban
Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist,
Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the
significance of Negritude in Latin America. This
collaborative text set the tone for later
conferences in which writers and scholars worked
together to promote, disseminate, and critique the
literature of Spanish-speaking people of African
descent. . . .
Cited by a
literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the
field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which
most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."
* * *
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in
By Melissa V.
According to the
author, this society has historically exerted
considerable pressure on black females to fit into one
of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the
Matriarch or the Jezebel. The selfless
Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to
white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of
those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the
relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable
temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as
an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the
characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television
shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.
points out how the propagation of these harmful myths
have served the mainstream culture well. For instance,
the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for
black females to feel a maternal instinct towards
As for the source
of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their
own bodies during slavery given that they were being
auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless,
it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate
the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
26 December 2011