Jesus in Love

Posted by Censor Librorum on Apr 27, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

A new novel about the sexual and spiritual awakening of a queer Christ is sparking controversy.

“Christ taught love, but some of his followers preach hate,” says Kittredge Cherry, the Christian lesbian author of “Jesus in Love.” Right-wing Christian bloggers labeled Cherry “a hyper-homosexual revisionist” and denounced her book as “garbage,” “insanity,” and “a blatant act of defamation and blasphemy.” Her website got many emails with warnings such as, “Gays are not wanted in the kingdom of Christ! They are cast into the lake of fire.”

This kind of religious bigotry is exactly why “Jesus in Love” is needed, Cherry noted. “Christian rhetoric is used to justify hate and discrimination against LGBT people, but Jesus loved everyone, including sexual outcasts,” she says.

Cherry was at the forefront of the sexuality debate at the National Council of Churches (USA) and the World Council of Churches as National Ecumenical Officer for Metropolitan Community Churches. She wrote “Jesus in Love” after Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forced her into a more contemplative life.

“Jesus in Love” closely follows the Biblical text and standard Christian doctrine whle speculating on Christ’s erotic inner life. It presents a gender-blind Jesus who blends masculinity and femininity as he does humanity and divinity. Enchanted by people’s souls, he barely notices their gender and ends up falling in love with John, Mary Magdalene and the multi-gendered Holy Spirit as he teaches and heals people in first century Palestine.

“Every community presents Jesus in their own way,” Cherry explains. “There’s black Jesus, Asian Jesus–and now queer Jesus to heal the damage being done by homophobes in Christ’s name.”

Well, certainly her take on Jesus is a lot different than the one I was taught in Sister Mary So-and-Sos classroom many years ago! The only popular speculation I can remember on Christ’s sex life BDVC (Before the Da Vinci Code) and this book was Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” film 20 years ago. Based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzaki, it was panned by the critics; CCL members who saw it with me hated it; and it was picketed by the Blue Army of Mary. I loved it.

I can see how conservative and traditionalist Catholics go wild at the thought of a bi-sexual Jesus sleeping around. Of course, in light of the recent pastoral on homosexuals that we’re fine if we’re celibate, what the reaction would be to a celibate, gay Jesus? Everything still fine?

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