We will soon be moving on from our discussion of sexuality as a natural ecstasy and a God experience. But we cannot ignore the political side to the topic such as the persecution of homosexuals that goes on and on in so many parts of the world and so often in the name of God. Consider for example the recent attack on a Pride parade in Poland (see: Polish towns advocate ‘LGBT-free’ zones while the ruling party cheers them on).
The Bishop of Bialystok wrote a pastoral letter which was read in all the churches of his diocese which the media summarized this way: It condemns “the city’s upcoming LGBT parade as an ‘initiative alien to our soil’ that ‘we cannot allow’ as it encourages ‘discrimination, mockery of our faith and the debauchery of children’.” (No word about homosexual children and what they suffer from neglect and bad messaging.)
Apparently the poor Bishop knows nothing of what science has taught us about how gays and lesbians make up about 8-10% of any given human population. And how 464 other species have been studied that also have gay and lesbian populations.
In fact, indigenous peoples the world over recognize the great diversity in sexuality among human beings and I was instructed decades ago by Sister Jose Hobday, a Seneca woman and Franciscan sister, that “it is well known that among the great chiefs in the United States their spiritual teachers were homosexual for we know that homosexuals bring a deeper spirituality to a community.” This means then that a society that is homophobic is shooting itself in the foot, spiritually speaking. How smart is that?
Homosexuality divides the Methodist church and the Anglican church as well today. It has become the Galileo case of our day for many churches once again are hiding their heads in the sand and ignoring science which has spoken to this issue since the 1970’s.
Bad religious teaching about homosexuality and bad practice as described in the recent book In the Closet of the Vatican is poisoning gay and lesbian people with self-doubt and even self-destruction. Suicides among young gay people outpace all other suicides. “A mistake about creation results in a mistake about God” warned St Thomas Aquinas seven centuries ago. The selling of a homophobic deity kills souls and arouses hatred and violence such as we can see in Poland today.
In my essay, “The Spiritual Journey of the Homosexual…and Just About Everyone Else,” in Wrestling with the Prophets, I laid out the spiritual journey that a homosexual takes and why it is so deep and challenging and, if successful, results in many gifts that the gay and lesbian person brings to the greater community.
See Matthew Fox, “The Spiritual Journey of the Homosexual…and Just About Everyone Else,” in Wrestling With the Prophets, pp. 243-265.
Queries for Contemplation
What is your experience with homosexual persons? Do you see a depth of spirituality there that instructs you? If you are gay or lesbian, can you find that depth also?
In one of his foundational works, Fox engages in substantive discussions with some of history’s greatest mystics, philosophers, and prophets on today’s social and spiritual issues on such challenging topics as Eco-Spirituality, AIDS, homosexuality, spiritual feminism, environmental revolution, Native American spirituality, Christian mysticism, Art and Spirituality, Art as Meditation, Interspirituality, and more.