Sexuality’s Shadow, Part 3: Persecution

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. 

The “Two-Spirit Nation” was a recognized and honored voice at the international indigenous protests at Standing Rock. Photo by Phila Hoopes

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?

An anonymous activist protests Methodist policy at 2014 DC Capital Pride. Photo: Tim Evanson, Flickr

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?

Recommended Reading

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.

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2 thoughts on “Sexuality’s Shadow, Part 3: Persecution”

  1. Matthew Fox

    I wanted to add a postscript to this post on behalf of DMMF team member Adam Bucko, who writes:

    Here’s an email I got from from an email I received from a polish journalist. It’s a Google Translate translation…so it’s not very grammatical. But you can understand the meaning. It’s evil what’s happening there.
    It’s terrifying. 400 aggressive men wearing t-shirts that say “God’s Army” attack fourteen-year-old children? One boy has a broken collarbone, broken nails, etc., and a nearby parish posts ‘thank you’ in the official letter on the parish website for the “young patriots.” The police stand by and react only when the hooligans are attacking them, but do nothing to support the peaceful marchers, whose march is legal and should be protected under the constitution. PiS politicians in the first row encourage the football hooligans to attack, and when the media ask why, they lie and say that the police asked for help. In a nearby church, the priest tells parishoners to pray for the police who “broke Christian values” and stopped the aggressive hooligans. The minister of education (EDUCATION) says that it is worth considering whether such equality marches should be allowed to organize in the future.

    And here are just some of the church’s voices:

    “The time has come to fight. We can not go back anymore and we will not. We must defend ourselves in an organized manner “(Archbishop Frankowski)

    The episcopate supported a man who for criminal threats against LGBT people was fired from their job: “Your attitude deserves recognition and imitation.”

    “You can not dialogue with environments that do not want to dialogue, stupefy the saints, blaspheme God and deprivate man” (Archbishop Gądecki, chairman of the polish episcopate.)

    Bishop Edward Frankowski urged Christians to fight: “Going to Poland is the flood of genderism, LGBT, learning the deviation of even pre-schoolers; there is a flood of profanation. ”

    “Today at Jasna Góra, before the throne of Mary, our Mother and Queen, we say” no “to gender-related ideology harmful to family and nation, we say” no “to moral liberalism contained in LGBT community programs, we say” stop “for the sexualization of children, we say “no” to the partnership, we say “no” to pass the wrong law. ”

    “Poland is threatened by its homosexual enemies and Catholicism is today the most persecuted religion”.

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