Saturday, 11 September 2010
God is love. And, love is universal. I truly view the bible as a mere book that is wholly irrelevant to God. I view the human inventions of every religion and denomination as holy distractions from true spirituality. I find sexuality, race, gender, and class to be equally meaningless to the singular global spirit that all humans refer, with diverse monikers, as God.
I study all religions as I do any other subject. Learning is an incessant passion of my life. I have read many religious tomes by biblical scholars. There is none better than “Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians & Gays in Black Churches” by stunningly handsome theological scholar, professor, and Episcopal priest Dr. Horace L. Griffin.
I adore Dave Chappelle’s political humor. One of my favorite Chappelle skits stars a blind black male who is unaware that he is black and is a zealous member of the Ku Klux Klan. He spews racist venom with a rabid intensity that belies his ebony skin and nappy hair…
I recall this tragically comical fictional character every time I am forced to attend a black church (only on very rare occasions of funerals and holidays). The thought of this hateful fool haunts me as I suddenly witness the sobering real life atrocity of black gay masochists paying tithes and singing in choirs for gaybashing black preachers…
When my spirit is assaulted by such humorless antics, I heal by reading a definitively scholarly work on the shameless evil that black churches have practiced historically, and brazenly continue to encourage eternally. “Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians & Gays in Black Churches.” details exactly what it means to endure religious evil by being a black gay Christian in America.
This brilliant book documents the ancient and ongoing existence of homosexuality in Africa. It illustrates the history and reverence of homosexuals in many African tribes. It dispels the racist myth that homosexuality is a European disease. In fact, it clearly proves that European homophobia infected Africa and African homosexuals. That rabidly virulent infection continues to plague Africans across in religious “sanctuaries” across the Diaspora.
“Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians & Gays in Black Churches” is a stellar mix of theology and wisdom, religion and sanity, history and hope, unconditional love and uncompromising logic. This classic book simultaneously reads like an encyclopedia, a primer, and a righteous weapon of spiritual self defense. It is a triple threat for the trilogy of terror that black lesbians and gays endure in a world that hates blacks, women (including men who are regarded as womanly), and gays.
In this impressive book, Dr. Griffin masterfully examines the lives and legends of many African-American icons. He details the clandestine homosexual lives of Dr. George Washington Carver, and James Cleveland. He celebrates the renowned openly gay lives of Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin. He reviews the curious and suspect denials regarding the sex lives of Max Robinson and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Dr. Griffin heralds the inspirational biographies of many homosexual Christian warriors. They are lesbian and gay icons who defiantly serve true Christianity with divine and rebel missions, just as Jesus did. They include sheros like Dr. Barbara Jordan, Bishop Yvette Flunder, and Reverend Dr. Irene Monroe.
“Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians & Gays in Black Churches” also wonderfully calls several ruthless and legendary black gaybashers to task, like the notoriously adulterous heterosexual whore Adam Clayton Powell, the poster boy of the Republikkkan neocon clergy T. D. Jakes, and the bastard baby making, wafflingly inclusive humanitarian Jesse Jackson Sr. It exposes the transgressions of droves of other sinful black pastors, like the opulent Fred Price, the tragically twisted Donnie McClurkin, and many others.
Contrary to Republikkkan religious rhetoric, hatred and lies are not godly values. This book meticulously exposes the hypocrisy of such sinful homohatred. It exposes how gaybashers defy God’s commandment to love everyone, as they encourage others to love everyone except gays. They ban gay marriage as they ignore gay love. They use birth control religiously, as they falsely claim sex is exclusively for procreation. They demand that gays pretend to be reformed heterosexuals, as they condemn the “Down Low” homosexuals who destroy families and break heterosexual hearts daily. They claim the doors of black churches are perpetually open to all entrants, even as they slander our names and slay our spirits upon entry.
I needed this book decades ago. I needed it as a secretly and suicidally depressed and closeted lesbian teenager. I needed it as I hid in a sexual closet until I was 21 years old. I knew I was a lesbian when I was six years old. I just had no words to express it. This book speaks volumes for all of God’s children who are gay. It heals the agony and dejection we all receive in the name of a blasphemed God.
“Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians & Gays in Black Churches” is the perfect holiday gift for every sane black person you know. Buy it for the lesbian and gay teenagers that you love, who are enduring more pain and confusion than you can ever imagine. This book encompasses all of the history and healing that any Black homosexual needs to survive.
I am vehemently weary with the pseudochristian hypocrisies that this book so expertly nullifies. I am a passionate Leo. The lioness within me is often fatally impatient. At 44, as I become tamed by the grace of aging, I often resist bloodily tearing my gaybashing enemies to shreds. This book soothes my savage warrior soul. Dr. Griffin skillfully slays our shared enemies so much less bloodily than I…
This book is noble and intellectual slaughter upon those who have poisoned the black church. It is penned with the precision of a surgeon. It shines with the passion of the sun. It sheds light upon the homohating cancer that erodes most Black churches today.
Love is the ultimate godly value. This book is indeed a divine and superb work of idyllic and authentic Christian love for the masses. It inspires us to love our homosexual selves, just as the God who creates us in every living species does.
Here are a few excerpts from “Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians & Gays in Black Churches”:
“There is a striking irony that African American Christians are so uncritical of Paul’s writing about homosexual activity but have maintained a critical attitude or simple rejection of Paul’s instructions on slavery.
African American Christians, like other Christians, ‘treat so literally the references to homosexual practice in the Bible, while at the same time they interpret biblical texts on almost every other topic with considerable flexibility and non-literalness.’
…what is perceived as natural does indeed change over time
‘love the sinner, hate the sin’. Many find this perspective illogical. They argue if same-sex attraction or expression is what makes the person gay, then what is being loved? With sexuality being an inextricable part of one’s being, the popular saying has as much success in reality as loving brown-eyed people while hating brown eyes.
I regard sin as those behaviors that violate, destroy, and abuse our fellow human beings and our relationships with them. In this respect, homosexuality does not belong in the category of sin any more than heterosexuality does.
Much of black heterosexuals’ antihomosexual sentiment exists as a means of countering the perception of black sexuality being perverse…
…we know that lesbians and gays can and do reflect the same Christian moral character found in heterosexuals.
…most gay men and lesbians were not raped and are not rapists.
No reputable scientific study concludes that homosexuality is a choice and can be overcome.
…black Christians will recognize that the mire of homosexuality debates threaten our measure to be faithful Christians for the poor, the infirm, the imprisoned, and those suffering from violence.”