part 4: the gay messiah
This blog post is the fourth section of a seven part essay called “Finding the Queer Christ in Mormonism.” I’ll be posting a new section of this essay every Monday for the next four Mondays until the entire essay is published.
(You can read the first section of this essay here, the second here, and the third here).
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it…That which is wrong under one circumstance may be, and often is, right under another.”
“Radical love, I contend, is a love so extreme that it dissolves our existing boundaries…Jesus Christ, has dissolved the boundaries between death and life, time and eternity, and the human and the divine. Similarly, radical love is at the heart of queer experience because lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people dissolve our society’s traditional boundaries.”
–Rev Patrick Cheng, Queer Theologian
“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
Many have tried to argue that Jesus was homosexual, either with John, the disciple he most loved who would be asked to call Mary “mother,” with Lazarus, the man Jesus wept for, rose from the dead, and lived with for some time, with the young naked man in Mark following Jesus as he was taken to the high priests to be condemned, or even with Judas.
We are of course unsure of whether Jesus had sexual relationships with anybody. But what is clear in the Bible is that there were people of both genders that He loved deeply.
I don’t know if he taught us of homosexuality, but he definitely taught us of homophilia, sexual or not.
“To understand same-gender attraction,” explained one of my gay friends late one night, “Is to see another man the way that Jesus sees him.”
Heterosexual Mormon theology demonizes same-gender attraction so much that we sometimes forget what same-gender attraction has the potential of turning into: same-gender love. The true love of Christ.
Whether this pure love becomes sexual should not be at the core of the discussion.
At the same time, if the LDS Handbook can say that:
“(S)exual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.”
How far is it for us to say that sexual relations can also be a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between any two or more people who wish to share such an experience with each other?
(As a side note, I do not wish to exclude my asexual and non-sexually active queer siblings, sisters, and brothers in this discourse, and think it is perfectly fine for them to turn to a celibate/asexual savior if such empowers them).
Rev. Patrick Cheng further explaining his belief in radical love.
Former Mormon and Queer Liberation Activist Connel O’Donovan beautifully shares his spiritual journey accepting himself more fully by discovering a gay God.
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This is excellent! Thanks for all the links, too. I found it to be very interesting reading. I’ve long been fascinated by Judas.