not in Primary anymore

part 5: the androgynous jesus

This blog post is the fifth 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 three Mondays until the entire essay is published. 

(You can read the first section of this essay here, the second here, the third here, and the fourth here).

adorationHost2

The Host (bread) of the Eucharist/communion/sacrament is in that icon and treated as if it was the Body of Christ among Catholics.

What I have tried to show is that the revelation of Jesus Christ is enough to affirm the equal status of the feminine principle with the masculine principle and to show that a fulfilled human being needs to integrate both principles and assume many roles.” 

Janice Allred, Mormon theologian (from “Jesus our Mother” in her book “God the Mother”)

“I never felt bad about being hermaphrodite, it’s the others who have a problem with it; not me…I have the sex of the angels, why would I be ashamed of it?”

Claudette, intersex sex worker

“(T)here is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:28

 

I felt as if a part of Christ is supposed to transcend gender as I knelt before the Host that Good Thursday.

If the bread was the body of Christ, what gender was that body?

If all who are baptized and partake of the Eucharist are part of the body of Christ, what gender was that body?

In that moment, I feeling came over me, a thought so clear in my heart, that Jesus was my elder brother AND sister, the son AND daughter of Heavenly Parents.

The androgyny of the Universe, of the angels, of my Queer Christ in that golden sun-shaped icon–it overwhelmed me and comforted me, giving me what felt like divine approval on my search for my own gender identity.

 

“Female Jesus” As depicted in the Lutheran Church of Finland

It seems hard to imagine the Jesus of Mormonism as anything but male. Nevertheless, Jesus Hirself compares Hir atonement to a woman giving birth and says (S)He feels for Israel the same way a mother hen feels for her chicks.

King Benjamin even claims that we are both begotten by Jesus AND born by Hir, essentially showing us that Jesus is our spiritual Father AND Mother, betting us AND giving birth to us.

Considering that Jesus is sometimes called the last Adam, it’s interesting to note that Mormon scripture seems to imply that Adam was a hermaphrodite, being both male and female.

“In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam…” (Moses 6:9)

Joseph Smith may have been on to something with such a claim, since some Rabbis have made the suggestion that Adam might have been a hermaphrodite before Eve’s creation.

Perhaps Adam was the physical hermaphrodite who was separated to become male and female while Jesus is the spiritual hermaphrodite who brought the male and female principles together.

Part of finding the Queer Christ in Mormonism is being able to see ourselves in Hir and Hir in ourselves. (S)He must contain all genders fully while also transcending all genders in order to be fully Human and fully Divine, fully Savior and fully Queer.

 

Suggested Reading:

Christ as Female from liberalmormon.net.

“Jesus Our Mother” from Janice Allred’s book, God the Mother.

Advertisements

8 Responses to “part 5: the androgynous jesus”

  1. Emmeline Grey

    This is my least favorite series on YMF. I think discussing the Savior’s sexuality is inappropriate, regardless of what orientation, and find it tasteless. The scriptures are also completely taken out of context to fit the agenda you’re trying to sell. I’m a supporter of gay marriage and think all orientations are accepted by God (excluding pedophilia and bestiality, of course). But this whole series “Finding the Queer Christ”, “Finding the Androgenous Christ” blah blah blah….. it’s just inappropriate. If Christ was gay, fine by me. If he was bi, also fine by me. If he was straight, again, fine by me. But I think discussing Jesus Christ’s sexuality is wrong. And I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that other readers don’t much appreciate it, either, just observing how low the feedback is on these posts.
    Christ doesn’t need to have been straight, gay, bi, ect to teach us to accept all people. Whatever His orientation was, it’s irrelevant. I strongly hope you discontinue this series because it reflects badly on YMF and makes me not want to read the blog anymore. I’m all about exploring ideas and “radical” concepts but even then, there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’d be inappropriate to make stabs in the dark about the Savior being sexually active with a woman as it would be to speculate about him sexually wanting men and for whatever reason, you feel compelled to write about a deeply personal, intimate matter regarding our Savior that should have no place on this blog.
    That’s my two cents.

    Reply
    • curtispenfold

      Emmeline, thank you for expressing your concerns. I’m sorry that you don’t like this particular essay. There are fortunately only two more posts to be published, and in the mean time, I invite you to read the other wonderful blog posts written by our diverse crew of writers found elsewhere on this blog.

      I feel like a large portion of your comment would be more appropriate for part 4 of this essay, since that’s the only section where I actually mention Jesus’s sexuality.

      This particular section is discussing the possible gender variation of Jesus. Gender is distinct from sexuality. Androgyny is a gender, not an orientation. The Human Rights Campaign gives a very rudimentary version of the dichotomy between sexual orientation and gender identity here:

      http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-terminology-and-definitions

      I already went into detail in part 1 and part 3 of this essay as to why imagining Christ as queer would be empowering for other queer people, (queer people being an all inclusive term for all non-heterosexual, non-cisgender people).

      The image of a Queer Christ has the potential of being especially empowering when one grows up in a church where God is white, male, cisgender, heterosexual, and powerful. If you’d like to discuss my points found there, I invite you to go to part 1 and/or part 3 to share your insights there.

      Reply
    • hannahwheelwright

      Thanks for your comment, Emmeline! The way writing for YMF works is that folks who have something to say commit to writing one blog post a month, and then they write it and publish it. There is no review process (as long as what the person is posting isn’t wildly inappropriate) because there is a huge diversity of opinions, beliefs, and perspectives. If you are interested in writing a guest post on any topic, or if you would like to become a regular writer, you are more than welcome to! Feel free to email us- youngmormonfeminists@gmail.com.

      Reply
  2. Bryan Zwan

    Thanks for sharing such a good opinion, post is nice, thats why i have read it entirely

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: