A new campaign from the Las Memorias Project, which works to prevent HIV among Latinos, asks Catholic parishioners to wear yellow ribbons to support LGBT rights.
The Yellow Ribbon Campaign seeks supportive Catholic leaders who will show support for LGBT people and opposition to the Catholic church’s antigay policies by wearing a yellow ribbon during Sunday services throughout the summer. In an open letter, Las Memorias Project’s Richard Zaldivar writes, “[T]here is a campaign by conservative bishops to challenge our movement for wellness and equality for members of our community. [They] are using the pews of the Catholic Church to promote a political agenda. Church should not be used for politics nor should it be to prevent wellness in our community.
On Sunday, please wear a yellow ribbon or cloth on your shirt or blouse to support Catholics for Equality and Social Justice. This is not confronting the church but to remind our faith leaders that the doors of the faith community must be open to everyone in order to promote community wellness. Please encourage your family members and friends to wear the yellow ribbon in support of equality and social justice.”
Read more here: New Campaign Asks Catholic Parishioners to Show Support for LGBT Rights
An eastern Louisville Baptist church has ordained an openly gay man as a minister with unanimous support from church members.
Highland Baptist Church on Sunday ordained Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard, a local gay-rights advocate who started the church’s gay and lesbian outreach group last year.
Church Pastor Joe Phelps says ordaining Blanchard was “new territory” for the church but in April it moved to support his ordination.
The Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based gay rights organization, hailed Blanchard’s ordination as 1 of only about two dozen at Baptist churches in the U.S.
Sometimes, stories and images are so familiar to us, that we completely fail to see their significance. The story of Joseph and his coat is familiar to us all from childhood Bible stories – and even more familiar as Lloyd-Webber’s Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
. Ignore the main story for now, and just focus on that coat of many colours.
In the modern world, colour is everywhere, so much so that we hardy notice it unless it is used particularly well, or until it is unexpectedly absent. It was not always so. In the Biblical world, clothing was mostly drab: dyes of all kinds were costly , brightly coloured cloth of any kind was an expensive luxury. It is not surprising that Joseph’s brothers would have been jealous of the special favour shown by their father, and wished to sell him into slavery.
But there could be more to the story than first appears: this was not just a coloured coat, but a very specific type – a coat of many colours, in stripes. Just such a coat was typically worn by a specific group of people – a distinctly queer group.
These were the qedeshim, who served as priests to the Canaanite goddess Athirat. They were responsible for the upkeep of her temples, and also engaged in ritual temple prostitution, engaging in sex with the devotees of the goddess to achieve enhanced states of consciousness. (It is possible that several of the biblical texts of terror that are used to condemn sex between men were in fact referring specifically to these temple prostitutes – and so were directed at idolatry, rather than at homoerotic activity itself).
Connor notes an interesting connection between the multicolour garments of the qedishim and Joseph’s “coat of many colours”, which, at least based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s portrayal, was “fabulous”. Although Connor’s mission is not to “out” Joseph, he presents other clues which make one wonder, such as the fact that Potiphar, the man who bought Joseph from his brothers and brought him to Egypt as his servant, was actually a eunuch priest of a pagan goddess. Furthermore, the interpretation of dreams was one of the qualities for which the qedishim were known; and indeed, biblical writings reflect that prophetic dreams were commonplace with Joseph.
This needs some fact-checking: most obviously, Potiphar did not buy Joseph directly from his brothers, but from a band of Ishmaelites who were the original purchasers. It is certainly true though that male temple prostitution was commonplace in the Mediterranean world, including in the land of Canaan, and that in cultures all around the world, men who were attracted to men or to female gender roles were often regarded as possessing special spiritual gifts – including the prophetic interpretation of dreams.