Spirituality is alive within the GLBTQ Community
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 13:56
Written by Father Kevin P. Hanaway, MA MBA, MDiv, RN
As a gay man and priest people assume I am ready to convert people to my faith. Maybe it makes me a bad priest, or a bad sales-priest that I just want God, whomever or whatever you choose him/her/it to be, to be your and our community’s blessing! Yes, finding Scripture in Paprika, or if it were in Cracker Jacks, is “tasteless” marketing!
The GLBTQ community I believe has a spiritual core that needs to be recognized and proclaimed. And GLBTQs need to claim it. Perhaps due to the persecution that the community has gone through, and continues to, in large measure, due to “religion,” we rightly turn away from religion. However, GLBTQs need to look beyond religion and find the God who is at the core of existence, and where religion failed. We do this because it is reflexively “hard-wired” in us to be creative. Look at GLBTQs throughout the centuries who in their lives, personalities, and talents taught us to look deeper and these are too many to list. You have to look at the GLBTQ list on wiki: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gay,_lesbian_or_bisexual_people). Yes, I am convinced The Creative Presence is revealed and perceived uniquely by/in the GLBTQ community.
I want it to be affirmed in the GLBTQ community the Spirit is uniquely and sublimely manifested here as God, whatever you choose God to be. This is not what we normally hear about the community, actually though the media and religious folk we too often hear just the opposite. Somehow it’s thought we can’t be trusted in marriage, in relationships, speaking authoritatively about God, or in doing God’s work here on earth. I’ve got a newsflash for those who think this way, and something that GLBTQs already know: God is with us, alive, joy-filled, creative, and is wonderfully and continually revealed to and in us!
Remember the terrible AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s where so many of our gay brothers died of AIDS. Our response was from our God that called us to love our sick brothers until death do us part. We didn’t need a legal license to love our brothers, although it would have been phenomenal if we did. We witnessed, and continue to do so from what is at the heart of our existence, the reality that brings meaning to our lives, and what some GLBTQs call he/she/it God. The actions of the GLBTQ community to the AIDS epidemic would probably have changed the perception of Ghandi who said of Christianity: “if it weren’t for Christians, I’d be one”.
My point: GLBTQs, individuals and wholly are part of God’s wonderful and purposeful creation – and it is as it meant to be. Our spirits reflect what is revealed to us as unique and loving in who we are, in the way we are with ourselves and with/or others. I won’t hit you over the head with my spirituality, but just for all to know: I love my GLBTQ community since we reveal God to each other. We are joy. We are life. We are imbued with love. And we are willing to share who we are. We hope and pray no religion misses the beauty of being who one is called/created to be since the experience brings joy to the heart!
Kevin P. Hanaway, MA MBA MDiv RN is a regular priest presider at the Dignity-Fort Lauderdale.
Read the full article here: http://www.southfloridagaynews.com/editorial/letters-to-editor/5768-response-to-brian-mcnaughts-feb-21-scripture-in-paprika-is-no-surprise.html