19 February, 2010

Could Jesus be gay?

The headline in the Guardian  read, "Jesus is Gay, Says Elton."  Regardless of who said it, this presents us with an opportunity to reflect on both Jesus and gays.

Sir Elton John, 62, in an interview with Parade Magazine, said  he believed Jesus Christ was a "...compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems."

He also said, "On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wants us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead."

There  was immediate negative response from Bill Donohue, a reactionary, self-proclaimed "protector" of what he thinks is "orthodox Catholicism," He said, "Jesus was certainly compassionate, but to say he was 'super-intelligent' is to compare Jesus the son of God to a successful game-show host."

He continues, "More seriously, to call Jesus a homosexual is to label him a sexual deviant."

Even more theologically wrong-headed was the statement made by Stephen Green, Director of the right-wing Christian group "Christian Voice." He said, "Jesus was without sin and that rules out homosexuality."

Even from the conservative, official, Catholic teachings these statements are false and can be refuted.

Being homosexual is never in and of itself sinful just as being left-handed or blue-eyed is not sinful. The Church teaches pure and simply that there are people who are homosexual and who cannot "change." In fact for a gay to deny who he is in God's plan  and try to change his very being would be sinful.

As for Donohue, he confuses the Church's teaching that homosexuality is an "objective disorder" (which I do not accept), with a moral evil when he says that if homosexual, Jesus is a sexual deviant. Bill ought to be more careful. Even in the View of the Vatican, if Jesus is homosexual he could only be a "sexual deviant" in the Church's eyes if he engaged in homosexual behaviors. If Jesus were gay the institutional Church would "require him to carry the cross of celibacy."

If Jesus is like us in all things but sin, even by the Church's teaching this allows for being homosexual, just as it would allow for Jesus to have a spontaneous erection when an attractive person came by. The real issue for Jesus and a Christian is "What is God's will for me to do here and now?"

Much of what Elton John said about Jesus' compassion and message of love seems not to have been heard by Donohue or Green. Perhaps they should listen to all that others say.

On the other hand, a spokesman for the Church of England was much more moderate. He said, "Sir Elton's reflection that Jesus calls us all  to love and forgive is one shared by all Christians. But insights into aspects of the historic person of Jesus are perhaps best left to the academics."

It may be true that professional theologians have much work to do. But in raising the question of Jesus' orientation and linking it with his compassion, love, and forgiveness, Elton John may have accomplished two things: First, to raise serious theological questions with which we must now deal and, second, to point out to everyone that we must look upon LGBT people with greater compassion, acceptance and love.  


  1. Somewhere, I remember, that Jesus was all things. He was every person. So Jesus could be gay.

    The call to be more loving and compassionate never wears out.

    Some folks, in light of today's gay sensibilities, see certain indcations of Jesus' gayness. He never married. He seemed to be a sensitive soul except when he threw the folks out of the temple for turning it into a place of commerece. He also hung out with these macho fishermen. Oh, and his best friend was the apostle John who leaned heavily on his Jesus' chest at the last supper, the night before he died.

  2. I agree that many, gays and even str8s, interpret the "clues" you mention above as indications that Jesus was gay. It's like gays using "gaydar" in picking of clues as to whether a contemporary person is gay. And I have no problem with that.

    What I was attempting to do was use the standard theology of the institutional church to present a "negative argument" showing that people like Donohue, or other Catholics of his ilk, cannot appeal to the RC Church's position to harass and downgrade gays.

  3. Elton John is getting senile! People like him want everyone to be gay. I do agree with some of your comments. However I dont believe for a second in general terms gays are "harass and downgraded" by the church. I think the Church view on homosexuality is liberal and loving. Look at the fundamental view, or the Muslim view.

    I was raised catholic and I am gay, my younger brother is also gay. We have never been harassed or downgraded by the church. Maybe we were lucky or we were the norm. All I know is I am a proud gay catholic.
    Keep up the good work, well done.

  4. cantpolishaturd (like your real name much more),

    The fact that Elton John made the comment is rather irrelevant.

    What is important to me is that even Church teaching as it is now (much of which I cannot accept re GLBTs) cannot not be used to say that homosexuality is (morally) deviant or sinful as suggested by those who replied to John's original statements.

    D, do you think Donohue was right that you are a sexual deviant? I can not regarding you or anyone, just because they are gay.

    Take care bro.

  5. The comment by Donohue does not surprise me. I have heard him rant before. However in the past I have agreed with someone of his statements. This is not one of them. No I do not believe I am a sexual deviant. But there are sexual deviants in the gay as well as the straight community.

    I do not care for the militant groups of the gay community. Many of their actions are counter productive, and actually further isolates gays from living in societies. I am more personal about my sexuality. I do not fight the church or do I carry my gayness on my sleeve. Not knocking those who do carry on their sleeves, but my gayness is not an obsession. On my blog I write about many things. The last four post have been about my relationship with my bf, and me moving to America. However I try to cover whatever is on my mind.

    I enjoy reading your blog for the most part. Even though its not a secret to you how I feel about certain subject matter.

    Keep up the good work. Bravo amico! davide

  6. don't know you well enough yet, I do not think of you as a sexual deviant. I agree fully, there are str8 and gay deviants.

    I wouldn't be too hard on what you call militant (or possibly flamboyant or flamer) gays. Some are very aware of real bullying, harassment and violence against LGBT people and need to speak out through Gay Pride or political/legal means.

    It's something like "ex-Catholics" who feel very angry over the way they have been hurt by representatives of the Church. When the Church does not respond with love and pastoral care, I must say, I can understand and can't blame them for lashing out.

  7. I think I should correct something what I meant by the gay militants was the extreme left of these groups. Not flammers or flamboyant men or dikes. I am talking about those who use violence, harassment, and in some cases terrorist measures. I have a post on this subject on my blog.

    The issue of ex-Catholics or better term excommunicated Catholics by their own choice, I have not much of an opinion.I don't think I have personally met any. Once a person has been confirmed by the Church as a Catholic their soul is marked forever by this sacrament, much like baptism. There is no such thing as an ex-Catholic, they are excommunicated, or heretic,or in apostasy. But always can back to the Church through the sacrament of forgiveness, penance. It is a shame that such individuals were not treated by the love they deserved. However it was their choice to leave the church. I can sympathize with their pain and a real sense of betrayal. However them leaving the Church was their decision to make. However they are still part of the church in an imperfect sense much like then other 33,000 denominations of Christianity.

    I would say many of the pay pride movements and parades are doing a good service in educating people. However I have personally seen the opposite on one occasion in California, when a group of individuals were engaging in public of simulated sexual acts, urinating on the street in front of children. No this should not be condone by any civil gay person. I bowed my head in shame. I think gays should stop making excuses for their own shortcomings and downfalls, I refuse to believe us gay adults have it worse than any other group. Sometimes by our own actions we are our worst enemies. I would encourage gay persons to join society in positive ways and stop their obsession about being gay. Thanks, Davide

  8. d,

    I thank you for some of the clarifications you made. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted any of your words.

    BTW there is a sense in which you speak the truth. Once baptized a Catholic, always a Catholic "sacramentally." However, with the new code of canon law, for the first time ever, to my knowledge, the Church makes provision for someone to leave membership in the institution, so, in effect, they are no longer "Catholic." This was intended to relate to marriage cases, but is being understood more broadly now.

    But this discussion is getting off the blog topic. I'm happy to continue this discussion via email with you if you wish, but I want it to be off blog so we don't inundate the blog with a two-person discussion at length. Take care, bro.

  9. Okay forgive me. Thank you for providing your blog I will continue to check in every morning. Once again thanks for your patience with me, and your informative post. Davide

  10. Elton John has always been known for his outrageous costumes and his personal life probably isn't any less outrageous; it's who he is (and it's served him well in the industry). He's outspoken (which I admire in a person—but perhaps that's because I myself don't know when to keep my mouth shut—LOL) and he makes statements that are often colorful or even stir outrage with those who are more reserved, the conservatives. But none of this makes him an authority on who Jesus Christ was or was not.

    I myself suspect that Jesus "could" have been gay but it really doesn't matter to me. The Jesus Christ that I was always taught about was loving, forgiving, compassionate and (dare I say it?) intelligent. It really makes NO SENSE to me whatsoever that Donohue would equate such a statement to comparing Jesus to a successful game-show host.

    You already know what my response will be about the sexual deviant comment. I'm not; I'm simply a gay man and that's it… I won't go into the whole "is it a choice" (it isn't) argument but in short, I am just the way that God created me to be; I'm a homosexual—and I'm no better and no worse than any of the rest of our brothers and sisters for being so. Donohue and (imho) many organized religions, including the Catholic Church consistently belittle and/or condemn those of us who are gay, calling us out as sexual deviants when many organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) have made it very clear that our orientation is natural (not a choice) and by no means damaging or deviant.

    One observation with regard to the assertion made by the unnamed spokesman for the Church of England, that "insights into aspects of the historic person of Jesus are perhaps best left to the academics." I can agree with the spokesman to a point but at the same time, I am compelled to question the motivation of such academic/professional theologians. One must wonder if there would ever REALLY be any likelihood that theologians would even consider the possibility that Jesus could have been gay. Most conservatives in the Church take offense by such a suggestion… They shouldn't but because of the long-held contention (by them) that homosexuality is a sin, it's simply UNTHINKABLE that the Son of God could have been a gay man.

    Personally speaking, while I would love the irony if it could be proven that Jesus Christ was gay—it really doesn't matter to me either way. Regardless of who or what he was, he was loving, forgiving, accepting and compassionate. What can be said of the man that doesn't paint him in a favorable light? Nothing.

    My best to you, Seb… ~Michael


Comments most welcome.