A Queer Friendly Spirituality

I saw the DVD “Milk” last night–a poignant reminder of our not so distant past and the ongoing struggle for equal rights for all. I want to make it clear that Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is open to and affirming of queers of all types.

I’ve always been an outsider myself. My struggle against the conservative elements Milk also fought against has been lifelong. At my draft physical, I even told the psychologist I had homosexual tendencies and avoided Vietnam. I think the tendency is there in everyone, some more strongly than others. We’re all on sort of a sliding scale between gay and straight, and bisexuality is probably natural for the species but has been suppressed. I consider myself an androgynous heterosexual and have a number of gay friends.

In the early 1990s, I led a study of homosexuality in the Iowa church I pastored to get them to be more open and affirming of queers. It affected those who attended positively including a local lesbian who was not a church member but felt comfortable coming-out in that group where she was warmly received. I also did a memorial service for the gay son of a prominent church family who died of AIDS in California. His partner attended, and that also brought the issue home. Milk was right. When people get to know gays it’s harder to maintain stereotypes and continue the hatred. Unfortunately, conservative elements in the church couldn’t even accept me, what to speak of new gay members.

When I moved to Michigan and pastored a church there, I became a member of Concerned Clergy of West Michigan. We commissioned an original play, “Come In from the Rain” dealing with church-gay relations. I moderated a television panel discussion and took part in panels after the performances to sold out audiences. We also supported a theatre group that was not allowed to perform the play “Corpus Christi” in the local community college theatre they normally used due to right-wing opposition. The play was held in a large downtown Grand Rapids church instead, and again I led the panel discussion afterward and had much media exposure.

When we allow the rights of one group to be trampled on, how long will it be before ours are too? This is an open invitation to members of the LGBT community. God-dess made you the way you are, and it’s beautiful. We welcome you to the Universalist Radha-Krishnaism community as a safe place to grow spiritually. Aloha.

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2 Responses to “A Queer Friendly Spirituality”

  1. admin says:

    Once I said to my friend that in this world we’re all gay. He was a minister, who recently entered into homosexual relationship after many years of different disappointments. He did understand my point: we all try to establish a relationship with others who are finite souls same as we are, but we always fail to some extent and never feel true bliss. We never feel complete, for we lack to feel, to experience the infinite.

    For once, we should try to establish a relationship with God-dess, following our innermost feelings. Let’s not deny them, like many religion apostle, but listen to our emotions and center them around God-dess. Let us think about this for a moment–certainly nothing happens for no reason. Our feelings are a result of our yearnings through time. Some of them we have from previous lives. Who can say exactly? But what matters is how we focus them and how we paint a picture of life with them now.

    If we have a strong desire to be someone’s boyfriend, no matter if we have male of female body now, why not channel that emotion and yearn to become, say, Krishna’s cowherd friend? Or if we want to become girlfriends (again, no matter which body we posses now), why not channel that into spiritual emotion and yearn to become Radha’s confidants? (The other day I was listening to Antony and the Johnsons’ ‘For today I am a boy’, that reminded me of all this).

    Desiring one more human relationship may leave us brokenhearted, but with God-dess in our centre, nothing is lost but preserved and beautified beyond our imagination. God-dess will accept our feelings. Thus natural devotion is an ideal vessel for everyone of us to carry us across this world and reach divinity. Moreover, we already have role models, which are ideal inhabitants of Braj and their spiritual emotions.

    Philosopher said once this world is a reflection. Thus our sexual life is just a symbol of supreme bliss. Our sexual union is just a symbol for a divine union that is beyond words. Our life is a symbol too, that echoes the journey, the search for meaning, our spiritual fulfillment. And there, in the land of love, even a mere glance, a wink, or smile is filled with supreme bliss and sense of ultimate belonging. Nothing else compares to it. This is the spirituality that celebrates our emotion, and embraces everyone–fulfill your dream, become more than anything you’ve ever dreamed of.

  2. Anon says:

    Hi, cool post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for sharing. I’ll likely be coming back to your site. Keep up the good work