Lgbt spirituality


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Lgbt spirituality

  1. 1. + LGBT Spirituality Maria T. Accardi Assistant Librarian, Coordinator of Instruction Indiana University Southeast November 2, 2010
  2. 2. + LGBT?  LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender  LGBTQQIA=Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Ally
  3. 3. + Spirituality  Spirituality:  sensitivity or attachment to religious values; a practice of personal devotion and prayer. (The Penguin English Dictionary)  Spirituality is not easily defined. By its very nature it is personal and private. Spirituality concerns our human awareness of and relationship to those aspects of life that are intangible. Spirituality involves our awareness of being a part of something greater and more powerful than ourselves, yet something we cannot touch or see. (Encyclopedia ofWomen's Health)
  4. 4. + Religion  Religion  A system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe. (The Columbia Encyclopedia)
  5. 5. + Not mutually exclusive  Contrary to what some people believe, a person can be both LGBT and spiritual and religious!
  6. 6. + Making Space for LGBTs in Religious Traditions  While many faith traditions have actively excluded the LGBT community, others have created space for their LGBT brothers and sisters.  For example, the United Church of Christ campaign:  Some congregations have been created by LGBT people in response to being excluded from other religious communities.  For example: Metropolitan Community Church: “the world’s first church group with a primary, positive ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender persons.”
  7. 7. + Reconciling LGBT and Religion/Spirituality  “Read within the context of their own historical and cultural backgrounds, the Bible texts do not address adult, loving homosexual relations as we understand them today” –Dignity USA  “The fact of the matter is that there is no clear condemnation of people of homosexual orientation living out their lives fully expressing their orientation, sexually or otherwise, anywhere in the Scriptures.“–
  8. 8. + Religious Discrimination and LGBTs  Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., says: “I believe this recent string of suicides by LGBT young people is, at root, a religious problem. For me, there is a clear and indisputable link between these horrible deaths and the rhetoric espoused by anti-gay Christians who continually condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as sinners worthy of divine punishment.Where else do you think the bullies learn their behavior? No matter how well intentioned, anti- gay Christians need to understand that their nonstop rhetoric of sin and punishment creates a toxic environment that views LGBT people as less than fully human and thus deserving of socially or religiously sanctioned violence -- including self- inflicted violence.”
  9. 9. + LGBT Christianity: Reformation vs. Revolution  Episcopal Church of the USA: Integrity  Presbyterian Church of the USA: More Light  Roman Catholic Church: DignityUSA  United Methodist Church: Affirmation  United Church of Christ: LGBT Ministries  Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists: Rainbow Baptists  Lutherans Concerned/North America  Gay & Lesbian Mormons: Affirmation
  10. 10. + LGBT Judaism  World Congress of GLBT Jews  Consists of more than 25 member organizations worldwide.  Vision: an environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Jews worldwide can enjoy free and fulfilling lives.  Orthogays: Resources for Gay and Lesbian Orthodox Jews
  11. 11. + LGBT Muslims  Gay Muslims: We kindly advise Muslims struggling with same-sex attraction, affirming that nobody is sinful for what they feel inside. As for those people who try to distort the religion, we refute them soundly with evidence.  Al-Jannah: Community Support for LBGT Muslims  Al-Fatiha: dedicated to Muslims of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBTIQQ), and their families, friends and allies.
  12. 12. + LGBT Buddhism  Gay Buddhist Sangha: “We seek to introduce the teachings of the Buddha to LGBT folk in such a way that we honor and respect all beings and where they are in their lives, and help them to preserve a healthy and positive self-image particularly about their sexuality.”
  13. 13. + LGBT Native American Spirituality  NativeOUT: “Our vision is to create social change in rural and urban communities that benefit Indigenous Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender, Queer, and Two Spirit people.”  Two Spirit Identity: similar to the notion of transgender
  14. 14. + LGBT Unitarian Universalists  Unitarian Universalism is a is a theologically diverse religion in which members support one another in the individual search for truth and meaning.  Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns: The Office is guided by the vision that someday we will be able to put ourselves out of business and that oppression against bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people of all ages, abilities, colors, and genders, whether it be overt or subtle, will be a thing of the past.
  15. 15. + LGBT Pagans  Gay Wicca: GLBT people are welcomed into most Wiccan circles, and this inclusivity is necessarily for gay spirituality.  LGBT topics and Wicca: Wiccans cite the Charge of the Goddess, which says "All acts of Love and Pleasure are My rituals".Therefore all forms and expressions of sexuality, as long as they are otherwise healthy and consensual, are accepted.
  16. 16. + Discussion Questions  Why does spirituality matter? Why does religion matter? Why do gay Roman Catholics remain Catholic when their church is not open and affirming of their essential humanity? Why do some of them become Episcopalians instead?  What can you do to help raise awareness about religious intolerance toward LGBT persons?  How can faith traditions be more inclusive and welcoming of the LGBT community?
  17. 17. + Additional Resources  An online magazine for GLBT Christians  Soul Force: works to end the religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people.  World Wide Directory of Gay and Lesbian Affirming Churches  : What the Bible Says, and Doesn't Say, About Homosexuality