Friday, January 14, 2011

London 24.12.2010: Victorian Christmases and Loving Couples

On the tube just now, heading along the Piccadilly line to Piccadilly Circus, we sit across from an older (truth: probably near our age) gay couple.  And as I listen to one of the two describe an exhibit about the history of Christmas celebrations to the other ("The trees began with Queen Victoria, you know"), I think:

God chooses to take flesh in the lives of gay men and lesbian women.  And as John McNeill says* in his book Taking a Chance on God, if the world suddenly lost the presence and gifts of loving gay men and loving lesbian women, the world would be infinitely impoverished.  Infinitely dehumanized.

God loves my gay flesh and becomes incarnate in my gay flesh.  Out of sheer delight in gayness, in the gifts those God makes gay bring to the world.

And thinking this, as I watch one "older" gay man describe a Victorian Christmas tree in loving detail, using his hands in the description, my heart lifts, and I feel great gratitude for the gift of God made flesh.

And a determination to remain grateful and to celebrate, no matter the calumnies, lies, absurdities uttered against me and my brothers and sisters today by many fellow Christians.  Grateful and celebratory, because God takes gay and lesbian flesh in the incarnation . . . . 

And later I think: it's morally crude to imagine, as many Christians do today, that the wish to procreate sets the procreative class of people apart in some superior ontological way.  Anyone (more or less) can beget a child.

The real challenge is to raise a child, to educate hearts, to help shape admirable human beings.  And, unfortunately, many of those ontologically superior heterosexuals who beget children have no clue about raising them, about educating their minds and hearts.

The human community needs many gifts and talents to become community.  It needs generativity that surpasses mere biological generativity, to sustain itself as humane community.

Churches that continue to base their sexual ethics on biological generativity alone as the prime ideal are doing a great disservice to the human community through their morally crude, reductionistic understanding of procreation, of pro-creation, of the shared creation of the world in which we human beings are involved with the God who takes our flesh.

*John J. McNeill, Taking a Chance on God (Boston: Beacon, 1988):

“Despite their personal suffering, the loving presence of lesbian women and gay men is the oil that keeps the whole human machine running.  If, somehow, gay people were to disappear from the scene, the whole community would be in danger of being seriously dehumanized” (p. 99).

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