Thursday, April 26, 2012



Already previewed and debated, on the 28th of April the docu film Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption is officially released in San Francisco. The film follows the Corpus Christi gay Jesus play and its reception since 1998. Though some early death threats to the play were always indefensible, any negative reception has been predictable and understandable. I have not managed to attend a performance in Australia and there have been altered versions over the years, but if as reported the play originally included such as “F- your Father, F- your Mother and F-God”, transports Jesus to 1950s Texas where he marries two (female) apostles, is seduced by Judas (did this inspire Lady Gaga’s Judas song?) and is asked by Philip to perform oral sex on him, then by normal standards obviously this would be considered offensive and mendacious in ways presuming on a tolerance other faiths would not extend to it.

If the “obviously” word doesn’t register it’s because supporters, placing the onus for controversy on the religious right, subscribe to implicit belief ONLY intolerance is sin and ANY propaganda serving gay aims is justifiable. Though critical acclaim has included the statement “in this show I found one could reconcile being gay and Christian”, that’s nonsense. And indeed Christians gay and straight alike should never agree to, but rather protest, the hypocrisy of what has now become a virtual CC cult which is printing “I am Love” Tee shirts and promoting itself as a “campaign” against ignorance as though devotees owned a new gospel to rival or better represent the non-Redeemer’s love.

While there’s no reason to dismiss the expression “Gay Christian” as an oxymoron and, like the daughters of Zolophehad (Num 27:1) who successfully questioned Moses’ law, believers have the right to question individual issues like homosexuality, they don’t have the right to ignore the first Commandment by consenting to be inspired by or defended by profanities. Advocating CC is a form of idolatry to the extent it rates rights causes above God devotion and implicitly denies trust that things can be changed without secular assistance. The idolatry of rights to which support of CC belongs, is arguably registered –subconsciously - within the larger community by use of the rainbow symbol (a rainbow surrounds the divine throne, Rev 4:3) to signal LGBT concerns – traditional gay pink and mauve could suffice.

Since some Christians, especially of revisionist theological opinion influenced by queer theory, ardently defend CC, the question is raised who owns not just Christ but truth as regards homosexuality and does truth matter here? Any truth to fact is easily blurred as Jesus is believed to have said nothing about the non-biblical word “homosexuality”, though as a gay theologian I deny that.

From both inside and outside the Bible I believe much that’s relevant today can be known without descending to irreverence and profanity to encourage dialogue on religion and same sex issues. But that same evidence (whose availability at this time I believe to be not accidental but providential) is as ignored, dismissed or censored as Corpus Christi playing the victim card isn’t. In fact, both the play and the queer theology that derives from the convoluted queer theory which unrepresentatively (even with elitist selfishness relative to grass roots needs), dominates discourse on all matters gay today through academe and publishing, is more or less where they want to be. That, according to the most outrageous of queer theologians, the late bisexual Marcella Althaus-Reid near conclusion of her The Queer God, is the hell zones from which to mount demonic attack on faith as “redemption”. (The Queer God, pp 164-171)

And yes, redemption is being played with by CC. The film’s title is correct if nothing in the play is, and......”many a true word spoken in jest”. Except that the devil is “father of lies” (Joh 8:44) and nothing is “true” for evasive, migratory “queer” theory: not fact, history, doctrine, gender or sex. It’s all negotiable, borderless, permeable, in motion, open and ironic, more bisexual than gay because to be “born gay” suggests something fixed and essential, not floating and relative.

By the same token Jesus, if and when not as in CC recognizing everyone’s divinity, becomes relative like queer theologian Patrick Cheng’s Christ, who might be Kwan Yin whose image, he says in his Net essay Kwan Yin, Mirror of the Queer Asian Christ sits on his desk as he writes theology - that is if the Holy Spirit isn’t Kwan Yin, a speculation queer theologian Elizabeth Stuart is open to. (Religion is a Queer Thing, p.25). The Net mission notice of the MCC Church in the Valley, North Hollywood, controversially declares, “We have discovered the Holy Spirit as Trickster and Mischief Maker... We attempt to practice a little mischief for God by following the Spirit”. The noisy Soulforce activist group, a sponsor of the CC film, is a prime example of queer apostasy which behind an appearance of openness is virtually closed to non-queer perspectives. (Years ago its site even refused all link to and mention of my groundbreaking published doctoral work on gay spiritualities, A Special Illumination (2004) as that would have been too ”commercial” for them. It would certainly have opened upon a few more Christian perspectives. I have also never heard
from the gay MCC church, another supporter of CC from the first).


.....But what would any specifically “Christian” perspective be? As regards Jesus himself, most essentially one not compromising incarnation and the related redemption as CC does. Whoever or whatever you assume “Antichrist” represents, denial of Christ as incarnate Son/Logos/Wisdom is somewhere involved (1 Joh 2:22). But just this is what Althaus-Reid’s hell zones queerdom spokespersons and some MCC representatives are involved with. Their materialist “body theologies” don’t give room to incarnation of divinity or embodied soul (pace Soulforce) – this would affirm something “essential”. Instead they embody ideas: compassion, inclusivity, political engagement etc that any person or deity like Kwan Yin might be appropriated to represent. There can be Christ Buddha. Christ Krishna and Christ anybody if it makes people feel together and good.

The reality, obscured by queer theologies and fundamentalist ones alike, and even a reason historically the churches fell into such confusion defining and explaining the two natures of Christ, is that they failed to acknowledge any esoteric or sexual principles. On 20th April England’s Guardian newspaper belatedly reported on Sussex University’s chaplain, the Jewish Christian Canon Paul Oestreicher whose Good Friday sermon declared “Jesus was probably gay”. I suggest there’s not much “probably” about it.

Churches and their councils have always failed to realize that to be incarnate at all and representatively for both sexes, to be the Logos(male) and Wisdom (female), Jesus had, humanly, to incarnate as a gay male. That is to say to be a female soul in a male body, which he was from birth and as good as told people he was when he mysteriously referred to some as born “eunuchs” from their mother’s wombs (Matt 19:12).

The eunuch word, unused by St Paul (who is more concerned with issues like recreational bisexuality and gay prostitution), is the nearest Jesus’ society had to the modern “homosexual”. By Jesus’ times it didn’t invariably mean either castrate or celibate, but it did signify an outsider to social/domestic norms - which all Christians may need to be but may lack courage or discernment to be. In the case of Christ, and precisely because he and his disciples believed he was divine, celibacy was inevitable as otherwise Jesus would be like boundary-crossing fallen angels who mate with women in Genesis. For other persons and circumstances there might be other arrangements as with the centurion and his pais who received a miracle, an episode giving every indication of Jesus encountering a gay relation. But there would not be that relation for Jesus and John, attached though they were. More on Jesus and homosexuality and proof for it presently. First let’s consider those Althaus-Reid hell zones and their happy days when His Satanic Majesty stalks the heavens as an angel of light for the undiscerning.


On 19.11.11 Pakistan’s PTA banned the name Jesus from cell phones with obscene and offensive words. (Pakistan regularly harasses its Christians). On that day Saturn, traditionally planetary symbol of restriction and in religious contexts the devil, conjuncted the Jesus/Christ/Messiah conjunction of Jesus’ natus which registers across history for Jesus issues to this day. (More presently, but if you don’t know the extraordinary details of the birth it’s because Christians - who no doubt consider the Magi as disobedient to God as gay Christians - have been screaming abomination and secularists superstition so that the whole vital issue is censored out of range in one of the religious and information scandals of the century).

I rightly guessed that 28.4.12 would show something similar. Sure enough, after moving forward some degrees, by apparent retrograde motion Saturn is back conjuncting Jesus/Christ/Messiah for the day of the premiere. The devil’s in the works somewhere even if queer doesn’t see it. I don’t generalize from a single example.


On the very day in ‘07 that the Mardi Gras Australian premiere of CC took place, blasted in advance by a Sydney bishop as deliberately offensive but defended by its Christian director as encouraging dialogue on sexuality, there was an eclipse. It fell degree exact on the Lucifer/Ishtar axis of Christ’s birth. And in certain respects Ishtar is – broadly - what and who much queer theorists worship. Althaus-Reid made offerings to images of the Egyptian cat goddess Bast (according to body theologian Lisa Isherwood’s Introduction to Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots, 2011), Elizabeth Stuart can write of God being so frustrating – you catch her scent now and again but She disappears.


The eclipse preceding the very first and postponed premiere of Corpus Christi (which finally took place 13.10.98), fell conjunct asteroid Lie in Christ’s birth data. Lie itself is opposite Christ’s Part of Homosexuality and asteroid Boda (marriage), both life issues that would always be challenged by various distortions, perhaps especially through theatre and the entertainment industry. Lie is, and the eclipse was, in Leo the theatre/entertainment sign. Recall it was a famously insolent dramatist, Marlowe, was the first to suggest Jesus lived like an inhabitant of Sodom.


That the intention of Corpus Christi was to shock and probably offend too, is betrayed by McNally’s data. At birth McNally (b.3rd Nov 1939) had what astrology deems a classic gay signature, Mars aspecting Uranus, but in his case inharmoniously so via the close afflicted square aspect favourable to recklessness and “in your face” attitudes. By what’s called chart comparison this same aspect “attacks” Christ’s reputation through the gay fantasy of the dramatist’s Uranus. It stands in less than a degree of affliction aspect to Christ’s Midheaven angle (his destiny/reputation) which McNally’s Mars then aggressively conjuncts.


I have explained elsewhere on this Blog and in Testament of the Magi the respectably scholarship supported means by which has made it possible to pinpoint the data for Christ’s birth and read that data in traditional and also modern ways employing bodies still unknown and unnamed in Christ’s day. But because all time and languages are one (to at least God!), the modern input works and vividly to this day.

Any remaining mysteries about Christ and homosexuality are dispelled by the extensive evidence emerging from the patterns, including the close connection of Born and Saris (eunuch) across the so-called ruling planet of Jesus’ birth, a feature which bespeaks his self-identification as a born eunuch. Only recently, against all probability I have seen what looks like coded confirmation that the mysterious raca issue in the Sermon on the Mount, which I and others have long speculated implies condemnation of homophobia and cursing the faggot/outsider, is very likely that. Aramaic Raca was slang for faggot/effeminate. Suggesting the personal tensions and conflicts involved socially and personally for Jesus, a new asteroid Racah eloquently and argumentatively conjuncts Honoria (honour) and the Part of Coitus of men with women (the faggot is dismissed as lacking) while challengingly opposing The Part of Sexuality in the House of sex besides. Be that as it may....


The tragedy of the current gay debate is that it leaves the spiritual condition of gays caught between the nutcrackers of profane heretics seeking to liberate them and fundamentalists seeking only to cure them. Both in different ways deny the gospel truth that (even if and though some people are sexually undecided, challenged or bisexual) most people are born one way or the other and must work with and from that.

Unless it’s a case of drug or sexual addiction, God is not in the business of curing gays, and it’s falsehood and even cruelty to maintain otherwise. Nor can and will gays destroy religion, the family and civilisation – unless they go the way of directionless, amoral queer theory. It’s little short of divine judgement upon churches that the message “born that way” gets out through the sensationalist Lady Gaga rather than persons properly representing their faith. If praise is not given the stones will cry out (Luk 19:20). Likewise truth will out from any source if Christians won’t do their duty. But I have long realized that the fanatical, Pat Robertson style view of gays – everything up to and including they are devil possessed and cause cyclones – will never be cured unless and until there is the shock of realization that Jesus himself would today be considered gay.


Yet almost no one is willing to consider and assimilate that fact unless via the distortions of the profane much as, anciently, only the contaminated messages of false prophets were eagerly received. I have recited before how, despite being published on gay spiritualities, I have not had reply from a huge list of persons and groups including the specifically gay MCC church who theoretically should have had every interest in my work. It is also apparent the wisdom of the wise and this world which God confounds (1 Cor 1:19) is unwilling to countenance the possibility that the skies might be witness to Christ and anything about him in acute revelatory detail besides. That would be one miracle too far. (After all, Dawkins might be amused).

When former editor and religious journalist Phyllis Tickle wrote me about my researches – not being gay she at least had the kind consideration to respond! – from years of experience with publishing she informed me there was no one she could imagine would consider such material if she were to recommend it. Then woe to the fools of faith (and unfaith) in the circles she knows, who in recent years have all too often published any lies and profanity about Christ for profit. Arguably people might search further and press harder if the subject was deemed important (which credibly to solve the mystery of the Magi after two millennia should be to the point of being historic), but that’s another matter.

As things stands, it’s just a case of “no room at the inn” over again. A very devout believer on whom I tested an early version of my work, admitted they nearly fainted out at certain implications and were so troubled they took it to Jesus. Later they alleged Jesus spoke to them about this and told them the reason people were not listening, and that the researches I have been dealing in is what the world is meant to know. At that point I had better rest the case and simply declare that Wisdom is justified of her children (Matt 11:19), though personally - in at least one thing like St Paul! - I can’t “suffer fools gladly”, especially not queer profane ones and fundamentalist fanatics.



Looking in at some of the centenary Titanic material I ask myself, not cynically but curiously, quite why this ship’s disaster continues to haunt us to the degree it does. The James Cameron Titanic film of 1997, though perhaps the most overall inaccurate and romanticized record of the tragedy, was the biggest grossing film of all time (until his own Avatar overtook it). We now have even a Titanic Requiem being performed.

There seems little question that all our fears of drowning, sudden disaster, of loss amid ease and pleasure, separation from dear ones, the thought of having to look the jaws of death in the face gather around the story; but then there are tales of loss and heroism at war that have great pathos. So perhaps too we see the Titanic event, occurring as it did not long before WW1 as also profoundly symbolic in more impersonal ways, the soon disappearance of an empire, a lifestyle, a world that no longer exists though we are not vastly removed from it. Some of us just project personal associations upon it. In my own case when I was a child I was on a vividly remembered voyage between Wales and Ireland so rough people thought the old ship might sink - which a few weeks later it actually did, but fortunately enough in Dublin harbour rather than out at sea!


But there’s not just the pathos and the symbolism, there’s also our incredulity at the tragedy which has perhaps increased over time as research has made the picture clearer. Humanly it turns out to be a saga of the most mind-boggling, incredible series of errors, oversights and accidents from the weak, low grade iron ore rivets in the steel plating of the perfect ship and insufficient lifeboats insufficiently filled because officers didn’t understand how many should go in them, to the undelivered wireless messages and even making the vessel sink faster by gathering speed instead of staying still or at least progressing very slowly. How could even the keys to the box containing the binoculars for the Lookout have been lost?

The list goes on and on. Many people and things contributed to the disaster but it strikes me one of the most directly and gratuitously guilty was (inevitably and unjustly!) a crew survivor, Harold Bride. He seems to have been too interested in sending income boosting radio messages for the rich and famous to be concerned with warnings about general conditions and icebergs. When he was strongly told he grew so irritable with the nearest ship, the Californian, which could have steamed over in time to save passengers, it switched off for the night so that emergency messages couldn’t be received when needed.

If the passengers remained too long secure for their own good in belief the ship was unsinkable, not even the popular captain Smith that millionaires like to travel with seems to have been too bright. An arbiter of fashion, Lady Duff Gordon, who had been prone to interesting states of foreboding during the voyage, walked on deck on the morning of the 14th and found it so cold she was convinced icebergs must be near which the Captain laughed off as improbable. But admittedly it was improbable. Though April could be a dangerous month, icebergs shouldn’t have been so far south at the time and it seems the massive culprit had broken off and made a very long journey and even from the time the Titanic began to be built.

The story begins to become like a parable of something, a dark tale of doom or retribution like Captain Ahab’s Great White Whale or the whale that God “prepared” for Jonah, all ultimately unavoidable. Yet not entirely unavoidable. There are strange tales of people’s late cancellations for the Titanic’s maiden voyage, everything from dreaming it would be wrecked to perhaps providential “accidents” that prevented their going as in the case of various clergy like the Rev Holden whose wife’s sudden illness prevented him from leaving for America, Pastor Nesbitt’s suddenly changed arrangements. The ship had been like a challenge to fate by its very name. The titans like fallen angels had revolted against the Greek ur-God, Saturn. The Titanic was the boat that ”even God himself couldn’t sink” (famous words attributed to Captain Smith who perished so that we can’t check) but which nature if not God did sink.


It’s a sign of the times that this last weekend’s docus did not stress religion really at all though the event would carry a lot of religious resonance and stories for many people. The Cameron film included violinists playing “Nearer my God to thee”, but it’s disputed it was precisely this hymn was played. However we do know that on deck there were priests giving absolution (to those from the second and the half abandoned third class) and on some boats, like the one 17 year old John Thayer managed to get onto after floating around, people were praying and singing hymns.

However not everyone on all life boats. The unsinkable Molly Brown was registering she was unsinkable and Lady Gordon in her detailed and fascinating account, and despite all her justified premonitions about the Titanic (where or how did she have them?), never once mentions God or Providence in the matter. In the lifeboat, scarcely able to endure the cold, the sea sickness, the sight of the sinking ship and the cries of the dying across the waters, like Voltaire’s Candide she only mentions that the stars above the boat (the night was illuminated by only stars, it was the dark of the moon with a new moon due on the 17th) seemed remote and uncaring to the scene. She hardly seems thankful to have survived – possibly she suffered survivor guilt. The British Dulwich College science teacher Lawrence Beesley likewise registers nothing emotional but the horror of the screams of the dying (some said they went on for hours but that’s what it must have seemed as most people would die in minutes from hypothermia). There is no thought or mention of God or fate; we may suppose science forbade everything but fact.

An idea I musingly draw from what I read and hear in this respect is that, (as I describe near the end of my The Great Circle), belief is a truly complex thing and is not necessarily influenced or decided at all by disaster, emergency and the face of death. People have a sense of God and the beyond or they don’t and often seem to believe what they want to believe. Ultimately it is almost as though there is a predestined, or at least highly “irrational” element to the faith decision.

The most extreme Titanic story of the religious kind belongs to the Scots Baptist minister John Harper after whom a memorial church would be founded in Glasgow. He was the traditional “soul winner” and was so to his last breath. His “last convert” a fellow Scot who managed to cling to some wreckage till he was later rescued would later attest that Harpur had heroically given away his lifejacket and was being driven back and forth in the water. He had come close shouting to him to trust in Jesus and be saved and asked him if he thought he was saved. “No,” replied the man. Harper was driven away by the current but later swept back to him and shouted had he now put his trust and was he really saved?” 'No, I cannot honestly say that I am' was the reply. Harper then sank. The man said he suddenly then believed. As I don’t find the name of the alleged convert one wonders if this is evangelical fantasy but probably not as Harper had also been observed by numbers of people on the sinking deck and then in the waters similarly calling on people to place their trust.


Harper’s daughter, Nina, survived but as her mother had died in childbirth she was brought up by family friends who never let her even discuss the Titanic during her youth. One wonders with such suppression and repression, with no grief and trauma counselling how even with prayers, hymns and faith Titanic survivors quite managed. And it seems they didn’t do so too well. John Thayer suffered depression and committed suicide later in life, Madeleine, the widow of John Jacob Astor who drowned lived a confused and troubled life. There are similar tales.

The most important thing would seem to be that we should learn a few lessons from the Titanic, not just the need for responsibility and efficiency on sea as much as land but even the need to mourn and express rather than repress which perhaps today we do rather better than back a century ago. Indeed it is almost as though the collective sensed it had to do the grieving for people and those of a generation who never quite did it for themselves. However the recent wreck of the Costa Concordia, another tale of remarkable bungling, suggests we may not have learned as much as we might have done.