Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Trans Pastors Speak Out Against Hate Crimes

I spent the past three days, with over 200 trans folk in Washington DC for Lobby Days and the Transgender Religious Summit (sponsored by CLGS and NCTE) to help lobby for congress to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Bill (which the house just passed the bill today).

A few of the 50 trans pastors, took time before lobbying to release the first major letter written by an interfaith group of transgender faith leaders. You can read the letter in English or Spanish. These trans pastors gathered in support of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and to encourage other faith leaders to do the same.

Notably the most prolific charge at the Transgender Religious Summit came from Kate Bornstein. Here are some of my favorite quotes from her keynote:
  • "it's time for churches to start having good sex: safe, sane and consensual."
  • "everyone here is getting a 'get out of he'll free card'"#trs
  • "when we are outsiders we get to be hidden bodhisattvahs... Because no one would expect us to do good work"
  • "what does it say that the downfall of humanity (in Genisis) comes from the desire for morality"
  • the story of Adam and eve is story of God warning us against the binary
  • "you never have to answer either/or questions... Either/or is the language of bullies."
  • "I'm a masochist, if I did unto you what I like done to me, you'd rightly put me in jail"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Out in Season Lent - Easter

I forgot to mention this resource I helped write for HRC on the Lent and Easter Cycle. Learn about baptism and the transgender experience.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trouble Will Bury Me Down

Hear "Trouble Will Bury Me Down"
Sermon Preached at the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church on April 5, 2009 (the second day of my seven day street retreat).
Scripture readings: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 and Mark 11:1-11

Street Retreat Blogging

If you are interested in following my experiences living on the streets for 7 days and 7 nights (as I have done for 7 years now), check out:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Palm/Passion Sunday

Jesus rides into the crowd on a donkey (John), no a horse (Mark and Luke), no both a horse and a donkey (Matthew)...

In a great case against literal interpretations of the bible, this is one of those stories that everyone has heard (the church going ones anyway). Yet, the details are a bit fuzzy. Like the oft overlook diversity that exists in the birth narratives.

What Jesus rode doesn't really matter, since the point is the irony of the glory that comes before the suffering pain and awefulness of the story that follows. It's that grand welcome, that end up being a trap like a good spy movie or episode of Scooby Do.

And there are still a good number of Christians continue the trap of over exaggerated welcome - followed by judgement, trial and death of individuality (and sometimes creativity and fun).

My dream is for a church that welcomes people, all people (especially those who disagree with me), and continues the welcome with the more gritty change and transformation that comes from staying in relationship. This means that we don't throw out our tradition with the bath water. I myself am a fan of reclaiming the roots of the tradition (which usually prove to be much more radical anything I could ever come up with) and rituals with an ability to also welcome and honor the new traditions and rituals that move people living today.

This week I visited First United Methodist in Vermillion (FUMV), South Dakota. The Human Rights Campaign sent me there as a part of the trainings about faith and gender identity that are happening in all the congressional districts that are needed to pass ENDA. I learned that this congregation in the midst of the "bible belt" where fundamentalism is an assumption, is a church practicing radical welcome. If it can happen here it can happen anywhere. I was also excited to learn that FUMV has a donkey at their Palm Sunday worship each year. They're still looking for one for this year, so if y9u've got a donkey to lend for a couple hours, I can't think of a better cause!

This Palm Sunday I will be preaching at the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church. It will be the second day of my annual street retreat (where I live on the streets of the tenderloin for 7 days and nights). Check out my street retreat blog to follow my journey through holy week. I will be riding neither a donkey or a horse (famous last words...).