In the first time the Queen has voiced support for gay rights in her 61-year reign, she is set to sign a new charter which aims to tackle homophobic discrimination.
When Bishop Gene Robinson delivered the keynote address at More Light Presbyterians celebration dinner at 2012 General Assembly, he came under fierce attack in some quarters for some words about the value of MLP “sowing confusion” in the Presbyterian Church. This reaction was based on not only complete lack of understanding of what Robinson was getting at, but also and more seriously, a failure to see that the whole point of the Gospels is not as a defender of a traditional status quo, but as a transformative instrument, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter and transform our lives – and our societies.
In “Christ Transforming Culture” at More Light Presbyterians, there is an excerpt from Bishop Marc Handley Andrus explanation of why he and 28 other Episcopal bishops had submitted a friend of the court brief to the US Supreme Court in support of equal marriage – then continues with this extract from Bishop Robinson’s keynote address:
Jesus says this really astounding thing: “There is much that I would teach you. But you cannot bear it right now. So I will send the Holy Spirit who will lead you into all truth” (John 16:12-13). Don’t for a minute think that God is done with you, and those who come after you. Does anyone doubt that we were led by the Holy Spirit to turn our backs on defending slavery using Scripture? Is it not the Holy Spirit that is leading us to a fuller understanding of the gifts, integrities and experiences of women? And I would say that the Holy Spirit is leading us to recognize gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. We should see this as a sign of a living God. We don’t worship a God who stopped revealing God’s self at the end of the first century when the canon of scripture was closed.
b. March 6, 1475
d. February 18, 1564
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. His art typified the High Renaissance style with use of naturalistic light, depiction of realistic figures and emphasis on the beauty of nature. One of the true “Renaissance men,” his talent encompassed fine art, architecture and poetry. He was referred to as “Il Divino” (“The Divine One”).
Michelangelo was born in the Tuscany region of Italy. At age 13, he started an apprenticeship in Florence with Domenic Ghirlandaio, from whom he learned fresco painting.
He moved to Rome and received a commission from the French ambassador to the Holy See, the central government of the Catholic Church. In 1497, he completed one of Christendom’s most significant artworks, the “Pietà.” The lifelike marble sculpture depicts Mary cradling the body of Christ after the Crucifixion.
His colossal marble statue “David” is considered the masterpiece of High Renaissance sculpture. Completed in 1501, the sculpture is 17 feet tall and is exhibited in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Florence.
Michelangelo was a primary architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the sole designer of its dome. From 1508 to 1512, he painted what would become his most famous work, the ceiling frescoes of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The frescoes include “The Creation of Adam,” in which God’s finger stretches out to give Adam life. These murals are considered the most magnificent and spiritual art of the Roman Catholic Church.
A lover of male beauty, Michelangelo’s lyrical poetry described his same sex-affection. He wrote:
The flesh now earth, and here my bones,
Bereft of handsome eyes, and jaunty air,
Still loyal are to him I joyed in bed,
Whom I embraced, in whom my soul now lives
Fears that children adopted by gay and lesbian couples do less well in life are completely unfounded, according to the first study into how children and parents in non-traditional families fare compared with heterosexual households.