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Chi Rho Connection Vol. IV, No. 14

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    ************************* CHI RHO CONNECTION The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press, Your LGBT Christian Publishing House Vol. IV, No. 14 31 July 2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2003
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      *************************
      CHI RHO CONNECTION

      The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
      Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
      Vol. IV, No. 14
      31 July 2003

      *************************
      Contents:

      1. Our Newer Titles
      2. A Tragic Story of Homophobia
      3. The LGBT "Threat" to Straight Marriage
      4. Sanctoral Cycle
      5. An Opportunity for Investment in Chi Rho Press
      6. Adam's Last Word

      --------------------------------------------------

      This Issue's Quote:

      "Twenty-five or 30 years ago the barometer of human
      rights in the United States was black people. That is
      no longer true. The barometer for judging the character
      of people in regard to human rights is now those who
      consider themselves gay or lesbian."
      -- Bayard Rustin, 1986 interview

      *****

      Welcome once again to the Chi Rho Connection, the
      electronic newsletter of Chi Rho Press. Thank you for
      passing this Chi Rho Connection on to others.

      To join our list, send an e-mail message to
      mailto:ChiRhoPress-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

      To remove yourself from this list send an e-mail to
      mailto:ChiRhoPress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

      Please visit our Web site at http://www.chirhopress.com
      to see our entire lines of books, handouts, videos, tapes,
      tchochkas, and stained glass.

      Direct all other e-mail to Adam@....

      --------------------------------------------------

      1. Our Newer Titles

      "The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence
      on Same-sex Relationships," by Rev. Jeff Miner and John
      Tyler Connoley. (ISBN: 0-9719296-0-2) 91 pages.
      $12.95 each, six or more copies for $9.75 each.

      Published by Jesus Metropolitan Community Church,
      Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, this book is a positive and
      concise new look at what the Bible really says about
      homosexuality and same-sex relationships. See it on
      our Web site at http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Miner

      *****

      "Together in Love," the new anthology by Roberta Showalter
      Kreider, who compiled "From Wounded Hearts" for Chi Rho
      Press. $24.00 each, $18.00 each for six or more copies,
      plus shipping and handling.

      "Together in Love: Faith Stories of Gay, Lesbian,
      Bisexual, and Transgender Couples" is an anthology of
      LGBT couples, telling their stories of their faith
      journeys as people in non-traditional relationships.
      "Together in Love" is 360 pages, and contains 26 stories
      by LGBT couples, other stories, poems, and a father's
      message to the church. (ISBN: 0-9664822-1-2)

      See "Together In Love" on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/gayandchristian.html#Kreider

      *****

      "For Another Flock: Rainbow Meditations and Study Guide
      for Lent" is spiral bound, 5 ½" x 8 ½", 104 pages. $10.95
      each, $8.95 each for six or more copies, plus shipping and
      handling. See it on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#ForAnotherFlock

      Though Lent is over for this year, you should pick this
      book up to plan for your Lenten devotions in 2004.
      Written out of the deep faith and learning of a gay
      practicing Roman Catholic and from a Catholic
      perspective, "For Another Flock" includes daily
      meditations for all the days of Lent and Holy Week,
      beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter
      Sunday. Scripture readings are provided for every
      day in Lent and Holy Week followed by a reflection
      from a uniquely gay and Catholic point of view and a
      prayer. A weekly Bible study is also included in this
      valuable little book.

      *****

      We have a video in stock featuring Roberta Kreider
      and Mary Lou Wallner, with an introduction by the Rev.
      Peter J. Gomes. "Family Stories: Journeys of Spirit in
      Mixed Orientation Families" was produced by John Davis
      and is available for $26.95, plus shipping and handling.

      "Family Stories" presents the journeys of two women whose
      lives have changed dramatically in working through issues
      of sexuality and religion. The untimely deaths of family
      members (one a gay brother, the other a lesbian daughter)
      lead them to confront their feelings of confusion and
      hypocrisy. They provide hope for families, as well as
      religious and social organizations, by clearly
      demonstrating how minds can and do change.

      "Family Stories" is in VHS format, color, and 35 minutes,
      and sells for $26.95, plus shipping and handling.
      See it on our Web page at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/videos.html#FamilyStories.

      --------------------------------------------------

      2. A Tragic Story of Homophobia

      We heard a frightening story from one of our Board
      members at our recent board meeting. (We are omitting
      her name for reasons that will be obvious in this
      story.) She told us that one day a "Christian"
      street protester saw her work name tag as she emerged
      from the Metro on her way to work, and apparently
      recognized her name as being a Chi Rho Press board
      member.

      The protester verbally attacked her, following her all
      the way to work, where he was stopped by building
      security. The verbal attacks were about the LGBT
      issues. Our board member has been receiving vicious,
      hateful e-mail. She assumes these people got her name
      and e-mail address after seeing her name on the Chi
      Rho Press Web site, and doing a search on her name,
      which led them to her place of employment and e-mail
      address.

      The board was amazed that people were reading our Web
      site so closely (so much so that they remember our
      names!) and discussed what steps should be taken. We
      agreed to remove this board member's name and biography
      from the Web site. Other board members declined to
      have their names and bios removed from the Web site.
      We will join our victimized board member in monitoring
      her e-mail and personal attacks and take whatever action
      is deemed appropriate to protect our sister from these
      attacks by rabid members of the religious right wing.

      We hope you will join us in our prayers and concern for
      the safety and well being of all the board, authors, and
      staff of Chi Rho Press.

      --------------------------------------------------

      3. The LGBT "Threat" to Straight Marriage
      by Adam DeBaugh

      Something is stirring, a sea-change is abroad in the
      land. It is a very exciting time to be an LGBT
      activist, and also a frightening time. We have
      written in these pages about the amazing U.S. Supreme
      Court decision, which struck down the sodomy laws in
      the 13 remaining states that had them and overturned
      the infamous Hardwick decision. This has already been
      called our Brown vs. the Board of Education landmark
      ruling.

      In the blessed and favored land to our north, the
      Province of Ontario started the ball rolling, or at
      least the gay wedding bells ringing, with other
      provinces following suit and the entire Canadian
      government expected to legalize same-sex marriage.

      At the grassroots, people of imminent good sense are
      more and more speaking up for the LGBT minority in
      their midst, even to the point of electing openly Gay
      bishops in the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire, and
      in the Church of England. Unfortunately the Archbishop
      of Canterbury has intervened successfully in Britain,
      hopefully less so in the U.S., on the side of church
      unity as opposed to justice. But the sea change is
      still out there.

      Inevitably, the Religious Reich is foaming at the mouth
      at our advances. Today I focus on one such bit of
      blather. A commentary by Mark O'Keefe, Newhouse News
      Service, appeared in the Ft. Worth (TX) Star-Telegram,
      on July 19, 2003. In it, Mr. O'Keefe writes, "Some
      [conservatives] see opportunity in a new battle arising
      from the June [Supreme Court] ruling: gay marriage.
      Handled correctly, strategists say, it could re-energize
      religious conservatives, putting them in a posture of
      defending heterosexual marriage instead of attacking
      the rights of gays."

      "Defending heterosexual marriage"! Wow, the power they
      think we have. OK, I am a single Gay man, and have been
      single since my "tragic divorce" ended a 10 year
      relationship in 1992. I would love to take advantage
      of my newfound sexual legality (thank you, Supremes!)
      and even dash off to Canada to get legally hitched.
      All I am lacking is a man with which to do these things!

      But you know what? Destroying heterosexual marriage is
      not on my agenda! I don't know of ANY LGBT activist for
      whom this is the goal. To be honest, straight people
      have been doing a pretty fair job at destroying the
      institution of heterosexual marriage, with divorce rates
      well over 50%, abuse rampant, and dysfunction seemingly
      the norm. They certainly don't need us!

      Mr. O'Keefe goes on to report that "Senate Majority
      Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has endorsed the effort [to
      defend heterosexual marriage from us gay people], saying
      'Western values' and the 'sacrament' of marriage must be
      protected."

      OK, first of all, marriage isn't a sacrament in most
      churches and unless Sen. Frist is a Roman Catholic, he
      is seriously misinformed about his church (in fact Sen.
      Frist is a Presbyterian and clearly VERY misinformed
      about what a sacrament is).

      Second, what "Western values" are we talking about?
      With the institution of marriage in such disarray,
      could the good Doctor/Senator from Tennessee seriously
      be suggesting that allowing same-sex couples to marry
      could possibly further damage an already dicey
      proposition?

      Third, why does Sen. Frist and other right-wingers think
      LGBT people have such power?

      And I guess, fourth, why does the Senator feel that
      straight institutions are so fragile that they are
      easily overcome by proud, honest, open LGBT people?

      As I have said before in these pages, since when do
      we have the power to destroy straight institutions?
      Since when is heterosexuality so flawed that
      homosexuality poses an irresistible appeal to the
      unwary? I have wondered about that with the perpetual
      huzzerai over role modeling. It seems that straight
      homophobes think, "We can't let Gay people teach, or
      be Scout leaders, or be pastors and priests or
      especially, God forbid, bishops, because seeing out,
      proud, and successful Gay people would so inspire our
      youth to abandon their natural heterosexuality that
      everyone would become Gay!" So fragile is the allure
      of heterosexuality! Oh come on!

      Maybe they are right! My friend Lawrence Reh comments
      on his excellent list-serve
      (FirstLight-subscribe@yahoogroups.com), "Our community
      could, some day, become as blasé about matrimony as
      some heterosexuals, but for the present, I suspect
      that committed same-gender couples are better marriage
      role models than many heterosexual unions which have
      resulted from peer pressure, parental expectations,
      unwanted pregnancy, or the perceived advantages in
      climbing career or social ladders."

      I think it is all very silly. Some religious
      conservatives seem hell-bent on policing the
      activities of others in the morbid fear that some
      one, somewhere is having a good time. Are WE having
      fun yet? The reality is that giving me rights does
      not mean that you have fewer rights. It simply means
      that we BOTH have rights. My being able to marry
      takes nothing away from my brother and his wife. It
      just makes my relationship more just and fair. My
      being opening Gay does not take anything away from
      my openly heterosexual friends. Nor would I want
      it to.

      But that sea change IS happening, same-sex relationships
      are becoming more equal with heterosexual ones. To
      prove it, the Bravo network came out with a new reality
      marriage television show this week called Boy Meets Boy,
      in which an eligible (and rather charming) Gay man gets
      to choose between 15 other men to date. The only catch
      is that unbeknownst to the Gay hero, three of his
      prospective suitors are really heterosexual men and
      only in it in the hopes of catching his eye and winning
      the money. So at least on Bravo, gay relationships are
      being brought equal to straight ones, characterized by
      sensationalism, lies, deceit, and greed. I feel so
      equal now!

      Of course, the Religious Reich hasn't been heard
      screaming about what these reality marriage shows are
      doing to the institution, oh excuse me Sen. Frist, the
      sacrament of heterosexual marriage. Maybe because that
      is what heterosexual marriage is really all about?

      Nah, my parents were straight and their marriage was
      rock solid and wonderful. Maybe they took their lead
      from Gay couples they knew, not hypocritical religious
      bigots like Sen. Frist or the current crop of reality
      marriage travesties on television.

      If Sen. Frist and his cohorts in the Robertson-Falwell-
      Phelps American Taliban really want to end the threat
      to heterosexual marriage, they should turn their eyes
      away from Gay and Lesbian couples. Maybe we are more
      the solution, than the problem!

      The fact is that well-reasoned law, not the
      pronouncements of bigoted church leaders, will
      prevail. It is important to remember it was as
      recently as June 12, 1967, when the U.S. Supreme
      Court (in Loving v. Virginia) declared the
      miscegenation laws in Virginia and 15 other
      states unconstitutional. Before 1967 interracial
      marriages were illegal in those 16 states. Bigoted
      church leaders and even a majority of public opinion
      disagreed with the Supreme Court then, too. And
      somehow the institution of heterosexual marriage
      survived that!

      --------------------------------------------------

      4. Sanctoral Cycle

      As a regular feature in the Chi Rho Connection, we
      are offering up traditional and modern saints and various
      holy days and holidays listed in the 2003 Liturgical
      Calendar and Lectionary from today until our next
      scheduled electronic newsletter.

      *****

      Thursday, Aug. 7, John Mason Neale (1818-1866).
      Liturgical reformer and hymn writer. A priest of
      the Church of England, Neale was a leader in the
      Oxford Movement, which revived Anglo-Catholic, "High
      Church," ideals of church architecture and ceremony.
      He organized charitable work for suffering women and
      girls. A scholar and skilled poet, he is best known
      for his extensive work as a hymn writer and translator
      of ancient hymn texts into singable English. Every
      modern hymnal contains examples of his devotional
      poetry, "All glory, laud, and honor," "Good Christian
      friends, rejoice," "Creator of the stars of night,"
      and many others.

      Thursday, Aug. 7, Tisha B'av (Jewish). Day of fasting
      in remembrance of the destruction of the Temples in
      Jerusalem in 516 bce and later in 70 ce.

      Saturday, Aug. 9, St. Edith Stein (1891-1942).
      Carmelite martyr. Raised in an Orthodox Jewish home,
      Edith was a brilliant scholar even from an early age.
      She devoted herself to philosophy and declared herself
      an atheist. After reading the writings of St. Teresa
      of Avila she was baptized as a Catholic. She
      continued to attend synagogue with her mother each
      week. Her academic reputation grew as she taught in
      universities, but with Hitler's rise to power she
      lost her position and entered a Carmelite convent.
      She understood from the start where events would
      lead. She was taken to Auschwitz, where she cared
      for abandoned children, "Pietà with the Christ" she
      was called. She died because she was a Jew, and
      not for her Christian faith. She clearly understood
      her death as an act of solidarity with both her own
      people and the cross of Jesus.

      Monday, Aug. 11, St. Clare (1193-1253). Abbess at
      Assisi. At the age of 18 Clare heard a sermon by St.
      Francis that changed her life. A beautiful woman
      from a wealthy family, she determined to turn her
      back on the social station offered her and give her
      life to Christ alone. She founded an order that
      embraced poverty and service. As she lay on her
      deathbed she was visited by the countless lay and
      clergy who had been touched by her humility and
      kindness, including the Pope.

      Wednesday, Aug. 13, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910).
      Nurse and health care reformer. Raised in an affluent
      British family, Florence became interested in nursing
      at an early age. Her inspiration grew from her life
      of prayer, and against her family's wishes she found
      her life's purpose in addressing the sufferings of the
      poor and ill. Her work improving hospital sanitary
      conditions in the Crimean War won her a large following.
      She was known as the "angel of mercy."

      Thursday, Aug. 14, St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941).
      Polish Franciscan priest and martyr. "Father Max," as
      he was known, was a scholar, mystic, and missionary
      who demonstrated compassionate acceptance for all
      people, from Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz to the
      Buddhists and Shinto he worked with in Japan.
      Arrested by the Gestapo, he spent his time in the
      death camps comforting others and confronting evil
      with love. He went so far as to offer his own life
      to save a Jewish escapee so he could remain with
      his family. Sent into an underground bunker to starve
      to death, after two weeks he was finally executed.

      Friday, Aug. 15, St. Mary, Mother of Jesus. As a
      young Jewish girl of perhaps only 14, Mary was engaged
      to Joseph the carpenter, and gave birth to Jesus.
      Together they raised him in a traditional Jewish home
      in Nazareth. The Gospels tell of the angelic visits
      and miraculous birth, and of her response of faith and
      trust in God's will for her life. She followed her
      son in his ministry right to the cross, and was
      active in the early church. As Christianity grew
      devotion to Mary developed into belief in her
      perpetual virginity, and her role as the Theotokos,
      or Mother of God. In Roman Catholic tradition this
      day is celebrated as the Assumption of the Blessed
      Virgin Mary, and in Orthodox churches it is celebrated
      as the Dormition of the Theotokos.

      *****

      Order the full 2003 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary,
      complete with the entire year's Sanctoral Cycle, at,
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Park.

      -------------------------------------------------

      5. An Opportunity for Investment in Chi Rho Press

      The Board of Directors of Chi Rho Press has authorized
      issuing new Promissory Notes at 6% simple interest. The
      Promissory Notes are a way for Chi Rho Press to seek
      capitalization for our ministry. The investments will
      be used to pay down existing, more expensive debt,
      increase staff effectiveness, and fund the printing of
      new publications. We urge you to invest in this ministry
      with $1,000 or more in Promissory Notes.

      Promissory Notes in $1,000 increments are available from
      Chi Rho Press, at 6% simple interest, repaid in eight
      quarterly payments over a two year period.

      Write Adam@... for the text of the Promissory
      Note, and send your check for $1,000 (or $2,000, $3,000,
      or even $5,000!). We will send a signed Note upon the
      receipt of your check.

      -------------------------------------------------

      6. Adam's Last Word:

      July has come to a close and summer is more than half
      over. It has been a strange summer weather-wise in
      the Washington DC metropolitan area. But we muddle on.

      Things have been busy at Chi Rho Press and we continue
      to covet your support and prayers.

      *****

      I will be attending the WOW Conference in Philadelphia
      in August 2003 and Chi Rho Press will have a significant
      presence there in the Resource Center. You really need
      to be there at this amazing event.

      To register, visit the WOW Web site at http://www.wow2k.org

      *****

      God bless you all!

      R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....

      ******************************************

      We are glad you are partners in ministry with us here at
      Chi Rho Press. We are eager for your comments, your
      suggestions, your assistance with selling our books,
      and your own purchases! And of course, we covet your
      prayers for this ministry.

      If you've received the Chi Rho Connection as a result of
      someone passing it along to you and would like to receive
      it directly from us, please follow these directions:

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      Please visit http://www.ChiRhoPress.com You may
      pay by credit card on our web page or we will ship
      your order after receiving your check or money
      order. Please always include your e-mail address,
      mailing address, and telephone number.

      For all e-mail correspondence, please write
      Adam@....

      Our snail mail address is:

      Chi Rho Press, Inc.
      P.O. Box 7864
      Gaithersburg, MD 20898

      Our telephone and fax number is 301/926-1208.

      Customers outside the U.S. and especially our Canadian
      friends can order using credit cards on our Web page or
      through our Canadian distributor, MAP Enterprises, Mary
      Ann Pearson, at her Web page, http://www.christiangays.com

      Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.

      ******************************************
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