Chi Rho Connection Vol. IV, No. 14
CHI RHO CONNECTION
The eNewsletter of Chi Rho Press,
Your LGBT Christian Publishing House
Vol. IV, No. 14
31 July 2003
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.
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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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
(FirstLightfirstname.lastname@example.org), "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
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
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
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,
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@....
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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
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Copyright 2003, Chi Rho Press, Inc.