"It is love alone that gives worth to all things." -- St. Teresa of Avila
While it might seem strange to some for a quote from a Christian contemplative-mystic to be aligned with a reproduction of a painting by Klimt: it is to me a perfect companion piece. Why? The original of this painting no longer exists: it was destroyed by the Nazi's as obscene and decadent. In a way, today's conservatives are continuing this aspect of the Nazi's work: everything -- particularly gay love -- is judged through the lens of domination: women are subservient to men, violence is acceptable even if it fails to produce the result one desire's, the earth exists for exploitation, and the privileged and powerful have -- not only the right -- but the "sacred" responsibility to dictate by whatever means necessary the lives of everyone weaker than them. Gay love especially is a flash-point for the dominator's: why again?
The simple answer would be to say that "Holy Scripture" says so: "Thou shalt not..." Some propose to speak for Yeshua-Jesus himself (though there is nothing recorded by him on the topic): again: "Thou shalt not..." And yet, and yet... This preoccupation with a free genital expression of love, delight, and pleasure -- between consenting adults -- is weird: I mean, why not pick a few words that Yeshua-Jesus did say like, "Love one another as I have loved you" or "Whatever you do to the very least of your brothers and sisters, you do to me" or "I was hungry and you fed me" or "Blessed are you poor" and completely focus one's political-religious passion on that instead?
I'll tell you why conservatives won't (almost to a person) take up any of these other words of Yeshua-Jesus instead of focusing on what someone is doing with their genitals: is it sexual repression? Is it fear? Is it...? No: it's trepidation... It's a near-mystical insight: but one that falls short: maybe we got it wrong. Maybe the Love that started all this loving to begin with is really Wild... maybe what we have between our legs are not sins waiting to happen, but sweet miracles wanting to give delight and love... maybe religion is not at all about sins and failings but about surrender and adoration... maybe we are supposed to liberate one another through compassion and kindness... maybe we are, really and truly, each and every one of us, "created by Love, for Love, to become Love"...
Backing away from the expansiveness of this near-mystical insight: we have judgment and religion. We have greed, violence, exploitation, and every other manifestation of the Dominator Paradigm: we have Death. Always and everywhere: where Death dominates, the weakest are marginalized, oppressed, or exterminated: remember, the Nazi's didn't invent death camps. The way forward? Simply sit. Invite the Presence of Spirit into your heart. Accept that Presence as Sacred. The only Realization that awaits: You are Everyone and Everyone is You: Practice Kindness, Compassion, Justice, Gentleness: and like the Master: repeat more than any other words that you speak: "Pass no judgment"... and a brand new world will open before your very eyes as you stand up and walk out into the world: will this make you gay? No, of course not, you silly one you! But it will make you happy! Pass it on...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.