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Jesus Was 'Probably Gay'

Paul Oestreicher is an Anglican priest and a chaplain at the University of Sussex. Oestreicher felt Jesus Christ's intimacy with John had to be addressed, so he did so to a congregation in New Zealand on Good Friday.

JesusHe writes, in the UK's Guardian:

Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which. The homosexual option simply seems the most likely. The intimate relationship with the beloved disciple points in that direction. It would be so interpreted in any person today. Although there is no rabbinic tradition of celibacy, Jesus could well have chosen to refrain from sexual activity, whether he was gay or not. Many Christians will wish to assume it, but I see no theological need to. The physical expression of faithful love is godly. To suggest otherwise is to buy into a kind of puritanism that has long tainted the churches.

All that, I felt deeply, had to be addressed on Good Friday. I saw it as an act of penitence for the suffering and persecution of homosexual people that still persists in many parts of the church. Few readers of this column are likely to be outraged any more than the liberal congregation to whom I was preaching, yet I am only too aware how hurtful these reflections will be to most theologically conservative or simply traditional Christians. The essential question for me is: what does love demand? For my critics it is more often: what does scripture say? In this case, both point in the same direction.

Whether Jesus was gay or straight in no way affects who he was and what he means for the world today. Spiritually it is immaterial. What matters in this context is that there are many gay and lesbian followers of Jesus – ordained and lay – who, despite the church, remarkably and humbly remain its faithful members. Would the Christian churches in their many guises more openly accept, embrace and love them, there would be many more disciples.

Read the whole piece HERE.

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  1. To be that fly on the gate when Peter informs those, who persecuted gays in the name of Christ, that Jesus was gay. The Gospel of John definitely indicates Jesus was gay and the Secret Gospel of Mark also portrays Him as gay.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 20, 2012 7:05:06 PM

  2. Won't that be a rude awakening when many of his followers meet him in the afterlife.

    Posted by: Chadd | Apr 20, 2012 7:07:05 PM

  3. Jesus was gay and Middle Eastern and/or black. :-P

    Posted by: tasty | Apr 20, 2012 7:19:10 PM

  4. Well, what we do know is that Jesus was a Jewish man from 2,000 years who did not have blond hair, blue eyes, pale white skin, and other Northern European features.

    As for Jesus' sexuality for all we know, he could have been married to Mary Magdalene.

    Posted by: James | Apr 20, 2012 7:33:46 PM

  5. I can see smoke rising in the distance from all the heads that just exploded in Christendom...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Apr 20, 2012 7:34:03 PM

  6. Yah, it is kind of weird that people want to de-sexualize Jesus. He was a guy after all.

    Posted by: Jon | Apr 20, 2012 7:37:06 PM

  7. You'll all know what my advice is on this. This is an INTRA-Christian matter that gays who are not Christian should not even offer an opinion on. And yes I'm regularly on Towleroad offering my opinins on what are INTRA-LGBT matters, so I'm being 100%hypocritical, but I have far less to lose than you do.

    Nothing will turn "on the fence" voters anti-gay faster than hearing gay people claim that Jesus was gay. It won't even matter who came up with this idea first. A red flag should be visible to all in the gay community - this is not a topic you want to get into with anyone. If liberal Christians are now going to say that Jesus was gay they'll have the worst fight of their lives on their hands from traditional Christians. This will get mighty ugly. Trust me on this one: stick to the equality issue, you've got enough to deal with now.

    I hate to sound ominous. And I'm genuinely not trying to be anyone's "secular savior" here. But I'm worried that violence against both gays AND liberal Christians could increase if the culture wars take up this mini-topic. If you don't believe me look up what happened in the South when John Lennon (somewhat innocently) claimed that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus."

    Posted by: Mary | Apr 20, 2012 7:41:14 PM

  8. Jesus was a Pushy Manipulative Bottom!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 20, 2012 7:42:00 PM

  9. During the time that Jesus lived the expected life span of a person was around 45 years. Everyone married very young. It was the Jewish tradition that girls were married off as soon as they started to menstruate, and most grooms were around fourteen or fifteen. They needed to have as big a family as soon as possible, to help work their farms or carpenter shops, and many children meant that they were assured a comfortable life in their old age with each child contributing food and clothing to their aged parents. That Jesus never married was a most unusual and rare occurrence for those times. That would mean that Mary and Joseph would be desolate in their old age and the community would look upon him being a life time bachelor as being very selfish and not honoring his mother and father as the scriptures demanded. Most likely Jesus was married, had children, brothers and sister too, but for him to have engaged in any human activity was way too mundane for the church who needed to deify him in order to give power to the church

    Posted by: Ronn in SF | Apr 20, 2012 7:44:24 PM

  10. The poem "If Jesus Were Gay" by urban out Latino poet Emanuel Xavier asks some questions which have made some Christians think. It's brilliant, IMHO.

    Posted by: GZeus | Apr 20, 2012 7:44:31 PM

  11. James, I'd heard that about Jesus & Mary M.

    Which might explain why he was so upset at her prostituting.

    He wasn't upset because prostitution is inherently "bad" or anything

    ................he just wanted all that gushy for himself!! :-P (to any right-wing christianist's just jokes...i think! none of us were there, after all....)

    Posted by: tasty | Apr 20, 2012 7:55:03 PM

  12. The guy certainly understood on a deep level what it meant to be marginalized and despised. Whether or not that came from his own experiences as a gay man, it would be nice if modern so-called churches could follow his example of living a life of justice and inclusion for everyone.

    Posted by: kit | Apr 20, 2012 8:22:10 PM

  13. I have to agree with Mary on this one, it really is a bit of a risky move to say that.

    Posted by: Wolf Sawyer | Apr 20, 2012 8:24:34 PM

  14. Mary- This is not news to speculate on Jesus' sexuality, I have said he was gay for years, simply because a straight dude back then would NEVER be that enlightened or forgiving. That is if he existed at all (there are no remains, or writings by contemporaries). So color me skeptical, which to Christians means Atheist, is it so wrong to demand proof?

    Posted by: ty | Apr 20, 2012 8:28:59 PM

  15. Indeed, What Would Gay Jesus Do? WWGJD

    I can just see this as a car bumper sticker or inside one of those fish the Xians are so fond of putting on their cars.

    Posted by: Reality Sets In | Apr 20, 2012 8:37:39 PM

  16. @TASY, the vatican rejected the theory that of May M being a prostitute in the 60's. A pope in the 6th century started the rumor by mixing her up with another Mary in the bible.

    She was really one of his closest disciples at the least. But that wouldn't fit into the patriarchal status quo so they left the rumor stand.

    Interestingly, it was only she and John who stuck around for the crucifixion.

    Were any of the other disciples married? Cause that a lot of bachelors running around together in their 30s during that time.

    Posted by: IAN F | Apr 20, 2012 8:37:50 PM

  17. IAN F, is that for real? I grew up in the Catholic church (I was born in the early '80s)...and for some reason I thought orthodoxy had it that she was a prostitute....

    i cant imagine why the heck i would think that if the theory had been discarded a good 20 years before my birth.........................

    (this is just for my intellectual curiosity's sake...i have NO love for that church anymore :-) )

    Posted by: tasty | Apr 20, 2012 8:46:54 PM

  18. Be fearful, don't say anything about You Know Who being gay because the angry peasants will take up their pitchforks and torches and storm the castle of logic and reason! They may only be ignorant peasants but there are so many of them! Be afraid, very afraid.

    If you see them putting stakes in the ground and gathering up fagots, run, run as fast as you can. Not even your gay Jesus can save you!

    Posted by: Mary Quite Contrary | Apr 20, 2012 8:49:29 PM

  19. "Probably?"

    Posted by: Read the Bible | Apr 20, 2012 9:01:56 PM

  20. Anybody who thinks this is helpful to the cause is crazy. All the progress we have made as a community is threatened with mindless, ridiculous speculation like this. I know plenty of Christians who are tolerant; however, start spouting nonsense like this and see what happens.

    Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Apr 20, 2012 9:11:29 PM

  21. Oh relax. This is one article out of 20 today on a gay blog. No one is making an "issue" of this in society at large, and no one will. It's a small item of interesting contemplation. Chill. This is not going to cause a furor. No one will even know that anyone here wanted to blow gay Jesus.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 20, 2012 9:33:49 PM

  22. prove jesus even existed in the first place

    Posted by: say what | Apr 20, 2012 9:34:44 PM

  23. For all of you "tsk tsk how dare yous," if your reading and comprehension skills would allow, you would realize that this is a speculation made by a priest and a chaplain at a university, which would at the least imply a religious scholar. He says, "Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which," it is a speculation, not a proclamation. It is also not the first and I'm sure it won't be the last time that this theory has been posited. Give it a rest, those who cling to bibles as a reason to hate the queers are always going to hate us (Mary, I'm specifically looking at you now.)

    Posted by: Kenneth | Apr 20, 2012 9:42:14 PM

  24. if you read the gnostic gospels (and the Gospel according to Mary Magdeline) he was likely coupled with mary. not that i believe any of it or really care, but if we're going to speculate let's get it all out there.

    Posted by: deedrdo | Apr 20, 2012 9:54:44 PM

  25. So there are a couple dozen comments about the sex life of a fictional character? Enjoy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 20, 2012 10:31:45 PM

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