Mark your calendars, folks. On Sunday, September 7th, the GLBT office is cosponsoring a free screening of the film God Loves Uganda at 3 p.m. at IU Cinema.
“A searing look at the role of American evangelical missionaries int he persecution of gay Africans” – The New York Times
God LovesUganda is a powerful documentary that explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.
The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.
God Loves Uganda records the culture clash between enthusiastic Midwestern missionaries and world weary Ugandans. It features a heartbreaking interview with gay activist David Kato shortly before he was murdered. It tells the moving story of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a minister excommunicated, ostracized and literally spat on for being tolerant – and chronicles his remarkable campaign for peace and healing in Uganda.
During the process of fully realizing their sexuality and coming out, many lesbian and gay individuals, particularly those who have participated in Christian traditions, struggle to reconcile their sexuality and their faith. As society at large becomes more aware of the diversity of sexual orientations and accepting of individuals who do not fit the heteronormative mold, an increasing number of faith groups and religion writers are addressing the spiritual needs of queer people. William G. Storey’s A Book of Prayer for Gay and Lesbian Christians is written especially for those who both practice Christianity and identify as lesbian or gay.
The tone of the book is inviting; rather than demanding that the reader partake in certain rituals, Storey offers suggestions to those who wish to enhance their connection with God. As Mark D. Jordan states in the book’s foreword, “Any prayer book is an invitation. This prayer book invites us, gently and wisely, to become more ourselves—not despite our loves, but because of them.”
Some prayers and reflections are of a general nature: they could apply to anyone. They are written using inclusive language so as not to alienate queer individuals or same-sex couples but instead include them in the fold, offering reassurance that they are the same as anyone else of the Christian faith.
And then some writings are specific to gay and lesbian people. Scripture readings and prayers for coming-out parties and same-sex marriage and unity ceremonies offer words for joyful celebrations. Sad events are addressed as well, such as the occasion of a person being rejected by loved ones. A reflection “For Our Enemies in High Places” urges forgiveness and compassion and offers reassurance of all-encompassing love.
The format of the book enables readers to open to a random spot and enjoy the reading there or search for prayers addressing a specific topic, event, or emotion. This is a valuable resource for those who are themselves lesbian or gay as well as for those who wish to pray for a loved one.
The “Gaelic Blessing” on page 165 offers a soothing reflection for people of all beliefs:
Deep peace of the running wave to us,
Deep peace of the flowing air to us,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to us,
Deep peace of the shining stars to us,
Deep peace of the gentle night to us,
Moon and stars pour their healing light on us.
Written by Jamie, GLBTSSS Office Supervisor.
For more resources about Christianity, check out our subject guide, which includes movies and books as well as a list of LGBTQA-Friendly Christian Ministries.
In an original and humorous way, Fish Out of Water tackles the seven Bible verses used to condemn homosexuality and justify marriage discrimination. Using animated illustrations as well as discussions with celebrated scholars, Director Ky Dickens shows how these passages are often misinterpreted and misquoted in regard to same-sex relationships.
Through interviews with hundreds of LGBT people, viewers are able to learn more about individual experiences with faith and sexuality. These interviews offer unique viewpoints that span across culture, race, age, socio-economic status, and religion.
Fish Out of Water is an accessible and engaging documentary that discredits conventional arguments of hate and gives a voice to the oppressed.