Monday, July 11, 2016

one vote short - for less than a day

Tonight was the vote on changing the Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada to include same-sex marriage. It passed the house of laity and the house of bishops, with over 2/3's majority in each. But in the house of clergy, it was one vote short of passing.... 

And then the next day, an error was discovered which shifted the motion into passing!!

"But will we be addressing root causes of homelessness among lgbtq youth?" wonders someone attending the 2016 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.

That's a good question. If ending homelessness is not just about providing housing, the root causes  behind the homelessness of many people should be addressed, or we will just be treating the symptoms....

Yet is is much easier to provide some housing than it is to recognize and acknowledge that we are complicit in causing the problem. Let's take homeless lgbtq youth, for example. We are complicit because for years, the church has preached and acted against those who are part of sexual and gender minorities. Complicit because for years, the church has closed its heart to the least of these. Complicit because churches that are progressive in regard to their understanding of Scripture often still seem ashamed of the sexual and gender minorities in their midst, not offering a full and public welcome.

Read more here. 

And read more here. 

Friday, July 08, 2016

apology from the Baton Rouge Police Department

Alton Sterling and Family. Picture from Twitter
In memory of Alton Sterling, age 37, killed by Baton Rouge Police Department officers who responded to a report that a man selling CDs had threatened someone with a gun. July 5, 2016.

we just want to say

father of five in red shirt
selling CDs outside store
someone called in
an altercation

die Bullen pinned him to the ground
he's got a gun one shouted
the other did his sworn duty
and gored him to death

Forgive us
we had hoped to spar with a white dude
but the night was dark
and his dance card was full

poem by rob g

Read the story here.

Last stanza in poem refers to this:
If only #AltonSterling had this luxury.

This is a false apology poem in the style of William Carlos Williams. If you are new to my blog, be aware that this is a social commentary blog. Most posts are rather frank and some are hard-hitting. Read more about this blog.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


"We are your LGBTQ friends and family 
in the Anglican Church of Canada.
These are our stories."

#equallyAnglican logo designed by philip hamilton. Red cross in black circle, with four multi-coloured leaves, one in each quadrant

Just out in advance of this year's General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, the #equallyAnglican Facebook page features almost 30 images of Anglicans (see sample below) as well as videos and more, sharing the stories of lgbtq friends and family in the Anglican Church of Canada.

#equallyAnglican - picture of Pam Hill and Rwv. Sylvia Brightwell

Check it out!

Friday, July 01, 2016

depictions of god on this blog

Ah, yes. God is a man. Or at least, looks like a man.Those defaults that I've been taught all my life by the religious culture that I'm embedded in have really sunk in.

Until something shakes them up a bit:

It might seem like an innocuous tweet, but Broderick Greer is someone I pay attention to. And so after reading it, I thought to myself, oh, while I know that God is not a man with a beard, and while I have even depicted Jesus as a queer black female, I do sometimes depict God as a man with a beard.

So l looked at some of my cartoons: In some, I want people to twig in to this being God so I draw "him" with a beard, but shake it up a bit " making him brown. However, am I still perpetuating the idea that God is a man?

There is a simple problem - if I drew a woman to represent God, would people understand who she is? I guess that might depend on context - cuz "man with beard" doesn't say 'God' either, unless he's on a throne in the clouds... Hmm.

In some of my cartoons, such as the recent 'things god forgot to put in the Bible' cartoons, you cannot tell whether God is depicted as a man or a woman. Don't credit me for being intentional about this; I'm not great at drawing so if I can find a way to draw people (or gods) without drawing their faces, I'll use it.

And then there's the badly drawn balding man with out a beard.
And finally, I came across this cool depiction, which is the kind of drawing I make of God when I'm just drawing a picture of how God loves us. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

how Gentiles almost ended up not being part of the body of Christ

Picture of house with two men outside. Man in doorway says, "Cornelius the centurion? Sorry, but even though I've had this amazing dream and while I'm completely good with it, the idea of you being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and included in the church makes some of my fellow Jews uncomfortable and so we need to dialogue first and set up a listening committee...". Cartoon by rob goetze.

And many years later, Peter and the other Jewish followers of Jesus might still be debating whether Gentiles could or should be part of the kingdom of God.

Remind anyone of our current times?

Churches and denominations dialogue and debate and chat and argue about if and how our LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ can and should be included in the church in a way equal to the way cishet Christians are included.

And while this is carried on by people whose lives it does not directly affect in any way, our siblings in Christ are often left outside the door or in the back pew....

Thursday, June 09, 2016

[crossing the line]

In regard to plantations (see previous post), Bishop Flunder says,
It seems difficult in most cases, however, to cross the line from benevolent tolerance to full affirmation; to create a community of affectional orientation parity along with gender parity, class parity, and the like ...

What has occurred is a subculture of SGL [same gender loving] persons in the Christian community who are not necessarily condemned for being SGL, but who are also not given equal status with heterosexual persons in a heteronormative environment. SGL Christians are not often free to celebrate anniversaries, be close in public, or share a last name.

Bishop Yvette Flunder, in Where the Edge Gathers:

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

not ashamed but...

Top text: "I am not ashamed of the gospel...". Left block: 56 A.D. Man tells others, "...but I'm too embarrassed to tell my Jewish friends that it's also for the Gentiles...". Right block: 2016 A.D. Bishop says to parishioner, "... but don't ask us to publicly proclaim that it applies equally to our lgbtq+ siblings...". Cartoon by rob goetze.

And how about publicly proclaiming that our lgbtq+ siblings are actually and actively welcome and embraced?

Sunday, June 05, 2016


I came across a fascinating article which in part said this:
White Christians without multi-ethnic experiences often have a white cultural vision for what it means to be a multi-ethnic church. Their mono-ethnic, predominantly white, and non-multi ethnic experiences will inevitably force them to see multi-ethnic church through the lens of their socially constructed whiteness.

Consequently, it will be easy for these Christians, lacking the necessary multi-ethnic and multi-cultural competence, to import their limited cultural vision onto ethnic minorities in the name of a multi-ethnic church, while genuinely thinking they’re pursuing racial reconciliation with their ethnic minority brothers and sisters in Christ.

How to avoid becoming an unhealthy, multi-ethnic church plantation
Jarvis Williams May 5, 2016
This makes a lot of sense to me.

And then I wondered, how might this apply to our lgbtq+ siblings? Is there a similar dynamic? So I rewrote the paragraphs with that in mind:
Straight Christians without experiences of multiple gender and sexual realities often have a straight cisgender cultural vision for what it means to be a diverse and welcoming church. Their mono-sexual, predominantly heterosexual, and solely cisgender and gender binary experiences will inevitably result in them seeing a sexually-diverse and gender-diverse church through the lens of their socially constructed cisgender straightness.

Consequently, it will be easy for these Christians, lacking the necessary multi-sexuality and multi-gender identification competence, to import their limited cultural vision onto sexual and gender minorities in the name of a diverse and welcoming church, while genuinely thinking they’re pursuing reconciliation with their sexual and gender minority siblings in Christ.

The result will be predominantly straight cisgender churches with predominantly straight cisgender leadership seeking to conform sexual and gender minorities into the cultural idea of straightness and cisgenderedness instead of Spirit-empowered, multi-sexual, multi-gender, gospel-centered churches whose members are seeking to pursue reconciliation with one another regardless of sexual and gender differences, as the members put one another’s needs before their own and as they seek to listen to, learn from, and serve one another in love.

Is this what's happening in some progressive parishes and churches? Are they plantations where lgbtq+ people are welcome to fully be part of the existing order, but not embraced and celebrated for who they are?

Friday, June 03, 2016

first to the jew...

Top text: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes..." Left block: 56 A.D. One man telling others, "... first to the Jew, then to the, uh, ummm, ah, yeah...". Right block: 2016 A.D. Minister standing at pulpit tells congregation, "...first to all the straight folks, then to the, uh, ummm, ah, yeah, world without end, amen." Cartoon by rob goetze

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Romans 1:16