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Facebook Bans Gay Art Book Advert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Facebook censors gay Passion of Christ ad

NEW YORK, NY – Oct. 23, 2014 – Facebook canceled ads purchased for the new book “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” this week because the images “may shock or evoke a negative response from viewers.”

The book features art by Doug Blanchard showing Jesus as a gay man in a modern city, including the crucifixion and resurrection. 

“We are fighting what appears to be censorship and discrimination based on sexual orientation at Facebook,” said author Kittredge Cherry.

Blanchard suspects that complaints from religious conservatives scared Facebook into canceling the ads.  He bought the ads to promote the book’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GayPassion 

“The book is indeed controversial, but its intentions are not blasphemous, there is no sexual content, and the violence is unavoidable in any retelling of Christ’s Passion,” he said. 

The artist, author and publisher contacted Lambda Legal over the matter.

The ads were supposed to run for a week starting on Oct. 17, but Facebook shut down the promotion on Monday, Oct. 20.  A message from Facebook explained, “Your ad wasn’t approved because the image or video thumbnail may shock or evoke a negative response from viewers.”

Blanchard complained to Facebook, and they sent a surprising reply on Wed., Oct 22: “Your ad was rejected because the image violates the Ad Guidelines. Ads may not use images that are shocking.  Prohibited images include: -Accidents -Car crashes -Dead or dismembered bodies -Ghosts, zombies, ghouls and vampires.”

One purpose of the book is to reawaken people to the reality that violence is unacceptable and shocking.  But the artist and author believe that Facebook is being unfair in how it applies its policy.

“Facebook publishes crucifixes all the time, which would always violate the criteria that they lay out in their reply,” Blanchard said.  “Why was our book singled out?  I suspect strongly that it is because of the gay content.”

Cherry invited people to show support by “liking” the page that Facebook won’t let them advertise:  https://www.facebook.com/GayPassion

UnitledIn the book’s 24 paintings, a contemporary Christ figure is jeered by fundamentalists, tortured by Marine look-alikes, and rises again to enjoy homoerotic moments with God.  His diverse friends join him on a journey from suffering to freedom.  Each image is accompanied by an essay on its artistic and historical context, Biblical basis and LGBT significance.

Douglas Blanchard is a gay artist who teaches art and art history at the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. Kittredge Cherry is a lesbian author and art historian who founded JesusInLove.org, an online resource for LGBT spirituality and the arts.  She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches.

“The Passion of Christ” (ISBN 194067140X) was published this month by the Apocryphile Press, a publisher based in Berkeley.

The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision

91-qYrJgDJLTwo of my longstanding (by internet standards at least) blogging friends, the artist, Doug Blanchard, and the art historian, Kitt Cherry, have got together to publish the book of Doug’s the Passion of the Christ series of paintings that I know well and greatly admire.

Here’s the blurb:

Meet Jesus as a gay man of today in a contemporary city with The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision. In stunning new images, the modern Christ figure is jeered by fundamentalists, tortured by Marine lookalikes, and rises again to enjoy homoerotic moments with God. His surprisingly diverse friends join him on a journey from suffering to freedom. Readers call it “accessible but profound.” Some are moved to tears. The 24 paintings in the gay Passion cover Jesus’ final days, including his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. A queer Passion is important now because Christianity is being used to justify hate and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Each image is accompanied by insightful commentary, plus a short prayer and scripture. If Jesus came back today, would he be crucified all over again? Would we even recognize him? See for yourself in the gay vision of the Passion.

I understand why Kitt and Doug are selling the project as being gay and homoerotic but the paintings would certainly retain their sizeable, artistic value without that particular pitch. So do not think that you have to enjoy looking at men with great abs to enjoy the book. Furthermore the only offence in the pictures is the violence that is done to Jesus and if you think otherwise you should seek out some therapy as you are most likely suppressing some personal, sexual identity issues that you really need to resolve for your own mental wellbeing.

What more important people than me have to say about the book:

“Disturbing, but ultimately glorious… Radically transforming…”
(Toby Johnson, religion scholar and author of Gay Spirituality)

“Transformative in the most profound sense of the word…. Whether you are religious or not, it is impossible to read The Passion of Christ without having your basic beliefs shaken and expanded.” (Michael Bronski, Harvard prof., author of A Queer History of the United States)

“I was deeply moved by this retelling of the Easter story.”
(Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches)

“Together the paintings and text forced me to see Jesus again… as a living, breathing, sensual son of man whom I want to know more intimately.”
(Rev. Dr. Mel White, founder of Soulforce)

“Deeply effective and brings to life the Passion not only for the LGBT community but for all people struggling to find themselves in the narrative and make sense of their faith.”
(Rev. Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement)

“This marvelous book will speak not only to LGBTIQ Christians, but also to anyone who is passionate about creating a more just world for the marginalized and excluded.”
(Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Episcopal Divinity School professor)

“The divine leaps from these pages into open hearts. Few will view this art and read these commentaries without weeping for injustice and committing to love.”
(Mary Hunt, co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual)

“Not only is this a compellingly gay and much-needed re-visioning of the central Christian mystery. It also defiantly reaffirms our common humanity.”
(Donald L. Boisvert, Concordia University religion professor)

“Here Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard make Jesus live. For new trials and times, new faces and places, challenging our conceptions, preconceptions, and misconceptions.”
(S. Brent Plate, Hamilton College religion professor and author of Blasphemy: Art that Offends)

“A great contribution to art about Jesus. Paintings, interpretations, and afterword are all quite profound.” (Rev. Chris Glaser, author of Coming Out as Sacrament)

“Fertile resources for reflection, meditation, study and prayer.”
(Susannah Cornwall, research fellow in religion, University of Exeter)

“Provocative and powerful.”
(Theodore Jennings, Chicago Theological Seminary professor)

“Could do with some babes with big boobies but other than that it’s okay for an American book.” (Professor MadPriest, Newcastle Upon Tyne School of Advanced Buffoonery)

Kitt Easter 2013 - 550 pxAuthor Kittredge Cherry is an art historian who founded Jesus in Love, an online resource for LGBT spirituality and the arts. Cherry was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as its National Ecumenical Officer, advocating for LGBT rights at the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches. She holds degrees in journalism and art history from the University of Iowa, and a master of divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion. Her books include Lambda Literary Award finalist Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More (AndroGyne Press), The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision (Apocrpyphile Press), Hide and Speak (HarperSanFrancisco) Womansword (Kodansha International) and her Jesus in Love novels. The New York Times Book Review praised her “very graceful, erudite” writing style. Based in Los Angeles, she writes about LGBT spirituality and the arts at Huffington Post and the Jesus in Love Blog.

douglas-blanchard-1395346980-logo1Artist Douglas Blanchard teaches art and art history at the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. He paints in a realistic figurative style to explore gay experience as well as classical mythology, history, and current events. Born and raised in Dallas, Blanchard earned a BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1981, an MA in art history from Washington University in St. Louis in 1986, and an MFA cum laude from the New York Academy of Art in 1993. He was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1982 and remains an active Episcopalian and self-described “very agnostic believer.” He keeps a studio on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The Passion series was exhibited at New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in 2004 and JHS Gallery in Taos, New Mexico in 2007. His other work has been shown at a variety of galleries, including the New York Academy of Art.

Wonderfully Made But Still Excluded

WONDERFULLY MADE is a brand new Facebook page for anyone committed to seeing people living with disabilities leading a full, participating, unstigmatised life in the Anglican Communion. I highly recommend that you like and follow it especially if you are an Anglican and have any form of disability, mental or physical.

However, I wonder how many people who could actually do something about the prejudice against disabled people in the Church of England but who never do, will LIKE this page. Quite a lot, I would guess. What those of us who have had our lives ruined by bigoted bishops et al need is restitution not clicks of a Facebook button. In other words, don’t just talk about injustice, do something about it! You all know who you are.

Human Nature

A man bought a new fridge for his house.

To get rid of his old fridge (still working), he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying, “Free to good home. You want it, you take it.”

For three days the fridge sat there without anyone looking twice. He eventually decided that people were too mistrustful of this deal. So he changed the sign to read: “Fridge for sale $50.”

The next day someone stole it!

iTunes Is Their Tunes, Not Our Tunes

The Apple Mac people have consistently managed to make each version of iTunes slightly less useful than the last. With 12.01.26 they have ditched the sidebar completely which means that you can no longer drag songs from the library to playlists and between playlists. To do this now requires a lot more work and having to switch pages.

There appears to be a syndrome common among software developers which I shall call the “mend it even though it’s not broken” syndrome. They are paid to do something and obviously fear losing their jobs if they don’t do something. So they will change things even if they don’t need changing just to kid themselves and their employers that they are still worth employing.

This would not be so bad if the software companies were not so arrogant and would put things back to how they were when people complained about the new stuff. But software developers are like composers who compose unlistenable crap and who then accuse the audience of being wrong when the audience tell them it’s shit.

Holy Communion For The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

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Christ commands us to love one another and to be in communion with each other. At Saint Laika’s everyone is invited to receive communion and be in communion. There are no exceptions. If you have been pushed out of a church in the past or if you do not feel part of the institutional churches, for whatever reason, you are especially welcome here, and you will be among people who know exactly how you feel.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

CLICK HERE to download the service.

Click on the arrow on the far lefthand side of the sound bar to stream the service.

Alternatively CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

CLICK HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured.

IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO PLEASE PUT SOMETHING IN THE COLLECTION PLATE
If you enjoy the service and want to make future podcasts possible CLICK HERE and pop some of your hard earned cash into the Saint Laika’s collection plate. This is my only source of income and it normally amounts to about £500 a month which is not very much, especially if an unexpected bill turns up.

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MadPriest’s TV Update

Don’t forget that this Saturday sees the beginning of the first series of the controversial TV knockout competition, “Celebrity Surgery.” (Channel 4 at 2200hrs).

The big idea of this somewhat macabre programme is to get minor celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, sport and politics to compete against each other to discover which one of them is the best (or, perhaps more accurately, the least lethal) with a scalpel. Each week, those remaining in the competition will be expected to perform a surgical procedure on a real life member of the public with a real life infirmity. The operations get more complicated as the weeks go by. The first week you can expect the removal of an ingrowing toenail at the most but by the final episode the celebrities will be expected to be performing transplants of major organs. Although they will only have theatre nurses to help them with the actual operations, each celebrity will spend the week beforehand being instructed on how to “do it” by a fully qualified surgeon from one of the leading teaching hospitals.

Each week the least proficient celebrity and their accompanying surgeon will be thrown out of the competition, their incompetence having been assessed by a panel of expert judges and the votes of viewers. OCICBW… can reveal that the three judges for the first series will be Hugh Laurie from “House”, Rosie Marcel from “Holby City” and Martin Clunes from “Doc Martin”. Martin should be particularly knowledgeable as the general practitioner he plays in “Doc Martin” used to be a surgeon before succumbing to an irrational fear of the sight of blood (haemophobia).

“Celebrity Surgery” is a production of the Crazy Cleric Film Company who are best known for their other medical show, “Dancing With Dentists.”

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