Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  BLACKLINES

Black, Gay and 'A Member of the Church'?
2003-01-01

This article shared 6337 times since Wed Jan 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Blacklines, January 2003

Copyright © 2002 Lambda Publications Inc. All rights reserved.

by D. Kevin McNeir

With all of the rhetoric about the Christian church and its commitment to being a place for the disheartened and disinherited, one would expect the Church to be a safe haven for those who often live on the margins of society--gays and lesbians, people of color and the poor. But the reality is that these particular elements of society, who often find relatively few places that they can call home, are usually unable to "fit" into the middle-class, right-wing malaise that is adopted by a great majority of this country's Christian churches.

In a new book by Dwight N. Hopkins, Heart & Head: Black Theology--Past, Present and Future, this Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School begins with a personal account of a life of service that required "a compassionate intellect, an intellectual compassion."

Hopkins asserts that in this post-civil-rights, post-affirmative action era, all people, regardless of race, must join together in forging a new common wealth. The fresh approach he takes, supported by a detailed perspective on a new racial, gender and economic democracy, illustrates his belief that a renewed Black theology may be the key to personal and social liberation.

Lesbian readers or those women drawn to the battle for women's rights within the church will be drawn to the author's first chapter, "Black Theology of Liberation and the Impact of Womanist Theology." "Black theology of liberation means thinking about how the spirit of liberation works with poor black folk spiritually and materially, individually and collectively, and privately and publicly," Hopkins writes. "The foundation for black theology has always existed whenever and wherever God has chosen to co-labor with the poor for justice. Moreover, black theology analyzes specific events and times when God gives communities at the bottom of society the freedom to choose life when they live as full human beings." ( Hopkins, 30 ) .

At the basis of his argument is his understanding of Black theology that asserts that God has called women and men to struggle and wants both to become healthy human beings. For readers unfamiliar with the development in the black church of womanist thought, or a reading of the Bible and the development of Christian doctrine that includes women in the equation, this chapter should be both enlightening and encouraging.

But what continues to drive the author and makes this a book that all Christians, regardless of sexual orientation, should read, is his insistent plea to the mainstream church that the real work of the church, both intellectually and spiritually, must remain service to the church and the community.

The chapter that will probably cause the most debates among those in the pulpit and the pews is entitled, "A New Black Heterosexual Male." He asserts that gender differs from sex and that sex speaks to human biology--the genitalia with which each person is born, while gender is defined and determined not by nature but by human culture. "Gender construction remains a socialization process influenced by child-rearing and parenting models, peer pressure and positive examples, movies and other media, educational institutions and training organizations, and biblical interpretations and faith communities. Human beings make other human beings into specific male and female genders." ( Hopkins, 92 )

Hopkins goes on to say that the development of gender, as a product of socialization, is not an overnight process, but is instead vibrant and ongoing. From this perspective, as he writes, there are no right or wrong definitions of gender because gender results from how each society socializes people into gender roles. He believes that the key, as it relates a Black theology of liberation, is not the description of genders but "the presence or absence of liberation, the ethics of equality and mutual sharing."

In other words, we become that which society socializes us to be and are subsequently invited or denied certain rights and privileges because of our gender. Hopkins' analysis is a welcome one in a world where women, the poor and particularly gays and lesbians are often treated as second-class citizens.

"A system of white male culture in the United States not only sets the norm for what is a male gender, it creates and perpetuates stereotypes about the black male gender." ( Hopkins, 94 )

So, what is the role of the true heterosexual male? The author says it is to "take a stand against a host of devious desires and damaging deeds.

"He speaks out against various discriminations as it pertains to race, gender, class, sexual orientation and ecological issues. The starting point and yardstick remain justice and freedom for all, beginning with the most oppressed communities in society and the poor." ( Hopkins, 97 )

This book is full of rich reflections on the Black church and those in this society who, while invited to be part of the church, in most cases continue to remain apart from that very same church.

Copyright © 2002 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved. Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Radio, and publishes Windy City Times, The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community, Nightspots, Out Resource Guide, Blacklines and En La Vida. 1115 W. Belmont 2D, Chicago, IL 60657; PH ( 773 ) 871-7610; FAX ( 773 ) 871-7609. Web at www.windycitytimes.com . Contact: editor


This article shared 6337 times since Wed Jan 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'The Black Church and the LGBTQ+ Community' panel on July 7 2022-07-03
- The Pride in the Pews event "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': The Black Church and the LGBTQ+ Community" will take place Thursday, July 7, 5:30-7 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave. The ...


Gay News

Controversial pastor Rev. James Meeks announces retirement 2022-06-20
- Salem Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Meeks announced he is retiring next January. The church has more than 9,000 members, according to its website. The vision statement is that Salem is "a multi-generational church focused ...


Gay News

Pride Flag arsons raise alarm, church leaders say 2022-06-19
-- From a Metropolitan Community Church press release - The intentional burning of two LGBT Pride flags in Baltimore earlier this week resulted in three people being seriously injured and significant damage to multiple homes, and leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) are expressing ...


Gay News

Catholic publisher cancels Chicago theologian's 'Queer God de Amor' book 2022-06-13
- On June 9, New Ways Ministry received the following statement by Miguel Diaz, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service at Loyola University Chicago. ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT: LETTERS Pride: Remembering who we are 2022-05-30
- The LGBTQAI community echoes the mantra of secular society: Happiness comes from sex, money and power. Life is too busy with work and leisure to have time for religion and/or values. During this period of Pride ...


Gay News

Church of Scotland votes to allow same-sex marriages 2022-05-28
- The Church of Scotland has voted to allow same-sex marriages after recent warnings that its historical opposition had increased the church's decline toward irrelevance, The Guardian reported. The church's general assembly voted 274-136 to allow it ...


Gay News

VIEWS Another 'Handmaid's Tale,' or sex and the supreme Catholics 2022-05-24
- Amy Vivian Coney Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett is only the fifth woman ever to serve on the Court. She is also the sixth Catholic ...


Gay News

Report: Southern Baptist Convention leaders mishandled allegations of sexual abuse 2022-05-23
- A bombshell report stated that leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) mishandled allegations of sexual abuse, intimidated victims and their advocates, and resisted attempts at reform over the course ...


Gay News

NATIONAL New York synod, Danica Roem, legal action, Pride news, PFLAG 2022-05-15
- The Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS), the regional body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, announced Christopher Vergara as its newly elected vice president, according to a press release. Vergara is the first openly gay ...


Gay News

LGBTQ Religious Archives Network holds 'AIDS, Activism and American Christianity' webinar 2022-05-12
- LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) held an "AIDS, Activism and American Christianity: A Conversation" virtual webinar on May 5. The event focused on Christian activism during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry 2022-05-06
- It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

LGBTQ Catholic resource Outreach launches 2022-05-02
- Outreach—a new website designed to help LGBTQ Catholics, their families and friends, and those who minister to them in the church—has launched. Outreach will publish news stories and essays from around the world; offer a resource ...


Gay News

United Methodist Church splitting over LGBTQ acceptance 2022-05-02
- Theologically conservative Methodists have broken away from the United Methodist Church (UMC) over LGBTQ acceptance. According to a king5.com item, the breakaway denomination, called the Global Methodist Church, formed because ...


Gay News

Chicago Archdiocese settles with sex-abuse accusers 2022-04-27
- A settlement has been reached between the Archdiocese of Chicago and five people who accused five separate priests of sexual abuse—including a high-profile priest who passed away in 2019, ABC ...


Gay News

WORLD Conference canceled, Catholic event, India bills, Gertrude Stein 2022-04-10
- The United Kingdom canceled its first-ever international LGBTQ+ conference after a boycott by more than 100 organizations, the BBC reported. "Safe To Be Me" was scheduled to take place in London in June to promote LGBTQ+ ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.