Table of Contents
Also on this website:
Toby Johnson's books:
GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
You're Not A Wave
What is Enlightenment?
What is reincarnation?
How many lifetimes in an ego?
Emptiness & Religious Ideas
Experiencing experiencing experiencing
Going into the Light
Meditations for a Funeral
The way to get to heaven
Buddha's father was right
Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal
The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook
Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer
The Way Out by Christopher L Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson
Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry
Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr
Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson
Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low
Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman
The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman
Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor
Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine
The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada
The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook
The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther
The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel
Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak
Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez
Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr
Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman
Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano
The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo
The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar
Occam’s Razor by David Duncan
Grace and Demion by Mel White
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso
The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery
The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
The very obvious--but apparently
unrecognized--answer to one of the major issues in the debate over
abortion and choice is found in a simple Biblical principle.
According to the thinking of the
Hebrews at the time the various books that comprise the Bible were
written, "the life is in the blood." So many of the rules about eating
and about slaughtering of animals and preparing food, as well as about
making live sacrifices to God on the main altar all have to do with the
sacredness of the blood.
Blood was NOT to be consumed.
Slaughtered animals were drained of blood (and are still today). The
blood is the life; the blood belongs to God.
An important theological question in
the debate over the morality of abortion is "when life begins." When
does a fetus become a human being, with legal rights, and personal
responsibilities and dignities? A being with a claim to life?
The answer is:
a fetus becomes a human being when it has blood.
The heart and circulatory system of a
foetus develops during the fifth week of pregnancy. The circulatory
system is the first functioning organ system in the body.
Before the fifth week, there isn't any
blood in the foetus. The blood cells have not evolved out of the mass
of differentiating cells that started with fertilization.
After the fifth week, there is blood in
the foetus's body. There is life.
That's a much stricter time frame for
performing an abortion of the pregnancy than generally accepted in
America under Roe v Wade.
But women's right to choose the
direction and pace of
their own lives and the functions of their own bodies is a different
question from when life begins.
Well beyond this biological/theological
question, issues still remain about the mother's rights and
responsibilities -- and perhaps her duty to protect her child from
being born into an inappropriate setting (as unwanted or unaffordable
or unwelcome). Termination of a pregnancy can be an act of deep
compassion--as, for instance, when a foetus is found to suffer
debilitating deformities or when the mother is an inappropriate mother,
say a drug-user who is psychologically and toxicologically incapable of
motherhood (and, symbolically, whose "blood is tainted"): her decision
to have an abortion may well be founded in her horror at bringing a
child into her own environment. (Isn't this why caged birds refuse to
sit on their eggs? They are aborting their offspring to prevent them
from being born caged. This is nature's way.)
Many of the available
contraceptives--including famously the "day after pill"--are objected
to on religious grounds. Some theologians say "life begins at
But that would not be the way the
Biblical authors would have seen it. They would have believed "the life
is in the blood." And so a fetus becomes a human being when it has
blood in its body.
The day after pill seems like a very
natural way to avoid an inappropriate pregnancy. Having women,
especially teenagers, take contraceptive p[ills everyday all the time
just reminds them they might behave sexually. Better to deal with
contraceptive needs only when you need them, not just because you might!
Condoms, of course, not only prevent
pregnancy, they prevent exchange of microorganisms in the fluids of the
Fundamentalist and Catholic Christians
agitate to outlaw abortion, believing perhaps rightly that human life
is precious and should not be terminated carelessly. They also agitate
against acceptance of homosexuals.
Homosexual sex results in absolutely no
abortions. Indeed, homosexuality is a deterrent to abortion.
Perhaps God has evolved homosexuality
in human life with clearly intelligent design as an alternative to
unintentional breeding. Overpopulation is THE major problem on earth
today. "God" would naturally want to control the birth rate to keep it
within ecological limits. "God" might intelligently design same sex
attraction as a psychologically fulfilling and socially contributing
and personally loving way to live without breeding more offspring than
the world can hold.
Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.
Johnson's Lammy Award winning book
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are
available now from Lethe
back to top