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
Jesus told St Peter and the Apostles:
"Whose sins you forgive on earth, they
forgiven in heaven. Whose sins you retain on earth, they are retained
The Roman Catholic Church bases the
sacrament of Penance (now called Reconciliation) on this quote. The
Church understands it to mean Jesus gave authority to Catholic priests,
following in the apostolic succession from the apostles) to hear
confessions and forgive sins.
A more general understanding of Jesus's
comment is that "sin" is in the eye of the judge. We human beings have
the power to determine what is sin and what will be held as sinful
So Jesus is saying sin is a human
thing, determined by how other human beings see and judge human action.
It isn't based in lines in the Bible.
Modern American society ignores many,
if not most, of the rules in the Bible--because they're just not
applicable anymore. We don't live in the primitive society of the
Middle East circa year zero. We don't observe Sabbath rules or the
Jewish dietary code.
And the issues we do face aren't mentioned in
the Bible: watching TV, buying products, auto driving, modern medicine,
modern warfare, nuclear weapons, ecological pollution, waste of energy,
destruction of habitats, the greenhouse effect, etc.
Intelligent Western, modern minds have
looked at the Bible and chosen what things make sense and what don't.
And they determined (though not in an organized way) what we'll adopt
and what we'll drop, i.e. what "sins" we'll retain and what "sins"
It's time now for the Church -- and all
the churches -- to recognize that modern science has shown us that
homosexuality is a character trait (most often inborn) and not a chosen
That homosexuality was forbidden to the
Hebrews in ancient Israel--because it was honored by the non-Hebrews
around them AND because they were desperate to keep their population
high (because they kept going to war and getting killed)--has little to
do with us today.
Today over-population is the problem,
maybe the "sin." The human race is spoiling the planet for the future
and for all other species we share the planet with.
It's time the Church use its authority
to "forgive sin" and stop the madness it creates in its attack on gay
people and gay people's rights.
Jesus simply would not have acted that
What is important about Jesus's
statement about forgiving and retaining sin is that the responsibility
is OURS. Using a line from a Scripture passage written 5000 years ago
in a language no one understands anymore (except as a scholarly
exercise in decryption) to oppress and persecute people is about as
unChristian as you can get.
Jesus also said: "Woe unto you, Church
officials and conservative religious leaders,* because you close the
gates of heaven to those who are going in, you won't go in yourselves."
It's time to open the gates and get out
of the way!
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
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