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    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other co […]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Mysticism and Revolution September 21, 2020
      Jesus was a revolutionary, who did not become an extremist, since he did not offer an ideology, but Himself. He was also a mystic, who did not use his intimate relationship with God to avoid the social evils of his time, but shocked his milieu to the point of being executed as a rebel. . . . Every real revolutionary is challenged to be a mystic at heart, and […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • From the Palliative/Spiritual Care Shelf September 20, 2020
      I continue today my series that highlights the wisdom found on my bookshelf at work. As most reading this would know, my “work,” since September 2018, is that of a palliative care interfaith chaplain at a hospital just north of the Twin Cities.In this sixth installment I share an excerpt from Richard F. Groves and Henriette Anne Klauser’s book, The American […]
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  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
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    • In The Closet of the Vatican: New Investigative Study February 22, 2019
      In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy - just published today, February 22nd, 2019.Thanks to Kittredge Cheery of the wonderful gay Christian blog,  QSpirit Blog, for the heads up about the publication of this major new investigative study into the secret homosexual double lives of many priests (and bishops and cardinals) in the vatican […]
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    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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    • The handmaid September 22, 2020
      Trump has a short list for the slot in the Supreme Court left by RBG's death ... two women are at the top: Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa. These are nakedly political choices. Trump is choosing a woman to get the votes of those suburban housewives he's so obsessed with. He is choosing Barret to get the conservative Catholic vote, and Trump get […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

THE SPIRIT BLOWS WHERE SHE WILL

The Prague Fringe Festival is underway in this city of many theaters (almost as many as there are churches). One of the venues hosting events is the lovely little Hussite Church of St. John the Baptist in Mala Strana at the edge of Kampa Park. I attended a concert there last evening – local pop/folk singer favorite, Alasdair Bouch, accompanied by friends on sax, oboe, cello and exotic timpani. The musicians entered the church carrying lighted candles and placed them around the sanctuary, which only increased the sense of  holiness of this tiny place of worship. The feeling was palpable and I’m far from the only one to pick up this vibe from Kostel Sv. Jana Kritele Na Pradele, as the Church is known in Czech. This is a holy place of prayer and worship which also serves as a concert venue for some carefully chosen artists, from Japanese flute players to performers of Tibetan ritual instruments, the Dun, Kangling and Drill-bu – celebrating the Tibetan New Year of the Metal Tiger. Yesterday evening we listened to the soulful melodies of Alasdair Bouch, who performed under the very striking wooden sculpture of the Risen Christ above the chiseled stone altar. Seen from the distance of the back row, the figure above the altar seems to be a young woman. Squint a little and it appears to be an angel with upraised arms and hands. After the concert, I went up for a closer look. The figure does indeed have feminine curves, but looks more like a very youthful male with blond ringlets, page boy style, arms upraised over his head, palms turned upwards – with wounds in the palms, signifying that this is indeed a figure of the crucified and Risen Christ. The angel image? An angel is behind the figure embracing it with its wings, it’s left arm around the torso of the Christ with it’s hand placed over the youthful Christ figure’s heart. It is an astonishingly homoerotic and deeply spiritual, joyful image of liberation, freedom, intimacy and love. Who designed it and when? Don’t know, but it reflects a very liberated artistic vision. This is indeed a holy place imbued with the spirit of the Risen Master – embraced like a lover by a youthful angel.

This peaked my interest in the Hussite Church, and a bit of research later that evening revealed that it was founded in 1931 as yet another breakaway  Church from Rome, with ties to the Old Catholic Church. It’s heresies were the familiar ones. The liturgy should be celebrated in the vernacular, the faithful should receive both elements of Communion, celibacy should be optional, women should be ordained. And in fact, in 2000, the Hussite Church ordained it’s first female bishop, with Catholic representatives attending the consecration. What this tells us – yet again – is that, while it is important to respect and preserve the uniqueness of particular religious traditions, the boundaries are slowly dissolving, and the Spirit of the Risen Christ is no respecter of dividing walls, but moves and blows where she will. She was certainly moving and stirring last night, during the concert of Alasdair Bouch, and many of us in this sacred space felt deeply moved.

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