Stonewall 1969 - A call for action and unity for Gays



June 27, 1969. A riot started at Stonewall Inn, New York after the Police raided the Gay bar. In a totally unexpected response to the regular police abuse and harrasment, a trangendered woman threw a bottle at a police after being prodded. The meless broke out across the crowd and quickly overtook the police who soon retreated into the bar. The attack on the bar was unrelenting. Over 400 police officers were called in, and the police singled out many effeminate man for beatings. Bottles and stones were trown by the gay protesters at the Police Tactical Patrol Force who were unsucessful in breaking the crowd. The riots lasted by three days fueled by anger and rage against the was police had treated Gays for past decades. Thus founded the Gay Liberation Movement.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. At the age of 30, He made a pronouncement which caused a riot by the religious leaders, He claimed He was God incarnate, the "I AM", the Messiah to save the Jews.

(Luke 4:16-21 NKJV) So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

The Jews were filled with wrath at the apparent blashemy of Jesus claiming to be God. A riot soon ensued as they tried to kill Jesus but he escaped. (Luke 4:28,29). These riot marked the start of the Christian movement just like the riot of Stonewall marked the start of the Gay Liberation movement 2000 years later. Jesus proclaimed with absolute authority that He is God and amazingly His first pronouncement was to those those who have had suffered much - the poor, the broken hearted, the oppressed. Jesus never propagated the concept of an inclusive church catering for all races, beliefs and theology even religions. His was an exclusive church where He would be way the only way to God, and His focus was exclusive to a very narrow segment of society that He may touch the rest of society and nations.

Jesus's church was not an inclusive church. His was a band of outcasts. They were the former prostitues, tax collectors, the unclean, the poor, the despised. It did not include the rich, the wealthy, the intellectuals, the religious leaders. His church had one common identity, one common calling, and it was Him and their common identity as outcasts. When we focus on being inclusive, we will tend more often than not to end up exclusive to certain emphasis and theology. Therefore, when we seek inclusiveness, we end up exclusive. On the contrary, if we seek to be exclusive, then we will end up inclusive. In John, 12:32,33, Jesus said that if the cross was the focus then it will draw all peoples to it.

(John 12:32 NKJV) "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." (John 12:33 NKJV) This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

Because of Jesus death at the cross, He became the common indentity which has bound people together in one common absolute belief that is above their diffences of race, gender, and social status. What binds them together became stronger than than which separated them. In essence, their exclusive common identity made them inclusive above their differences. The way of God is often opposite to the logic and ways of man. By Jesus death, we have freedom. By loosing our lives and giving it to Jesus, we receive eternal life.

At Stonewall two thousand later, two thousand years of Christianity has gone and past. We still persecute Gays. The religious leaders are no different, proclaiming their condemnation against Gays almost weekly with applause from the community. But God's message is still the same, that He sent His Son Jesus and His heart is very much on the Gay community. They are considered the poor - not literally, but in terms of having nothing - no family of their own, no children, no rights, no acceptance, ... nothing really. They are the broken hearted - totally in despair by the discrimination and persecution by family, society, and the authorities. They are sad, lonely, and in despair of the sufferings that they have had to endure from the majority. They are captives - captive of their own resentment being created by God as Gays, captive in a 'gay' body unable to be straight, captive by the society's perception of them as a class of people that are dirty and have diseases. The same cry from heaven calls out today, that Jesus have set you free and given you liberty. You have a family, you are a child of God. You rejoice because for the first time, you are accepted by God. All the past oppression becomes a distant past in the knowledge that the most important person, God Himself has accepted you.

The message of the Gospel will keep on echoing through time until Jesus returns that God loves you and accepts you as a Gay person. Do you accept your self? Do your accept Jesus and be exclusively His? that nothing - no persecution, not even death can separate you from God and eternal life.

The riots at Stonewall happened because Gays will no longer accept passively their lot and for the first time due to the recent death of Judy Garland their supporter there was a stong sense of identity and community which bind them together for a common cause and purpose. As a Gay Christian Community, it is not OK for us to live our daily lives with indifference to the plight of the Gay community. Stonewall is a call to take action. As Christian Gays it is no longer sufficient to 'play church' to stay in our closet and comfort zone, where any any mention of gay affirmation brings howls of protests to "get over it". If we as gay Christians do not affirm the beautiful creation of God, tell me who will? Let us not forget our gayness in Christ Jesus which binds us strongly as a Gay Christian community together in spite of persecutions and ridicule and allow us to be inclusive.

Similarly, as a Gay, you are not destined to spend time passively assigned to wasting your life in the Gay culture of saunas, gym, sex, clubs, and discos. On the contrary, it is time that Jesus came into your life. He accepts you. He loves you just as you are. You are not a sinner - for God has created you as a gay!. He comes to heal you - all your brokenness and hurts. Just let Jesus in ... just let Him in ... that very wonderful name that is for you and not against you ...

Something About That Name  - By W. & G. Gaither

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus;
There's just something about that name!
Master, Savior, Jesus, Like the fragrance after the rain;

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Let all heaven and earth proclaim;
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there's something about that name!


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