Unbound, an Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice, tied to the Presbyterian Church (USA), is an online journal and community that caters to all forms of sexual identification in expressing different perspectives to further the “kin-dom” of God.
Their latest offering into the world of social justice is a 16-part study of the Gospel of Mark that their managing editor, Lee Catoe, calls “Queering the Bible.” In a conversation with the Presbyterian News Service, Catoe suggested that traditional study of the general principles of biblical interpretation has been “unhealthy” because they came from the theological groundwork of “straight white men.”
According to their website, “the ‘word of God’ has been used as a weapon against LGBTQIA+ people. The often-used phrase ‘clobber passages’ (Genesis 19:1-39, 1 Cor. 5;9-1, 1 Tim. 1:9-10) are misconstrued verses used like a bludgeon of shame and trauma for the homosexual community.
In one of the articles on the book of Mark, Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins, the Peachtree Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary, states the object of this study is to “tear the roof off of the church” because the “church cannot claim to be of Jesus Christ if it does not live up to the liberative call of God and invite our LGBTQ siblings in the room just as God made them.” To quote Bishop Yvette Flunder, Dr. Watkins said, “true community – true church – comes when marginalized people take back the right to fully be.”
Brooke Scott (she/her), a queer Black woman, who will also be contributing to the study, claims that “Jesus is this eccentric ass freak who has only humble beginnings in a small, boring town…. conceived by an unwed teen and no man in sight. He is a faithful Jew but can’t seem to follow the rules. He is a teacher but loves all the wrong people. He holds a wealth of wisdom but grew up in poverty. He is a man, but challenges systems of power & gender norms of the day. Jesus is inherently “queer” in that he exists outside of what is normal or acceptable.”
The idea of this study, according to Catoe, is to reimage the context of the book of Mark so that LGBTQIA people can relate. As an example, he compares John the Baptist’s experiences to that of LBGT people in the sense that they have long had to “live like John, holding in their voices and bodies, a love that transcends the ways culture tries to confine it, crying out in the wilderness about what will not only free us, but what will liberate all people.”
Bill Thomas, in his article The Left Hopes to Destroy Christianity by Changing It, warns that the left sees traditional Christianity as a means to divide the Church about what is right and what is wrong. Once they have redefined Christianity to their values (or lack thereof) they will shift the way society looks at true Christians to minimize Christianity’s voice in the public arena.
Source: PCUSA ministry launches ‘Queering the Bible’ project aimed at ‘creating some new theologies’ By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post; Unbound, the Intersection of Faith and Justice;