LGBT Pride Month or Not, “Happy Christians” Celebrate Christ’s Love

News, Events and Second Glances
Hope. Pauline Arellano, PVI NY

Hope. Pauline Arellano, PVI NY

It was mid-morning on June 28, 1969, and the hazy bar light half-shone on the hurt and angry faces of Stonewall Inn’s gay patrons. Angered by much police harassment, they fought back and riot ensued. Soon, the riot became a series of riots spearheaded by gay men and women who battled police harassment towards the queer community. This is the infamous Stonewall Riots, the turning point for gay rights in the United States.

This is why June is a special month for the LGBT or Queer communities from all over the world. This is when the LGBT Pride month is celebrated.

But for the Christian queer community in the Church of God International, all months are special months, for they have learned the deeper, biblical definition of gay rights through preacher Bro. Eliseo Soriano.

The Church’s group of talented and vibrant individuals is aptly called “Happy Christians.” And for good reason too. They are indeed, gay, but they are, most of all happy – for they are welcomed, appreciated, and valued in the Church and enjoy the rights to equality awarded to them by a power higher than the highest courts of man: God’s laws.

 “Homosexuals are human beings. All human beings are product of God’s pro-creative power. What is attainable by ‘normal’ human beings (if homosexuals are considered by others as abnormal) can be equally attained by them, also,” writes Bro. Eliseo Soriano on his blog Can a Homosexual Make it To Heaven?

The preacher is often asked about homosexuals and their chance to salvation. And his answer has always been on the positive side of the salvation equation:

“God wants all men to be saved,” states Bro. Eli: a concise yet powerful biblical sentence, full of God’s fairness and justice that many homosexuals have been fighting to attain all their lives. This right to equality in salvation is being enjoyed by the faithful gay community of the Church, making them enjoy the gift of inner peace and contentment in their lives.

The best right that the gays, or anyone else, can ever have, is the right to be saved – and that right has been given by God to all, regardless of sexual orientation, race or color. It’s right there all along, as Bro. Eli teaches, in the Holy Bible.

Now to exercise and celebrate that God-given right is completely up to each human being.

The Self, the Identity, the Choice, the You

Literature or Something Like It

Imagine yourself in a cafe somewhere, waiting to meet your long-time Internet pal. You met her on a World of Warcraft quest and you enjoyed her company immensely that you decide to bring your relationship to a different level – the three-dimensional kind, non-virtual kind. You wait for her and imagine how you’d introduce yourself to her. Right now, you are more than just a game character. You are you.

Then it hits you, I am me, you think to yourself. I am a student, a dozen or so virtual game characters, a son, a lousy basketball player, a physics marvel. I am a lot of me’s simultaneously. How do I get all that across on the first date? Who am I really, generally?

You panic. you remember that you are also an extremely shy guy, and decide that meeting her wasn’t really a good idea after all. You start to head for the door.

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Very few are the instances wherein one can write about the self and not be tagged as vain or narcissistic. But we are here, you and I, with a tacit agreement not to talk about the parts of the self that needn’t be discussed at length, like what ice cream flavor goes hand-in-hand with one’s favorite episode of Bob’s Burgers on a cold night. We are here to discuss the deeper sensibilities of the self, the parts that are (hopefully) not meant to induce an aneurism to the most convenient human being around, which is (surprise, surprise) you. And so I write about the superstar of the self, the identity. She is that sensual lady with the red stilettos and the amazing curves that clings to the arms of the balding, middle-aged man of the self, who dictates how the world views the person she’s in, and how that person views the world, respectively.

Before that sensual lady becomes what she is in all her splendor, she was the adorable little girl.  The identity, like all things within the self, has to be nurtured and be taken care of.  Since it is an integral part of who we are as a whole, it is important that it grows and matures with us. There are influences that play a major role in the development of one’s identity, starting from one’s childhood. We’ll delve into these influences in another post.

The identity, like art, is also a tool for change. It may be used for positive and negative means. We see it all the time, this here truth, when a politician, corrupt and involved in drug trafficking, pays the local media to build him up to the masses as an all-saving superhero, who will deliver the country from poverty. His or her identity is being morphed into something bigger, something greater in scope, the development of a persona that will inevitably result in deception. But every now and again, a single individual decides to become an inspiration to those around him and molds his identity into someone worthy of being followed – of being thought of in good light; someone who is worth listening to and the end result will lead to positivity and progress. That person has served his identity well, and vice versa.

A person’s identity may be the result of traditional, cultural, situational and spiritual factors. It may arise and harden from conflict, from hardships, from trials. Whatever a person’s identity is, it will always be dependent on one key factor, which is choice. We humans are given the great gift of free will, or free choice, and our identities are tied to the choices we make.

Choice. It’s free and it’s beautiful. Prettier than the prettiest woman you know, it is.

So now that you have an idea about who you are, you may want to reflect upon it before you scurry out that door. You’ll see that you’re not that bad, and is worthy of becoming anyone’s friend. Extremely shy? This may help.  It’s about how faith can move mountains of shyness. If you have faith that you can be a very good friend even outside of a quest, then read away and take your seat. Your friend should be there any moment now.