Saturday, February 28, 2009
Understanding our plight, deepening our faith
IMPACT TO QUEER COMMUNITIES IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES
USC College of Law AVR (New Building, Pelaez St.), University of San Carlos Main Campus February 27, 2009, 9:30am – 11:30am
Understanding our plight, deepening our faith (Welcome Address and Rationale)
We gathered today to listen, discuss and share our understanding and misconception regarding religion and sexuality.
As we gathered today, we also would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to Prof. Jose Eleazar Bersales, Prof. Judy Elmira Aguilar of Sociology-Anthropology department, Mr. Gerry Caral and Ms. Jiah Sayson, chairpersons of Psychology and Political Science departments, respectively and to their students for accommodating us.
When I attended the week-long training workshop on Defending Our Faith: Religion, Gender and Sexuality, an excellent project of Health Action Information Network (HAIN) and supported by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in Bohol almost two years ago, I realized the importance played by the Holy Book in transforming my faith and my relationship with family and society..
Prior to that, Prof. Jennings graced our simple gathering in Minglanilla, Cebu and discussed matters related to faith and hate. It was a perfect gathering between an honest theologian and deeply rooted queers.
It was on that gathering also that we realized deeply the importance of religion to counter the attack of the so-called moralist against the LGBTQ (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Queer) communities. The attack is not just historical and class hatred and bias but more on the theological and moral aspect that goes along with it.
On the other hand, understanding queer theology is beyond queer and theology. We should also dig deeper into the economic, social and political aspect of the LGBTQ communities. Otherwise, the queer that we know is incomplete and the theology that we appreciate and adhere is non-existent.
Doing so, the epochal struggle to free our minds from class, institutional and historical biases can be freed freely. And the misconceptions and hatred will be uprooted in good faith.
Our gathering today is not just timely and relevant but also of great historical importance. We gathered here at the University of San Carlos, Asia’s oldest Catholic school founded right in the heart where Magellan planted the first Roman Catholic cross in Asia.
We also take pride for sponsoring this ground breaking activity, in collaboration with the queer center of Chicago Theological Seminary with the hope of lighting a spark that will shed light on issues related to our existence and relationship with each other.
The lecture/forum this morning is a product of our continuing commitment to understand and appreciate, internalize and debate religion and sexuality in the context of love – the kind of love Jesus taught us.
Our activity today is also part of the international workshop against homophobia. Homophobia is a societal problem. As long as we live in a society drowned with such fear and hate, we will also drown ourselves into the pit of uncertain faith -- one thing that Jesus doesn’t want to happen.
Understanding Queer Theology, is understanding ourselves, our family and society for hate not only destroys reason and human relations but also our eternal relationship with the Divine Providence. Doing so, we are destroying the barrier between hate and religion and nearing ourselves to God – like what He always wanted.
We hope that your presence will strengthen our collective expression to combat homophobia as well as deepen our faith and commitment to transform the word of God into our daily expression of genuine faith and true love, and discover the Oneness of God in each of us.
Serve God and People. Thank you so much!
Self-proclaimed Courtney Act fanboy Rich Fernandez does a fun and quirky shoot with Filipino photographer Adrian Gonzales. So who is Ri...