Sunday, November 30, 2008


“My name is Harvey Milk, and I’m here to recruit you.” This was the signature declaration of Harvey Milk, who in the ‘70s, was a force in San Francisco politics and probably the most influential figure in U.S. gay liberation yet. In Gus van Sant’s movie, “Milk,” Sean Penn, playing the title character, enlists us as enthusiastic foot soldiers in the movement for freedom and justice, not only for gays, but for anyone who values personal integrity and truthfulness. For Milk, truthfulness was central. Many of the people in his circle were still in the closet (Milk himself had long been out), and he knew that the only way to defeat Proposition 6, which would require the firing of homosexual teachers, was for everyone to come out of the closet to family, employers, and friends, so that the supporters of Prop. 6 could no longer talk credibly about “them.” There would be no “them,” no “other,” when almost everybody had a son, daughter, father, or mother who was queer. His approach worked; Proposition 6 was defeated, but not before he had appealed to many conservative groups, many of them church people, to defeat Prop. 6.
If there is a villain in the movie, it’s not just Dan White who assassinated Milk and Mayor George Muscone, but rather, the nasty, mean-spirited churches that made their hatred of gays more than clear. In the movie, the Gospel is not proclaimed in the churches; instead it is proclaimed in the bedrooms, the streets, and the voting booths of San Francisco, where gay men found love, joy, and fun; where they marched to demonstrate that they were equal to anyone; and where they helped build a society in which the contributions of gay men are valued.
In contrast, the churches continue, even today, on their road to irrelevance. Even as they triumphed with the passing of Proposition 8 this November, the spirit of Harvey Milk will not be crushed. Nor will the Gospel be crushed. Rather, it will lead people, gay and straight, to equity, justice, and fairness.
A few Sundays ago in church, we heard a passage from Amos 5 that could be a description of God’s reaction to the hateful churches that Milk contended with:
“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them, and the peace offerings of your fatted beasts I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
These could be the words of the God who created Harvey Milk. He helped justice roll in San Francisco; it’s now up to us to increase the flow so that God’s righteousness comes to all.
I hope you see “Milk.” When you do, I hope you hear the Gospel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

4 месяца вспять я нашла в бумажнике её фотографию. Была истерика, не хотелось жить. Он ушёл, вмиг же подал на развод, сказал, что не хочет населять со мной, только я ничем не хуже, просто к ней его тянет. Сказал, сколько не любил меня никогда, сколько я была просто привычкой. Долго умираю и не знаю чистый жить? Скоро развод. Всё эра думаю, что он будет жить счастливо, а я всегда останусь одна. [url=]купить квартиру с ремонтом[/url]