Open letter to the bishops of France – On social conduct: a double standard?

Open letter to the bishops of France - On social conduct: a double standard?     Paris, 20 May 2017 Before the second round of the French presidential election, the Catholic bishops of France, with a few praiseworthy exceptions, refused to adopt a clear stance in favour of either of the two candidates, asking “voters to vote according to their conscience”. In such a grave moment, when the fate of the whole country and the cohesion of Europe were at stake, they did not consider it appropriate to take a position when faced with a political project based on fear, isolation, rejection and hatred of others. The bishops maintained a dangerous silence while 38 Catholic associations and church movements warned that “extremist theories and their acceptance as commonplace constitute a danger for democracy” (1)! At the same time, other institutionalised religions and numerous Christian, humanitarian and youth organisations called on voters to vote against the National Front. Shortly afterwards, on the day after Emmanuel Macron was elected, Mgr Pontier, president of the Conference of French Bishops, asked the new president not to “get us stuck in debates about lifestyle which have already caused division in the country” (2). This pronouncement was in continuity with earlier declarations about questions of social conduct such as the access of lesbian and single women to MAP (medically assisted procreation), and the modes of dying for people suffering great pain, etc. This seems to us to be particularly inappropriate and has shocked a great number of progressive Christians. David & Jonathan, a Christian homosexual movement open to all, wishes to denounce this use of a double standard by the leaders of the Catholic Church in France: Attempt to put pressure [...]

Press release: Together, let’s fight against discrimination and block the path of the National Front

Press release: Together, let’s fight against discrimination and block the path of the National Front                                                                                                   Paris, 29 April 2017 Fifteen years after the shock of the 2002 election, the National Front (FN) will once again be present in the second round of the French presidential election: once again the extreme right has a chance of coming to power in our country. David & Jonathan, a Christian Homosexual Movement open to all, founded in 1972, is a civically minded association, committed to the values of the French Republic: Liberty, Equality and, above all, Fraternity. As an LGBT association we see that in France, like everywhere else, the rejection of others brings only suffering and violence. On the contrary, we believe that the diversity of our opinions, spiritualities, origins and sexualities is an enrichment for society as a whole, as it is for our Churches. We note that the National Front is a party historically based on discrimination and exclusion of others. The FN specifically threatens to reduce LGBT rights. Under the pretext of ‘national preference’, the FN rejects all people seen as ‘outsiders’. Its values are not ours: they lead to the division of our country, to intolerance and violence. We call on our members and our partners to summon up energies in the second round of the presidential election, as we have done in recent years, and vote to block the National Front and its ideology of discrimination and rejection. As a Christian Humanist Movement, we commit ourselves every day to promoting respect and dialogue. And we will continue to do so more than ever. David & Jonathan’s National Board Anthony, Denis, Christian, François, Marianne, Marie-Céline, Marie-Hélène and Sébastien ______________ See our previous [...]

Press release: Together, let’s shape the future by refusing the rejection of other people

Press release - Together, let’s shape the future by refusing the rejection of other people     Paris, 9 April 2017 As the French presidential election approaches, David & Jonathan, like other socially active movements (associations, Churches, trade unions), is worried about the present situation of our country. It is obvious that we are passing through a period of crisis and doubt. Part of the population is faced with unemployment and poverty. Many fellow citizens are suffering and angry. They reject our openness towards Europe and the world, with the idea that this openness harms our standard of living or attracts extremists. Many no longer have confidence in the political personalities that we elected to represent us, as some of them are involved in financial scandals. In this context, populist movements are exploiting these fears. They divide the population between the “real citizens” and the elite or between the local people and the “outsiders”. Values such as diversity, openness and international solidarity that characterise our Republic are replaced by the rejection of other people, especially those of Arabic or Muslim origin. Populist parties are even prepared to question our state of law, and introduce some “legal discrimination” discreetly called “national preference”. They call for a strong State that would no longer be obliged to respect the rights of women or minorities. Finally these parties threaten the very well-springs of democracy: legal justice, the press, institutions and human-rights movements, etc. David & Jonathan, a Christian homosexual movement open to all, founded in 1972, is a socially active association. Its members are strongly attached to humanist and democratic values: openness to others, solidarity with the defenceless, respect for differences, including differences of religion. With our friends and [...]

Homophobic attack in Orlando: David & Jonathan’s reaction

Homophobic attack in Orlando: David & Jonathan’s reaction >> French version In the night between Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June 2016, almost 50 people were murdered and others seriously wounded in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida (USA). This attack was specifically aimed at the LGBTI community (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans* and Intersex people). Our first thoughts go out to the victims and to their families and friends to whom we express our deepest sympathy. As human beings, we are shocked by the barbarity of this killing. As Lesbians, Gays Bisexuals, Trans* and Intersex people, we express our anger at the homophobic nature of this attack. As Christians, we re-affirm that practising terrorism and killing anyone in the name of a religion is an outrage to our common humanity and contrary to the call of God in our lives. Human brothers and sisters were killed because they were LGBTI, or were taking part in a gay party. We call on all persons of good will to struggle against hatred directed at minorities and their negation. We urge them to avoid any confusion of responsibilities, particularly directed against Muslims, and we encourage them to struggle against all forms of violence. Finally, we remind everyone of the necessity to denounce homophobic, biphobic and transphobic violence throughout the world. David & Jonathan

Les croyants de toutes les religions disent non à la violence contre les Lesbienne Gay Bi Trans et Intersexe – Believers of all faiths say no to violence against LGBTI people

Les croyants de toutes les religions disent non à la violence contre les Lesbienne Gay Bi Trans et Intersexe Qu'est-ce que « Foi IDAHOBIT 2016 » ? Créée en 2015, « Foi IDAHOBIT » est une campagne de mobilisation des responsables religieux, des représentants religieux, des théologiens et des laïcs européens pour attirer l'attention du public sur l'utilisation abusive de la liberté de religion pour justifier ou inciter à la condamnation, la discrimination et la violence envers les personnes et les communautés LGBTI. La liberté de religion et les droits des LGBTI ne sont non seulement pas mutuellement exclusifs, mais sont une partie intégrante des droits humains. Ils sont conçus pour traiter toutes les personnes avec respect et dignité, indépendamment de leur orientation sexuelle ou identité de genre. Comment pouvez-vous soutenir « Foi IDAHOBIT 2016? » Notre priorité est d'identifier et d'engager les gens de foi qui sont prêts à soutenir IDAHOBIT. Nous pouvons le faire en commençant le 17 mai 2016 une dynamique de réflexions et d'actions dédiées de manière à créer une expression de foi européenne pour lutter contre la discrimination et la violence contre des individus et des communautés LGBTI. Il y a deux possibilités, vous pouvez envisager de : Signer une déclaration pour condamner les discriminations et la violence qui touchent les personnes LGBTI sur www.inclusivefaith.eu; Expliquer dans un clip vidéo ou un message écrit pourquoi la non-discrimination et la non-violence sont des valeurs importantes dans votre vie. Nous sommes heureux de travailler avec vous pour faire connaitre votre engagement, nous opposer à toute violence contre les personnes LGBTI et lutter pour la constitution d’espaces sûrs pour celles et ceux qui sont souvent marginalisés, simplement en raison de leur orientation sexuelle ou identité de genre. Votre contribution [...]

Dossiers D&J n°4 – The international scene Being a religious believer and Lesbian, Gay, Bi or Trans around the world

Dossiers D&J n°4 – The international scene Being a religious believer and Lesbian, Gay, Bi or Trans around the world   Paris, 18 February 2016 >> Version française In this latest issue of Dossiers D&J, our association's magazine, we give voice to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people living in Africa, in Eastern Europe, in the Near or Far East, and elsewhere. They are of different religions (Christians from Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox backgrounds, Jews or Muslims), with different convictions, different cultures, from countries where their living conditions are quite variable. They can be faced with violent homophobia or transphobia that puts their psychological or physical existence in danger, to the extent that some of them are obliged to emigrate in order to seek refuge and start their life anew. Others choose to stay and fight for their dignity, in accordance (for some of them) with their faith. Their words, their courage, are our life lessons. Many of them testify that political or religious authorities encourage these LGBT-phobic persecutions in a certain number of countries, especially in Africa, in Eastern Europe and in the Near East. At David & Jonathan, a Christian homosexual movement open to all for more than 40 years, we realise that each of us is faced with a choice about how to welcome others with all their differences. On the other hand, the use of religious arguments for discrimination against, or even persecution of, women and men for what they are, amounts to a misuse and, for Christians, a betrayal of the Gospel message of justice and love. This is why, with our allies, we continue to fight for the emancipation of LGBT people around the world. We hope that [...]

What do Christian Churches say about homosexuality?

What do Christian Churches say about homosexuality? By Michael - Jan 2016 In the following text, I give my own point of view as an amateur theologian, passionately interested in theology and Bible study. Please forgive its limitations and approximations: they are inevitable in such a short text on such a complex subject. Up until around 1960 all Christian churches took negative attitudes on the subject of homosexual acts and considered them as sins, i.e. acts that rejected God, and a freely chosen vice. But for what reasons? There are differences of nuance between their positions and these differences have their origin in the different ways of conceiving authority within each Church. The Bible All these Churches have a point in common: the authority that they give to the Bible, a set of diverse texts in which God reveals himself to us. Most Churches now accept that the Biblical texts were written by human authors, but these authors were inspired by an experience of God that they had lived themselves together with their community. So the text was not dictated word-for-word by God, but reflects an experience of God situated in a given era and in a given context. This is call the historico-critical approach to the Bible. Now there are three main passages in the Bible that are regularly quoted as indicating the sinful nature of the homosexual act: the story of Sodom in the book of Genesis (Gen 19:1-28), two legal precepts in the book of Leviticus (Lev 18:22 and 20:13), and a passage from Paul's letter to the Romans (Rom 1:24-28). Almost all serious Biblical exegetes now consider that these three texts say nothing about homosexuality as it is lived today. In [...]

Press release from David & Jonathan on the Catholic synod on the family – Oct 2015

Press release from David & Jonathan on the Catholic Synod on the family     Paris, 28 October 2015 French version -> link At the closing of the Catholic Synod on the family, which has just published its final conclusions, the association David & Jonathan is happy to note the decision to better integrate into communities of the faithful, those baptised persons who are divorced and remarried: this shows a greater openness towards different types of families. But David & Jonathan is greatly disappointed by the lack of welcome to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and their families. David & Jonathan is a Christian homosexual movement open to all that was founded as an association in 1972. On the basis of our experience of over forty years and in accord with numerous other similar movements in France and abroad, we testify to how vitally important it is for LGBT people in their personal and spiritual development to feel welcomed and listened to and what destructive effects homophobia can have, particularly on the young. In the welcoming work that we do, we observe day after day that LGBT persons and the families they create have the same spiritual value as other human beings and their families. We observe that on the occasion of this Catholic Synod on the family, some words of hope have been expressed, such as those of Father Charamsa, an important member of the catholic hierarchy who recently made his coming-out thus bringing into full light the question of ordained men who are homosexual, and the apologies made by German bishops for the Church’s ill treatment of homosexuals and single mothers. At the same time we note important disagreements within the [...]

Communiqué de presse du Global Network of Rainbow Catholics sur le synode catholique sur la famille – oct 2015

COMMUNIQUÉ de PRESSE  du Global Network of Rainbow Catholics "Une nouvelle ère pour la pastorale inclusive des personnes LGBT commence avec ce Synode" English version: see below   Le Réseau Mondial des Catholiques Arc-en-ciel (Global Network of Rainbow Catholics) prend note du rapport final du synode de 2015 des évêques sur La vocation et la mission de la famille dans l'Église et dans le monde contemporain. Nous reconnaissons que le document que les évêques ont soumis au pape François n'est qu'une étape dans le processus du synode et qu'il attend une réponse et une réflexion plus complètes de la part du souverain pontife selon un mode qu'il choisira. Nous sommes encouragés par le discours de clôture du pape au synode, surtout dans son commentaire selon lequel "il s'agissait de dévoiler ces cœurs fermés, qui se cachent souvent même à l'intérieur de l'enseignement ou des bonnes intentions de l'Église, en vue d'occuper la chaire de Moïse et juger, parfois avec superbe et superficialité, des cas difficiles et des familles blessées... Il s'agissait d'ouvrir des horizons plus larges, en s'élevant au-dessus des théories du complot et des vues à œillères, pour défendre et répandre la liberté des enfants de Dieu, et pour transmettre la beauté de la nouveauté chrétienne, parfois encore encroûtée dans un langage archaïque ou tout simplement incompréhensible." Il est clair que les évêques n'ont pu atteindre un consensus plus positif au sujet de l'insuffisance de la terminologie qui a servi jusqu'à présent pour décrire une variante d'orientation sexuelle. Néanmoins, nous voyons clairement dans le rapport final du synode (paragraphe 76) le début d'une nouvelle ère de la pastorale inclusive pour et avec les personnes LGBT, et leurs familles, qui, nous l'espérons, sera mise en [...]

Dossiers David&Jonathan n°3 : Homo Ecologicus (English summary)

Diversity in our life stories: an advantage for our participation in the ecological transition? Problems related to ecology raise questions with an increasing number of people. Here the stakes are shared world-wide. Within each of our countries, our leaders must take action in critical areas (to limit global warming, to protect the environment, ...). But it is also reasonable to think about the paths that our own lives have taken. How can their diversity help us to commit ourselves to participation in the ecological transition? This issue of Dossiers D&J tries to clarify, via interviews of David & Jonathan members and others, in what way ecological questions are shaping our lives. The women and men who testify here are mostly LGBT's (lesbians, gays, bi or transsexuals), some living in the city and some in the country, in France and abroad, having a Christian faith or not, and coming from different generations. In reading these testimonies, it becomes clear that not only is ecology influencing our ways of consuming, of eating, of looking after our health, it also changes our way of participating in society, our relationships with other countries, our sharing of wealth, not to mention the way we perceive nature, the passing of time, and our spiritualities. When faced with ecological risks, one temptation would be to take refuge in reactionary fundamentalisms. On the opposite side, the ecological transition can take root in our individual or collective experiences, and these enrich social and political dialogue, as well as our spirituality in the broadest sense. A wide variety in life histories seems to us to be a source of hope about our capacity for evolving and adapting. Elisabeth Saint Guily and Nicolas Neiertz Co-presidents and [...]