Thursday, October 15, 2009

Queering Chapter 1 of the Epistle to the Galatians: An adaptation of Paul's letter by Rev. Stephen Parelli

While returning home by bus from the 2009 National Equality March and reflecting on Galatians chapter 1, I queered the passage. When I was in my freshman year of Bible college (1971-1972), I had memorized most of Galatians to "battle" my same-sex attractions. Suddenly, while reflecting on the march and quoting Galatians chapter 1 over in my mind, Paul's writing became gay-friendly for me. I found it very powerful!

The letter, in the King James Version, begins: "Paul, an apostle . . . " or, Paul, the sent one. I made Paul the "equality marchers" and gave them Paul's words as if the words were their own. Here's what the "equality marchers" have to say in the adapted words of Paul:

1 We who strive for the equal rights of LGBT people are sent ones – not because some pro-LGBT organization has enlisted us – but because Jesus Christ – his earthly ministry to the oppressed and marginalized – has called us to do, at this time, what he did then in his day. We are sent by him and the life-giving Creator with the good news of liberty for all. 2 We are not alone in this mission, for there are many with whom we work and who work with us. Now, it is to the churches at large in the United States that we write this letter. 3 We begin with this greeting: Grace and peace to everyone from God the Creator and from Jesus our Lord 4 who lived for the oppressed in society to such an extent that he died at the hands of those who hated his mission; he gave his life in the pursuit of delivering us from a world where men do evil to other men; he died for a just world for all – a world as God originally intended it to be. 5 For this sacrifice we give him the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The paraphrase continues. You can see it on my Other Sheep Exec Site where I parallel my paraphrase along side the King James Version so you can compare the two accounts. Click here for the complete chapter.