I pick up the published journal of a legendary performer in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and what do I find? “I ask for spiritual enlightenment,” she writes. Or jotting:
“ask holy spirit to breath into you
Do what you can because there are many things that need doing.
Mission from God”
Those stressing her importance to LGBT history are as apt to overlook the references. Let’s examine the spiritual history of Candy Darling.
‘Jimmy’ grew up in Massapequa Park, New York. There is as yet no biography (one is expected), but we have available a…
He wasn’t Clive, he said. He was ‘Jacksie’. The story of his re-naming is curious. Here is a telling of the story by his older brother Warren, or ‘Warnie’:
“Disliking ‘Clive’, and feeling his various baby-names to be beneath his dignity, he marched up to my mother, put a forefinger to his chest, and announced ‘He is Jacksie’. He stuck to this the next day and thereafter, refused to answer to any other name: Jacksie it had to be, a name contracted to Jacks and then Jack.”
Warnie doesn’t note that ‘Jacksie’ was British slang for the ‘anus’.
It seemed like everyone knew the story of these amazing saints. As found in the ‘classic’ book, Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot, you’d be riveted by a tale of the dark, violent ‘Auca’ of the Ecuadorian rainforest—the ‘savages’ who’d cut our missionaries down.
But God had a plan! They got saved eventually. That was the story, but I’d started to re-think it after reading God in the Rainforest, Kathryn T. Long’s 2019 scholarly study of Evangelical missions in Ecuador. The sacred narrative just started to read a little different.
“The indigenous people were secondary, shadowy figures. Most important…
A distraught mother, Patricia Pulling, seemed to prove it. For a decade she led a crusade against a game. I’m looking up facts, and finding a lot I didn’t expect. You won’t hear any of this in church.
Whenever you’d see Patricia Pulling, she came off as the voice of conscience and reason. And her 1989 book, The Devil’s Web: Who’s Stalking Your Children for Satan, was available in a Christian bookstore near you!
She opens with the terrible tragedy she’d endured—reconstructing her son’s last day of life, June 9, 1982, moment by moment.
Irving Lee Pulling II—known as ‘Bink’—was…
* This post discusses the idea that the gospels of the New Testament tell a story of sexual abuse. Themes include rape and torture.
In 1998, he was an Anglican graduate student in London working on his Ph.D. about the history of Liberation Theology in Latin America. He read an account of a female health worker who had been tortured and killed in El Salvator in the early 1980s.
He tells the story in a few places, including a recent interview with The Shiloh Podcast. The details of the woman’s death were gristly, terrible, horrifying. …
They wouldn’t be drawn to members of both sexes. Or would they? If Christians read one way, scholars have been reading the New Testament narratives in another: with the cultural psychology of the time.
They seem to have a rather close relationship. The centurion calls his slave a Greek word, παῖς, that can suggest a sexual relationship. In Luke 7:2, the slave was “dear” or “precious” him. This man seems to really love his slave.
Where would we be without Josephine Baker, or Sister Rosetta Tharpe, or Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, or Billie Holiday? Or Tina Turner, or Marsha P. Johnson, or so many more.
But I’m thinking about Grace Jones.
“My instincts were to become someone else, to be unbound, to be born once more.” — Grace Jones
They say it as if she’s ungodly, or the “bad” one. Here’s a 1979 album review in the New York Daily News:
“She wears clothes of animal skin, leather and all the other garb to remind fans that she is not about being a born-again Christian…
I’m studying the ugliest story in America. It’s a theological story — every detail formed from religious ideas.
From 2008 to 2015, Josh Duggar was on a hit TLC reality T.V. show, 19 Kids and Counting, featuring the vast Duggar family — which claimed a message of extreme fertility came from God.
The family seemed to be Evangelicalism itself—from Republican politics to ‘purity’ guidelines, men in authority, women in ‘submission’. And he was their eldest son, the prince.
The show was cancelled with news that Josh, as a teenager, had molested many underage girls, including four of his sisters, while…
When it comes to sex and sexual themes in the Bible, the Jesus people are particularly prone to—talking dirty.
For a Christian reader, this might seem beyond obvious. Just look at 1 Timothy 3:12:
“A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.” (NIV)
What Christians don’t like to disclose is that all the male pronouns in this verse were added by translators.
In a 2015 study, the Christian scholar Philip B. Payne explains:
“Unfortunately, practically all English versions of 1 Tim 3:1–13 and Titus 1:5–9 give the false impression that Paul…
religion. sex. facts.