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Devotions and DesiresHistories of Sexuality and Religion in the Twentieth-Century United States$
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Gillian Frank, Bethany Moreton, and Heather R. White

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636269

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636269.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

We Who Must Die Demand a Miracle

We Who Must Die Demand a Miracle

Christmas 1989 at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco

(p.253) We Who Must Die Demand a Miracle
Devotions and Desires

Lynne Gerber

University of North Carolina Press

In the 1980s and 1990s, gay religious leaders and communities faced a challenge that stretched their physical, emotional, spiritual, and theological resources past their limits. The emergence of AIDS forced them to address the familiar challenges of integrating sexuality and faith in a new—life or death—context. It would prove a critical testing ground for whether and how the radical experiment of explicitly gay religiosity could sustain people and communities “in trouble.” This chapter tells the story of how one gay-identified congregation, Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco, and its pastor drew on a combination of liberation theology, LGBT literature, and what David Halperin calls a “queer sensibility” to forge gay religious life in a time of both immense possibility and immense suffering and loss. It does so by looking at one moment in the church’s life—the sermon given by the congregation’s minister on Christmas Eve of 1989—and using it as a lens to examine how liberation theology and LGBT literature were brought to bear on this particular moment in the AIDS crisis in order to make gay Christianity a usable tradition in a time of crisis and change.

Keywords:   Jim Mitulski, Troy Perry, Metropolitan Community Church, gay church, AIDS, HIV, Castro, San Francisco, Communion, liberation theology, Christmas

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