This is part four of a seven part series on
LGBTQ+ themes and the Bible.
The seven themes are:
- The Closet/Coming Out
- Queer/Alternative Family
- Transition & Transitioning
- Drag & Disguise
- Non-Procreative Sex Positive Stories
- Breaking Norms: Gender/Social/Class
Today we will look at examples people who operate as Allies in the Bible.
From the Southern Illinois University website:
An “Ally” is “a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population.” (Washington and Evans, Becoming and Ally) Allies to racial, religious and ethnic minorities have been remarkable effective in promoting positive change in the dominant culture, and only recently has their instrumental position been extended to the area of sexual orientation. The past few decades have witnessed the development of heterosexual Ally organizations which have attempted to make the culture of a campus or workplace more aware and accepting of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trangender, queer, questioning, and intersex individuals.
The example of a Biblical eunuch I gave at the Wild Goose Festival Workshop is the story of the eunuch, Asphanez, helping Daniel and his friends in the Book of Daniel. Captured during war and dragged into exile in Babylon, young Daniel and his friends are traumatized. They are children who witnessed horrors. Now they live in the palace of the very tyrant who killed their families and destroyed their homes. The king wants these boys groomed for royal servant, perhaps even as eunuchs.
They are heartbroken and experience PTSD. Asphanez, a eunuch in the court is given the job to transform these broken boys into court official. The kind insists the boys eat the rich food from the royal table, but the boys have lost their appetite for life, let alone for food. They tell Asphanez they want the food they ate back home, rustic food compared to the king’s choice offerings. Although the king will kill Asphanezz if he hears the eunuch disobeyed an order, Asphanez, the eunuch wants to help the boys and give them comfort food. I go deeper into this story in the Bible Bash podcast I co-host with Liam Hooper.
The participants who attended the LGBTQ+ Friendly Bible Hour provide more examples of Allies:
- Jesus to oppressed margin of society (women, lepers, sex workers, the poor, and people with disabilities and mental illness.)
- Ebed Melech helping the prophet Jeremiah — Jeremiah 38
- Joseph of Aramathea –Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:42-46, Luke 23:50-55, John 19:38-42
- Moses to the Hebrew people
- Ruth to her mother-in-law Naomi
- Rehab of Jericho to the Joshua and the Hebrew people–Joshua 2:1-7
What about you? What stories from the Bible do you want to add to the list of Transition/Transitioning stories. Leave you thoughts in the comments below.
Many thanks to Wild Goose and the folks who attended the workshop!
IF you want to hear more alternative readings to the Bible, check out the monthly podcast I co-host with Liam Hooper: The Bible Bash Podcast! available wherever you listen to podcasts.