Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Peter Gomes 1942 - 2011

Thanks for everything.

He was a tireless and fearless champion of the fundamental sanctity of gays and lesbians and of all people. He challenged literalist and fundamentalist interpretations of Scripture with equal courage and tenacity. He always pointed out that just about any morality can find its proof texts in Scripture, and that there are plenty to defend the subjugation of women, racism, and slavery.
I can testify to the truth of his insight on Scripture. I remember as a boy hearing the story of Ham from Genesis quoted at me repeatedly by earnest Bible-believing folk completely convinced that separation of the races was ordained by God and proven in Scripture. I remember wondering what else might be "proven by Scripture." That little insight set me out on the long path of acceptance of my own sexuality, and ultimately rescued the Gospel in my eyes from those who would claim the copyright on it.
As a gay man himself, Gomes was living witness to the idea that literalist and legalist interpretations of the Scripture are ultimately sterile and false to the spirit of the Gospel.

"The letter killeth. The Spirit giveth life."


JCF said...

A great man.

A lesser notable point: Peters's one of the FEW people I've ever seen on The Colbert Report, who TOTALLY held his own w/ Stephen Himself.


Kittredge Cherry said...

This is an especially beautiful tribute. Thanks!