June 22, 2011
from lindsey haley
cc alma lopez <email@example.com>,
date Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM
subject Support for 'Our Lady' by Alma Lopez
Dear Ms. Finnegan,
I’m writing to express my support for artist Alma Lopez’ art piece “Our Lady” that is presently on exhibit as part of your university’s Chicana/o conference.
As a practicing Catholic and Chicana-Irish artist I do not see “Our Lady” either as blasphemous or offensive by any means. I became familiar with “Our Lady” soon after its creation and found it to be a beautiful and liberating creation that I hold dear to my soul.
I have spent the better part of my adult life studying and meditating on the word of God. It has also been through prayer and faith that I have been able to establish a relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ that is strong, healthy and free of guilt, shame, condemnation and oppression. For me, the image of “Our Lady” symbolizes the strength and beauty that God gave and intended for women. After peeling away so many falsehoods, I found this to be personally true for myself and the image of “‘Our Lady” stands as a symbol of that truth for me.
The opposition that I have witnessed towards “Our Lady” further demonstrates the continued suppression and perversion that a world lacking God’s love and wisdom operates in. Instead His children are driven by so much fear that hate fills their hearts, and in some instances to the point of threatening Ms. Lopez’ life. I fail to see how the spreading of fear and hate could possibly be God’s plan.
I encourage you to continue to support Ms. Lopez’ work and commend you for inviting her to exhibit “Our Lady” in Ireland.
date Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM
subject thank you for Our Lady & Other Queer Santas
Dear University College Cork:
I am delighted and deeply grateful that your university is hosting "Our Lady and Other Queer Santas" by Latina lesbian artist Alma Lopez.
I am the founder of JesusInLove.org, which supports LGBT spirituality and the arts. I speak for many when I say thank you for showing the work of this brave artist who is re-envisioning the saints in life-giving new ways. Queer Christian images are needed now because conservatives are using religious rhetoric to justify discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Some denounce her art as blasphemy because it differs from traditional images. Others, myself included, experience it as a blessing that enhances Christian faith by embodying God's wildly inclusive love for all. Lopez is healing the divide between sexuality and spirituality.
It's important to imagine Our Lady and other Christian figures in new and different ways because it empowers people to grow in their relationship with each other and with God.
"Our Lady and Other Queer Santas" is a holy event that upholds Our Lady's message of sacred empowerment, affirms LGBT Christians and embodies God's love for all. In the name of religious and artistic freedom, please do not give in to critics who want you to cancel these events.
Thank you for your courage and vision.
Author of "Art that Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More"
Visit the Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts
From: rosemary watters [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 22 June 2011 12:10
To: Murphy, Michael (Pharmacology); President; Finnegan, Nuala; Sweeney, Eamonn; Hispanic Studies
Subject: Are we going in the right direction?
Dear Michael, Nuala, and all,
I would like to express surprise and disappointment on hearing of the UCC Hispanic Dept.'s inclusion of Alma Lopez's presentation in next weekend's conference.
One would expect any educational establishment to foster respect for the beliefs of all creeds. If she were insulting some aspect of Muslim or Jewish belief (or any other faith you like to name) I am sure it would not be tolerated.
It is not too late to withdraw this from the programme, and it would be a positive move towards respect, unity and peaceful tolerance of all beliefs.