March 2, 2015

Malcolm Boyd, the gay rights icon you’ve probably never heard of

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Malcolm Boyd, photographed at the height of his fame as author of "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?" Photo courtesy of Malcolm Boyd archives

Malcolm Boyd, photographed at the height of his fame as author of "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?" Photo courtesy of Malcolm Boyd archives

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(RNS) One gets the sense that the Rev. Malcolm Boyd and many others like him were a little too religious for the liberals, and too liberal for the religious.

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  • 1. What does a man with no scholarly chops whatsoever find to say that would fill 28 monographs?

    2. You’ll notice he never had any parish responsibilities. All his postings were college sinecures.

    3. You’ll also notice that all of his manifest interests from age 36 to 62 concerned topical questions.

    4. You’ll also notice that a film producer benefits from understanding where the market is going.

    5. And, of course, you’re eulogizing him because he was a sexual degenerate who made a public point of it.

    What did he want all those years (bar, perhaps, an audience)?

  • The Great God Pan

    Go easy on Art. He hardens hearts against Christ and sets people on the path toward atheism. Hallelujah!

  • The fixation amazes. Andrew Sullivan once complained (without a touch of self-understanding) that Richard John Neuhaus was ‘obsessed’ with homosexuality. Neuhaus’ magazine might publish 30-odd feature articles a year of which one would address that subject and publish in the back of each issue thirty-odd brief commentaries of which one might touch on that issue. You see more on this site every other day than you might have seen in First Things all year. I was a member of a portside political action committee in my home town ca. 1987; the amount of rent-free space that subject was taking up in our heads was about nil. No one was antagonistic; we just had other issues to ponder. It might surprise callow creatures like Laura Turner that thirty years ago, homosexuality was a boutique cause which was not near the top of anyone’s priority list (bar The Village Voice and pests in ActUp).

  • You cared enough to offer a stupid remark. Get back to me when you can manage more than irritable mental gestures.

  • Cranmer

    @Art Deco I imagine that what’s most difficult for you is to realize that the Spirit is directing change in the Church that you won’t understand and of which you are afraid, especially as you become a minority. Boyd’s work and courage were Holy Spirit inspired, which I think is the problem you have. The hate that circumscribes your life will pull you down to the Pit.

  • Doc Anthony

    Yes, you’re right, J. By now there is no possible doubt about which way RNS is going. The official journal of the Gay Marriage Religion, as it were.

    But the fact is that there’s a lot of current news and trends happening in that area, and it really IS time for Christians and other religionists to be aware of them. RNS at least offers that much.

    The gay marriage cult is on the move and shooting for a win, and that win will carry some far-reaching implications for our nation (just as it did for, umm, Sodom and Gomorrah).

    So it’s seriously time for people of faith to have “an understanding of the times.” Believe it or not, RNS helps a little.

  • the Spirit is directing change in the Church

    Is that the spin? Vichy evangelicals have their idiom and their excuses.

    which you are afraid

    You’re not as insightful as you think you are.

    especially as you become a minority.

    Minority of what? I left the Episcopal Church 15 years ago. It occurred to me that the clergy who were neither buffoons nor shallow and manipulative mediocrities all had one thing in common: they’d retired.

  • I fail to see how a commentary berth for the callow and mollycoddled Eliel Cruz delivers news to anyone.

  • I love it when you get amazed and awakened like that Art. I know you love me that way too.

  • Susan Russell

    In point of fact, Malcolm served St. Augustine’s in Santa Monica wisely and well as a member of their clergy staff for many years.

  • Neon Genesis

    You can always just leave and stop posting here if you really hate RNS so much. No one is stopping you and no one will miss you.

  • Billysees

    Cranmer,

    “… the Spirit is directing change in the Church…”

    How true.

    Man’s ways are of the Lord, ….Proverbs 20:24

  • JCF

    Growing up, I remember a paperback copy of “Are You Running With Me, Jesus?” on my grandmother’s bookcase. When I came to the prayer of [para.] “are you with me in this homosexual bar, Jesus”, I recall thinking “did he really just say that?!” Blew my young mind, that anybody could be THAT honest to God (as it were).

    But I still didn’t really get him.

    Not till I read “Take Off the Masks”, decades later, did I really grasp his Spirit-filled BOLDNESS.

    Memory eternal. Holy Malcolm, pray for us…

  • YES! and AMEN! Malcolm you were an important role model for my young queer, midwest, boyself. are you running with me Jesus rocked my world when I read about the “homosexual bar.” Praise Creation for your love, witness, and bravery!

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