When noted knee-jerk conservative queer pundit Andrew Sullivan slammed the annual Hunky Jesus contest in Dolores Park as "tired," "lame," and bigoted, heaps of SFist commenters chimed in with their thoughts. That was fun. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who put on the annual Jesus flesh festival, issued a statement in response to Sullivan. Which is also fun. The Rev. Sr. Merry Peter speaketh:
I read your criticism of the Sisters’ Hunky Jesus Contest on The Daily Beast (link) and have to congratulate you for emulating every tired, lame bigot on FOX News by raising a straw argument suggesting Sisters’ should have a “Hunky Mohammed Contest” if we want to “grow some balls.” Really??
Honey, we’re not out to prove we have balls (though mine are doing quite nicely, thank you). The point of Hunky Jesus is to have fun and chip away at those hardened walls between sex and spirit so often reinforced by the bigotry of so-called Christians who deny the embodied, fleshy reality of Jesus the man who no doubt sported a woody or two in his lifetime here on earth and most definitely came with his own set of balls.
Rail against the supposed grief we cause believers and wrap yourself in self-righteous anger if it makes you feel good- it’s your shtick and in these tough times I know you need a paycheck.
But for the love of every young LGBTQI kid out there trying to find a way through this cruel world, please stop carping on about how events like Hunky Jesus “empower every religious right prejudice about gays.” Bigotry like that is irrational and self- generating. They hate us because we’re GAY, Andrew, period.
It’s actually the GAYS and all those stung by that hatred the Sisters try to help by creating space for a good belly laugh at all the holier-than-thou attitudes that keep us down. If we’re all going to Hell, there’s no reason we can’t have fun and look fabulous on the way!
I’m sorry that a bunch of drag nun volunteers with a cheap sound system don’t rise to your definition of high art, but blasphemy is a democratic art form that delivers its most profound punch at street level where ordinary people struggle every day.
Maybe you haven’t met one of my Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, but let me share a secret. When we don the pancake make up and fake jewels we aren’t pretending to be posh intellectuals. We step into the role of the clown, the Holy Fool for whom the profane is the best weapon against the hypocrisy of all those who pretend that pedigrees and politeness will get the jackboot off our dicks and vaginas. You may not think so, but for us, acting this ridiculous is a sacred and necessary calling to permission everyone else to let their hair down, enjoy life and make more room for joy.
My fervent prayer for you is that next year I might see you in Dolores Park, lounging on a big pink blanket, wearing a fabulous Easter bonnet, pounding back some Dom and laughing and hooting as a new line of Hunky Jesii parade before you. Until then, go and sin some more. It would be a good change of pace.
With indulgent love,
Rev. Sr. Merry Peter, SPI
The Sisters also responded with this gem over at Joe My God.