"Author attempts to build bridges between theologically based values and the anger of gay liberation movements."
Carson Valley, Nevada - Working most of his life as a closeted gay man in a very religiously conservative environment, author Paul Trittin often attempted to build bridges between theologically based values and the anger of gay liberation movements. He felt that a simple tale like "Jacobus, A Eunuch's Faith" (published by Authorhouse) could be an effective bridge of reconciliation.
"Jacobus, A Eunuch's Faith" is a tale of gay romance and acceptance intersecting with the deep Judeo-Christian faith systems in the first-century Roman maritime world and beyond into India. The storyline is often caught-up in the reality of military cruelty and the cultural requirement of slavery. The characters' lives are held together with strong convictions of faith while living in a world of personal chaos.
"Through many adventures, the book presents the difficult social, moral, economic and human condition of the first century while also showing the hope that was possible," Trittin sharess.
There is one non-sexual picture with nudity in the "Did You Know" section that may not be appropriate for everyone. The picture is in a Roman slave market where the men had been purchased as slaves.
In Jewish culture you grow up fast. At fourteen I was expected to assume the responsibilities of a man, and in the Roman Empire I could have been married at that age. One thing disturbed my twin, Josephus, and me. We were truly welcomed at birth and for a few years, but suddenly Father was disdainful of the sexual play Josephus and I enjoyed together. We were shamed for being different, and before puberty we learned why. We were born natural eunuchs, disinterested in the opposite gender.
I was born into wealth and enjoyed the privilege of living in luxurious surroundings. My extended family and their money provided everything my twin and I needed except a mother's love and a father's compassion. There were no manuals for natural eunuchs, so we educated ourselves. Understanding nurses and tutors provided a most outstanding education.
I have always been precocious, but being gifted is not my fault. At the age of twelve, my father decided it was time for me to continue my education by preparing for the world of work. This was not uncommon for the life expectancy was only twenty-five to thirty years. He apprenticed me to learn the maritime trade under the guidance of Captain Lucius Paulus. It was on the Dolphin that I learned the art of reconciliation, I lived and slept with eunuchs both natural and castrated and worked with both slaves and free men.
I learned much working on the Dolphin. The dislike of Tectos, a slave, for Horse, a free man, exploded into anger in just three weeks when Tectos caught Horse with a stolen tusk. In the fracas that followed Horse's foot was injured so extensively that without surgical care his foot had to be amputated to spare his life. Unable to walk he was taken to the center of this seaport city and left there to beg. It was Tectos who not only expressed concern for Horse, but who went to the city center every day with food and water for the one the crew had come to despise. What motivation produced compassion in this slave? Is compassion the forerunner of reconciliation?
Alexandria, Egypt was the largest and most beautiful seaport ever built, but it was the reconciliation that occurred there that gave us such fond memories. Rabbi Sahdu and his wife, Rahelania, came from India to approve or reject the deal I had brokered with their son, a eunuch like me. Because he was 'different,' he was alienated from his parents. Years earlier they sent him away to a Persian rabbinical school to study the Torah. More importantly they tried to dissuade his interest in men.The situation was unsettling and Yacobsa was fearful on two accounts. He was unsure how his parents would respond since his interest in men had not changed, and likewise uncertain if they would agree to the trade agreement with Aetna Shipping represented by me..
The contract exceeded their expectations. The sincere high praise I heaped on their son and learning that we Jews worshipped the creator God was sufficient to seal the deal. If they were comfortable with one more fact, Aetna would have a trading partner in India. They knew Stephen was my cousin. I informed them I had been adopted by his father which made us brothers, and I was soon to become Stephen's second spouse. They not only approved the arrangements, but they accepted our invitation to travel with us to Jerusalem for Passover.
When I was a young man, KIing Shikrit king of Pandyan gave me a baby elephant. It was impossible to take the animal back to Syracuse from India so he arranged for Jaya to care for the gift. To reach Shikrit's palace, our journey was on the backs of elephants as they formed a caravan going up the river to his palace.
In retirement forty years later, my life-long friend, Hanno, and Jaya traveled with me and my elephant to Alexandria, Egypt stopping in Jerusalem to mourn its destruction by the Romans.
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Without the internet and an online gay prayer ministry, Marvin Baker and Paul Trittin would never have met. Marvin spent his life in the academic world and in pastoral ministry. Paul's career centered in the business world including sixteen years of management n denominational publishing. During their elementary school years, each man knew he was attracted to males.
Several months after the death of Marvin's wife and Paul's divorce, they said their vows, established a home, and continued living the closeted life in Christian ministry. They both had lived the challenging life of reconciling the gay and faith worlds.
Both of us have been encouraged to be independent thinkers since childhood, and we remained firmly committed to our Christian faith since our youth. That enabled us to reject much of the negative teaching about being 'different,' being gay. We have had no reason to doubt God's love, his promises, or his teachings.. We have had reason to challenge the interpretations of some of his followers.
Historically in spite of the fact that Jesus affirmed natural eunuchs, church leaders in the ninth century successfully removed the term 'natural eunuch' from the lexicon and began persecuting those men who experienced man-man love. We have chosen to live in the accepting grace of Christ for he has not been against us, even when some of his followers have been, We have committed our lives to work for all of us to be reconciled to Christ and to one another.
We started Gay Christian Fellowship after a bouncer at a Gay Club asked, "Do you have a Bible study at this church?"
Marvin responded, "If you'll be there, we do now." The next Wednesday evening she and two of her lesbian friends met usl for food, faith, and fellowship. That was April, 2009, and when we moved to Nevada in 2015,they were still meeting in the church where it all began.
Has anyone ever asked you to personally get involved in reconciliation?
I've had interesting responses to that question including blank stares and loud guffaws. Because I'm a gay Christian, I'm concerned about the gulf between the two camps, the,gay and faith communities. GCF, Gay Christian Fellowship, is inviting you to become involved. Together let's become proactive and take a giant step beyond oral support. [17-1]
For a start, if you identify with the faith community, get the name of someone in the gay community you may never have met and begin praying for them. If you identify with the gay community, get the name of someone who opposes gay marriage and begin praying for them.
Explain what you are doing with a confident smile and keep them informed of the results.
1. Is it changing your attitude toward those in the opposing camp?
2. Have you met the person for whom you are praying?
3. Have you shared what's happening in your heart and life?
Respond to "A Call to Action" in the next section, "A Path to Reconciliation." Subscribe for our newsletter, The GCF Review, which is targeted to be a monthly publication, and then drop us a line. [17-2]
For contemplation and future conversation:
1. Reconciliation starts with admitting there is a problem and stating what it is.
2. What are the real issues between the two communities?
3. Reconciliation reveals the differences between statesmen and politicians.
4. Do people like me have the right to exist in your space? (a gay man's question for pastors)
5. Reconciliation is the foundation for building a better tomorrow. [17-3]
· We accept the reality that each person has the inherent right to exist.
· We affirm each individual has the right and responsibility to make their own choices within the bounds of civil law.
· We agree to establish and maintain a relationship with one another whether we agree or not.
· We agree that we are all equal in the eyes of God..
There are many pleas for financial assistance, but seldom are we asked to become involved in problem solving through reconciliation. That needs to change. We are asking you to become actively and deliberately involved in working toward reconciliation between the faith and gay communities. We are offering a simple way to remind yor to get involved.
Print the statement below. Sign it and place it where it will see it daily and be reminded of your privilege and responsibility to be a part of reconciling a major crisis of our time.
A PATH TO RECONCILIATION
I am working to achieve reconciliation between
the Faith and Gay communities
one heart at a time.
Signed: _____________________________________ Date: _______________
Sponsored by Gay Christian Fellowship, LLC
"On May 14, 390 an imperial decree was posted at the Roman hall of Minerva which criminalized for the first time the sexual practice of those whom we call "homosexual men" - this had never happened before in the history of law."
For approximately 350 years the early church did not define natural eunuchs as being sinful. [17-1]
In the 21st century B.C. in the country of Sumeria, present day Iraq, two words were added to the cultural lexicon, castrate and eunuch . An individual was charged in a court of law with the heinous crime of intentionally removing a man's testicles making it impossible for him to procreate. They called this crime castration and pronounced the man a eunuch.
Initially the term, eunuch, applied only to a man who suffered this intentional action, but soon it was used to describe any man unable to procreate. Later it was even applied to identify physically healthy men who were uninterested or unable to perform the sex act with women.. This last expanded definition is what makes the term unacceptable today.
We have experienced 4200 years of confusion and heartache caused by the uses of the word eunuch. [17-2] We will be sharing other historical facts. If you subscribe, we will notify you when we change the post.
Were you shocked by the nudity or the humiliation? You cannot get much more marginalized than to be sold naked at a public action. This picture represents Jacobus' father with the two slaves, Hanno and Mago, he had just purchased to work as cargo slaves for Aetna Shipping.
The village where they were born was destroyed by Roman solders when they were six years old. Immediately after having watched as their parents were crucified, they were sold by the Roman Army to a slave merchant to be trained as sex slaves. After reaching adulthood they were sold to another owner before Jacobus' father bought them when they were in their early twenties. [17-3]
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Thanks for stopping by for my first MMM. For me it's an experiment to see if there is a place for something like a weekly column on the internet. I’m egocentric enough to appreciate it when someone takes time to read what I have to share. Even once a week may be presumptive. I hope that my thoughts will do at least one of the following: challenge, encourage, inform, or amuse you in a positive way. I know you won’t be back if that doesn’t happen. Introductory comments are now over. Drop me a line so I'll know you were here.
Aristotle was right. "Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the righ time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
We don't need instruction on how to become angry, it seems to be part of the birth package. Any deficiency can easily be diminished by observing one's parents, siblings, or other humans in the environment. The observation skill of even the youngest children enables them to understand the anger on display though not always the language.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to teach the way to forgive and reconcile. I believe that is a possibility and I invite you to join with us as we explore the process.
Until next Monday, I am creatively yours,
Marvin G. Baker, EdD.
Mark Remembers, Coloring Book
Paul Trittin's illustrations for Mark's Story , written by his partner, Dr. Marvin Baker, and published in 2002, are now available for color pencil drawings. They are contemporary. It is Christ for today.!
Reformation Project National Conference, Fourth Prebyterian Church, October 26-28, Chicago, IL
Douglas County Craft Fair, Senior Center, November 3-4, Gardnerville, NV.
Miami Book Fair International, Miami
Dade College, November 18, Miami, FL
Southern California native now living in Carson Valley, Nevada
· Attended Vanguard University
· U. S. Army, Vietnam Era, Congressional Liaison
· Global University, one of three founders recruited by Christian denomination
· National Flemish Art Exhibition, Brussels, first non-Flemish artist to participate
· Life Publishers International, Miami, Director of Operations and Editorial Board member
· Understanding Russian Banking, contributing author invited to Russia to consult on further moves
Rev. Marvin G. Baker, EdD.
Rev. Paul S. Trittin
P.O. Box 1774, Minden, NV 89732