Sunday, November 2, 2008

Homosexuality and Space, Christianity and Anarchy, Ownership and Stewardship

What do these all have to do with each other? You'll find out. This weekend my girlfriend and I drove through Chino Hills. On one of the main intersections (Grand Ave. and Pipeline) there were demonstrators for and against Proposition 8 (if you don't know what that is, it is to ban gay marriage) here's a video I recorded on our way to get some frozen yogurt.

There were many Christians there as well as some Anarchists. I was quite happy to see people demonstrating on the same corners for completely opposing views yet being quite peaceful towards each other. It was an interesting experience seeing how these demonstrators used the landscape to get their point across. Many People would stand at each street corner and wait for the crosswalk to turn green. They would then walk back and forth and often circle the entire intersection. I've always been intrigued by how the landscape is used during demonstrations ever since I helped film a war protest in Downtown LA in 2001.

Then on Sunday morning (when there's nothing good on TV) I left the channel on a preacher while I did my homework, after all I just recently had an encounter with a large group of Christians. Interestingly enough the man brought up the idea of "Ownership vs. Stewardship." Now this REALLY caught my attention. It caught my attention because what he continued to say is almost exactly the same things that Anarchists preach. I grew up as a Catholic (though I'm agnostic now) I was baptized and confirmed and even passed a course on teaching Sunday school. From my experiences in the church I knew that the Jesus preached that man should not be enforcing law (John 8:1 - 11) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." But right in front of me was more proof that Christianity and Anarchy had much more in common (I'm surprised I never realized it before).

Anarchists also preach Stewardship over Ownership. Whereas in Christianity it is not a choice and people do NOT own anything because God is the owner of everything and people are just stewards of the Earth (somewhere early in Genesis). Anarchists lean more to it being a choice. That no one person should claim ownership over anything but instead be stewards of what exists so that all people can benefit.

A friend of mine (Olympia) is an open Anarchist and a Christian she is also transgendered, an Urban Planner and an activist. So there are people that are openly Christian-Anarchists. It really isn't that uncommon.

Then I did a flickr search for "ownership" and I found this photo. With a link to The Sexuality and Ownership of Space. It's about the Pansy Project, what it is is whenever the artist Paul Harfleet experiences verbal homophobic abuse he would plant a pansy thus creating a sense of entitlement to the space in which it happened. I feel it is quite powerful.

The Southbank Center calls it the ownership of space but I believe it is much more a stewardship of the space in which Homophobia has occured because as the artist states, "These self seeding pansies act as a living memorial to this abuse and operate as an antidote to it..." One could discuss the ownership vs. stewardship construct in this context to its death. Plus it's not my art, it's Paul Harfleet's.

The point is, beyond the relationship between Anarchy and Christianity, or the relationships between Political Activism and the Landscape, or even the relationship between Homosexuality and Space. What it is, is that I'm amazed how everything seemed to come full circle and have a strong relationship with each other. I'm also very amazed at the activism, creativity and the similarities people all share.


Michelle McFadden said...

you just blew my mind, you deserve a hot pocket. it is very interesting how things can be construed to seem different and basically be similar. In regards to the protests for Prop. 8, there have only been no or yes campaigns on different days or different intersections. I do find it very interesting that I have only caught people in the act of removing the no signs, maybe this is because I live in orange cunty.

me said...

Amen, brother. I too passed that intersection on Saturday. The yessers were outnumbering the nos about 100 to 1. It was initially creepy in a hair-at-the-back-of-my-neck tingly way. My husband's first comment about the yeses was "I wonder how many of them are gay?" As we passed a sea of yeses, the last person in line, standing shoulder to shoulder with a yesser, was a woman holding a no sign. Made it all worth it for me.

I'd say that we need to litter that Chino HIlls corner with poppies, but Pomona could use the greenery more.

G of P

Bryan said...

Totally interesting Andrew!