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Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.
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Patrick S. Cheng is a theologian, seminary professor, and ordained minister. He is the Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Yale College.

Patrick is the author of "Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology" (Seabury, 2011); "From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ" (Seabury, 2012); and "Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality, and Spirit" (Seabury, 2013).

He is an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Churches, an LGBT-affirming Christian denomination that is open to all people. He is the coordinator of Queer Asian Spirit, an organization dedicated to the spiritual and religious lives of LGBT people of Asian descent around the world and their allies. Patrick lives with his husband of two decades, Michael. His website is www.patrickcheng.net.

Entries by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.

Amplify 2013: Three Hundred Queer Asian Christians In Hong Kong

(124) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 9:23 AM

Earlier this month, some three hundred lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian Christians and allies from around the world gathered in Hong Kong for the Amplify 2013 conference. The conference was held from June 7th through 9th, and delegates from nearly a dozen countries were represented at...

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A Scout Is Trustworthy

(4) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 11:43 AM

I am proud to be an Eagle Scout. I am equally proud to be an openly gay man. In fact, I attribute my many years in Scouting -- first as a Webelos, then as a Boy Scout, and finally as a camp counselor -- as helping me to come out,...

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A Unicorn at the White House

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 5:17 PM

When I came out of the closet in college in the late 1980s, I thought I was a unicorn. That is, I believed that I was a mythical creature. Surely I was the only gay Asian-American person in the universe. All the gay spaces that I belonged to were white,...

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Religion and Gay Marriage: The Amazing Grace of Same-Sex Marriage

(177) Comments | Posted June 22, 2012 | 12:36 AM

What is the strongest theological argument in favor of same-sex marriage? The answer, I contend, is that such relationships are visible signs of God's grace -- an amazing kind of one-way love that is a pure gift and cannot be earned. I've come to this realization based upon over 20...

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Remember That You Are Divine

(16) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 1:00 PM

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." That's what the priest says when marking our foreheads with ashes on Ash Wednesday. It's a fitting beginning for the forty-day penitential season that we Christians call Lent. We're called to remember that we are finite creatures -- that...

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The Values Voter Summit and the Idolatry of 'Family Values'

(6) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 10:54 AM

Recently almost all the major Republican presidential candidates attended the 2011 Values Voter Summit, sponsored by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. Both the FRC and AFA have been officially designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center for bearing false...

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'Mr. Wong's Dong Emporium': Racism and the Gay Community

(7) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 12:01 AM

Gay people love to talk about the diversity of our "community." But sometimes our actions fail to measure up to our words.

Recently, the queer Asian community in New York City was outraged by plans for a new gay party to be called "Mr. Wong's Dong Emporium." The...

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Lady Gaga and the Gospel of Judas

(18) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 7:12 PM

Lady Gaga -- the queer icon and pop sensation -- is setting off the Christian right again. In her new song and video, "Judas," Lady Gaga sings over and over, "I'm in love with Judas," referring to the reviled disciple who betrays Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. Is...

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Radical Love: Why Christianity Is A Queer Religion

(432) Comments | Posted March 29, 2011 | 1:36 PM

2011-03-28-radicallovecover.jpg There are many people, both on the right and on the left, who claim that Christianity is incompatible with queerness. I strongly disagree. In fact, I am convinced that Christianity, at its very core, is a queer religion.

Why? I believe Christianity...

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Art, Censorship, and the Scandal of the Cross

(13) Comments | Posted January 10, 2011 | 4:25 PM

The recent censorship by the Smithsonian Institution of a controversial video clip by the late gay artist David Wojnarowicz - which contained images of ants crawling on a crucifix - has ignited an uproar in the art world. This incident calls to mind other controversial works of art...

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The Truth Will Make Us Free: A Queer Year in Review

(170) Comments | Posted December 28, 2010 | 1:42 PM

Anti-gay Christians love to quote John 8:32, which says that "the truth will make you free." According to them, if only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people would simply accept the truths of the Christian faith, we would discover the error of our ways, repent of our sins and...

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Faith, Hope and Love: Ending LGBT Teen Suicide

(535) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 8:07 AM

I have been simultaneously horrified, saddened, and enraged at the spate of suicides in the last month by teenagers and young adults who were bullied for being, or being perceived to be, gay. Billy Lucas, 15, hung himself on September 9 from the rafters of a barn. Seth Walsh, 13,...

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What About Love?: Why Judge Walker's Proposition 8 Ruling Is Theologically Correct

(614) Comments | Posted August 4, 2010 | 11:43 PM

Much ink will be spilled over the next few days -- and, most likely, over the next few years -- about the legal correctness of Judge Vaughn Walker's Proposition 8 ruling. That ruling struck down the referendum passed in 2008 that stripped same-sex couples in California of their...

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The Spiritual Significance of Pride

(750) Comments | Posted June 24, 2010 | 5:49 PM

What is the spiritual significance of pride?

June is Pride Month for millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people across the country. During this time each year, we commemorate the weekend of June 27-29, 1969, when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village, fed up...

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'Ex-Gays' and the Ninth Circle of Hell

(440) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 3:40 PM

Who are the worst sinners of all? The answer may surprise you. According to the fourteenth-century writer Dante Alighieri, the most egregious sinners are traitors, or those people who have betrayed their families, nations, guests, and leaders. As punishment, these individuals are frozen in ice and are condemned to the...

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Evangelicals and Gays: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

(1035) Comments | Posted May 5, 2010 | 8:12 PM

Why can't Christian evangelicals and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people seem to get along? As an openly-gay theologian and minister, I've been troubled by the increasingly polarized discourse and the apparent lack of compassion and respect that each side has shown for the other. Neither side is blameless;...

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What Was the Real Sin of Sodom?

(231) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 4:30 PM

To many anti-gay Christians, I'm nothing more than a "sodomite" who is damned for all eternity. It doesn't matter that I've spent the last decade immersed in the Bible, ancient biblical languages, and the Christian theological tradition. It doesn't matter that I've dedicated my life to preaching, teaching, and ministering...

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"Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin" And Other Modern-Day Heresies

(559) Comments | Posted April 6, 2010 | 11:27 AM

"Love the sinner, hate the sin." Anti-gay Christians often use this slogan to force lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to change their sexual orientations and gender identities. Popular methods of "change" include mandatory celibacy, reparative therapy, expulsion from homes and churches, and even acts of physical violence, up...

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Sin As The Closet, Grace As Coming Out: Rethinking Sin And Grace For LGBT People Today

(635) Comments | Posted March 23, 2010 | 4:27 PM

Sinners. That's what a lot of Christians call lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. As an openly-gay theologian and ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Churches -- an LGBT-affirming Christian denomination that is open to all -- I unfortunately know all too well what it means to be labeled...

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