Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Lord is my Shepherd & He Might Be a Furry

You know there is a Jesus out there for everyone. In addition to the traditional Anglo-Saxon Jesus, we can now see a film about a Black Jesus. I particularly like Chinese images of Jesus and the Jesus Buddha. We tend to create God in our own image or at one in which we can relate.

While leaving a comment on Jay's blog, I got to thinking about Jesus as Furry. Some of you may know of people who refer to themselves as furries. According to Wikipedia,
Furry fandom is an artistic and literary genre related to the hybridization of humans and (other) animals, combining traits and characteristics, specifically in cartoons and comics.
I am no expert here, but some Furries even dress up as animals and interact at social gatherings and conventions. They also draw fan fiction and develop on-line identities and relationships.

Because of a now infamous CSI episode where they portrayed Furries as sex crazed men and women dress as animal killers, they have gotten a bad rap.

One of my former students identifies as a Furry. His parents felt concerned that he was caught up in some nutty weirdness and would end up getting himself mauled. He explained that just like any culture, you will have all types, but for many there is something innocent, fun and fulfilling in being a Furry. I asked him to share some of his thoughts.
For me at least, its about the community that it brings together. Many of the furries that I know are some of the nicest people I've ever met, the most kind and non-judgmental people ever. It also gives me this amazing feeling, sometimes its almost spiritual.

You know that feeling you get right in your chest, the one where you feel like your flying and your exhilarated. Its one of those things where you feel like this is one reason I'm alive.

Plus its one of the only groups of people I know that are willing to hug you the first moment that they meet you and nothing makes you feel happier or more welcome than that ^^
Sounds like the sort of feelings one would hope to experience in a church or Quaker meeting house.

But is this furry stuff all that new? And is it "un-Christian"? CS Lewis recreated the Gospel story in Narnia where he dressed up the disciples and Jesus as animals. There's something stirring about seeing the great lion, Aslan, expressing his love and mercy and justice. Ah, and that lion's roar! Somehow it helps me to embrace redemption that much more deeply.

In the scriptures we see God as Furry. Jesus is proclaimed the Lamb of God and many of us long for the day when the Lion shall lie down with the Lamb, a promise of peace in the world as well as reconciliation between the wrath of God and God's mercy.

In my search today I even found a Christian Furry website. I think it helps that when we talk and think about God, if we can think outside the box. I mean no matter what image of God we conjure, what images draws us with words or pictures, they will always fall short of reality. These are simply stepping stones to help us get to the heart of the matter. Namely, you are precious, extraordinarily beautiful, and the door is open, should you wish to enter, to become a friend with God, better still family, God's partner.

Picture credit: XianJaguar


At 3:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noticed the Christian furry site takes a stand in the anti-gay camp.

It is my conclusion, proven more every day, that those who have been excluded will then choose to exclude. I think that explains much of the behaviours in gay subcultures.

At 3:35 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Clint, great observation. Yeah, how quickly the oppressed becomes the oppressor. And like you mentioned, us queer folks are not immune to that madness.

At 4:15 PM , Blogger Jay said...

Don't know how in the world my blog inspired this post, but it's a very interesting one. It's nice to know I can always count on you for thinking outside the box (sometimes very outside the box). Have a good one!


At 4:45 PM , Blogger Elliot Coale said...

All I can say about the Lord and the Furries is: Woah (and SAY WHAT?!?!?!!!)

At 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was brought up by a very atheistic mother and unfortunately that has left its marks. My mother always told me that there could be no such thing as God, because an old man on a cloud was just nonsens. Knowing me you wouldn´t be surprised that I chose to "go through" confirmation just to upset my mother.

I wouldn´t call myself Christian, I am more into paganism and I don´t see that as a religion as much as a life-philosophy, but that´s a different topic. My point beeing that during confirmation-meetings and classes I learned that God didn´t have to a wise guy on a cloud .. every single human being has their version of God. Maybe they don´t even call it God or see it as a religious thing but we all have some kind of "thing" that we turn to when we need support.

Haha I forget how I wanted to end this comment but I think I got my message through .. I hope.

At 6:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

While most of the fandom is much more accepting of queer orientations there still are those that are in the anti-gay camp. However for every one of their organizations and websites there are at least ten others that provide support for GLBTQQ....etc Furries.

One orginization is the "Rainbow Ark" Community on Livejournal.


At 11:19 PM , Blogger grace said...

what box?

i'm pretty sure peterson destroyed the box a loooong time ago! ;)

love ya with the love of the Lord (*giggle*)

At 11:56 PM , Blogger Susanne said...

So...maybe we are created in His image and likeness and He in ours?
Fur, faux fur or neither...God is for everyone.
Better to have lived your life believing God loves you and die to find out He doesn't; than to live your life believing God doesn't love you only to die and find out that He always has. Think of what richness and spiritual connectiveness we would experience if we lived knowing God loved us; every one of us.
With few exceptions,thinking outside the box is a better way to be....so much more room to grow and stretch...with everyone else being crowded in that small box.
Kudos to those who try to see unity in our individual differences.

At 3:26 AM , Blogger MadPriest said...

Like the others I notice that Christian Furries are Biblical fundamentalists. Therefore, although I normaly adhere to the principle of "don't knock it until you try it," I think, in this case, I shall give it a miss. Shame, sounds cuddly.

At 3:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an absolutely brilliant post! Growl purr.
Suzanne - I love your 'better than' thought: so powerful.

At 4:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I point out that all that website illustrates is that the particular Christian Fur who made it is anti-gay and fundamentalist?

The furry community as I know it (not very intimately, I'll admit) is openminded and accepting of all sorts of deviations of the norm. Unfortunately, it's also thick with arguments and flamewars, and many furs have very strong opinions on things.

I'm sure there's nice, humble Christian Furries out there as well, but they probably don't feel the need to set up a website like that.

At 8:43 AM , Blogger Nonsequitur said...

Peterson, I admire your gift for taking information which is often considered off-beat, counterculture, or obscure and bundling it up in a fashion that makes it more easily understandable.

At 12:53 AM , Blogger One Scared Puppy said...

Susanne--What a wonderful way of thinking. You made my day.

At 12:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice post you have made. I am glad to occasionally see someone who is willing to study before they write a book about the furs they learned about from popular mainstream (sensationalist) media.

On that note, I've been a Christian Fur for over 6 years and started off in the fandom with a search to find others. I found a few individuals and eventually came across a mailgroup.

Three years ago I found a website that had just been finished. It's a board dedicated entirely to Christian furs.

I figured you might would like to check it out since you're interested in the subject, however, registration requires an application because of numerous attacks (raids)on the site.

The site is only dedicated to two pieces of common ground between members and they are "furry" "christ" however non-furries and non-christians are more than welcome (and already in attendance) so long as they aren't there to cause trouble. There are even some gay members since the site isn't there to supress any mindset or belief.

Come visit us. However, the gay debate has been brought up enough times to become stale so you might want to just let it be.

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At 5:28 AM , Blogger David O said...

Your Jesus God pictures Remember My Jesus is Cool and my savior. thanks For this Great art !! i love jesus i'm Furries Love Jesus and Believe Jesus for my God ! no cares atheism insult me about i'm Too Religious..

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