HELP STOP LOOTING
HOLLYWOOD — Modern-day priests of the Ancient Roman gay god Antinous have issued an urgent appeal for action to stop the looting of the city in Egypt which was named in honor of their deity.
Antinoopolis, established by Roman Emperor Hadrian for his male lover who drowned in the Nile, is being plundered by Egyptian villagers — and the world is turning a blind eye.
Antinoopolis was the West Hollywood of Ancient Rome. Named in honor of Antinous, who was deified to become the last Classical deity, what is left of the city of Antinoopolis is "being systematically destroyed" by tomb robbers in search of artifacts, according to archaeologists. They blame lax law enforcement as Egypt spirals into political and economic chaos.
Although looting at other sites up and down the Nile has received widespread attention, the dire situation at Antinoopolis has failed to attract attention.
"Nobody cares because Antinous is the god of gays, and they are embarrassed to mention that fact," says Antonyus Subia, head priest of the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, headquarters of the modern-day Religion of Antinous.
"Even the few news articles which have appeared about the destruction of Antinoopolis fail to mention Antinous at all," Subia says.
The love affair between Emperor Hadrian and Antinous is the stuff of Shakespearean drama. The Emperor and his male lover had embarked on a grand tour of Egypt when Antinous died mysteriously in the Nile in October of the year 130 AD.
Grief-stricken Hadrian was said to have "wept like a woman" and immediately founded a city on the banks of the Nile where Antinous died. The city thrived for 500 years.
Ruins were still visible as recently as 2012, but archaeologists say that, since the revolution in Egypt in 2011, local residents have gone on a looting spree, even bringing in bulldozers to look for artifacts.
The modern-day priests of Antinous the Gay God have contacted lawmakers, dignitaries and gay celebrities in an appeal to bring an end to the looting.
"This is our gay heritage which is being destroyed," says Subia.
The grief-stricken Emperor declared Antinous a god after his death in the year 130 AD.
Miraculously, the following year a drought ended in Egypt. Soon after, other miracles were attributed to Antinous.
Lowly born himself, Antinous was seen as a promise of divinity for slaves and plebs. Antinous even gave Jesus a run for his money in the early days of Christianity. The priests of Antinous were renowned for religio-magical prowess.
"Hadrian spread the Religion of Antinous around the Roman world," Subia explains, "promoting Antinous as the savior of the world, and the bringer of peace."
The Hollywood Temple of Antinous is devoted to the rebuilding of the ancient Religion of Antinous, but rebuilding it in a manner which meets the spiritual needs of gay men in the 21st Century. The religion was revived in 2002 and now has an active membership of nearly 1,000 persons, in addition to thousands more via Twitter and Facebook, according to Subia.
"Homosexuality is Sacred, and Antinous is the manifestation of the Divine Gay essense," says the Hollywood gay priest. "Through love of our own kind, we are made aware of self-love, and the origin of celestial love...and with that Sacred Secret in our hearts, we are made divine, through the grace and beauty of Antinous."
"We urgently request all concerned gay people to contact their lawmakers and spread the word before the Gay City is lost forever," Subia says.