ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.
Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.
In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.
When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect.
Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.
Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.
In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.
His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death.
During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.
In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague.
We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.