“Our bodies never left the cross. I feel the nails in our hands.
- Mother, do not forgive them. they know what they're doing."1
In the name of the god of Israel, our tent is destroyed; all the ropes of our tents were torn. At every moment, we witness the acceleration and intensification of the processes of massive destruction over the abundant springs and terrains of life throughout the global south.
Woven and fattened over the last two millennia, punches, traumatisms, killings and canonic choreographies of enslavement have been elaborated and garnished by patriarchal heteronormative whiteness — in diabolically supremacist, religiously structured and equipped in the colonial plane-time.
However, we are domiciled in all the years, which are also centuries, sums of months, parts of eras and bits of generations. According to Leda Maria Martins in the book Performances of spiraling time, poetics of the body-screen from 2021, a time which is "not divided and not commensurate with the Western model of linear and progressive evolution. A time which does not elide chronology but subverts it. A curved, reversible, transverse, long-lived and simultaneously inaugural time — a sophya and a chronosophy in spirals."2
Sustained by tendons that intertwine all different timeframes, we are the wall of the eye. We are the wind that invades and escapes through window portals, regardless of colonial control. Wind has no motherland. Motherlands are valleys filled with dry bones.
We approach life by embroidering it into ourselves. We don't lack faith. And through faith, in a miraculous rhythm, we birth and shape a gospel to which we are believers and confirmed: the Gospel of the End. The end of "perpetual" condemnation has been imagined and delineated by the devouring capitalist system in a brutal, demonic and violently impregnated way. In holy ink, it has been written throughout our lands, not only in stone boards but into the fleshly boards of the heart.
What the Gospel of the End dogmatically proposes — with the Theology of Transmutation being an evidence of this movement — is the transfiguration of that which is delivered to us as an irrevocable sentence. If they give us hideous oblivion, death, pain and despise: with equivalent intensity we will make vines sprout. We shall germinate the whole Earth, replanting ombrophile, dense rainforests.
Thus, the missionary work — as a poetic, financial and spiritual challenge — endeavors to multiply congregations where freedom is practiced, and ethnic and ancestral bonds are reinvigorated;3 where one could love and stimulate the life that inhabits the asshole, cultivating it powerfully, in order to swallow and destroy the structures of basilicas, thrones and courts where racism, xenophobia, ableism, misogyny and transphobia find home.
Departing from the asshole, the work presents it as the foundation of the Tabernacle. Those who deculonize,4 transcend the cross. That is, life inhabits the asshole, reconciling us to countless worlds instead of rendering us sinners; putting in us the word of reconciliation. So, as we are the ambassadors of the asshole, it is as if life itself were praying for us. We beseech you, therefore, on behalf of the asshole, to be reconciled with life.
We go down and up the slopes, in circumvention, chanting prayers and spirituals of life and victory so that we don't trip over the skulls that fall from the ordeals which all urban streets consist of. We are the heirs of impossibilities. However, we nurture the responsibility and transcestral commitment to germinating, generating and attending to infinite possibilities. Possibilities are cracks, gaps, erasures, escapes, bunkers, oases and fortresses — unlike the human logical, rational and temporal notions of living, thinking, enjoying, speaking, dwelling and existing.
Therefore, we elaborate antidotes that are capable of restraining and combating the whitening fronts that are made for poisoning and training. Promoted by the Lord, whitening fronts are inscribed in the figure of Pharisees, colonels, landlords, miners, prospectors, soybean farmers, brokers, militiamen and their lying, plundering, destructive and murderous impetus.
In this endeavor, some of us are appointed apostles; others, prophets; others, evangelists and even priestesses and teachers. Each one of us intends to prepare the unholy for the work of the ministry. By doing so, the body may be edified until we could all reach the multiplicity of faith and knowledge of the asshole; of reaching a stage of maturity and at some point, a sense of wholeness.
The uninterrupted gesture of killing the lord is a vital step towards breaking with the perverse way of practicing theology. It unties the legacy of Jesus from the image and likeness of the cisgender, white man. It frees it from the lordly status to which it has been crystallized and, consequently, imprisoned — amid the liturgical and onto-epistemological project of domination that has been defended and marked by the Roman Catholic apostolic order. A plan of which, Eurocentric art historiography played a guilty role, by forging lies and fictions that have been dramaturgically crafted and embodied through paintings, sculptures and architectural installations that were disseminated in the world as universal truths.
In favor of reiterating, honoring and recognizing Jesus’ experiences of transmutation (MT 17:1-9, MC 9:2-8 and LC 9:28-36), we underline that their standpoint and critical thinking defy the State model in power in Jerusalem during their incarnate lifetime. By establishing a link between the causes and circumstances of their legal conviction — which were followed by a vexatious procession and brutal murder at the early age of thirty-three — we draw a parallel with the data contained in the dossier on Murders and Violence Against Brazilian Travestis and Transsexuals in 2021, which was developed by the National Association of Travestis and Transsexuals (ANTRA). ANTRA is a Brazilian network that articulates 127 institutions towards the development of actions that aim to improve the conditions of citizenship for the Transvesti and Transsexual population.5
The dossiers have been organized for about five years and, according to the data presented in the last survey (2021), the average life expectancy of the Brazilian trans population is thirty-five years. In addition to denouncing such violence, the report points to the need for creating public policies that focus on reducing homicide rates against transgender people, therefore, drawing a profile of the population whose lives are being taken away.
It takes courage to break through the barriers of a society that wasn't taught to love us, that doesn't care and doesn't want to learn. There is a heteronormative lack of interest in dealing with one’s own repressions and hypocrisies. However, there is a great willingness on the part of the enemy to eradicate any possibility of abundant encounters between the disobedient. In this case, to disobey is to arm oneself and provide thoughts and imaginations that sprout, welcome, produce and feed on contradiction.
According to Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro in a conversation with Diane Lima for C&AAL magazine, in 2019: “We are contrary and contradictory when we live what is impossible for the colonizer.” It can be said that the prophecy is nourished by the contradictions of history. Thus, the prophets are attentive to what surrounds them, with the aim of communicating the word of existence to all that exists. Their main concern is the precarity of life that was imposed onto the people made poor and miserable.
Jesus' enemies still sit on thrones of glory, power and majesty, while disobedient congregations are dashed to pieces with the edge of the sword. Reality leads us to the events that followed the execution of Yeshua and the brutal persecution to which his disciples and companions of journey were subjected. In Acts of the Apostles 2:13, the bible reveals that “on the day of Pentecost, they were all accordingly in one place when suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house in which they were seated. And splitted tongues were seen by them, as if made of fire, which landed on each of them. And they were all filled with the spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the spirit gave them such utterance.”
Therefore, the episode to which the day of the birth of the christian church is attributed, that is, one of the dorsal celebrations of the pentecostal faith and thought, is actually an event deeply marked by incorporation. Thus, it is marked by the encounter and relationship with the holy blessed souls, which in this case was the soul of Jesus. All of such happened at a time when those who were mostly persecuted by the state power that ruled Jerusalem, the worst of nations, were gathered: transsexuals, witches and sex workers.
The collective practice and the disobedient gathering among the companions of Jesus made it possible for them to forget the colonial languages and tongues, while remembering the mother tongues of their mothers and grandmothers. Still in Acts, the colonizer's incomprehension is recorded, who asked, astonishedly: "What does this mean?", pointing them out as crazy or drunk.
In Isaiah 53, the prophet discusses the carnal nature of Jesus, exposing the way it would be perceived by society when he tells us that, for not having beauty nor graciousness, looking the world at her, she would not have an appearance good enough for being desired. She would be despised and the most rejected among men, becoming someone from whom men would hide their faces. Locked in such pain, which is evidently experienced in the work, she would be despised and ignored.”
The great commission (MT 28:18-20) is where the evangelistic precision of moving around the world is based. By wandering, going and turning in all corners and paths, the evangelist amplifies and strengthens educational practices that enable liberation to the greatest number of people under a state of captivity.
For this task to be carried out, it is essential that we are in tune with the intense flow of tools and new technologies under development. It always took boldness and confidence to navigate the infinite possibilities of maneuvers and relationships with such apparatuses.
In addition, it is important to care for and improve the metamorphic skills. Compiling a lot of malice, the evangelistic practice attempts to decipher, decode and share information and messages without allowing the enemy to apprehend and assimilate the liberation methods it carves.
In this labyrinth, all technologies at use are liable for us, but calm and wisdom are needed in their management and conduction.
The "Word of the Lord'', was the work chosen in the making of the first printing in history, through the invention of the press with movable type letters by Johannes Gutenberg, in the year 1455. Since then, it has been extensively disseminated throughout the world and used as a theoretical basis, together with the Dumsera — papal bull issued on June 18, 1452 by Pope Nicolau V and directed to King Afonso V of Portugal — as an instrument to legitimize genocide, theft of land and goods; as well as for the consignment of the perpetual enslavement of all non-christianized peoples and territories.
Through a strategic biblical reading, it is possible to trace the lordly steps, intentions and articulations. Such steps would, then, map bloodthirsty choreographies and unveil codes and languages that allow us to dialogue with those who are still under the christian spiritual yoke, drained by the lord's pesticide and agrotoxic actions. Specifically drawing from a repertoire that is understood by them, it becomes something that is immediate and unavoidable, especially considering the expansion of religious fundamentalism and neo-pentecostal extremism in Brazil and in the world.
How to technologically establish unfathomable alliances, tracing paths that confuse the enemy’s erudition, while allowing us to enjoy our own abundance and genuine plurality?
We believe in a spiritual web: one that flows incalculably throughout the wounded lands of this planet and connects us, even though we are geographically scattered. This thread crosses through the core, providing the physical, mental and emotional conditions that are necessary for us to go so deep into the ocean of mysteries. Theological trickery is a set of oxygenation maneuvers, allowing for a sort of deep breathing to be feasible, far from evil colonial actions. It is through them that we manage to remember, even when we have been held captive within the cathedrals of oblivion since the time of our birth.
Theological trickery is Harriet Tubman freeing nearly three hundred enslaved people over nineteen rescue missions and leading an armed expedition into the American Civil War, while also enfranchising another seven hundred lives.
Theological trickery is Peter Williams Jr co-founding the "Freedom Journal", extending his ministry beyond the pulpits, and lecturing "A Prayer on the Abolition of the Slave Trade" on January 1, 1808.
Theological Trickery is Sojourner Truth going to court to rescue her son, and winning a court case against a white man in 1828, it is Frederick Douglas writing "The Church and Prejudice" in 1841. It is the sound of drums in the small assembly of god congregations, spread across the interior and peripheries of Brazil.
Theological Trickery is the ancestral memory of Caboclas, Boiadeiros, Pretos Velhos and Pretas Velhas, Erês, Marujos, Pombagiras and Tranca Ruas.6 It is Exu — infinitely prosperous — remaining merged with the DNA of black and native peoples, even if under the unhappy yoke of the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Our desecration is to live seven times as long; it is to forget whiteness and cisgenderism, even when persecuted and disavowed. The movements of circumvention, dribbling and dodging, garnished by theological trickery, in a Christian sphere earn the nickname of miracle, however, they are capoeira and enchantment. Reteté7 and bembé.8
Since Christianity is one of the fundamental engines for the full functioning of the capitalist colonial project, the practice of theological trickery as a technological ruse, arising from the Gospel of the End, acts as an evangelistic praxis of healing and prophetic liberation through a pentecostal disorientation.
According to James H. Cone, in A Black Theology of Liberation, published in 1970, “the function of theology is to analyze the meaning of liberation for oppressed people, so that they can know that their fight for political, social, economic justice — and we also include environmental justice — is in line with the gospel of Jesus. Any message not related to the liberation of dissenting people in a society is not the message of Jesus. Any theology indifferent to the subject of liberation is not christian theology.”
To lead christian theology along the mysterious paths of transmutation is to make an exceptional countenance shine upon Jesus. Taken out of character and made incomprehensible to whiteness, the memories of his erratic behaviors are rekindled.
Transmutation is the inevitability that makes the supposed miracle of resurrection disposable. Jesus was not resurrected because, in truth, he was transmuted. "Decomposition is a blessing" tells us Jota Mombaça,9 in THE SINKING SHIP/PROSPERITY (2022). Jesus is within us, killing the truth, the way and the life within us, despite all the blood shed.
Because we very well know the thoughts we have about ourselves; thoughts of peace and not of evil. We aim to give us the end we hope for — desires that have never ceased to be woven and neither have they been translated into any colonial language. Copious stories for our congregation, of which we are head, body and tail, are infinitely malleable.
This is a great mystery. I must say, however, that we risk everything for earthly freedom.
Such a gospel does not consist of a campaign of death to God, nor an atheistic hermeneutic, but rather a pleasant exercise of transition. The macho is killed so that Deize can be reborn into our hearts. Deize are the Yabás, speaking closely into our ears. Together, in anointing, we turned the cross into crossroads. We have risen from the valley of dry bones. We turn cries into festivities, our assholes into cathedrals. We know the mysteries by walking along with them.10 Deize is Pachamama: beginning, middle and end.
- 1. Profana, Ventura. Nossos corpos nunca deixaram a cruz. 2017
- 2. Martins, Leda Maria. Performances do tempo espiralar, poéticas do corpo-tela. Editora Cobogó, 2021.
- 3. (NASCIMENTO, 1979, p. 17) NASCIMENTO, Beatriz. “O conceito de quilombo e a resistência cultural afro-brasileira”. In: NASCIMENTO (org). Sankofa, v. 1. Rio de Janeiro: SEAFRO, 1994, pp. 142-158.
- 4. A play on the words descolonizar (decolonize) and culo (bottoms). JENNY GRANADO A.K.A. KEBRA A.K.A. MALDITA GENITHALIA, Trauma is Digestive for Terremoto Magazine. 2021
- 5. ANTRA's mission is: "Identify, Mobilize, Organize, Bring Together, Empower and Trans, Transvestis and Transsexuals from the five regions of the country to build a national political framework to represent our population in the pursuit of full citizenship and rights." (Assembléia da ANTRA, Teresina-PI/ Maio 2009).
- 6. The names mentioned here refer to enchanted ancestral entities that are commonly worshiped as part of religious practices of African ascendance in Brazil.
- 7. Retété is a physical manifestation practiced during religious services, mainly those connected with neopentecostal churches in Brazil. Reteté consists of exaggerated displays of emotions that, according to its practitioners, are “manifestations of the Holy Spirit of God”.
- 8. Bembé brings together several traditional cultural expressions from the Recôncavo Baiano and is an important historical document of the trajectory of black people, their resistance to slavery and the way in which they invented their own sense of power and freedom. By aggregating all these elements and constituting a fundamental part of the social identity of the community that owns this intangible cultural asset, Bembé demonstrates its national relevance as a Cultural Heritage of Brazil.
- 9. Jota Mombaça is an interdisciplinary artist whose work unfolds from poetry, critical theory, queer studies, political intersectionality, anti-colonial justice, and the redistribution of violence.
- 10. Profana, Ventura. EU NÃO VOU MORRER. 2020