By Jeff Chu
Does Jesus particularly Love Me?: A homosexual Christian's Pilgrimage looking for God in America is a component memoir and half investigative research that explores the explosive and complicated intersection of religion, politics, and sexuality in Christian America.
The quest to discover a solution is on the center of Does Jesus relatively Love Me?—a own trip of trust, an research, and a portrait of a religion and a state at odds through award-winning reporter Jeff Chu.
From Brooklyn to Nashville to California, from Westboro Baptist Church and their “God Hates Fags” protest symptoms, to the pioneering Episcopalian bishop Mary Glasspool—who announces a message of liberation and divine love, Chu captures religious snapshots of Christian the USA at a amazing second, whilst tensions among each side within the tradition wars have infrequently been higher.
Funny and heartbreaking, complicated and clever, Does Jesus quite Love Me? is an highbrow, emotional, and religious pilgrimage that finds a country in crisis.
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Extra resources for Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America
And she’s now not malicious. That’s simply who she is. She has this gorgeous power. “People have been so mad at me. everybody used to be announcing, ‘Jan’s a whinge! She’s ruining the kinfolk! Don’t allow her deliver Judy! ’ I acknowledged, ‘Listen, it's not that i am cozy, even if i glance like i'm. i'm deciding upon to be open simply because i would like those moments the place no one feels ostracized,’ ” he says. “I wasn’t going to torture the kids by way of asserting, ‘Your poor mom . . . ’ They love their mom. They understand she’s eccentric. And there has been adequate love there, sufficient genuine love, to make this paintings. ” And so it did. David’s domestic, which they referred to as “the Little House,” turned a impartial amassing position. Dan remarried and taken his new spouse, Marti. Jan’s mom and dad got here, as did Dan’s mom. Judy used to be invited besides, although she didn’t consistently sign up for. someplace down the road, Marti’s mom and dad, who're divorced, even got here alongside. It used to be outstanding, and it used to be bizarre, and it was once completely awkward. from time to time, even the children questioned why Dan used to be so insistent on retaining the kin jointly. “Maybe,” John Michael says, “it could were more uncomplicated if it had simply ended. ” approximately ten years after popping out, Jan entered a time that she calls “the darkish evening of my soul. ” Her dating with Judy wasn’t operating, yet extra crucially, her courting with herself wasn’t operating. “I felt so by myself within the universe. I’d consciously, possibly arrogantly acknowledged to God and to myself that i actually desired to be aware of myself, to the depths of who i used to be. And in the event you get stripped down, good, part of me used to be open to that. yet . . . ” Her voice trails off. She had to escape. John Michael, then residing in San Francisco, invited her to come back remain for your time. “I went, asserting to myself that who i'm as an individual is greater than my gender, greater than my race, greater than who I’ve been as a father or mother or as a spouse, greater than my sexual orientation,” Jan says. Coincidentally, Paul Brenner, the pastor who had married Jan and Dan and got here out as a homosexual guy years later, was once operating at St. Francis Lutheran in San Francisco, and John Michael inspired Jan to move one Sunday morning. She sat within the sanctuary and appeared over the order of worship, with its emphasis on gender-inclusive language, on God as “she,” at the divine female. It used to be all so San Francisco. whilst the congregation embarked on a rewritten stanza of the hymn “Praise to God,” Jan needed to stifle her ridicule. “It was once anything like ‘lesbians and gays, bis and transgender, sing to the Lord a brand new tune . . . ’ ” She hums a bar or . “I used to be simply making an attempt to not snigger! Oh my goodness! after which I start to sing, and all at once i locate myself sobbing. I simply couldn't cease crying. I didn’t comprehend, till I sang these foolish lyrics, how a lot I had close down. i could no longer be outlined by means of my gender, my race, my sexual orientation, yet neither am i able to block all of it out. ” After that, her restoration started in earnest. She frolicked pondering, writing, praying. She left John Michael’s, enrolled at Holy Names college around the bay in Oakland, came across a neighborhood of like-minded non secular seekers, and moved right into a dorm.