It used to be so simple. Christians hated queer people — quoting their ancient Leviticus rules and driving us out of our communites — and we responded by mocking their silly sky-daddy and sensibly skipping church on Sundays in favour of our new religion, brunch. It was a kind of spiritual apartheid but it worked.
But there were queer people who still loved their faith and Christian people who still understood what it means to be, well, Christian, so affirming institutions like the Metropolitan Community Church were born and efforts were undertaken to heal the divide between the holy and the homo. It’s taken decades but three new books underscore just how profoundly the Christian world has shifted in favour of love these past few years.
Olson might take great comfort in the new book God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, which author Matthew Vines dedicates to “all those who have suffered in silence for so long.” A founder of the Reformation Project, a Bible-based, non-profit organization working to reform the Christian church in matters of sexual identity and gender identity, Vines has carried on the work of gay Christian scholars like John Boswell and John Shelby Spong. In a series of chapters, he patiently explains how an actual knowledge of the Bible shows that queer people are not an abomination, that Leviticus rules were more complicated than most think, and that the sin of Sodom was a nasty urge for gang rape, not the love of two men for each other.