I made an appearance on May 11, 2009 on the Seed Show – a local progressive talk show here in Columbia, SC. Yes, we actually have one, count ’em, one, Air America station with some local progressive programming!
Anyway, here’s a link to my segment. We talked about Bulletproof Faith, gays in the military and lots of other stuff.
We had a great time at the last couple of stops on the book tour in the Asheville area.
The crowd at Malaprop's in Asheville
On Saturday, January 17, the cafe at Malaprop’s Bookstore was packed for my talk and reading. The audience had great questions. There was even a dissenter among the crowd who questioned the veracity of my Christianity. I know he disagreed with homosexuality as well, but was more concerned with my “heretical” view of Christianity. That’s cool. I don’t mind the label “heretic” – many people – including Jesus had their faith and beliefs questioned so I stand in good company. My detractor did buy a book and I signed it for him. Without knowing it, he proved many of the points in the book and gave me the opportunity to show grace to an “enemy” and practice the principles outlined in the book. Someone suggested I take him with me to each signing to give an object lesson on how to handle “enemies.” Not a bad idea!
The FCC Hendersonville crowd
On Sunday, Wanda and I had the pleasure of visiting First Congregational Church in Hendersonville, NC. The pastor Richard Weidler had been gracious enough to invite me to speak at their Adult Forum before service. We had another full and attentive room, with little controversy. We stayed for service and were blessed by Rev. Weidler’s message and the warm welcome we received. Special thanks to Rich and Clay for opening their beautiful mountain home to us for a luncheon afterward. We had such a great time and met many beautiful children of God. FCC Hendersonville has recently become an Open and Affirming congregation within the UCC. I sit on the board of the UCC Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns and we’re proud to have such vibrant congregations doing this important work in places like Hendersonville where the need for welcoming congregations is great.
Bulletproof Faith hits bookshelves on September 19, but a group attending the Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) meeting in Charleston, South Carolina on July 10, 2008 heard the first public reading from the book.
I appeared with two other South Carolina authors, Sheila Morris and Ed Madden. Sheila’s book, Deep in the Heart, is a collection of autobiographical essays about growing up in East Texas. Sheila’s book is touching and hilarious and I highly recommend you buy it – now!
Ed Madden’s new book, Signals, is a collection of poems that has already won the prestigious South Carolina Book Poetry Award. I’m not much of a poetry buff, but Ed’s poems are amazing and moving. Buy his book, too – now!
You can hear, and see, my portion of the evening. The video (posted below) has just the reading from chapter 4 of Bulletproof Faith. The audio is longer and contains all of my remarks. For context before listening to the audio, Ed had read before me and ended his reading with a poem that appeared in Sojourner’s magazine. The poem ponders a person’s last moments – an assignment he gave his students at the University of South Carolina, where he’s an English professor.
Both Sheila and Ed inspired me, so I had to respond to their readings before going on to mine. Enjoy!
It is an amazing truth that gay and lesbian Christians need to develop a bullet-proof faith in order to survive the attack of other Christians. That, however, is the experience of many homosexual persons. Candace Chellew-Hodge has in this book committed herself to the task of making that survival a reality. I salute her and her work.
-John Shelby Spong, Author of Jesus for the Non-Religious