May 19 2009

O’Reilly perpetuates gays v. God

Published by under Being Bulletproof

FOX “journalist” Bill O’Reilly, in a recent segment, again played the old media canard of “gays vs. God” – positing that the “Christian vote” would play in favor of Kris Allen winning American Idol over Adam Lambert who “might be gay.” To prove the charge of OMG! being gay – O’Reilly uses pictures of Lambert kissing other guys, but they are cropped so you don’t actually get the image of one guy’s lips touching another guy’s lips. O’Reilly’s show is during some people’s dinnertime after all, and we wouldn’t want mass vomiting around the nation, would we? Really.

Here’s a clip, if you can take it:

In Bulletproof Faith, I consistently argue that this “gays vs. God” is a false dichotomy, because religious arguments against gays and lesbians are not the other side of the issue – even though they may appear to be simply because they protest so loudly.

There is no “other side” to the gay issue anymore than there is another side the issue of whether the earth is round or flat. We know which one is right and those who think the earth is flat are looked upon with derision and pity.

Gay and lesbian people can be just as Christian as any straight person, and I would make a bet that there are plenty of gay Christians out there who are voting for Lambert in this competition. (Full disclosure: I don’t watch Idol, so I don’t really have a dog in the hunt on this one.)

In the end, though, I would hope that anyone who does watch Idol and is voting would vote for someone because they’re talented and is the best person in the competition. I don’t care if they pray at night or climb into bed with a person of the same or opposite gender.

O’Reilly and the rest of the right wing media will simply take any chance available to bash gays and lesbians. But, we know his words are a lie. There are plenty of gay and lesbian Christians out there – and their faith is both bullet – and O’Reilly – proof.

Update: The Advocate has comments from both Allen and Lambert:

Kris Allen: I hope that having the Christian vote does not help with anything. I hope it has to do with the talent and the performance that you give. It’s not about religion and all that kind of stuff.

Adam Lambert: This is a singing competition, not a church thing.

At the risk of interjecting “church” into the mix: Amen!

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May 18 2009

More appearance dates

Published by under Uncategorized

The summer calendar is getting full. Here are a couple of more upcoming appearances:

  • June 23, 2009, 1 p.m.: Bulletproof Faith workshop at Growing Bold, the gathering for the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns. Crowne Plaza, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Hope you’ll get a chance to see me – or better yet – invite me to come to your area!

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May 11 2009

Upcoming appearances

Published by under appearances

Hey everyone, I’ve got some appearances coming up soon, including:

  • May 23, 2009: AIDS Committee of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. I’ll be presenting my workshop on Bulletproof Faith on Saturday, May 23, 2009 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library Downtown with a book signing at 5 p.m. at After Stonewall Bookstore.

Hope you’ll be able to join me at either or both!

For more upcoming appearances, go here.

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Apr 25 2009

Come see me in the DC area!

Published by under appearances

I’m headed to the Washington, DC area this coming weekend. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come to the workshop on Saturday, May 2 at Clarendon Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA.

  • May 4-5, 2009: HRC’s Clergy Call, Washington, DC. I’ll be lobbying Congress for LGBT rights!
  • May 2-3, 2009: Clarendon Presbyterian Church, Arlington, Virginia. Workshop on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – noon, preaching on Sunday at 10 a.m service.

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Apr 14 2009

The “scoop” from Amazon

Published by under Publicity

I sent a note yesterday complaining about Amazon’s de-ranking of my book Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians.

The story has been all over the Web: here, here, and here, just to name a few.

The note sent to me from Amazon made this lame excuse:

This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.

It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles – in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search.

Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.

Thanks for contacting us. We hope to see you again soon.

Not bloody likely, but thanks for putting the sales ranking back on my page, Amazon.

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Apr 13 2009

Bulletproof Faith De-Ranked by Amazon.com

Published by under Publicity

Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians has been de-ranked by Amazon.com. Apparently, Amazon has decided that gay and lesbian books are “offensive” and are “adult” material and they don’t want them turning up in searches and offending anyone who might innocently be searching for books and one of our filthy, outrageous, titles should pop up.

Amazon.com has been called on this – and over at Twitter.com the #amazonfail group is alive and calling for Amazon’s head over this – and Amazon has responded by calling it a “glitch” that is going to be fixed.

That “glitch” comment, by the way, came after an admission from an Amazon PR flak that removing the sales rankings from gay and lesbian books was intentional because they were “adult” titles and would be considered offensive.

But, if you search for sex toys on Amazon’s site – these “adult” devices still have their sales rankings:

Remarked all-around swell poet Mark Doty across the disorganized sprawl of Facebook, “If you go on Amazon and type in butt plug in the search window, you’ll see a number of them for sale, with sales ranking attached! So, it’s okay to rank butt plugs but not books?” Alas yes. One only finds erogenous things as butt plugs (and whips too!) when specifically searching them out.

Whosoever has been an Amazon associate for years now – but if this situation is not rectified, and soon, we will be disassociating from them and moving on to another bookstore.

In the meantime, I suggest you head over the Indiebooks.org and check out their selection. It’s time to get serious about supporting our independent bookstores instead of the homophobic box stores and online stores.

Update: Some books have had their sales ranks restored, but Bulletproof Faith is NOT one of them. We haven’t won this battle yet.

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Mar 27 2009

New Appearances Scheduled

Published by under appearances

I’ve booked a couple of new appearances coming up soon. Hopefully, they’re in your area and you’ll be able to attend:

  • May 23, 2009: AIDS Committee of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. I’ll be presenting my workshop on Bulletproof Faith on Saturday, May 23, 2009 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library Downtown with a book signing at 5 p.m. at After Stonewall Bookstore.
  • September 26-27, 2009: Cross Creek Community Church, Dayton, OH. I’ll be giving several presentations on the book and appearing with Jason and DeMarco! (Though I doubt they’ll let me sing with them.)

If your church or organization would like me to come and provide a workshop, sermon, talk, or even a little song and dance (I do sing and play guitar, though my dancing is questionable), please use this form to contact me!

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Mar 10 2009

Thanks SC Book Fest!

Published by under appearances,Book signings

I had a blast at the South Carolina Book Festival, February 27-March 1, 2009. Despite the rainy weather all weekend, I enjoyed hobnobbing with other authors. Wanda and I attended the pre-event party and ate and drank our fill while meeting new friends. The only thing we couldn’t do was eat the salmon – it still had the head on it. I don’t really care for my food staring at me while I eat it. Reminds me of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe when the cow comes to the table and talks about what succulent cuts of him you can order.

“Well, I’ll just go and off myself, now!” the cow says cheerily before leaving the table.

Yeah, Doug Adams can make me a vegetarian.

I spent Saturday morning on a panel with two incredible authors, Karen Spears Zacharias and Tiffany Warren.

Karen’s latest book, Where’s Your Jesus Now? Examining How Fear Erodes Our Faith is a great book for gay and lesbian readers. She explores how fear turns believers into followers of “Certainocity” – with their beliefs set in concrete in fear that they’ll miss out on God’s salvation. Those entrenched in their “certainocity” would rather bomb you than have a dialogue with you. This is just the kind of fear my book, Bulletproof Faith, seeks to help LGBT people confront. On the other side of the coin is our own fear that God won’t love or accept us as LGBT people – so we have our own form of “certainocity” that God is not for us, so we abandon our faith. Karen’s book is an excellent place to begin dialogue with evangelicals. In one chapter, Karen recounts her own struggle over her feelings about homosexuality. She comes down in a place that is open to dialogue and reconciliation. I am so fortunate to have met this amazing woman.

The other panelist was Tiffany Warren who is a Christian fiction writer. Her books are mainly romances and if I had not sat on this panel with her it would generally be a genre I’d never think to pick up. However, I could not put down her latest novel, The Bishop’s Daughter. The book tells the story of a confirmed player who travels from Cleveland to Atlanta to do an expose on a prominent pastor. What he finds is an incredible family – love with the Bishop’s daughter – and ultimately forgiveness. For someone, like me, who doesn’t really like fiction all that much – Tiffany’s writing is captivating. I’m a big fan in great dialogue, and Tiffany is a master. Get this book!

Well, after all the fawning like the fan I am – the panel we sat on was incredible. We all come from very different places about faith, but we found a lot of common ground and a lot to discuss despite our differences.

You can listen to the complete panel discussion here.

I also did a reading later in the day. You can hear that here.

For more pictures of the event go here.

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Feb 24 2009

Meet Me at the SC Book Festival

The South Carolina Book Festival will be held this weekend, February 27 – March 1, at the Convention Center in Columbia, SC.

I’ll be sitting on a panel discussing “Different Takes on Faith” with two other writers at 11:20 a.m. Saturday, February 28,  in Congaree Meeting Room A & B. I’ll be signing copies of Bulletproof Faith after the panel. Then, at 4:30 p.m., I’ll be reading from the book in Richland Meeting Room C.

Ahead of the event, The State newspaper in Columbia, has included me in a story running in today’s paper.

I hope you’ll be able to attend if you’re near Columbia this weekend. Be sure to stop in and say hi!

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Feb 15 2009

Bulletproof Faith Study Group Starting Soon!

Published by under Uncategorized

I will be hosting a series of free group book study sessions through a series of teleseminars, beginning on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The study group will meet each Wednesday after that for the next nine weeks. We will use the Bulletproof Faith study guide posted here.

This is a great opportunity to study the book along with me, the author, and gain new insights into how to develop a truly bulletproof faith.

Go here for more information and to register! Even if you can’t make the calls, register anyway and get links to the audio from the calls.

Hope to “see” you in the group!

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