Author Makes the Christian Case for LGBT Rights

C.S. Pearce's new book seeks to convince conservative Christians to evolve in their view of LGBT people — something she had to do as well.



What makes her book different from others? “It’s basically a summary of the issues, all in one place, that takes an hour to read and makes what I hope is a very eloquent case from an extremely evangelical-friendly perspective,” Pearce says. “There are a lot of excellent books out there that already make good cases from a variety of viewpoints, but most of them are much longer. I wanted something short and inexpensive so the intended audience would be more likely to pick it up and give it a shot. It’s counterintuitive or perhaps crazy to write a book specifically for people who are skeptical and may not want to actually read it. So I tried to make this as accessible as possible — hopefully they will read it if a friend or relative hands it to them.”

As for her being a straight woman, she thinks it’s unfortunate that that gives her extra credibility with some readers, but that’s the case. “Otherwise I wouldn’t presume to speak up for the [LGBT] community, since they have many spokespeople who are way more eloquent than I am,” she says.

Besides recommending Pearce’s book, what are some other ways to deal with holiday homophobia? She says she has encountered such situations on numerous occasions. “I ask if they would mind refraining from saying such things in front of me, because these are my friends they are talking about and I find the statements hurtful and wrong,” she says. “Since these are people who mean well, they have usually honored my request, even when they think I’m deluded. As for the few obnoxious exceptions who won’t, I just avoid them, since rational conversations don’t seem to work with them.” And she adds that it’s important for LGBT people to be out, even though she realizes it’s difficult in certain situations. Knowing that someone you know and love is gay “is the biggest thing ever” in terms of overcoming antigay feelings.

Her family, she says, have overcome some of these feelings and have been largely supportive of her book project. While there are still “sparks of anger and subjects to avoid,” she says, “there’s a basic love underneath that we all value.” She adds, “In years past, my family would have been upset with me for even trying [to write such a book], so I didn’t attempt it, although I thought about it a lot,” she says. “So much has changed now that several of my relatives actually asked me for copies of the book, and I know people at some conservative Christian seminaries who are passing it around! So I’m hoping it will make a difference.”

This We Believe: The Christian Case for Gay Civil Rights is available in paperback and also for Kindle, Nook, and iBook. For more information, click here.

Tags: Religion