Many people will tell you there are no transgender people in the Bible. This is true only insofar as the modern word “transgender” is, well, modern. Reading the Bible is a cross-cultural, cross-epoch (time) encounter. The Bible does not talk about cell phones or email or Zoom. But there’s are lots of admonitions about how we communicate with one another. Similarly, there are lots of gender non-conforming characters in the Bible who are not, technically, “transgender.”
See also: Gender Diversity around the World
Obviously, there is much to be said about the teachings of Jewish and Christian tradition generally, as well as Jesus specifically that apply to transgender people. Yet, skipping ahead to “love your neighbor” is to erase the fullness of what both Jewish and Christian tradition have to say in support of gender diversity. This response mirrors much of my first book, OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation (2020), which was, at some level, written to elaborate these themes.
Continue reading “Are There Pro- or Anti- Transgender Passages in the (Christian) Bible?” →
Thank you to Will O’Brien and Lydia Wylie-Kellerman for suggesting that I write for the Radical Discipleship blog! This is a blog connected to many of the communities that were also connected to The Witness magazine as well as The Other Side magazine. In other words, (primarily) Christian folk who care about the Bible and justice. This is in some ways a circling back for me, since I worked at The Other Side magazine for nearly 10 years and the folk at The Witness were colleagues and friends.
In any case, the article I came up with is in some ways processing some of the pushback I’ve received from folk who read Christian Faith and Gender Identity on Our Bible App, as well as from internet trolls after my visit to Minneapolis. This isn’t actually a “self-defense” article so much as a “helping allies do better” article, but still it falls in the same category. Continue reading “Reading the Bible as a Trans-Affirming Ally” →
My seven-day devotional series called “Christian Faith and Gender Identity” just launched on Our Bible App (OBA for short). OBA is a progressive, LGBT-inclusive app launched in 2017 that:
started as an alternative to devotional and Bible apps made by large, conservative, and destructive “Christian” media organizations. … These popular Bible apps celebrate and propagate purity culture, weaponizing Christianity to reinforce the “value” of straight, cisgender marriage and dating. Additionally, these apps don’t talk about Christianity’s long entanglement with racism, colonialism, and white supremacy.
Continue reading “Our Bible App” →
Queer Theology launched a big giveaway today, which gives me a great excuse to blog about them more generally.
First things first. The giveaway includes a signed copy of OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation (signed by the author), as well as Transforming (signed by the author), Trans-Gendered (signed by the author), Walking Toward Resurrection (digital), as well as 5 other queer Christian books. This mega-pack also includes stickers, t-shirts, and a one-year subscription to the Sanctuary Collective including online courses, their monthly digital magazine Spit & Spirit, and an archive of past webinars.
Yeesh. I need to take a nap now! That’s a lot. Total value $304 (which seems low to me, especially given the priceless autographs, but ok…). They just want your email address so they can send you loving and supportive perspectives on LGBTQ Christianity. Seems like a win-win to me.
The giveaway ends October 10. Now, more about Queer Theology:
Continue reading “Queer Theology” →
Bishop John Spong is a well-known representative voice for Christian liberalism. In The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love, he provides an encyclopedic review of problematic ways the Christian Bible has been used as a weapon on a variety of “issues.”
I included The Sins of Scripture in Appendix B of OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation. If you are someone who is unsure why people have hard feelings about the Bible, then this is a pretty good primer.
Continue reading “The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love by John Shelby Spong, 2005” →
In addition to How the Bible Works (2019), Peter Enns previously wrote The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It (2014). I actually cited The Bible Tells Me So in OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation, though only briefly.
In The Bible Tells Me So, Enns similarly tackles the biblical tradition in a thoughtful, irreverent, and self-deprecating manner. He shares about the collapse of his childhood understanding of the Bible and how facing up to the challenge of the Bible and allow it to change how he experiences God and tradition. Continue reading “The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, 2014” →
In OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation, I stick to gender and don’t rehearse arguments about “homosexuality in the Bible.” Instead, I list a few trusted resources in Appendix A for folk who want to explore those aspects. Queer Theology is one of those trusted resources.
The idea that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about the “sin of homosexuality” is another great example of how we have been bamboozled by an anti-OtherWise empire. If you’ve heard people use “sodomite” or “Sodom and Gomorrah” as a weapon, it can be quite liberating to go back to the biblical text to see what it actually says.
Continue reading “Sodom and Gomorrah, 2019” →
When I was compiling the list of books for my appendix on reading the Bible again, Keisha McKenzie made an important point about rethinking heaven/hell as a key part of getting free from supremacist religion. Rob Bell’s Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived is one of the books that I included to address that topic.
Continue reading “Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, 2011” →
Rachel Held Evans credits Peter Enns with being her teacher. When I asked around for resources related to reading the Bible again, Matthew Vines also recommended Dr. Enns. Dr Enns is Hebrew scripture scholar, but writes in a very accessible way with a self-deprecating wit, which you can see even in his ridiculous subtitle.
Continue reading “How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers–and Why That’s Great News, 2019” →
I wanted to include a list of more general resources about the Bible for those readers who might want to dig deeper into scripture. I asked my Facebook friends what books they would recommend. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans was suggested by at least four different people! Check your local library, because this one is super popular! Continue reading “Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, 2018” →