Books

Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians

Jossey-Bass (September 2008)

Bulletproof Faith Cover

Review from Publishers Weekly:

Candace Chellew-Hodge, a former journalist, is the pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also the founder and editor of the online magazine Whosoever.org – the first online magazine for LGBT Christians (1996 – 2015). Her experiences as a gay Christian searching for how to live with integrity while contending with sometimes hateful opposition inform this book.

The “spiritual survival tips” that conclude each chapter serve not only as summaries but also as direct points of advice for GLBT persons coping with inevitable conflict. She also includes brief meditation exercises.

Chellew-Hodge offers a realistic voice of experience filled with compassion and love – not just for her intended audience but also for their attackers. Although some may find her impulse to forgive premature, Chellew-Hodge does not naïvely excuse much less accept the abusive language and behavior of antigay Christians.

This is not a book explaining relevant Bible passages and their interpretations, though Chellew-Hodge advocates biblical literacy beyond literalism. Instead, it is a confident, sensible approach to handling the opposition and self-doubt that can undermine a GLBT person’s sense of worth and belonging as a Christian.

Praise for Bulletproof Faith:

Gay and lesbian Christians are constantly demoralized and told they are not children of God. In Bulletproof Faith, Chellew-Hodge reassures gays and lesbians that God loves them just as they were created and teaches them how to stand strong, with compassion and gentleness, against those who condemn them.

-Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

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

Candace Chellew-Hodge knows that you can be lesbian and Christian. This book will help every person who is both gay and Christian to have that same confidence. It will also enable heterosexual allies better understand how their gay friends feel and it may shake those who assume that gay and Christian can not go together. The Spiritual survival exercises move the reader beyond just knowledge to life more abundant.

-Jack Rogers, Professor of Theology Emeritus, San Francisco Theological Seminary and author of Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church

Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio

Hub City Writers Project (July 2010)

Out Loud CoverFrom a small radio studio in the heart of the Deep South, the voices of gay and lesbian Southerners suddenly filled the AM airwaves. ”For far too long,” the announcer stated, ”talk radio airwaves have been dominated by the people who talk about us. Starting this fall, we speak for ourselves!” What began in 2005 as an experiment Rainbow Radio, South Carolina’s first gay and lesbian radio show has since offered diverse, accurate, and often unparalleled stories of gay and lesbian Southerners, their families, and their friends.

Citadel cadets, drag queens, a slam poet from Columbia, a Spartanburg schoolteacher, a seminary student in Atlanta, a gay army vet just back from the Middle East, West Columbia rednecks, rural Texas tomboys, South Carolina’s first lesbian Congressional candidate, a young man talking about his gay uncle, a retired attorney talking about her gay son, two boys who dare to dance at the prom, a psychic who may be attuned to the gay agenda, and a dying man who makes his last visit to church on Christmas all these voices have now been collected in Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, edited by Ed Madden and Candace Chellew-Hodge. Their stories will inspire you, enrage you, and transform the way you think about what it means to be gay and lesbian in the South.

Praise for Out Loud:

In voices and vignettes, with warmth and whimsy, Rainbow Radio’s team and contributors tell the stories of South Carolina’s gay people, showing us as the family-members, neighbors, doers, and dreamers we are. By sharing our lives out loud, we create a larger community of people committed to ending inequality and building a better place for all. And, as this collection shows, sharing in the stories is inspiring, touching, consoling, and fun, too.

-Evan Wolfson, author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry

The essays in this book will restore your soul. If ‘Silence = Death’ then heart-felt storytelling = life itself, and this book is full of life. Your heart will fill with tumbling images of tomboys and boys with Barbies, red velvet cake, and folks figuring out how to be Southern, Christian, and Queer. These tales shout, whisper, and proclaim: ‘We are not hiding. We are not ashamed.’

-Meg Barnhouse, author of Did I Say That Out Loud? and Waking Up the Karma Fairy