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The Gospel According to Gay Guys

13th century Russian icon, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus; graphic design by Peter Schröder Studio, Amsterdam.

My third novel was published yesterday and is now on sale as an e-book at Amazon, in the United States, the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

You can read it on all Kindle formats, iPhone and iPad, as well as desktop computers with a free downloadable Kindle app; link below.

Other formats will be rolled out soon, along with more stores.

My book’s as long as the Bible – but much more entertaining. It reads fast and has comedy too. At $6.99 it’s only a penny a page. (Although there’s really no such thing as a “page” in an e-book, since readers can change the text size to whatever they want.)

I’ll tell you a secret: it’s really a Gospel for Gay Guys. I stole “according to” from someone else’s work.

Three of the chapters are sexually explicit. My friend Leonardo is going to blush. He may even walk away from it for awhile, but I bet he comes back to find out what happens next.

It’s got four-letter words, because that’s how guys like us talk. I wrote it in the vernacular. Maybe it would sell better if I’d told Peter to label it “Vulgate Edition.”

But it’s good news for every Gay guy who ever loved God.

I have no idea what reaction I’ll get from women. They were 50% of the audience for Murder at Willow Slough (2001), the book that introduced these characters, Jamie and Kent. Women loved that book; some of them will like this too, but it is a grown-up story. Slough contained no sex; this book makes up for lost time.

Here’s the official pitch from the Amazon sales page:

Kent is a cop, Jamie is a reporter; they fell in love three months ago while working on a serial murder case, and now they’ve come to the end of their first date. They want to make sure their relationship lasts, but they are babes in the woods and the forest is scary. They have to face their dangers and fears, separately and together.

Their challenges range from a drive-by shooting in Murder City USA to a seductive waiter at a resort hotel, but their worst difficulties are close to home: family expectations, health issues, money concerns, sexual styles. And “what are you going to do about kids, anyway?”

Jamie keeps getting attacked by creatures out to kill him, and Kent’s never around when he needs him. They move into a weird old mansion and suddenly a 10-year-old boy disappears.

They treat each other tenderly, but what they don’t say matters as much as what they do.

The Gospel According to Gay Guys is a romance, a murder mystery, an epic family history. It’s the story of one man coming to faith, and two men making a marriage.

Does God love Gay guys? Absolutely – including, and within, their sexuality.

The Church has always taught that within marriage, sex is sacramental. So the book’s got a couple of communion times in it.

Last month the Episcopal Church approved same-sex marriage rites. It’s local option, so they won’t take place all over the country right at first, but in marriage equality states, local priests will be able to sign our civil licenses, the same as they do for Straight couples.

The Episcopal Church has given GLBT Christians everything we want: our own bishops and priests, marriage, non-discrimination, full respect. That’s great news.

Sure, it took a long time, about 40 years, but as God measures time, this was an eye-blink.

The message of the book is this: we’re free to come back to church now. The Episcopal Church Welcomes Us.

Episcopalians aren’t being trendy, they’re being faithful. God wants LGBTs in church, so Episcopalians have thrown the doors open.

There are other good, welcoming churches of all denominations, on every continent. Whatever church you grew up in or used to go to, you can probably find an accepting community.

I make a case that the Episcopal Church is ideal for Gay people because it’s both Protestant and Catholic, but also that no one should tell you how to think. Go where you’re comfortable; go where you find God in the church’s midst.

My biggest target audience is GLBT Christians raised in the faith, who left because of Pat Robertson and the Pope. Churches have been full of anti-Gay hatred for as long as most of us have been alive. I left too; I don’t blame you.

But times are changing, and churches are, too.

Find yourself a good faith community, test it and join it. It’s much easier to encounter God with other people around. Yes, you can worship on a mountaintop or in the woods, but let’s face it, you don’t do that very often. The community has a purpose: mutual teaching, mutual support.

And it welcomes people with no religious background at all. When we first meet Kent Kessler, his faith is as vague as can be. He doesn’t know much, he’s never examined the claims Christians make for Jesus, and his life is okay without asking about him. He goes to church because his family does, but he just never thought much about it.

I hope Gay guys can still listen when God calls.

But the book doesn’t preach, it tells a story: here’s what happened after these guys fell in love.

Genuine romance changes lives. So does real friendship. We’re never the same. We’re better off for knowing someone and trusting them with our inner selves, the way we really are.

I’ve loved several Gay guys, and they’ve loved me. So this is what I’ve learned from them; God is there inside our love.

Physically, spiritually, emotionally – in every way, God is right there.

I’ll end now with a final observation. Maybe you already know God loves you. I hope you do; it means you’re one of his.

But few of us perceive the height and depth and breadth of God’s love for us. It includes all the things about yourself you hate.

Gay guys have been taught to hate ourselves, and nearly all of us still do, deep down inside. The most homophobic people on the planet aren’t Christians, but Gay guys. “Religious people” have taught us how to do this, but we’re the ones who absorbed the lessons down to the core of our being, where our sexuality is located.

But The Gospel According to Gay Guys argues that Gay liberation began with Jesus Christ. There were these two guys living together, see…

You heard it here first. The idea isn’t original with me, but nobody tells the story like I do.

It takes a Gay guy to tell it; someone who isn’t academic, and whose job doesn’t depend on pleasing anyone else. Chances are your parish priest could tell it, but s/he doesn’t.

I’m the one who’s free to go for broke. So in this book, I do.

If that isn’t worth $6.99, go to the movies or buy yourself another drink. All I can do is tell you the truth; from here on it’s up to you.

You can download it here.

Whatever mistakes are in the book I’m responsible for. Whatever’s true about it the Holy Spirit wrote.++

Tom of Finland. I so wanted this for my cover art, but the Peter Schröder Studio had a better idea; saints first, studs second.

 

 

7 Responses

  1. Saints on horses! 😉

  2. […] you should know about it, pro or con. You can read more about it on Josh’s personal blog, Gay Spirit Diary. The book supports lifelong, committed, monogamous marriage for same-sex couples, a position […]

  3. Jesus Christ many times said that the moral value of an act depends on its end or purpose or goal. [One for example, when he said that if you are fasting to gain the praise of others, then the praise of others is your reward and your only reward.]

    This was also the teaching of Aristotle and thus of Saint Thomas Aquinas and the other scholastics.

    That being so, of course loving another person is a sacrament, or at least a sacramental, that provides god’s grace. And caring for someone other than oneself is also a good habit to get into. (We always forget habits in the modern world, but virtues and vices are very important in, again, scholastic teaching.]

    On the other had, gay sex therefore is intrinsically no more important than straight sex. Way too often in the modern world, we forgive Gays behavior that God does not forgive. For example, AIDS. For thirty years, the Gay Lip moverment has acted as if they are victims. Well, some of them are. But many of them also are villains who gave themselves the disease by their promiscuous behavior that paid no attention to the needs and rights of others. I.e, the goal of their acts was solely physical pleasure and the hell with everyone else in the world; other guys are, they said, merely things to use.

    If you teach that Gay behavior is to be judged exactly the same as straight. that is, the standards for Gays should be no more rigorous BUT ALSO NO LESS RIGOROUS than those for straights. If you teach that, then your gospel is the same as that of Jesus and the vast majority of informed Christian believers over the past 2000 years.

  4. There certainly is immorality associated with AIDS, but it isn’t at all what you describe. It was instead committed by Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party, the United States government and the American people, who wouldn’t lift a finger to help the dying because they were Gay.

    Compared to that, mere screwing around is pretty minor, especially considering that: A) it’s universal, and B) heterosexuals do it a hundred times more.

    But you somehow didn’t mention that. You want to quote us Aristotle and Aquinas instead so you can look down on everyone else from your lofty perch. While you’re pronouncing on villains you’re committing villainy yourself. Gay people have no monopoly on using others, but prejudice and pride blind you to the facts. When is the last time pastors and politicians called for you to be put in a concentration camp?

    Now as for the actual book I wrote, which you haven’t read but feel qualified to pronounce on, I do criticize Gay people and Gay culture somewhat, without judging them; I call people to a fuller life instead. But this isn’t a sermon, it’s a love story. So if you actually read the book with an open and unprejudiced mind, I hope you’d find it meets your criteria for restating the teachings of Christ. Believe me, I prayed for ten years about doing just that.

    I appreciate the fairness your flawed argument tried to exhibit. I think you’re right overall, that the same moral principles apply to everyone.

    Meanwhile, as for that Gay Lip movement, why didn’t anybody tell me!

    josh

  5. I’ve gotta have it on HARDCOVER , Pleeeeaase!

  6. I’d love to have it on the printed page, Javel, but that isn’t going to happen. It hasn’t sold well enough for anyone to take a financial risk on it. I seldom or never promote it and, after all, it’s controversial – a Gay Christian novel with hot sex. The market for it is small unless some influential person discovers it and publicizes it, and after three years that’s not going to happen. I loved writing it, though, and I’m proud of it.

  7. Thanks for responding Josh.When I have the money I’ll sure contact you. 🙂

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