In The News: Hellfire, Treehouse Press, and the (Not-So) Rapture of Pregnancy

While perusing through upcoming December releases, I came across two books on the frequently fraught intersections between LGBTQ communities and organized religion: Queer Religion by Donald L. Boisvert and Jay Emerson Johnson, and Love is an Orientation: Participant’s Guide by Andrew Martin, from his earlier 2009 award-winning book, Love is an Orientation. I checked out Martin’s website, and was intrigued by the work of the Marin Foundation, a bridge-building organization that works to facilitate meaningful dialogue between straight Christians and LGBTQ people of any faith. Martin, a self-described recovered “Bible-banging homophobe,” facilitates the organization from his home in Boys Town, Chicago.

Further exploration led me to this article by Jay Michealson, author of the recently released God Vs. Gay: The Religious Case for Equality. The articles explores how to attune to one’s own true moral understanding outside of dogma, shame, and guilt. Michealson sums up transcendence with a phrase from Mark Twain: “Well, I guess I’ll go to hell, then.”

John Shore, author of Hell No!: Extinguishing Christian Hellfire, is putting out a new book, thus far titled Wings on a Pig: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work. The book is intended to provide LGBTQ Christians a forum to speak back to homo-hating evangelicals. More info here. PS– he’s funny.

While you’re on your way to transcendence, consider entering the Treehouse Press Three-in-One Story Contest, set up and coordinated by Shaun Levin of Chroma: A Queer Literary and Arts Journal. Treehouse Press accepts stories of any genre, including “experimental work, cross-genre work, [and] work that combines text and image, graphic short stories (ie. Comics)”. Entries must contain 3 stories, adding up to a total between 7,000-15,000 words, £10/£15, due date January 15, 2012. Cash prize plus 20 copies of your book.

Finally, Staceyanne Chin, fierce lesbian, spoken word poet, and author of The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir, is blogging on Huffington Post about her pregnancy experiences as she sorts through the clash of expectation and reality. In her latest post, Passion, Pregnancy and the Promise of the Rapture, she describes how she anticipated the second trimester of pregnancy as a swell of lust: “The rapture would take me over. Like the Holy Spirit in a Pentecostal Baptist church on Good Friday. I would be helpless in the face of my own ecstasy.” What she got was a low lying placenta and nausea at the very thought of sex. So it goes.