(Top Row from Left to Right: Scot McKnight, Shane Claiborne and Me and Marko)
(Lower Row from Left to Right: David Roberts from Ex-Gay Watch, Michelle Strombeck and Brian McLaren)
*For more information on what they said, see the previous post
The reason I said my endorsers “took a chance” in the last post was because there were a couple people out there who said no to me by giving me the rationale that it is too controversial of a topic and it will “hurt their brand.” Yes, I had some Christians talk to me about “their brand.” I promised my editor, my wife, my family and myself that I would be gracious while taking about Kingdom work and referencing personal “religious brands”, so all I have to say about “religious brands” is that I am sorry those people didn’t want to step out to face head on the most divisive topic in the Church today with a humbled love, grace and forgiveness—both to ourselves and to the GLBT community.
My experience has shown that throughout the endorsement process there were four types of “no’s” I received:
1. The upfront and gracious “no” that is sincere and heartfelt—usually due to not having the full amount of time to read the manuscript and formulate an all encompassing endorsement.
2. The upfront and gracious “I’ll read it and let you know”, and then with their decision to say no, the endorser contacts the author directly to explain why they decided to say no.
3. The not-so-upfront “no” when the endorser tells the author “yes”, and then at the very last minute send an impersonal “no” to the publisher instead of contacting the author directly.
4. The “I’m too important for you” no, when the person doesn’t respond to the initial inquiry; or even the forth, fifth or tenth inquiry either.
On the very positive flip side, my experience has shown that throughout the endorsement process there were three types of “yes’s” I received:
1. The upfront and gracious “yes” in which the endorser loves the author to death and would do anything they could to help the author in any way, shape or form.
2. The upfront and gracious “I’ll read it and let you know”, and then with their decision to say yes, the endorser contacts the author directly to explain why they decided to say yes.
3. The “Man, that was a long shot—I didn’t even know that person knew I existed” yes, who the manuscript was sent to as a best-case-scenario: they read it, loved it, and then decided it worthwhile enough to throw their name and weight behind it.
I had seven “no’s”, of which the breakdown was:
And out of the six “yes’s”, the breakdown was:
Here is the unique thing that I have found through my book’s endorsements:
Bridge building between the GLBT community and conservative Christians can happen—and it is happening. Just look at the endorsers: they are both gay and straight; and they are both conservative and progressive—all of which are people who believe in this bridge building vision and want to see this culture war change in the immediate future.
I’m not just talking about an idea; I’m talking about an experiential reality.