Cathleen Falsani on the Evangelical Church and Gays

Cathleen Falsani on the Evangelical Church and Gays January 15, 2011
Cathleen Falsani

Falsani, author, most recently, of The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, has taken to the Huffington Post to write about Jay Bakker’s new book and whether a tipping point may be on the horizon in which gays are embraced in mainstream evangelicalism:

Some of my dearest friends are gay.

Most of my dearest friends are Christians.

And more than a few of my dearest friends are gay Christians.

As an evangelical, that last part is not something that, traditionally and culturally, I’m supposed to say out loud. For most of my life, I’ve been taught that it’s impossible to be both openly gay and authentically Christian.

via Cathleen Falsani: Is Evangelical Christianity Having a Great Gay Awakening?.

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  • Here’s my thoughts on this article. In a nutshell, I think it’s silly to try and make the Bible “make sense” on the issue, because it fails to make sense on so many.

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  • John Edmonds

    Even you, Tony, talk about homosexual monogamy. But every homosexual issue is accompanied with bisexualism. If a person can be legitimately attracted to the same sex, then why should someone be able to be attracted to both sexes. Well, is a bisexual suppose to practice monogamy?

    Theologically speaking the man and the woman were made for each other. It is an obvious order of creation. There are of course different degrees of sin. but if the male to female order of sex can be broken, or rather if there is no “order of creation” to break, then on what grounds to you condemn other sexual orders to be instated. Is there such a thing as a structure to our sexual behavior designed by God? On what grounds are other sexual orders instated? Meaning, if cultural acceptance is the only structure, then cultural acceptance can always be changing.

  • Matt

    I don’t think Tony or any gay-affirming evangelical accepts a “bisexual non-monogamous” exemption card. Bisexuality (something I doubt exists anyway, in men at least) refers to attraction to both sexes, not necessarily at the same time. I don’t think it’s possible to have a Bisexual relationship, it’s either gay or straight. Polygamy doesn’t count (in my opinion) but it certainly has a larger Biblical presence than homosexuality.

    With the greatest respect John, I believe the logic regarding your points about cultural acceptance to be flawed. I think the Gospel and Faith has always operated within Culture and in response to Culture at large. From Deuteronomy and Leviticus we have the constructs of religious law that arose from nothing than nomadic cultures with little regard to human life outside of their own people groups. Biblical rules on slavery and women’s rights, while barbaric by today’s standards, were a gigantic leap in early Mesopotamian cultures.

    Your premise that homosexuality is a violation of ordered creation ignores evidence of homosexuality in other created species. While I do think that humans are an elevated creation, in God’s own image, I think it devalues the relational nature between humans if you have a biological/procreative litmus test for the deepest relationships. I believe the best concept of God’s structure for sexual behavior is in the “Thou shall not commit adultery.” It regards the nature of trust between two bonded pairs. It stands apart from Levitical holiness code, which is directed toward Jews, and represents Moral law which has a far more universal nature.

  • John, thankfully cultural acceptance is always changing and, dare I say, evolving. If not as mentioned by Matt, we’d still have slavery and women would be property.

    Now, an issue I would like Tony to discuss (and which I think is really important) is how the church should handle divorced and single adults who do not wish to get married legally but are in a committed relationship.

  • Simon


    Bisexual men certainly exist (I’m one). Another famous bisexual man is Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day, who is in a long-term monogamous relationship with a woman (his wife). It is possible Shakespeare was too, though we will never know for sure.

    The studies that are usually quoted to say bisexuality doesn’t exist in fact only measure the physical part of the relationship (they usually involve exposing the study subjects to pornography). Most of us would I agree, I hope, that the physical is only one part of a relationship.

    Personally, I see my bisexuality as a gift. I work in the arts, and it allows me to see both the male and female perspective in what I create.

    Thanks for letting me respond.