Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Shocking New Book Dares to Show Bisexual Jesus (12/1/2006)

LOS ANGELES, CA — Dec. 1, 2006 — A controversial novel about a bisexual Jesus is being published now by AndroGyne Press.

“Christ’s story is for everyone,” said Kittredge Cherry, author of “Jesus in Love,” the first novel ever published about a queer Christ. “It’s okay to imagine yourself in the story of Jesus. He is ALL of us.”

Like the bestseller “Da Vinci Code,” “Jesus in Love” is a work of fiction that sparks debate by raising the issue of Christ’s sexuality. “Jesus in Love” includes a gay love story between Jesus and his beloved disciple John. Cherry is not trying to prove that the historical Jesus had a homosexual relationship, although some pioneering Bible scholars do say so.

Controversy began even before publication. Hundreds of gay news sites covered the launch of Cherry’s website, JesusInLove.org, which features the growing number of books and art based on the queer Christ. Bloggers battled over whether it was “sick and disgusting” or “a rather heavenly idea.”

“The queer Christ is a sign of hope when Christians and gays seem to be at war. He loves and stands for all people, including the sexually marginalized,” said Cherry, a lesbian Christian author whose ministry put her at the forefront of the sexuality debate at the National Council of Churches (USA) and the World Council of Churches.

Cherry was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches and served as clergy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for seven years. Her previous books include “Hide and Speak,” “Womansword” and “Equal Rites.” The New York Times Book Review praised her “very graceful, erudite” writing style.

Toby Johnson, author of “Gay Spirituality,” described “Jesus in Love” as “a wonderful, gay-sensitive, and delightfully ‘shocking’ reassessment of the stories of the old-time religion.”

Virginia Mollenkott, author of “Omnigender,” also praised Cherry’s book. “People who want to understand how erotic love can be sacred, and divine love can be erotic, will delight in this novel.”

Many publishers rejected “Jesus in Love” because it was too gay for the church presses, and too Christian for the gay publishers. AndroGyne Press, a new queer studies press based in
Berkeley, CA, finally dared to publish it.

Jesus has today’s queer sensibilities and psychological sophistication as he lives out his legendary life in “Jesus in Love.” The novel shows how Jesus grows over a one-year period—from his decision to get baptized until the day he sends his disciples away to teach others.

Readers can relate to his struggles: Society doesn’t understand him. He falls in love with people of both sexes. He feels like his real self is both male and female. Jesus, the narrator, speaks in an engaging, up-to-date tone as he reveals his intimate relationships with John the beloved disciple, Mary Magdalene and the multi-gendered Holy Spirit

“I wrote the novel to introduce readers to the all-loving Jesus who I met in my own prayer life,” Cherry said. “My Jesus is both divine and human -- including the full range of sexual attractions and gender identities.”

For more information on “Jesus in Love” and Kittredge Cherry, visit www.JesusInLove.org or www.AndroGynePress.com.

# # #

By Kittredge Cherry
Publication date: Dec. 2006
ISBN: 1-933993-18-9
Publisher: AndroGyne Press
Price: $18.95
Paperback: 328 pages
Distributed by: Ingram Book Group

* Publisher’s website: http://www.androgynepress.com
* Author’s web site: http://www.jesusinlove.com