This week, on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, writer, pastor, and Queer ally Colby Martin started a firestorm with a post-National Coming Out Day Instagram post (embedded in full below) which reaffirmed his position that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Sure, the trolls came out, but it ended in a well-deserved love fest.
Martin, the author of UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016, paid link).* was overwhelmed by the record number (for him) of “likes” and hundreds of new followers. As a result, UnClobber shot up to number five on Amazon’s list of bestsellers in Gender & Sexuality in Religious Studies (lagging, unfortunately behind four Queer-bashing books which he described as… well, it isn’t a pretty description). Also, his very useful (and free) PDF “cheat sheet” summarizing his refutation of Queer-bashing interpretations of scripture was downloaded over 400 times.
I, myself, have not read UnClobber (paid link).* A while ago, I swore off the sometimes futile exercise of trying to justify my Queer sexuality to others via Biblical interpretation, so in 2016 when UnClobber came out, I was glad at another take on the issue but not interested. Recently, however, realizing that the elephant in the room needs to be addressed and… addressed again, I did watch the entire playlist UnClobber: A Lecture Series on the Bible and Homosexuality. which I recommend.
I found that I like Martin’s line of reasoning and no-holds-barred delivery. Also, I think it is important that an ally with a large platform (part of which he lost due to his Queer-affirming stances) continue to speak to non-affirming Christians through a vessel they can understand and respect. I affirm the need for Queer voices to tell Queer stories, but I believe that each person has a responsibility to advocate for the full flourishing of others when and where they can not be heard.
This is how we shift the tide, so send him some love. Vote for what length of beard you like (I don’t know whether he’s actually soliciting opinions, but I favor its current length, myself). You can find links in his bio for downloading the clobber passages cheat sheet @colbymartin. or by signing up on his website colbymartinonline.com.
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