by Andrew Marin
(with a Foreword by Brian McLaren)
You may have heard about Andrew Marin
He made headlines by leading a group of Christians to the Chicago Pride celebration in order to apologize to the GLBT community for the way they've been treated by the church.
They wore t-shirts that said "I'm Sorry" and held up signs saying "I'm sorry for how the church has hurt you.
They were warmly received.
There is a widely published photo of a young gay man wearing only his
underpants who had jumped from a float to hug Marin
In Love Is an Orientation, Andrew Marin, founder of the Marin Foundation and loveisanorientation.org, tells the story of how he was once a "Bible banging homophobe," the result of the evangelical, heterosexist culture in which he was raised.
That was, until the summer after his
first year of college when all three of his
best friends came out to him in three successive months.
Suddenly, a group he
had vilified and mocked confronted him in the faces of friends that he'd known and loved for years.
had a change of heart, if not a change of theology, and felt drawn into a story that would lead to a better understanding of gay and lesbian people.
moved into Boystown, a mostly gay part of Chicago, where he
surrounded himself with gay and lesbian people and culture.
Love Is An Orientation is written for heterosexual Christians
who view homosexuality as a sin and is Marin's account of what he
has learned over the last eight years.
It is his
challenge to straight Christians
everywhere to change the way they approach the gay and lesbian community and to infuse the cross-cultural conversation with love instead of division.
One thing is quite clear, Marin's heart is in the right place.
He is earnest in his quest to reconcile gay and lesbian people to the church, to teach the church how to begin to heal the wounds that have been festering for years, and to end the divisive language and hurtful way of relating to the GLBT community.
offers straight Christians
many practical tools for having conversations with GLBT people, including asking open-ended questions and eliminating common but hurtful rhetoric such as "loving the sinner but hating the sin.
For instance, on page 37, Marin
writes: "Over the years I have had many gay people tell me that if someone were to take away their sexual behavior, they would be taking away all they are as people" (emphasis mine).
Or on page 67, when he
gives an account of meeting with a gay pastor:
So it is with Marin; because of his
genuine desire to help, his
candid admissions of his
own feelings, and his
willingness to listen and learn (including unlearning homophobic attitudes), you have to take the bad with the good.