Ok so I know that I am meant to be doing a post on the whole Simon Singh/BCA thing but that was so last week so instead I’m going to talk about something else entirely. If that’s ok with Th1sWasATriumph that is. Also let me apologise in advance if this post descends into a rant as even as I write this I am not completely sure where I am going with it. Let’s just start at the beginning shall we.
Back when I was a Christian I was a big fan of Christian music. Yes I know, but don’t worry I grew out of it. Anyway at the time one of my favourite artists was a lady by the name of Jennifer Knapp. Her music was a little bit country, a little bit bluesy and unlike many Christian artists she actually did songs about real life as well as just songs about how awesome God is. But then, after a couple of incredibly popular albums, she disappeared completely from the scene with no information on when she might return.
So by now you are no doubt wondering why I am mentioning this at all. Well part of the reason, though certainly not the main one, that she decided to take a break was that she finally accepted the fact that she was gay. Now, after a seven year break she’s back, with a new album entitled Letting Go, as an openly gay Christian woman. So what, you are probably asking, who cares if she is gay? Well I sure don’t, as far as I am concerned who you love is no-ones business but yours, but seeing she is a some what famous “Christian” artist you can sure as hell bet someone cares, someone cares a whole lot.
As I write this there are over a thousand comments on the webpage containing her interview as well as a few hundred more on a second page specifically discussing the “controversy” surrounding her sexuality. The vast majority of these comments come from Christians condemning her for her sinful lifestyle, accusing her of lying to her fans, saying she can’t be a Christian and be gay and of course letting her know that she is going to burn in hell. The interview itself saddens me too. Knapp clearly doesn’t see that she is doing anything wrong, and rightly so, and effectively points out the hypocrisy of those who would condemn her for loving the wrong person while they happily eat shellfish and wear clothing of more than one fabric, sins listed in the same chapter of the Bible as homosexuality. That said there is still a sense of pain behind her words and a weary acceptance that many of her previous fans will think her evil and tainted simply because she loves someone of whom they do not approve. The interviewer adds to this in a passive aggressive sort of way, always referring to Knapp’s homosexuality as her “struggling with same-sex attraction“, something Knapp never really calls him on, instead redirecting the issue to deal with her actual struggle with the Church and their acceptance of her as a human being “trying to live the spiritual life that I’ve been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I’ve always approached my faith.”
And in this there may be some hope, as while there are many, many negative comments in response to her honesty there are also a large number of comments praising and thanking her for her bravery. For every Christian who delights in telling her she will burn there is another one who supports her and holds her up as an inspiration. Numerous comments from gay Christians talk about the backlash they faced when they came out and call Knapp a role model for gay Christians everywhere.
For me Knapp always stood slightly apart from the other Christian artists to which I listened. There was an honesty to her music that the others didn’t have. While she did do songs of simple praise most of her music dealt with more human issues as well as tackling the subject of doubt and faith that spoke to me in a way simple worship songs never did. As my own faith faded I found myself listening to her music long after I had abandoned other artists. Now, with this announcement, I find myself drawn to her once again. Her honesty is still clearly intact and her courage to stand up for who she is in an industry that will hate her for it is something I find inspiring. Still not sure if I will actually buy her new album though.
I’ll end this rather disjointed and rambling post with a reply to a comment I posted in response to this interview. I asked a question I have long wondered about, that being why the Christian God considered homosexuality a sin in the first place. The answer I got was rather telling.
Rabbit, Can you explain why God said that eating from the fruit is a sin in the Garden of Eden? There isn’t always a justification given in the Bible for everything. Adam and Eve could have said “what’s wrong with loving the snake? It is just showing love to one of God’s creatures . . . ” That’s because He is God. He does not owe a justification to humans. All kinds of sins are sins. But the question is whether Knapp even admits she is living in sin. She thinks that her actions are not sinful and condemns others for thinking that they are. She has not repented. She has not confessed. She has not tried to change. She is loving her “lifestyle”. She is defending it and encouraging others to continue in it. (As far as old testament laws applicable to Jews, the New Testament is clear that it does not apply to Christians because Jesus himself broke a few and Peter had a vision in Book of Acts about eating forbidden items).
Oh well that clears everything up then.