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Strangers and Friends at the Welcome TableContemporary Christianities in the American South$
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James Hudnut-Beumler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640372

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640372.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Southern, Christian, and Gay

Southern, Christian, and Gay

(p.215) 10 Southern, Christian, and Gay
Strangers and Friends at the Welcome Table

James Hudnut-Beumler

University of North Carolina Press

In no area is contemporary southern Christianity more deeply divided than over the issue of sexuality. Younger people (including many self-described Bible-believing Christians) do not think that being gay has anything to do with one’s status before God, nor should it have before the law or in the family of faith. Baby boomers may be the last generation to feel otherwise, but for now gender identity and sexuality is a battleground. This chapter, however, is not about the southern Christians who exclude and decry their LGBT neighbors. It is about the several million gay southerners who bear up under that pressure while often holding on to the Christian faith that supposedly drives those who would exclude them. The chapter focusses on the LGBT Christians in the South and their allies who in the contemporary period have decided to be quiet no longer but instead to be proudly Christian and gay, and the growing minority of congregations that have staked out a publicly affirming identity of welcome. For these LGBT people of faith and their allies, the Christian message has sometimes proved stronger and more redemptive than all the resistance they have encountered from other Christians because of their identities.

Keywords:   LGBT Christians, Religion and LGBT persons, Southern gay churches, Gay affirming churches, Lesbian Christians, Ordination of LGBT persons, Black gay men, Churches, gay affirming, Black church and gay members

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