20th eNewsletter from Chi Rho Press
- Twentieth eNewsletter
19 July 2000
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1. Called OUT!
2. Truluck Tour
3. Press Financial News
4. The Bible and Homosexuality
5. Mel White
6. New Book Store Liaison
7. New Web Mistress
8. Adam's Last Word - Some Thoughts on Soulforce
1. "Called OUT!" Goes to a Second Printing
We have received from our printer our second printing of the very popular
book, "Called OUT! The Voices and Gifts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgendered Presbyterians." Compiled and edited by the Rev. Jane Adams
Spahr, Kathryn Poethig, Selisse Berry, and Melinda McLain, "Called OUT" was
our first anthology and contains essays by 39 LGBT people who are members (or
former members) of the Presbyterian Church.
It is divided into six sections, "The OUT-Stretched Hand of God," "OUT of
Order," "OUT and Organizing," "OUT from the South," "The Importance of Being
OUT," and "OUT and Moved On." It also contains a brief history of the
movement for full inclusion of LGBT people in the Presbyterian Church, a
Brief Introduction to "Presby-Speak," a Chronology by James D. Anderson, and
In addition to the editors, contributors include Lisa Bove, Lawrence Reh,
Rodger M. Wilson, Marvin Ellison, Daniel E. Smith, Charlotte Sindt (writing
about her late son David), Doug Calderwood, Scott D. Anderson, Kathleen
Buckley, Lisa Larges, Chris Glaser, James D. Anderson, George Link, Dick
Hasbany and Craig Machado, Laurene Lafontaine, Howard B. Warren Jr., Winifred
Legerton, Will Smith, Jim Earhart, Georgann Wilcoxon, Kathryn Cartledge,
Walter Jay Kleine Jr., Barbara Lynn Smith, Merrill Proudfoot, Martha
Juillerat and Tammy Lindahl, Charles Collins, Lorna Shoemaker, Susan Leo,
James Graves, Kathleen Morrison, Bill Silver, Bet Hannon, Diana
Vezmar-Bailey, and Sandy Brawders.
The second printing of "Called OUT" retails for $17.95 and can be ordered
from Chi Rho Press at Orders@....
2. Truluck Tour
Chi Rho Press will be bringing Dr. Truluck to the Washington area for two
weeks at the end of July and the beginning of August. Here is his schedule
Sunday, July 30, preach and answer questions at two services at MCC Rehoboth
Wednesday evening, August 2, workshop at the monthly pot luck at New Light
MCC, Hagerstown, Maryland.
Friday evening, August 4, speak at a meeting with Integrity Northern Virginia.
Sunday, August 6, preach and lead a workshop at MCC Richmond, Virginia.
Tuesday evening, August 8, Christian education class at MCC of Washington, DC.
Saturday, August 12, lead a workshop at MCC Baltimore, Maryland.
Sunday, August 13, preach and lead a workshop to kick off an on-going Bible
study, using his book, after worship at Holy Redeemer MCC in College Park,
Dr. Truluck will be available beginning with Saturday, July 29 through all
day Sunday, August 13. There are still some weekday evenings available, as
well as during the days each week. He is available to preach, lead workshops
based on the book "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," lead workshops on
many other topics (such as those found in the appendices of the book), and do
Since all three Sundays are already booked, we encourage weekday events. If
those work well for your church or organization and you are in the
Washington, DC/Maryland/ Virginia region, I would strongly encourage you to
consider inviting Dr. Truluck for a mid-week event. I will be coordinating
Dr. Truluck's schedule, so please e-mail or call me to arrange for a visit to
your church or organization.
Your cost will be a love offering or honorarium for Dr. Truluck for each
event you schedule with him. If you care to purchase copies of "Steps to
Recovery from Bible Abuse" for resale to your church members, we have
discounts so that your church can even make some money!
You may contact me at 301/926-1208 or by e-mail at Adam@... in
order to arrange for Rembert Truluck to visit your congregation. I look
forward to hearing from you.
3. Press Financial News
We have had an influx of new capital over the past month. Many thanks to our
new investors! The sale of $10,000 in Promissory Notes has enabled us to
become more effectively capitalized.
As a result, we have completely paid off our expensive credit card debt (held
on three of Director Adam DeBaugh's credit cards). We have also finished
paying off Promissory Notes sold to fund production of "From Wounded Hearts"
and begun paying off Notes sold to fund production of "Come Home."
In addition, we have funds to pay for new printing and new books. The sale
of Promissory Notes (paid in eight quarterly payments over a two year period
at 8% simple interest) provides a good return on investment for our
supporters and relatively inexpensive capital for the Press.
Chi Rho Press will still issue Promissory Notes to any of our supporters who
wish to invest in YOUR LGBT religious/spiritual publishing house. Notes are
available in increments of $500 and $1000. Write Adam@... for
more information and to arrange for your investment.
4. The Bible and Homosexuality
The issues raised by homophobic religious people who claim that the Bible
condemns LGBT people and homosexuality are dealt with in many of the books
published by Chi Rho Press.
"The Bible and Homosexuality" by the Rev. Michael England is a wonderful
treatment of the subject and has been a perennial best seller for many years.
Now in its fifth edition, "The Bible and Homosexuality" sells for $10.95
each ($8.95 each for six or more copies), plus shipping and handling.
Michael England addresses at some length the "clobber passages" that have
been used to condemn sexual minority people. He also has important
introductory material on Inspiration; Critical Interpretation; Textual,
Historical, Source, and Form Criticism; the "Contra Naturam" (against nature)
argument against homosexuality; Heterosexual Marriage as "the Only Biblical
Model;" and Adultery and Fornication. A Bibliography is
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" by Dr. Rembert Truluck has exploded onto
the scene since its publication at the end of January, and we have already
sold over half of our press run. Dr. Truluck does deal in one of his 13
steps with the "clobber passages" that have been most often used to condemn
LGBT people, but most of the book concentrates on finding the truth of God's
love for ALL people in the Bible. Each of the 13 steps contains four Bible
Studies, for 52 Bible Studies in all, one for every week of the year. The
Bible studies are wonderful for small group study and discussion.
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" is available for $24.95 each, ($18.75
each for six or more copies), plus shipping and handling.
Roberta Kreider believes that "my own life and attitude has been profoundly
changed by listening to the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgendered people and their families." We are able to change minds about
the issue of homosexuality by coming out and revealing our life and faith
stories to non-gay people. As a result, Chi Rho Press is very proud of the
two anthologies we have published containing LGBT people telling their
Roberta Kreider compiled the 49 stories in "From Wounded Hearts: Faith
Stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People and Those Who
Love Them" as a way of letting more people get to know LGBT people and their
families. "From Wounded Hearts" is a powerfully compelling and affecting
book. It is available for $19.95 each ($14.95 each for six or more copies),
plus shipping and handling.
"Called OUT! The Voices and Gifts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgendered Presbyterians," compiled and edited by the Rev. Jane Adams
Spahr, Kathryn Poethig, Selisse Berry, and Melinda McLain, was our first
anthology. As you read in the first story in this edition of the Chi Rho
Press eNewsletter, "Called OUT!" is now in its second printing. It is
available for $17.95 each ($15.25 each for six or more copies), plus shipping
We recommend all four of these wonderful books!
5. Mel White Replies To the Christian Century Editorial
"Ecclesial Protest: Acts of Disobedience"
May 31, 2000
(Editor's Note: You may have already seen this, but I think Mel White's
response to a very patronizing editorial in the Christian Century is a very
good description of what Soulforce is bringing to the various denominational
gatherings this season. People are putting their lives on the line - here's
why and here's what it means. See Adam's Last Word at the end of this
eNewsletter for his comments on Soulforce.)
We at Soulforce want to thank Christian Century for your recent editorial
describing our civil disobedience in Cleveland's United Methodist General
Conference as "media-driven street theater." You are correct. For thirty
years Protestant and Catholic leaders have debated the homosexuality issue.
That debate itself has become a primary source of suffering for millions of
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Soulforce volunteers are
using "media-driven street theater" at denominational gatherings this summer
to send a clear message that for us this endless debate must end.
No longer will we sit silently in church conferences, conventions, assemblies
or congregations where the Bible is used to caricature and condemn us. No
longer will we stand by in anger and grief while our relationships are
demeaned and our ministries denied. No longer will we appear on church
panels or media broadcasts with people from ex-gay "transforming" ministries
who believe our sexual orientation is a sickness and a sin that can and
should be changed. The debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is
not a sickness, not a sin. We, too, are the children of God, created,
redeemed, sustained, and accepted without reservation by our loving Creator.
Our nonviolent demonstration at Cleveland is just the first step. These acts
of "media-driven street theater" signal the launch of a long-term Soulforce
program of civil disobedience and non-cooperation at other national and
regional church conferences, conventions and assemblies. Call it what you
will but plan for it at your denominational headquarters, at your seminaries
and colleges, and even at your individual churches across the country that
still see our lives as "incompatible with Christian teaching," that refuse to
bless our relationships or honor our call to service.
We are committed to the nonviolence teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and King. We
refuse to demonstrate violence of the heart, tongue, or fist. We will bring
truth in love relentlessly to those who misunderstand and condemn us. We will
love our adversaries and take upon ourselves any suffering that our direct
actions may cause. (In Cleveland, for example, those of us arrested were
honored with a permanent police record. We spent a day in paddy wagons,
jails, and courtrooms across the city and at $150 each paid collectively over
$30,000 in fines.) And we are willing to pay a whole lot more in time, money
and energy to see the suffering end. We invite your readers to join us or at
least to hear our side of the story at http://www.soulforce.org
By the way, the writer of your editorial didn't mention that the 191 people
of faith who were arrested in Cleveland at our "banal protest" included
everyone of the "genuine" United Methodist heroes proclaimed in your
editorial. We stood proudly with Jimmy Creech, Gregory Dell, Don Fado and
many of the "Sacramento 67" as well as heroes from the civil rights movement
of the 50s and 60s including Dr. Jim Lawson (the man who trained the students
who integrated the lunch counters and rode the Freedom Busses) and Arun
Gandhi, the steward of his grandfather's legacy in nonviolence.
I'm grateful that your editorial mentioned "Dr. King's Letter from a
Birmingham Jail." The primary thrust of that amazing document was not to
define civil disobedience or to proscribe its use as a tool of spiritual
resistance in future civil rights movements. At the heart of that historic
letter is the author's terrible disappointment with the "white church" for
its refusal to do justice for racial minorities. At our Soulforce event in
King's eldest daughter, Yolanda, expressed a similar concern that white and
black churches alike refuse to do justice for sexual minorities and quoted
deeply moving passages from her father's writings that apply directly to our
"The contemporary Church," Dr. King writes, "is so often a weak, ineffectual
voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch-supporter of the
status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church, the
power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church's silent
and often vocal sanction of things as they are. But the judgment of God is
upon the Church as never before. If the Church of today does not recapture
the sacrificial spirit of the early Church, it will lose its authentic ring,
forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social
club with no meaning for the twentieth century."
We at Soulforce say, "Amen and amen!"
Mel White, Co-Chair, Soulforce
Soulforce, PO Box 4467, Laguna Beach, CA. 92652 (949)455-0999
6. New Book Store Liaison
Mr. Don Neal has joined the growing Chi Rho Press community as our new Book
Store Liaison. Don lives in northern California and he will be coordinating
contacts with LGBT and other bookstores on behalf of Chi Rho Press.
Please join us in welcoming Don and thanking him for his work with us. Don
can be reached at DonNeal@.... He would appreciate hearing about
any LGBT bookstores in your home town - don't assume that we already know
about them - please send Don the name, address, telephone number, e-mail
address, the owner, and the book buyer (or as much of that information as you
can obtain). Thank you!
7. New Web Mistress
Chi Rho Press has retained the services of Ms. Dotti Berry, of D3 Marketing
Innovations in Lexington, Kentucky, as our new web mistress. Dotti and her
company will be adding a shopping cart to our web page (at
www.ChiRhoPress.com) which, along with many other features, will allow us to
accept credit card payments on line.
You can view samples of Dotti's excellent work at www.e-globaltech.com and
www.4phoenixcommunications.com and www.diversitypromotions.com. The Board
and Staff of Chi Rho Press welcome Dotti to our community of faith and
ministry and we look forward to working with her and with all the folks at D3
Our previous web mistress, Suzanne Hediger, found that the press of other
duties at her full time job prevented her from having enough time to do all
that we need to have done. Suzanne's work was excellent and we thank her for
her brief time with us and wish her all the best!
8. Adam's Last Word.
Soulforce has changed forever the face of the LGBT civil rights movement in
the United States. I am proud and honored to be able to call the Rev. Dr.
Mel White and Mr. Gary Nixon my friends and colleagues. In much the same way
that Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas K. Gandhi did before them, Mel and
Gary are transforming the way our community approaches institutions which
oppress our people.
There are some people in the LGBT community who have criticized Mel and Gary
and their ministry. I have listened patiently to some of these criticisms,
but am troubled by some of them. I do not believe, for instance, that ego
and self-aggrandizement motivate the people in Soulforce. I think it is
churlish to suggest that this movement is all about developing a cult of
personality. I know Mel White. I have worked with Mel White. I respect Mel
White. I believe Mel White is motivated only by the compelling need to free
all people from oppression, discrimination, and intolerance.
I do not believe that the principles of Soulforce stand in opposition or even
as an exclusive alternative to the lobbying methods used by other national
LGBT organizations. We need to continue lobbying the churches, we need to
continue to press for LGBT-affirming resolutions in the denominations, we
need to continue to work within the churches to effect change. But we also
need people who will put their bodies and lives on the line in the way that
the Soulforce Saints as a visible reminder to the churches of the justice of
the LGBT movement for full inclusion in the churches.
I do not agree that Soulforce is working against the LGBT groups within the
churches which have been targeted. In every case, members of those churches
have been in the forefront of the Soulforce demonstrations and were a
majority of those arrested. From what I have heard and read, Soulforce has
been very sensitive to the needs of those LGBT people who work within the
I do not agree that the tactics of Soulforce are unnecessary. It is time, I
believe, to take more dramatic action, even while we continue to struggle in
ecclesiastical courts and conferences and assemblies. Soulforce is correct
when it says that it is time for the LGBT community to stop dialoguing about
certain parts of the argument. We do not need to justify our existence,
defend our faith, implore our oppressors to like or respect us, and assert
that God does love us after all. God's love for us does not come as a result
of any church saying so. God's love is not something that comes to us in
spite of our sexuality. God made my sexuality and loves me, in part, because
I do not agree that these arrests are meaningless because, as some have
suggested, they are coordinated with the police. We certainly saw in Orlando
at the Southern Baptist conference that those arrested are faced with heavy
fines and the real possibility of further jail time. Any time one submits to
arrest one runs the risk that the experience will be more than just a walk in
On Dec. 10, 1984, I was arrested at the South African Embassy as part of the
daily arrest of three people to protest apartheid. US Congressman Mickey
Leland of Houston, Texas, James Farmer, the founder of the Congress of Racial
Equality (CORE), an early civil rights organization, and I shared the honor
of submitting to arrest to protest intolerable injustice in South Africa. I
was then District Coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic District of the UFMCC, and
the first openly Gay person arrested in this round of protests.
Though the DC police were clearly sympathetic to our cause, and it was all
carefully orchestrated and choreographed, and one of my fellow arrestees was
a United States Congressperson, for goodness sakes! There was that moment
when the cell door clanged shut, and we were incarcerated and at the mercy of
a government system that was not always attuned to the witness we were
making. As we spent the night in jail, singing old civil rights songs
together, telling each other stories about previous arrests in the civil
rights and anti-war movements, and joking with our jailers, we were always
reminded that we were indeed prisoners and we had deliberately made ourselves
I remember another time I was arrested, this time in protest of the bombing
of Cambodia. I have told this story before in this eNewsletter, but I think
it bears repeating. Religious leaders from all over the US were arrested in
the Rotunda of the US Capitol after a peaceful sit in. Almost 200 religious
leaders were arrested that day, including bishops, clergy, seminary
professors, and others. I was a small fish in a very big pond, being head of
the Center for the Study of Power and Peace, an inter-religiously funded
research center for international affairs.
After a night in jail all the men who were arrested were herded into a
holding cell, awaiting arraignment - Bill Kunstler was our attorney - the
women who had been arrested were held in a holding cell at the other end of
the building. We were in the large space surrounded by bars, with the police
sitting and wandering around outside. Many of those arrested wore their
The Rev. William Sloan Coffin led the group in Martin Luther's immortal hymn,
"A Mighty Fortress is Our God," lining out each verse in a loud, commanding
voice. When we got to the fourth verse, our voices were incredibly loud and
strong. We sang the powerful words, "Let goods and kindred go, This mortal
life also, The body they may kill; God's truth abideth still, God's kingdom
As we finished the hymn with those words we looked out and saw that all the
cops were staring at us through the bars. And to our amazement, a few had
even drawn their guns -- pointing them at this middle aged, often overweight
group of clergy and laity as if by sheer force of our hymn the bars would
break asunder. As our hymn of faith and defiance echoed down the halls we
heard our sisters (many of whom really were sisters, nuns that is) singing
the hymn as well, having heard our thunderous anthem.
Bill Coffin looked out at the terrified police, repeated the last lines one
more time, "the body they may kill, God's truth abideth still" and added in a
great shout, "and let that be a lesson to you!"
Just as the police of Washington DC were frightened by the words of truth
20-some years ago, the denominations Soulforce faces will hear the truth of
God's love through these demonstrations and arrests. And we can only repeat,
with Martin Luther the reformation monk, "Let goods and kindred go, This
mortal life also, The body they may kill; God's truth abideth still, God's
kingdom is forever." And may that be a lesson to the church!
We are glad you are partners with us here at Chi Rho Press. We are eager for
your comments, your suggestions, your assistance with selling our books, and
your own purchases! And of course, we covet your prayers for this ministry.
Grace and peace,
Adam DeBaugh, Director
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Copyright 2000, Chi Rho Press, Inc.
R. Adam DeBaugh, Director, Adam@....
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Grace and peace,
R. Adam DeBaugh
Chi Rho Press
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