Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church

Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church

by Bridget Eileen Rivera


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Religious faith reduces the risk of suicide for virtually every American demographic except one: LGBTQ people. Generations of LGBTQ people have been alienated or condemned by Christian communities. It's past time that Christians confronted the ongoing and devastating effects of this legacy.

Many LGBTQ people face overwhelming challenges in navigating faith, gender, and sexuality. Christian communities that uphold the traditional sexual ethic often unwittingly make the path more difficult through unexamined attitudes and practices. Drawing on her sociological training and her leadership in the Side B/Revoice conversation, Bridget Eileen Rivera, who founded the popular website Meditations of a Traveling Nun, speaks to the pain of LGBTQ Christians and helps churches develop a better pastoral approach.

Rivera calls to mind Jesus's woe to religious leaders: "They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them" (Matt. 23:4). Heavy Burdens provides an honest account of seven ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in the church, helping Christians grapple with hard realities and empowering churches across the theological spectrum to navigate better paths forward.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587434839
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/26/2021
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 192,565
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bridget Eileen Rivera is a sociologist completing her PhD at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A homeschool graduate and alum of Patrick Henry College, Rivera has become a leading voice on gay celibacy in the church, helping Christians better grapple with gender and sexuality in a divided culture. She has worked with a number of faith-based organizations, including Revoice, Christians for Social Action, and Preston Sprinkle's Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, where she contributed to the Digital Leaders Forum. You can follow her on social media at @travelingnun.

Table of Contents


Burden 1: Sex . . . err . . . Celibacy Is Great!
1. The Protestant Sexual Revolution
2. The New Sexual Order
Burden 2: Sinners Saved by Grace
3. Perverted Identity
4. Freud's Lasting Influence
Burden 3: Folk Devils
5. Political Christianity
6. Hellfire and Judgment
Burden 4: The Bible Is "Clear"
7. Culture and Context
8. Double Standards
Burden 5: "Real" Men, "Good" Ladies
9. Effeminacy
10. Emasculation
Burden 6: Made in the Image of God Sex
11. Gender Essentialism
12. More Than Just Monkeys?
Burden 7: Jesus Saves Damns
13. Vessels of Wrath
14. Grace for Me but Not for Thee
A Better Way
15. Recentering the Gospel
16. Setting Down the Burdens
17. Weights of Glory

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