My book The Preacher’s Daughters sells more copies than the rest of my novels. I won’t give away the plot details, but I’ll say it’s about two best friends: one is gay, the other is straight. They’ll do anything for each other. They love each other. And they’re both Christians.
Having said that, I’m disturbed about what’s happening in Houston, Texas. Pastors are being persecuted for their religious beliefs by the city government. In my husband’s church, the music pastor is gay. His accompanist, who left for another position, is gay, too. My husband’s congregation loves them. They aren’t excluded from parties or church gatherings. They’re also tremendously talented.
In order to write The Preacher’s Daughters, I contacted five lesbian groups, telling them I’m a Christian writing a book. Only one group got back to me; the others didn’t return my phone calls. The lesbians at PFLAG helped me understand how gays feel and what it means to be gay. They were lovely. Without them, I couldn’t have crafted the character of Dovile Gibson, and she’s one tough character.
My character Caroline Spencer in Blood, Innocence And Glory was based on the tragic abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy, who gave his life for abolition. Caroline, an abolitionist editor, is raped by a slave trader; her print shop employees are murdered by proslavery men. After this, Caroline reflects before the man who abused her—
“Suddenly, she remembered what Mother Superior told her: that love was stronger than hate; that she must bless her enemies and pray for them. Truth was, she wanted to stop hating because hatred killed people…”
More Americans died fighting the Civil War than any other war we fought.
Back to Houston…. Pastors are entitled to their beliefs, even if you don’t agree with them. Gays are also entitled to their beliefs. That’s why we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion in America. The Houston affair has nothing to do with politics being preached from the pulpit; it’s simply one group trying to shut down the other, but it won’t work because people dislike being controlled and manipulated.
I’ll close with a quote by Mother Teresa: “If now we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten how to see God in one another.”