An Interview with Jennifer Knapp Part 2: Church, Sexuality, and Progressive Christianity

Beliefnet continues chatting with Jennifer Knapp in the second part of this personal interview.

Continued from page 3

So I know that you said that you don't necessarily run in any specific Christian circles, but I also know that the other weekend you were with the Association of Welcome and Affirming Baptists (an organization who affirms homosexuality in the Baptist tradition). And so, I was wondering, have you found some kind of a spiritual connection with them?

Well, one of the things that has happened over the last couple of years since my coming out, is I've been recognized as a very public person of faith and whatever that means. But it's been interesting over the last couple of weeks for me, because I definitely am not interested, as an entertainer, in creating Christian music anymore. There is no bent in me, in terms of [being[ a public figure to create merchandise, if you will, for that market. I'm not interested in the marketplace at all. So when I talk about the pop culture Christianity, I have no idea what's going on in Christian music. I don't know who the pop authors are. I would look back at Philip Yancey and Tony Campolo and those guys and whatever they're doing today, I don't really know. I tend to have to go out of my way to find that.

I can send you a care package of things that come across my desk, if you want to get caught up.

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You know what? To be honest, you'd be wasting a stamp. All that stuff does continue to come my way as well. I have people sending me Christian books of fiction and wanting my endorsement, things like that. There's an idea that I keep being asked to go into it. And to answer your question about the AWAB, the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, and in particular, religious things that I do actually end up participating in, are far more a conversation level. It's difficult to explain to people who [think that] if someone engages with their creativity or their art or their person in a religious environment, then they must be doing Christian "this." And it's really frustrating for me, but it doesn't really stop me from going to the places. Nine times out of ten, if somebody invites me to go some place, I'll go, if I can. And I go because I'm interested to meet people and not just deliver what I have to deliver, but to learn from the other people that are there, and whoever the people that have invited me, that I’d be a part of their world and their conversation for a while.  

Photo courtesy of Fairlight Hubbard and Amy M Phillips of EYE

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