My first introduction to Nadia Bolz-Weber was through her book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation. Now, because I was raised in the church, I am almost immediately skeptical of books or lectures or even tweets by people who claim to be speaking for [as representatives of] [in the place of] God. I was subjected to a lot of harmful and hateful ideology at an age where I was too young and too innocent to reject it.
I still consider myself to be a person of faith, but I don’t go to church. I don’t attend services virtually. I do not have a spiritual community of like-minded people. I cannot hold space for the holiness of God’s love and the hatred of dogmatic theological teachings under the same roof. The dissonance is too strong. The wound is still too fresh. Every note rings hollow in a place where you are told about love and never shown it.
So in walks Nadia Bolz-Weber. Looking at her, she is the reason we have the identifier “biker chick”. She is tattooed and foul-mouthed and feminist and angry. She’s also a Lutheran minister and was the founding pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She’s equally as likely to pray for you as she is to tell you to fuck off if she hears you spouting biblical untruths.
Needless to say, I had a feeling I could trust her. She would not fill my head with bullshit about what God supposedly thinks about me. I might finally hear the Truth. I was more than ready for it.
I read Shameless in (nearly) a single sitting. Reading it helped me to vomit up so much of the filth I was forced to swallow about my body, my gender, and my sexuality. Inside, you’ll find a new sexual ethic based on individual care and attention (biblically-backed). Some readers will thrill and others will cower at what they find between the pages of Shameless, though if I’m being honest, I doubt that Nadia cares one whit what her detractors have to say.
Be warned before you begin: this book is not for the faint of heart or those who are overly-attached to dogma. It has to be approached with an open heart, mind, soul, and notebook (you will be writing things down, so keep a pen handy).
Note: As I started writing, I intended for this to be only one post long. However, being as there are several quotes from the book I’d like to share and explore, I decided to break it into two.
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