This is a review of The Rainbow Kingdom: Christianity & the Homosexual Reconciled which appeared in The Leaf-Chronicle on Tuesday, April 10, 2007. Wow, all this press is just incredible!

Of course, you can order your copy of the book at www.therainbowkingdom.com.

Book tackles condemnations
By STACY SMITH SEGOVIA
The Leaf-Chronicle

In his new book, “The Rainbow Kingdom: Christianity & the Homosexual Reconciled,” Clarksville native David W. Shelton doesn’t shy away from the ammunition some Christians have used against gays for millennia.

He confronts passages such as Leviticus 20:13, which says “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

At the same time, he answers the question: “Can you be gay and be a Christian?” with “Absolutely.”

Shelton will read from his book, answer questions and greet people at a book signing and reception April 12 in the Gentry Auditorium at Austin Peay State University. The event is presented by the university’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Shelton also will discuss the April 18 Day of Silence (www.dayofsilence.org), which encourages gay people and those who support them to be silent for the entire day.

In his book, published in November 2006 through Lulu.com, Shelton tackles head-on the harshest condemnations levied by Christians against gays, Addressing the Levitical and other “clobber” passages is admirable, but Shelton’s efforts to lessen their strength by putting them in context — both literary and historical — do not remove the passages’ power entirely. More effective is his pointing out that Leviticus forbids other things that are perfectly acceptable today, such as shaving, tattoos, and eating shellfish and pork.

“There are going to be people who disagree with me — some of them quite vocally,” Shelton says.

The book is written in first person, with an engaging, conversational tone. It is already garnering positive reviews, such as this one by Autrice Wheeler from Ohio, posted on Amazon.com:

“With so many people struggling to merge their natural orientation with their desire to serve the Lord, it is high time that a guidebook was published to help those of the GLBT community (and their loved ones) to understand that God is indeed merciful and loving of all his children. ‘Rainbow Kingdom’ … sheds deep insight into the verity that one can indeed be both gay and Christian.”

Shelton’s voice is one of hope and faith. He says his own faith is so much a part of him that, even if faced with irrefutable proof that Jesus Christ never existed, he would still believe.

“It’s that big a part of my life,” he says.

He hopes his book will open the door for gay Christians who have turned away from their faith.

“We need to reclaim the promises of Christ,” Shelton’s book says. “As we leave the closet and re-enter the Church, we do so with our heads held high and our hearts turned toward God. We should live as examples of stability, integrity and honor. It’s out of the love of Christ and knowing who we are in him that we can say to ourselves and others, “Jesus loves you. Yes, even if you’re gay.'”

Stacy Smith Segovia is a features writer for The Leaf-Chronicle. She can be reached at 245-0720 or by e-mail at stacysegovia@theleafchronicle.com.