James at the Seattle Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral presenting

No More Special Pleading: How Opening Up to LGBTQ+ Reality Flows Organically from Basic Christianity

At St Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, US, James Alison presented a project he’s been working on for several years—a book, provisionally titled You Can… If You Want To, to be published in 2025, which aims to empower Christians to move on, in good faith, regarding LGBTQ+ issues. The narrative that Christianity itself demands the condemnation of LGBTQ+ lives as sinful has been so prevalent for so long, that many Christians, including LGBTQ+ people themselves, may still harbour niggling doubts in the back of their minds, voices whispering “maybe being queer really is incompatible with taking Jesus and the Bible seriously…”

Alison aims to confront these doubts directly, showing that the fundamentals of the Christian faith, even when presented from a quite conservative perspective, do in fact open up the possibility of reaching beyond any and all of our cultural comfort zones—of which sexuality and gender identity are only two of many—if we want to go there. It follows that those who continue to uphold old prejudices are doing so by their own choice, and cannot blame any supposed “higher authority.”