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By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Why the fuss? Well, it seems that Jennings wrote a remarkably frank book in 2007, “Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son: A Memoir,” where he said some rather explicit things about homosexuality and some nasty things about God:
“What had He done for me other than make me feel shame and guilt? Squat. Screw you buddy–I don’t need you around anymore, I decided.” For years, he says in his book, he “reacted violently to anyone who professed any kind of religion.”
Cue the controversy.
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality calls him a “vicious, anti-religious bigot.” Catholic League President Bill Donohue calls Jennings’ remarks about homosexuality and God “perverse.” The Family Research Council has launched a “Stop Kevin Jennings” campaign, saying he is a “radical homosexual activist.”
Progressives are coming to his defense. In a post, Amanda Terkel of the liberal Center for American Progress quotes Molly Spearman, executive director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators as saying she was impressed with Jennings when he came to speak to the group about bullying.
I spoke to the Rev. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, where Jennings has served on the board of directors since February. She is unfazed by the anti-religion comments in Jennings’ book and calls him “one of the most committed Christians I know.”
“It’s often the mark of a serious Christian that they wrestle with and critique their faith,” said Jones.