Jeff Chu’s Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America is part memoir and part investigative analysis that explores the explosive and confusing intersection of faith, politics, and sexuality in Christian America.
The quest to find an answer is at the heart of Does Jesus Really Love Me? — a personal journey of belief, an investigation, and a portrait of a faith and a nation at odds by award-winning reporter Jeff Chu.
From Brooklyn to Nashville to California, from Westboro Baptist Church and their “God Hates Fags” protest signs, to the pioneering Episcopalian bishop Mary Glasspool—who proclaims a message of liberation and divine love, Chu captures spiritual snapshots of Christian America at a remarkable moment, when tensions between both sides in the culture wars have rarely been higher.
Funny and heartbreaking, perplexing and wise, Does Jesus Really Love Me? is an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual pilgrimage that reveals a nation in crisis.
“Poignant, at times painful, and spiced with wry humor, this is a must-read for LGBT people on their own spiritual journeys or anyone interested in reconciling religion with sexuality.” (starred review)
“The stories [Chu] relates are intriguing. . . . Revealing.”
“Outstandingly personable and appealing.”
“Compassionate, engaging. . . . Resisting easy answers, Chu deftly portrays the lived experiences of Christians-mostly gay, though not all. . . . Overall, the book brings complexity and humanity to a discourse often lacking in both.” (starred review)
Rob Bell, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About God and Love Wins
“In telling these stories–chief among them his own–Jeff has done an extraordinary thing, showing us all to the God who is big enough and loving enough and true enough to meet all of us exactly where we’re at. This book is moving, inspiring, and much needed.”
Stephen Prothero, author of The American Bible
“Finally an examination of Christianity and homosexuality that refuses to demonize either side. A smart and deeply personal exploration of one of the great public questions of our time.”
Benoit Denizet-Lewis, author of America Anonymous and American Voyeur
“Jeff Chu has written a masterpiece about sexuality and spirituality in America. In this unforgettable blend of reportage and memoir, he doesn’t demonize, ridicule, or pander to an ideology. Instead, he explores–and inspires. This is the smartest, and most humane, book about Christianity and homosexuality that I’ve ever read.”
Bernadette Barton, author of Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays
“People struggling to reconcile homosexuality and Christianity will find much that validates their experiences in Chu’s thoughtful book. Those confused why anyone would attempt to reconcile conservative Christian and gay identities will better understand the dilemmas gay Christians face after reading Does Jesus Really Love Me?.
David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University
“A beautiful, courageous, heartbreaking exploration. . . . Does Jesus Really Love Me? is both a moving personal memoir and a pivotal piece of reporting on what the deadlocked Christian fight over homosexuality is costing human beings, the churches, and our culture.”
Lauren Sandler, author of Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement and One and Only: Why Having an Only Child, and Being One, is Better than You Think
“This is a book for anyone who believes the church is unbroken, who feels they have no place in a world that disdains them, or who is looking for fellowship amongst courageous travelers striking their own path.”
Mark D. Jordan, author of Recruiting Young Love
“Jeff Chu is a smart and experienced guide through evangelical battles over homosexuality. . . . [He] leads us beyond the battlefields to unexpected scenes of hope. This is a sobering book, but above all a book of compassionate consolation.”
Donna Freitas, author of The End of Sex and Sex and the Soul
“Jeff Chu’s pilgrimage across America to discover his own place as a gay man in the Christian church as well as attitudes about being gay and Christian across denominations is at once timely, smart, poignant, disturbing, inspiring, and maddening. . . . Essential reading for everybody.”
Press + Media
Does Jesus Really Love Me? Interview with Doug Fabrizio
RadioWest – KUER, May 6, 2013
Doug’s guest is journalist Jeff Chu, author of the book “Does Jesus Really Love Me?” Chu calls himself a gay Christian … He joins us to explain why he says we’re a country that wants to love, but is conflicted about how to do so. [listen/read more here]
What God Wants by Dan Savage
The New York Times Sunday Book Review, April 14, 2013
There were moments when I wanted to throw this book across the room. In fact, there were moments when I actually did throw it across the room. [read more here]
Review by Erika Jeffers
The Big Q, April 11, 2013
As the battle for marriage equality pushes forward across the United States, Jeff Chu’s Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America couldn’t have hit the national debate at a better time. Chu’s brave, honest journey explores Christianity’s ultimate message of God’s love then questions the discrepancies found within the message of the religion’s foundation. [read more here]
Does God Love Gay Christians? Interview with Alex Cohen
Take Two – KPCC, April 1, 2013
The first line of the traditional Sunday school song, “Jesus Loves Me,” goes: “Jesus loves me, this I know/for the Bible tells me so.” Writer Jeff Chu wanted to know the answer to a pivotal question inspired it: As a gay Christian, does Jesus love him? [listen/read more here]
Love Is the Higher Law by Jeff Chu
Washington Post, March 26, 2013
All eyes are on the Supreme Court this week as oral arguments take place in two of the year’s most anticipated cases, involving same-sex marriage in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Pundits will parse the justices’ questions for clues. Churches will pray, and activists on both sides will rally.
But whatever the court decides, it won’t matter. [read more here]
Jeff Chu: Does Jesus Really Love Me? Interview with Tom Gjelten
The Diane Rehm Show, March 21, 2013
As the push for marriage equality makes strides across the U.S., Christian congregations reacted in different ways. In a new book, a gay Christian journalist tells of his yearlong pilgrimage exploring the intersection of faith and homosexuality. [listen/read more here]
Reading God’s Mind by Frank Bruni
New York Times, March 4, 2013
Jeff Chu was married last September, on the lawn of a house on Cape Cod, against the backdrop of an ivy-covered fence. About 80 people came.
His mother and father weren’t among them. [read more here]
- June 4, 2013 | 7pm
Des Moines, Iowa
Java Joe’s 4th Street Theater
- June 5, 2013 | 7pm
Iowa City, Iowa
Live at Prairie Lights
- June 22, 2013 | 2pm
East Sandwich, Massachusetts
- September 21-22, 2013
National Book Festival