Christian bookshops drop famous writer because he supports LGBT equality

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A Christian book chain is dropping an influential writer, because he said LGBT people should be welcomed.

Eugene Peterson is a well-known evangelical author who has written over thirty books, including modernist Biblical translation ‘The Message’.

The author, who is influential within religious circles, found himself on a receiving end of a backlash this week after he spoke out on same-sex marriage.

Mr Peterson had given an interview to Religion News Service in which he said his views on LGBT people have evolved, adding: “I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do.”

Eugene Peterson

Speaking about changes within the Presbyterian Church to permit same-sex unions and gay clergy, he said:” That kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over.

He added: “We’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good… it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”

The comments have led to fury from book chain LifeWay, which has responded to the interview by banning Peterson’s works.

In a statement to Christian Today, LifeWay said: “LifeWay only carries resources in our stores by authors who hold to the biblical view of marriage.

“We are attempting to confirm with Eugene Peterson or his representatives that his recent interview on same-sex marriage accurately reflects his views.

“If he confirms he does not hold to a biblical view of marriage, LifeWay will no longer sell any resources by him, including The Message.”

LifeWay is an affiliate of the Southern Baptist Church, which is strongly opposed to LGBT inclusivity.

It is not the first time a well-known Christian figure has been shunned over LGBT rights.

Trey Pearson, lead singer of popular Christian band Everyday Sunday, came out as gay in an emotional letter last summer.

Pearson was later dropped by a Christian music festival over his sexuality and has been shunned by the anti-LGBT elements within the faith music world.

Another Christian music megastar, Vicky Beeching, came out in 2014, and faced similar treatment.