Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet

Gay, transgender band breaks barriers in Christian music – by Student Blogger Maddy Oakes

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4909808In February 2013, Amanda Greene wrote an article for the Religious News Service about a ‘break through Christian band’ – Micah’s Rule.

The musicians who make up the band have very similar backgrounds to other Christian artists: “Grew up singing in the church. Preacher’s son. Then became a preacher. In many bands. Degrees in music and ministry. Recorded some albums. Toured with Christian music legends. Even struggled with their faith along the way.”

One of the unique aspects of this Christian band is that it is made up of Greg McCaw, Chasity Scott and Mary Anne Hewett, a gay man, transgender woman and a lesbian.  The members rightly say however that they “don’t want their sexuality to define them. They want their music to be the centerpiece of their life and ministry.”

The group have rocketed quickly onto the Christian music scene after first performing together only a year ago at  Hewett’s brother’s funeral.  They have now recorded their first album ‘Walk the Road’ under the direction of famous producer Mark Moseley and are currently on tour.

In light of the ever-present tensions between faith communities and the LGBT community the story of Micah’s Rule does seem to be a positive step in the direction of acceptance on both sides.  However, the comments on the online copy of Greene’s article demonstrate how the Bible continues to be used to support homophobia: many commenters refer to 1. Cor. 6:9-10, stating that the unrighteous (fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards) will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Whilst another comment speaks of ‘hating the sin not the sinner’ (i.e. it is permissible to be homosexual so long as you don’t act on those desires), this reminds me of the ideology of scholar Ben Witherington III.

So despite the breakthrough of Micah’s Rule onto the Christian music scene, it seems the tensions between faith communities and the LGBT community are ever prevalent.  Consider for instance, gay singer Jennifer Knapp, although she argues her sexuality was not the reason why she left the Christian music scene she has said: “Any time that I would express my own theological view in public that didn’t fit the evangelical mould, I was finding it was making my job difficult.”


Author: Hidden Perspectives

A research project within the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) at The University of Sheffield.

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