By Jeff Walsh
When I heard Bruce Bawer was coming to town as part of his book tour, I immediately knew I wanted to attend. Partly because I had enjoyed his controversial book, A Place At The Table, which was released a few years ago, and partly because I expected controversy.
Since A Place At The Table was released in 1993, Bawer's name is constantly brought up in the gay press. He's against gay pride, sex-negative, conservative, assimilationist, you name it.
Walking to the Metropolitan Community Church, my view of how he was perceived was confirmed when people walking behind me referred to Bawer as being part of the Gang of Four, which refers to four recent outspoken "critics" of certain aspects of gay culture. (Michelangelo Signorile, Gabriel Rotello and Larry Kramer being the other three, I suppose).
I admit, I expected there to be some sort of scene during his question and answer period. The pastor of the church said members of Sex Panic! were in attendance, but just sat quietly and didn't say anything.
Bawer, on tour promoting "Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity," delivered his book reading from the pulpit of the church as he explained his motivation for writing the book, which explains how religion has gotten so far off-track in this country.