When Jeff Chu came out to his parents as a gay man, his devout Christian mother cried. And cried. Every time she looked at him. For months. While it’s no secret that America’s Christians are deeply polarized about homosexuality, how did this schism come to be?
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. Chu sets off on a search to discover the God “forbidden to him” because of his sexuality. Surveying the breadth of the political and theological spectrum, from the most conservative viewpoints to the most liberal, he tries to distill what the diverse followers of Christ believe about homosexuality, and to understand how these people who purportedly follow the same God and the same Scriptures have come to hold such a wide range of opinions. Why does Pastor A believe that God hates me, especially because of my gayness? Why does Person B believe that God loves me, gayness and all?
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. Both funny and heartbreaking, perplexing and wise, Does Jesus Really Love Me? is an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual pilgrimage that reveals a nation in crisis.