by Jim Piechota
Jesus in Love by Kittredge Cherry; Androgyne Press, $ 18.95
Sure to both spark controversy and light a fire under religious conservatives, Jesus in Love, Kittredge Cherry's sensuous, courageous, and unique reanimation of Christ's life as a bisexual, begins with the Holy Spirit whispering, "Let's make love" in Jesus' ear, and just gets frothier from there.
From those less-than-humble beginnings, the narrative dramatically details Christ's life as an empathic visionary while remaining relatively true to Biblical history, with some slight variances, like Jesus' close, sex-positive interaction with his disciples, who converse in contemporary language and hip slang as if they're gossiping at a Castro cafŽ. It's slowly revealed that not only is Jesus of indeterminate sexuality, but of an unspecified gender as well, since the author chose not to "limit Christ's sexuality to a single approach."
Cherry's novel is narrated in Jesus' first-person perspective, making it one of the most unorthodox Biblical interpretations on bookshelves today. The author is hard at work on the sequel, Jesus in Love: At the Cross. Readers not wanting to taint their impression of the traditional story of Jesus may want to steer clear of this book, as Cherry's "Queer Christ" turns the conventional Bible on its ear by brazenly embracing same-sex attraction, most notably with John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene. In certain scenes, the novel feels as if it's been written for sheer shock factor alone. But Cherry wholeheartedly believes in her religious book series. "Too queer for most churches, but too Christian for most queers," this is revolutionary religious fiction that simply requires an open mind to enjoy.