Alex Blaze

Queer music Friday - Jennifer Knapp

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 16, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Jennifer Knapp, queer music

Christian music star Jennifer Knapp came out as a lesbian this week. Another artist this week I had never heard of until now, but she sounds great. Here's her big hit, "A Little More."

There was a great interview with her in Christianity Today that's definitely worth reading if you want to know more about how this evangelical Christian reconciles her faith with her sexuality. She said:

The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place--between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the "clobber verses" to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they're eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about. I'm not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn't allow homosexuals within our church. There's a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I've been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place.

Anyway, here's a cover of Shawn Colvin's "Diamond in the Rough."

This is another song from her, "Martyrs and Thieves."


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Regan DuCasse | April 16, 2010 6:03 PM

Girl can SANG!
With or without the approval of anti Christians, she's a strong and wonderful talent.
With or without their approval, she can love God and God love her back.

Thank you Alex. I enjoyed the linked article. People of faith have been blinded IMHO by gross and malicious doctrines and creeds of blind theologians. Change is finally happening and slowly people are rejecting the concept that homosexuality is a sin. I think the scales are falling from their eyes and they are seeing that the abomination is self exaltation and judging others. That is what Jesus spoke to in many of his parables. Luke 18:9-14 is one example. Matthew 24:40 is another.

I can't understand why gay Christians always say:

"I am surrounded by people who do not consider me their equal, but I think I'll stay because Jesus would be proud of me."

I don't know Jesus, but from the stories I've read, I think he'd want you to stand up for yourself, not approve-by-participation religious bigotry.

Her music is beautiful. Now, she just needs some integrity and a little courage.

Andrew, you don't see both the courage and integrity she has already shown?

No. Coming out isn't courageous, although it is honest. But, most of that is erased if you continue endorse being "made wrong" by continuing to support the institution by continuing to participate. She refused to take a stand based on "theological grounds." It is simply human to support equality, nobody needs any Jesus.

Anyone who believes in our full equality should never accept, excuse or support a church that demeans and devalues us.

Someday, gay Christians will say "I'm gay and I'm leaving unless you clean up this mess." People take a stand when they so "no more," not when they become the token lesbian singer at the homo-hating evangelical church.

still partially closeted college girl | April 28, 2010 7:03 PM

You're crazy. Coming is out is scary and hard. You can lose friends and family members. Facing that possibility and asserting your identity in the face of a culture that constantly belittles it takes a whole lot of courage. I can only imagine how much more it would take if you were considered a public figure and Christian role model.

"Coming is out is scary and hard. You can lose friends and family members.

Yes, because you could lose them because of religion. Courage would change that.

Entertainers coming out is a lot easier than young people living in Oklahoma or Alabama - very religious States. She deserves some credit for speaking up, but it's not courageous.

Uh, Knapp *is* courageous. She left Christian music. Said she didn't want people who didn't believe what she's doing to be a part of her music, or buy it. Said she didn't expect to be played on Xian radio or sold in Xian stores anymore. I think she's made her point time and again. It's *courageous*, dude. She's from *Kansas*. You might try knowing about what you're speaking on before telling a woman who's a public figure in a very unforgiving (as this goes) sector of society that she's not courageous to your liking. Good grief.

I wrote another piece on this for a music site, StereoSubversion.com. See my URL. Holler.

Someone waking up is hopeful, not courageous.

Great post about Knapp and her life and music. I wrote a commentary piece about this also, on a music site, from the perspective of the gay believer I am:

http://stereosubversion.com/commentary/on-the-occasion-of-a-christian-rock-chick%E2%80%99s-coming-out-04-20-2010/

Andrew I think you are wrong on several counts but then you don't attend a church do you?

No, I prefer Brunch on Sundays.

I take a bunch of friends and we talk, laugh and enjoy each other. We share ideas and stories. Nobody makes anybody "wrong" at Brunch. Or unequal. Or deviant.

You should try it. It's fun.

Funny man. I laugh, talk and enjoy life always even when I am at church. I'm sorry anyone makes you feel unequal or deviant. I have never granted anyone that power in my life.

How cute. Nobody makes me feel unequal or deviant. That's what Christians have done for 2,000 years.

You still haven't found a Christian denomination that has formally rejected the teaching that "homosexuals are wrong, sinful and deviant." It is still a Christian belief.

You certainly have a valid point there Andrews but do you not realize that Christian doctrine actually teaches that all humans are wrong, sinful and deviant? The problem I see is that religious leaders fail to focus enough on the fact that those who judge others are inexcusable. People like Jennifer who have integrity and courage are the ones who will bring balance to the teachings. Those who go to brunch instead of church simply allow it to fester or even become more unbalanced. I call that avoidance but if it is where you are comfortable then I will not condemn you for it. I wish you all the best. Via con Dios amiga.

Christianity teaches that all humans are "sinners," but only homosexuality is "wrong, sinful and deviant.

A man lying with a woman is not an "abomination."

We don't need faux heroes to bring "balance" to these harmful teachings, we need people to take a stand and try to STOP these teachings. Withholding contributions and participation would be a good start. Continued participation = approval.

If a country club was "whites only," would you remain a member and try to "balance" that position? Would that be courage?

Homosexuality is not "wrong." Your attendance at Churches that continue to teach that provides your endorsement of that harmful belief. That belief is the primary source of all our problems.

Nobody makes us wrong at Brunch. If they did, they'd be put out of business because we wouldn't go. Try that with your Church.

Andrew you do make valid points. I do not believe homosexuality is wrong, just to clear up that matter so you won't wonder. I would enjoy further discussion on these matters with you but I did not intend to hijack this thread nor do I believe that was your intent. For the moment let us agree that we have different approaches to the topic.

Beautiful voice, and for her sake I'm glad she's really out.

But she still sounds massively screwed up on so many different levels. I agree with Andrew, as long as she still tries to maintain her membership of the club which presumes to know what "normal" is (much less tangibly punish those outside their definition), then she's a part of the problem. Not only would I not buy her songs, but I wouldn't give her some kind of instant soapbox of "being a spokesperson" that seems to be automatically bestowed on every other closeted celeb who come out. I would also warn people that Christian musicians who differentiate themselves from that "scene" often make hair-brained statements about their newfound progressiveness and the communities of which they're supposedly now tolerant... eg Katy Perry.

Gina a church is not a "club" IMHO. I also think Jennifer is part of the solution. Look at the contrast. We have the Pope and his minions protecting gay priests and heterosexual pedophile priests and we have loving homosexual believers coming out of the closet living in love. These are the dynamics of change taking place before your very eyes. The results will not be rapid but they will come.

You can't have it both ways Deena. You slap the Pope and yet half of all Catholics disagree with their church, but do nothing about it.

Instead of thinking about one church competing with another for members ($), how about encouraging religious people to stand up for equality. Sitting quietly under the newly hung "rainbow flag" isn't courageous and it doesn't create real, sustainable change.

I'd love to discuss this more because I understand it is important to the LGBT Community - it is part of the solution. Brunch sometime?

Rev DonnaTara Lee | April 17, 2010 5:16 PM


When I read all these comments about christianity I am so glad that I have rejected such hatred and condemnation. I live today as a proud " Out Transsexual Bi white Light Pagan priestess. " How nice it is to live simply by 8 wonderful words, " Do as Ye will, last ye harm none. " So sayeth the Wiccan rede and so Mote it be as that is how I live. Think about the wonder of living those 8 words.

spigliatezza | April 18, 2010 1:42 AM

@ ginasf, you said: "...as long as she still tries to maintain her membership of the club which presumes to know what "normal" is (much less tangibly punish those outside their definition), then she's a part of the problem."

I think the dichotomy between the Christian community and the LGBTQ community that's being created here is problematic. I also think it's an unfortunate tendency to demand a certain type of behavior from public figures just because they happen to be LGBTQ. Or, for that matter, to demand a certain type of behavior from LGBTQ individuals just because they happen to be public figures. Why should it be Ms. Knapp's responsibility to disavow a religion that she finds comfort in or to come out with guns blazing, ready to take on the activist mantle? (to be fair, you did criticize the tendency to give an "instant soapbox of 'being a spokesperson' that seems to be automatically bestowed on every other closeted celeb who come out" - I think we agree about that)

As a side note...one of my friends gave me a Jennifer Knapp CD for my birthday in high school. Said friend was Christian, I was not, but I enjoyed her music, and I wish her luck in this next stage of her life.

I don't think anyone suggested that Jennifer should "disavow a religion that she finds comfort in or to come out with guns blazing, ready to take on the activist mantle."

I think we said her "coming out" wasn't courageous.

spigliatezza | April 24, 2010 11:58 AM

ginasf specifically said she was "part of the problem" as long as she "tries to maintain her memmbership of the club", which I took to mean that she thought Jennifer Knapp should give up her religion. Of course, now that I think about it, she could have meant that Jennifer Knapp should give up an affiliation with Christian music. So maybe I was wrong. My bad.

Wow, I think this is the most comments ever on a Queer Music Friday post!

Jesus will do that.

(Comment #21)

It is amazing isn't it Andrew. Jesus was a radical who went to his crucifixion knowing it was coming and choosing to die for his beliefs. Now 1977 years later when someone stands up for those same beliefs and tells the religious bureaucracy they are wrong in how they interpret Scripture (just as he did) some people call them lacking in integrity and courage.

Comparing the lesbian singer to Jesus? Who's next Obama?

Now why would I compare Jennifer to Obama? BTW, where's a good place for brunch?