Martin, RJ. “The Body”, Harmony Ink Press, 2015).
Christian and Gay
Jonah Gregory is a gay teen with very strong yet unconventional faith. He really believes that Jesus Christ is gay. He is sure that Christ returns his love for him just as he does for Christ. Jonah even planned to become a priest but then he met Rusty, a closeted teen and the son of a romance writer. Jonah thinks that Rusty looks just like Jesus and soon finds himself in a dilemma. He has trouble deciding which is more important, his sexual biological desires or the calling to serve his faith. It becomes even more difficult because every time he looks at Rusty he sees Jesus. While he deals with this, he receives support from his parents.
RJ Martin writes with emotion and sensitivity as he brings us Jonah’s story and I could not help but think that this is a wonderful book for young gay Christians who are having a rough time reconciling their faith with their sexuality. Jonah’s situation is by no means unique and one of the biggest issues in the LGBT community has to do with finding ways to bring religion and sexuality together.
RJ Martin certainly gives us some ideas to think about and for me that is what literature is all about. Here we have a story of one boy’s deep faith that is challenged by who he is. While we do not get answers, we read how Jonah deals with this challenge and we learn something about the four “F”s—family, friendship, first love and faith. Jonah is a character that we can see ourselves in. Love, after all, is like faith, personal. He is at the doorstep of adulthood and wants to make sure that he is making the right decision.
When I think of how many coming-of-age stories are out there, I understand how difficult it is to be original yet this is a book is totally original and fresh. I love that there is humor and pathos here but even more important are the ideas we read about and they are so very important.