Candace Chellew-Hodge is a United Church of Christ minister and founder of the online magazine Whosoever for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Christians. She is an award-winning former television and radio journalist, having worked as a news writer, reporter, and editor with CNN. In this sane and spirited paperback, Chellew-Hodge presents a thoughtful and practical survival guide for those who are constantly under assault in a homophobic culture. To make it through, she advises, one needs to have a "bulletproof faith." We know that we are in the good hands of a caring and compassionate Christian when she states in her acknowledgements: "To all my 'enemies' who condemn me, argue with me, and challenge me to delve deeper into my relationship with God and to develop a bulletproof faith I say, this book would have been impossible without you."
Imagine what it would be like to grow up in a society that told you repeatedly that you were sick, sinful, worthless, and an abomination to God, doomed to eternal damnation. This abuse has led many GLBTs to suicide while others have abandoned God or religion. Chellew-Hodge advises GLBTs to put on the armor of God. This bulletproof faith includes righteousness, truth, peace, salvation, and Spirit. In a wonderful section titled "Spiritual Survival Tips," the author delivers wisdom that is timely and relevant. She states:
"1. Developing a bulletproof faith is a process, long and nonlinear. It may involve taking one step forward and two steps back. There will always be chinks in your armor that will need repair. Stay vigilant.
"2. Trust the inner voice that guides you. If you do, you'll discover you know how to defend your faith already. Know that your inner voice is God revealed in your authentic self. Trust that voice above all others.
"3. Respond to any and all attacks with gentleness and reverence. Resist the temptation to respond with the same viciousness with which you are attacked. Show love to everyone you meet.
"4. Resist the temptation to let the opinion of others lead you to spiritual suicide. No attack, no matter how violent or severe, can kill your faith. Only you have the power to kill you faith.
"5. Do not seek a bulletproof faith so that you can flaunt your strength or to try to defeat others in battle. Instead seek to become bulletproof so that you no longer feel the need to fight."
In addition to this sagacious advice, Chellew-Hodge discusses the importance of learning to love the questions, taking the Bible seriously but not literally, dealing with your anger and doubts, coping with dangerous situations by befriending your fear, not taking any attack personally, realizing the ways in which enemies can become spiritual teachers, and forgiving those who have harmed you.