Building a Bridge by James Martin

Father James Martin is one of my favorite authors and speakers. I first learned about him watching the Colbert Report back in the day. Martin is able to provide a sound, smart, and loving response to any situation. He doesn’t just talk in theological abstract, instead, he provides genuine advice for action.

To say it bluntly, the Catholic Church (and all organized Christian religion) in America has a lot of problems lately. With blatant cover-ups, extreme hypocrisy, and brazen callousness, organized Christianity is not very popular at the moment.

Nowhere is this most obvious than in the relationship between the institutional church and the LGBT communities. There is not a lot of affection between these two.

In this book, Martin wants to build a bridge between these two communities. He readily admits that the institutional church burned the first bridge. From the Vatican to the layperson, the LGBT community was casted aside. Martin implores respect, compassion, and sensitivity towards the LGBT community. The church ought to be a place where everyone feels accepted even if we have differences.

Martin does mention the need for both sides to practice respect, compassion, and sensitivity even though the church is the major culprit. Bridges go both directions. Forgiveness goes both directions.

This is a short but interesting read. It felt like a long blog post than a book. If you are looking into a theological dive into the church and LGBT issues, this is not the book. If you are looking for a faith that loves everyone, as God does, this is the book for you.