Oh, and honey, if you're reading this: I don't have an anti-Christian bias. (By all accounts, Jesus was a cool dude and the victim of some seriously bad parenting.) I have an anti-Christianity bias. There's a difference, and you've illustrated it beautifully. There's also a difference between "bias" and "hate," but I don't expect you to see it with those blinders on.
Dear Ms. Brio,
I was excited when I saw the one-line description of your By the Book anthology on duotrope. Finally, someone who gets Biblical erotica! But then, crushing disappointment to read the ignorant knee-jerk reaction that "inspired" (misuse of a beautiful word) the project.
Anti-Christian bias is just so... ew...
What you wrote: "Preachers who profess to know how their Lord wants us all to behave" - yes, indeed, Christianity is the revelation of God. And yes, God's revelation is for all people. Shouldn't it be? "By citing a couple isolated lines from Leviticus" - nope, there's a lot more than that, but anyhow Scripture doesn't work by adding up the frequency or the size to tell if something is important. (Gee, your **** is awful small, don't you want me to fondle your back?)
Furthermore, Christianity doesn't depend upon citing lines of Scripture. (Could you be a better lover to someone by carefully analyzing her emails, or by getting to know her in person over a long time? And if I tell my husband just once, "I don't like it when you do that," I expect him to listen. I shouldn't have to yell about it.) So the Christian Church has been in a married relationship with God over 2000 years, and before that at least 6000 years of engagement when it was called Judaism. That's a lot of tradition to back up the claims of the preachers, whether they are anti-anybody or not.
You can perhaps forgive the preachers for freaking out when they notice how quickly society has changed in their lifetime. It's like global warming in that way - a big, worldwide change that has snuck up on everybody but is probably somehow our own fault for being too quiet and passive. Except that nobody is celebrating global warming. Imagine how mad you'd be if you were a climate scientist and the ignorant folk were not only denying it and hating you but also celebrating the downfall of old traditions that limited how hot we can make our planet. Freedom to pollute as much as we want! Yay!
Am I getting through to you at all? Or are the erotic and environmental analogies too confusing? The woman's body is the land itself; she is Paradise; she is lovely and ancient as Earth...
Look, aren't you really touched that so many people think what you do really matters? And will tell you even when you don't want to hear it? That we are all connected? That God cares? And this God who cares is less like a force and is actually a Person with personal preferences about what happens to God's stuff (our planet, our selves). Maybe it is worth yelling about. And you know, not everybody is going to be good at explaining it or agree to be nice. (Just like some environmental activists are borderline terrorists and some are plain misanthropes, but that doesn't mean they don't have a point.)
I wanted to let you know all this because I care. And because I'm saddened that I won't be sending any of my other writing to you. I hope you can work through your problems and learn to write about love without bringing in hate.
It's good to be open. Now you've got to go in deeper, honey.