Austin Christian author, speaker, I-35 ranter and HGTV star Jen Hatmaker caused a controversy in conservative Christian circles last week when she gave an interview to the Religion News Service where she criticized Donald Trump and said she believes an LGBT relationship can be holy.
“From a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side, any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love,” Hatmaker said in the interview. “And they should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends.”
This wasn’t the first time Hatmaker expressed these views. Back in April, she wrote a Facebook post in support of gay Christian teens.
But others weren’t so supportive. LifeWay Christian Stores, the Southern Baptist bookstore that sells bibles, Christian fiction, self-help books and other Christian items, announced two days after Hatmaker’s interview was published that they would no longer be carrying her books online or in its 185 brick-and-mortar stores.
“In the past, LifeWay Christian Resources published several resources with Jen Hatmaker. In a recent interview, she voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage—changes which contradict LifeWay’s doctrinal guidelines,” LifeWay’s statement read.
That’s where local bookstore BookPeople comes in.
The North Lamar independent book cornerstone announced in a Facebook post Monday that they would be ordering more copies of Hatmaker’s books in an attempt to counteract LifeWay’s boycott.
Support poured in from local bookworms.
Shortly after BookPeople’s announcement was posted, Hatmaker responded to the criticisms in a post on her Facebook page.
“I’m not here to defend or explain right now. I have very open hands here. I have nothing to protect, nothing worth losing that I am not afraid to lose. I have zero agenda for myself. I don’t feel self-protective or defensive or scared or angry. I am neither trying to gain applause or start a war,” the post reads in part.
Hatmaker’s most recent bestseller, 2015’s “For the Love,” is partly about how to “engage our culture’s controversial issues with a grace-first approach.”
Her other books include “Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity,” about ” the author’s messy journey through life and church and into living on mission”; and “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess,” which tackles the excess consumerism of American life (and was published by a LifeWay publishing imprint).