Nearly two years after marrying retired U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach, following her divorce from longtime husband Craig Melton, author Glennon Doyle said society will eventually accept a broader spectrum of human sexuality beyond “gay” and “straight.”
Speaking to an audience at Christian Community Church in Naperville, Illinois, Doyle said sexuality and gender have always existed on “a wide, beautiful spectrum,” during an event where her wife was promoting her new book Wolfpack: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“It’s just that sexuality, a lot like faith, is a very powerful, mysterious, gorgeous, life-changing energy that is beyond our control or our understanding,” Doyle said. “And human beings, we don’t like things that are beyond our control or understanding. We take these gorgeous mysteries, and we try to contain them.”
Faith and sexuality, she argued, are like water and religion and sexual identities are like glasses that try to contain them.
“We’re like, ‘Fit your big, juicy, wide, mysterious self in this glass,” she said. “We’ve got two. We’ve got straight, and we’ve got gay.”
Doyle noted that with more people identifying in groups like bisexual, pansexual and bicurious, she believes the “glasses system” will be done away with.
“What I think will happen eventually is we won’t keep adding glasses,” she said. “We’ll remove the glasses system. I think everyone is scared gayness is contagious. I don’t think gayness is contagious. But I’m absolutely positive that freedom is contagious.”
Wolfpack is based on a graduation speech Wambach delivered at Barnard College in 2018 in which she encourages women to throw out old rules and live by new ones.
About halfway through her speech at the church on April 11, the Tribune reported that Wambach flipped the script and started asking her wife questions, which led to her controversial comments at the church.
“You have had an interesting journey in your sexuality, your gayness, whatever you want to call it,” Wambach said. “Tell me about your journey.”
Doyle told the crowd about a woman who attended one of her talks once.
“She said, ‘I have a question, and I don’t know where else I can ask it. My granddaughter is now my grandson, and my niece went to homecoming with a boy last year, and this year she’s going with a girl. And now you’re gay. I don’t mean any offense at all. I just came here tonight to ask, why is everybody so gay all of a sudden?’”
She then went on to share her comments, including concern over increasing homelessness among LGBT youth.
“I’m a church lady,” Doyle said. “I speak at churches all over the place. I’m a Sunday school teacher. But I also know that many, many churches, from their pulpit, preach shame to these families. And then these families turn around and preach shame to their kids. And then their kids leave, and they’re on the street.”
She explained that she and her wife are now promoting a different message to save people.
“We’re pulling people out of the river,” Doyle said. “But also, every single day, we’re looking up the river and giving living hell to the institutions that are pushing people in.”
When asked about Doyle’s comments and whether the church supports her message on Monday, a church representative told The Christian Post that she would describe their theology as “conservative.”
In their statement of faith, Community Christian Church notes that: “God divinely inspired human authors to write the sixty-six books of the Bible. He communicated through these writers the values, principles, and ideals which please Him and are in our best interests. We believe the Bible is entirely accurate, complete, and reliable.”
The representative referred further questions to their lead pastor, Dave Ferguson, and executive pastor, Doug Leddon, but they were not immediately available to discuss the event.
It was further noted that the event was hosted by Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville, which rented the space from the church to promote Wambach’s book.
Kris Nugent, manager of Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville, confirmed with CP on Monday that the church was aware of the event, which about 900 people attended, and said she wouldn’t describe the church as “conservative” based on her experience with them.
“This is a venue that we’ve used for many different kinds of authors. We’ve worked with them a lot. All kinds of different events. Kids events, adult events, nonfiction, we’ve had David McCullough there … it’s just a relationship that we have with them,” she said.
She noted, however, that they did not know Doyle would have been a part of the event until after the space was rented.
“We actually didn’t know that Glennon Doyle was going to be part of this event until several weeks after we had booked it (if the concern was that). The event was for Abby Wambach and her book. And this is one of just two places that Glennon actually joined her for the event,” Nugent said.
She said she wasn’t sure if the church was eventually informed about Doyle’s participation at the event but noted that in any case, no one can predict what an author will say once they start talking.
“We don’t know when an author starts speaking what exactly they are going to talk about. They are not given direction that they’re only allowed to talk about what’s in your book. They are given the stage,” Nugent said.
She noted that if they were aware that Doyle would be discussing a topic as controversial as human sexuality inside the church, they would not have booked that particular space.
“I don’t think if that was the case that their book was about (human sexuality) that we would even ask to have them there,” Nugent said. “It wasn’t for Glennon … what she discussed was not something that we could have predicted.”