The experience – which stopped short of Kurek getting physically intimate with other men – is documented in Kurek’s recent book “The Cross in the Closet,” which has received international attention, landed him on ABC’s « The View » and elicited some biting criticism.Ugg à lacets The book is the latest entry on a growing list of experiential tomes revolving around religion. They include Rachel Held Evans’ recent “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” in which the author follows the Bible’s instructions on women’s behavior and Ed Dobson’s “The Year of Living Like Jesus,” which had the author “eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the Sabbath as Jesus observed.”For Kurek, his year as a gay man radically changed his view of faith and religion, while also teaching him “what it meant to be a second class citizen in this country.”
For years, Kurek says, the only life he had was “his church life.” Being an evangelical Christian was his identity.He was home-schooled until seventh grade, almost all of his friends were from church and his social life was a nightly string of faith-based events,Ugg à lacets from church sports to a Christian Cub Scout troop. “It was the only thing I was used to doing,” said Kurek, who attended Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in the world, before dropping out after freshman year.Kurek grew up in an “independent Baptist church.” “We were evangelical,” he said, “but we were more conservative than evangelical, too.”
His churchy lifestyle led to some deeply held views about homosexuality. Most evangelical churches condemn homosexuality as sinful. Many rail against certain gay rights, like gay marriage.“I had been taught to be wary of gays,” Kurek writes of his beliefs pre-experiment. “They were all HIV positive, perverts and liberal pedophiles.”Those views began to be challenged in 2004, when he first encountered Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group,Ugg à lacets on Liberty’s campus. The group made the school an important stop on its cross-country tour targeting colleges that they alleged treated LGBT people unfairly.Kurek was struck by what he had in common with the protesters at Liberty. “It really impressed me that people who were coming to push their agenda were able to do it and be so nice about it,” he said.