That video, and nine other reasons I love Nadia Bolz-Weber

This week, Denver-based pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber was asked to speak about the "issue" of homosexuality for The Nines conference in the US. Instead, she sent in this video which showed gay members of her church explaining why they are as much a part of the Church as anybody else.

"Way too often, in the church, GLBTQ folks end up being the objects and not the subjects of discussions about their lives," she told the Huffington Post.

"I wanted to make sure that amongst the countless voices discussing the "issue of homosexuality" (which, let's face it, is pretty much a term only used by those who have issues with GLBTQ people) that there would be actual queer Christian voices present."

Not everyone will agree, but I thought it was a pretty marvellous move. It's not the only reason I think she's generally a good egg, though, so here are nine (see what I did there) more:

Alex Baker Photography

1. She looks like this

N B-W is the epitome of the good ole don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover adage. Yes, she is a muscle-bound, heavily tattooed lady with a mouth so filthy that she offers a disclaimer at the beginning of her speaking engagements. But she is also a traditional Lutheran pastor and self-professed "geek for liturgy". Yowza!

2. She likes Herod

Not like that. But N B-W thinks we have made the Christmas story, and much of Christianity, sentimental and schmaltzy, and ignored the gritty reality of suffering and infanticide. Some say put the Christ back in Christmas; N B-W says we need more Herod.  

3. She writes books

We know what you're thinking – what media-savvy Christian doesn't these days? But hers are refreshingly good. Check out her theological memoir, Pastrix, published last year, which got pretty near the top of the New York Times bestseller list on its release.

4. She "does" social media

N B-W has more than 25,000 followers on twitter, and while this doesn't say much about a person's character (the Adolf Hitler spoof account has 355,000 followers, after all), her tweets include gems such as: "Where's a girl to watch Doctor Who while at Greenbelt??"

Our sentiments exactly.

5. Her church is named after a TV show

Sort of. Maybe. Not really. N B-W is founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, known affectionately as 'House', for short. You know, like that drama where the British guy plays a cranky doctor specialising in rare diseases. Coincidence? I think not.

6. She's good with a slogan

N B-W's church is known for its openness to people from all walks of life, from 'soccer moms' to members of the LGBT community. This is her idea for a drag queen stewardship campaign tagline: "This s*** ain't free, so you best be tithing, b*tches". (Ok ok, I know it's not language your gran would approve of, but you have to admit, it would look pretty great on a t-shirt.)

7. She's funny

And by that I really do mean 'funny ha ha'. Before becoming a Christian, N B-W was a professional stand-up comic in Denver, where she developed a "mouth like a trucker" – and showing that no experience is ever a waste of time, her talks now benefit from a delivery style that's as humorous as it is engaging.

8. She's a hypocrite. But an honest one

While some pastors might be a little alarmed if a transgender person strolled through the door, N B-W says that she can be just as judgmental – but that her idea of what the 'outsider' looks like is a little different. She admits that when people walk into House who resemble someone's middle class parents, she has to be open minded about them coming in and, as she puts it, "messing up her weird".

9. She hates a rota

When someone rocks up at House, even if it's their first visit, they're invited to be involved in the service – whether it's doing the prayers or reading the gospel. This means the power doesn't rest solely in the hands of one person who draws up a weekly rota, but with the whole church. Of course, as N B-W is the first to admit, when you have members of the congregation doing all the jobs themselves, "sometimes they are horrible at it". But that's just the way she rolls.


Alex Baker Photography