Out of Focus: My Story of Sexuality, Shame, and Toxic Evangelicalism
A blend of heart-wrenching memoir and astute cultural analysis, Out of Focus will help heal individuals harmed by evangelicalism's toxic influence and inspire Christian communities to pursue a path of love and inclusion.
When a mass shooter killed five people in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, grieving people graffitied James Dobson's Focus on the Family headquarters with the words "Their blood is on your hands." Such an accusation against evangelicalism comes as no surprise to Amber Cantorna-Wylde, whose father is a Focus on the Family executive and cast Amber out of her family when she came out in 2012. From severed family ties to hate crimes, such enmity is the fruit of a religious movement that considers it more faithful to reject your child or even to kill than to accept and love LGBTQ+ people. Evangelical organizations like Dobson's, along with pastors like Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, and Robert Jeffress, built an empire out of their conservative Christian beliefs and convinced millions of Americans that sexual purity, patriarchal families, and militaristic nationalism were God's priority. Cantorna-Wylde shows readers how the political and personal intertwine to cause shame and suffering that Jesus would never desire, including the long-term effects of identity-repression, trauma, and family estrangement.