Coming Soon: John McNeill & “Taking a Chance on God”, On Film, On-Line.

For some time, I have been reading reports of a documentary film on the life and ministry of the pioneer gay theologian, John McNeill, in production by Brendan Fay, one of the producers of “Saint of 9/11”, on the life and death at the World Trade Towers of Father Mychal Judge, the gay Franciscan chaplain to the NYC fire department,By way of a comment he has placed here today, I can now pass on the good news that a trailer for the film, which takes it title from one of John McNeill’s books, will shortly be available on-line:

Just wanted to inform all that in a few days a trailer to the documentary on my life and ministry will go on-line, at  “Taking a Chance on God”. ( The complete documentary will be premiered in December.

McNeill's Book of the Same Title


John McNeill was an early pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian theology with his first book “The Church and the Homosexual”. This brought him into difficulty with the Vatican and with his Jesuit order, and for a while he was forced to cease writing on the subject. Later he left the order to continue his work as writer and psychotherapist, which has received wide acclaim. After nearly 50 years in ministry to gay and lesbian people, he still continues to write regularly, and blogs at Spiritual Transformations, where he has this to say about Fay’s documentary:

Despite almost 50 years given over to a ministry to bring a message of God’s love to LBGT people and challenging the falsehoods in Church teaching on homosexuality, my message has scarcely scratched the surface. In a recent poll among young Christians in the USA between the ages of 16 and 29, 91 percent said that their first association with Christianity is that it is anti-gay. Fundamentalists from the USA have convinced the people of Eastern Africa to pass laws criminalizing anyone who tries to help gay people and sentences gay couples to death.

Precisely at this moment there is a desperate need to produce a powerful witness to the profound goodness and even sacredness of gay relations as part of God’s creation. Young GLBT people all over the world need to hear a consoling message that liberates them from false shame and guilt over who they are, a message that clearly proclaims the message of God’s love for them!

John is not more specific on timing than “in a few days”, and for now the site says only “coming soon”. Meanwhile, make a note of the URL for accessing later. I hope to have an update when the site does indeed go live.

Books by John McNeill:

The Church and the Homosexual

Freedom, Glorious Freedom

Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair

Taking a Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Lovers, Families, and Friends

Sex as God Intended

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