James Loney in downtown Baghdad advocating for detainees, before the kidnapping.
In Part 1 of my discussion of the new book 118 Days: Christian Peacemaker Teams Held Hostage in Iraq, I mentioned readers might have some trouble finding a copy. The problem actually goes back further: CPT had a hard time getting the volume published.
CPT found another church press -- and once again, found themselves confronted with a demand to cut the two men's love story just as the book was about to be printed! They decided to self-publish, concluding:
So when Loney was kidnapped in November 2005, CPT and his friends did everything they could to keep the truth out of the media. This wasn't easy. He was a prominent peace activist who made no secret of his orientation.
Dan Hunt and Jim Loney lived in a Toronto Catholic Worker community. A friend there, William Payne, tells a poignant story in the book of what they had to do to try to protect Loney.
And so, Jim's people, and above all his partner, erased themselves for the duration. The closet is deeply self-destructive, but it had to be accepted for a friend. Above all, it meant that those closest to Jim would not openly receive and/or acknowledge the emotional support from Jim's well-wishers of which they were the object. The hostage crisis caused much inner re-evaluation among these LGBT Christians, put them in contact with Muslims struggling with LGBT issues in their own communities, and seems to have strengthened CPT's commitment to full equality for gay people.
Christian Peacemaker Teams took a brave step for the full inclusion of gay people in the lives of their churches by refusing to edit out this aspect of the kidnapping story.