The LGBT Bible App: Freedom of Worship and Capitalism on Full Display
Thanks to the First Amendment, American citizens have the right to worship God in the manner that we please and then we have the precious right to practice our beliefs as long as they do not encroach upon anyone else’s. There is no government authority that would penalize someone for their religious choices.
Under our free enterprise system, we also have the right to engage in commerce. That right to engage in commerce allows us to market our ideas to consumers and it is up to the consumers whether they will purchase or not. Of course, there are some limitations to that but generally that how capitalism operates in the United States.
A young lady by the name of the Crystal Cheatham has decided to take full advantage of American capitalism and the freedom of worship to create her own Bible app that caters to members of the LGBT community. It is obvious that many of the religious community has ostracized and condemned homosexuality. Therefore, that does leave members of the LGBT community who happens to be religious or spiritual out in the cold. There are little to no religious outlets for them.
Therefore, this is where Miss Cheatham’s Our Bible app comes into play. With an entrepreneurial spirit, she saw that there was a need in the market and has now made a way to satisfy that need.
Cheatham identifies as a lesbian Christian. She tells her story of how when she was younger growing in the fundamentalist Seventh-Day Adventist Church, she had problems coming to terms with her sexuality. Of course, many of young church-going homosexuals are experiencing the same thing that Cheatham experienced. Many church-going homosexuals struggle with self-esteem because of to be fully embraced by the religious community, they have to deny and hide their sexual identity. However, you can go to many congregations and would find many gays (closeted and open).
Cheatham left her fundamentalist background a while ago and has embraced her sexuality. However, she has not left her religion behind. She still holds to her Christian faith without being constrained by the rigid sexual code of the traditional church and there are many like her. They may call themselves progressive, liberal or modernist, but they are religious people that approach religion with a modern perspective.
Our young entrepreneur was searching for Bibles and commentaries that share that approach towards religion. Of course, because many of the authors and publishers of Bible and commentaries are of the fundamentalist mode, it was extremely hard for Cheatham to find religious materials that would align with her own perspective. Most of the Bibles and commentaries are very condemning of homosexuality. Cheatham was looking for religious material that would be affirming instead of condemning.
This is the main reason why she created the Our Bible app. The Our Bible app is unique in the world of religious material. There are many apps in which one can download versions of the Bible. However, with this app, you can download a version of the Bible that has gender-neutral terms in reference to God. Also, app users can click on commentaries that give a modern outlook on scriptures that they may be reading. Moreover, the Our Bible app gives many references to other literature and material that caters to a modern approach towards religion.
Of course, the new app already has sparked controversy from Christian fundamentalists denouncing it as heretical. However, that should be expected but this app is the freedom of worship and capitalism in exercise. If there is a market for this modernist version of the Bible, it will be a success. If there is not a market, it will fail. However, we should all commend Crystal Cheatham for being innovative and seeking to reach an under-served market.
For more info about the Our Bible app, please visit:
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