Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived from 1906 to 1945. Photo courtesy Joshua Zajdman/Random House

Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer gay? A new biography raises questions

(RNS) A new biography is raising questions about the life and relationships of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an anti-Nazi dissident whose theological writings remain widely influential among Christians.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived from 1906 to 1945.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived from 1906 to 1945.

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Both left-leaning and right-leaning Christians herald the life and writings of Bonhoeffer, who was hanged for his involvement in the unsuccessful plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. Bonhoeffer was engaged to a woman at the time of his execution, observing that he had lived a full life even though he would die a virgin.

The new biography, “Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” from University of Virginia religious studies professor Charles Marsh, implies that Bonhoeffer may have had a same-sex attraction to his student, friend and later biographer Eberhard Bethge.

“There will be blood among American evangelicals over Mr. Marsh's claim,” Christian Wiman, who teaches at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, wrote in a review for The Wall Street Journal. But there's been no bloodbath yet, at least considering a few initial reviews.

“Marsh makes a convincing case that Bonhoeffer harbored feelings for Bethge that extended beyond friendship,” writes Timothy Larsen, a professor of Christian thought at evangelical Wheaton College, in a book review for Christianity Today. “Those feelings were unrequited, and Bonhoeffer probably did not consciously acknowledge them. Still, Marsh notes, he was possessive and smothering in his attention.”

A 'complex' relationship

Bonhoeffer and Bethge shared a bank account, gave gifts under both of their names and slept by warm fires, read books, traveled and played the piano together, Marsh writes. "Bonhoeffer's relationship with Bethge had always strained toward the achievement of a romantic love," Marsh writes, "one ever chaste but complete in its complex aspirations."

Marsh suggests Bonhoeffer’s engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer as an imitation of Bethge’s engagement to Bonhoeffer’s niece in an effort to remain close to his “soul mate.” Bonhoeffer left his fiancee a memento of her choosing from his belongings, while Bethge received most everything else, including his car, clothes, books, music and money.

Though Marsh does not use the labels “gay” or “homosexuality,” Bonhoeffer is portrayed as the suitor while Bethge wants to remain friends. Many of the evangelical reviews downplay but don’t dismiss the connections Marsh makes between the two.

“It fascinated me at first, but I grew tired of Marsh directing the camera angle of every scene so as to rather heavy-handedly keep it in view,” Larsen wrote.

In a book review for The Gospel Coalition, a network of Reformed evangelicals, B&H publishing editor Devin Maddox praises “Strange Glory” for its theological nuance and historical context but also finds Marsh’s focus on Bonhoeffer's attractions to be distracting, comparing him to another another popular 20th-century author, C.S. Lewis.

“Similar to speculation regarding the nature of C. S. Lewis’s relationship with Jane Moore, the nature of Bonhoeffer’s friendship with Bethge will serve as a distracting conversation point for the foreseeable future,” Maddox wrote. A review in First Things suggests similar frustration but cautious admiration for the book.

Frank Schaeffer, son of the late evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer, wrote a provocative post titled “Dietrich Bonhoeffer Was Flamingly Gay -- Deal With It.” In a response at World magazine, Janie Cheaney seemed skeptical but accepting of the idea that Bonhoeffer may have been gay.

“The firestorm Schaeffer is expecting from evangelicals has yet to ignite, either because few of us have heard of `Strange Glory' or because the general evangelical attitude toward homosexuals is not quite as hateful as he thinks,” Cheaney wrote.

Speculation without confirmation

Marsh, who grew up Southern Baptist and says he has “evangelical sensibilities,” described the reception from other evangelicals as surprising, thinking they might be more dismissive of the biography. In contrast, he has not heard anything from more left-leaning groups and institutions, including Union Seminary, the progressive seminary where Bonhoeffer studied under famed theologian Reinhold Niebuhr during his time in the U.S.

“I think theologians are often terrified of what we’ll discover when we go more deeply into human character if we say that a person had very complicated relationships with character, psychology, formation and sexuality,” Marsh said. “There’s a fear that if we probe too closely the biographical origins of theological and religious conviction that we’ll be inclined to say these ideas that we thought were objective are systematically precise descriptions of God and expressions of character.”

The cover of Charles Marsh's new book, "Strange Glory."

The cover of Charles Marsh's new book, "Strange Glory."

The idea that Bonhoeffer may have been gay or had same-sex attractions regularly comes up at Bonhoeffer conferences, Marsh said. But out of respect for Bethge and family members, no one had formally broached the subject. Many Germans who were gay were persecuted under Hitler’s regime.

“It was not my intention to sensationalize this, but to capture this relationship, this partnership, with as much respect and honesty and artful attention as I could,” Marsh said.

Although Marsh speculates Bonhoeffer harbored affections for his friend, his biography is one evangelicals can embrace because Marsh writes that he believes Bonhoeffer died a virgin, according to Wesley Hill, who describes himself as a celibate gay Christian.

"It presents a more complex picture of how friendship can involve romantic feelings but, at least as I read it, wisely withholds judgment about whether this means Bonhoeffer had what modern psychology would term a homosexual orientation," Hill said in an email. "From my perspective, there's nothing about the way Bonhoeffer comported himself sexually or romantically that would be clearly outside of evangelical boundaries."

Several scholars who also study Bonhoeffer praised Marsh’s work overall, but some were concerned about the conclusions drawn about Bonhoeffer and Bethge.

“As a general rule of thumb, it’s safer not to speculate on someone’s sexuality unless they tell you,” said Reggie Williams, assistant professor of Christian ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary, who is working on a forthcoming book about Bonhoeffer’s time at Union. “We’re reading that from our current context of gay rights, but I think that does injustice to his own context and understanding of masculinity in an era that doesn’t correspond with our own.”

In writing his biography of Bethge, University of Cape Town emeritus professor John W. de Gruchy said he arrived at the same conclusion about Bonhoeffer as Marsh did.

“Bonhoeffer might well have been attracted to other males, but there is also no evidence at all that would suggest anything more than attraction,” de Gruchy said in an email. “In addition, although there was some awkwardness in his relationship with his fiance Maria von Wedemeyer, partly because of age difference and his own reserve, I don't think there can be any doubt that he loved her, and she him, and that they both looked forward with anticipation to their marriage.”

Letters between Bonhoeffer and von Wedemeyer were later published in "Love Letters From Cell 92." After Bonhoeffer's death, she moved to the U.S., marrying and divorcing, twice.

An 'open, engaged and cosmopolitan kind of Christian'

For years, the biography of Bonhoeffer considered by scholars to be the most comprehensive was one written by Bethge titled "Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Theologian, Christian, Contemporary." Bethge spent much of his life popularizing Bonhoeffer's works, according to his obituary in The New York Times. In 1994, Marsh published “Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” which Bethge endorsed before his death in 2000, praising it as a “theological sensation."

Marsh’s biography comes on the heels of a popularized biography of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, a writer and speaker based in Manhattan. Metaxas' 600-page biography, published in 2011, took off among evangelicals, selling more than 600,000 copies.

Since its release, Metaxas' book has sometimes received criticism for connecting Bonhoeffer’s Holocaust situation to modern-day America. A Christian Century review, for instance, suggested Metaxas hijacked Bonhoeffer for his own purposes.

Nevertheless, the book gave Metaxas a private audience with former President George W. Bush and a public audience in front of President Obama, when Metaxas gave the keynote address at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast.

The two biographers focus on Bonhoeffer's affections differently. Marsh wrote that Bonhoeffer had never had a girlfriend before his engagement. "A long-distance friendship ten years earlier with a student named Elizabeth Zinn had dissolved in confusion," he wrote.

Metaxas, on the other hand, writes more about Zinn, quoting from Bonhoeffer's letter to von Wedemeyer where he writes that he was once in love with another girl.

Metaxas declined to comment publicly about Marsh’s biography. Marsh said he read some of Metaxas’ book, but he wanted to avoid reading other biographies to avoid allowing them to influence his own, which he began writing in 2007.

“I’m actually grateful for this uncommonly intense debate about Bonhoeffer’s life and legacy that the Metaxas biography and the phenomenon has inspired,” Marsh said of Metaxas’ book. Some scholars say the biography overshadowed a 2012 one written by Ferdinand Schlingensiepen, a German scholar who was close friends with Bethge. Attempts to reach Schlingensiepen were unsuccessful.

Although there has been a spate of popular and academic Bonhoeffer books in recent years, Marsh said, the theologian hasn't risen to the same level of popularity as someone like C.S. Lewis. But Bonhoeffer, Marsh said, crosses so many boundaries and brings so many diverse Christians into conversation that his legacy is similar to that of Martin Luther King Jr.

“To be open, to be engaged, a cosmopolitan kind of Christian does not mean we have to give up our particularity of our conviction as Christians,” Marsh said. “To confess the creeds and the mysteries of the Christian church does not mean we don’t live our lives as an embrace and welcome of others. That’s a Christian for our time.”

Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” and “Life Together” are staples in some Christian homes, and many Christians point to his story to illustrate bravery in the face of hardship or persecution. But too many Christians have tried to turn Bonhoeffer into a saint, said Nancy Duff, a professor of Christian ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“It’s highly problematic that we have a difficult time viewing Bonhoeffer as a real human being who had weaknesses and strengths,” Duff said.

Marsh has been willing to challenge assumptions about Bonhoeffer, she said.

“I’m glad evangelical Christians find resources in Bonhoeffer, but you can’t turn him into an American evangelical,” Duff said. “The same can be said for liberal Christians with his traditional theological language. Both sides have to look at the whole picture and be challenged by his work.”



  1. And this matters how? Homosexual behavior is still sinful whether he struggled with it or not.

  2. All things gay is the best clickbait.

  3. When a man who belongs to a group of people who, at a rate of 50%, legally tear apart their families so that they can go and start a completely new one with a completely new heterosexual, makes public statements about sin and morality, he should know that to others, he will appear to be a bigoted, hypocritical doofus.

    You’re welcome, Frank. Bless your heart.

  4. A group of people? You mean humanity?

    I guess a cogent response was too much to ask for.

  5. While exploring the connections between Bonhoeffer and Bethge might be sensational enough to grab headlines, to try to affix a “gay” label on him posthumously seems unfair and irresponsible. And frankly, unnecessary. The LGBT community is very outspoken about not letting others apply labels to anyone. So was Dietrich Bonhoeffer gay? Based on the fact that he didn’t openly embrace that label, don’t we have to say “No”? Further, the term “gay” is ambiguous. Does it mean “attracted to those of the same sex whether one pursues it or not” or does it mean “desiring/pursuing a relationship with someone of the same sex”? They are two very different positions that both, somehow, elicit the “gay” label. This whole topic, in regards to Bonhoeffer, seems to unfairly shift the focus away from Bonhoeffer’s much-deserved legacy. Whether he was or wasn’t in love with Bethge, a woman, or both.

  6. Haha. Good point bill.

    By a secular standard though, heterosexual divorce and remarriage is no sin. A person who sees gay marriage as ok and a moral right as no internal dogma filtering to see the hypocracy in bills comment should he be divorced.

    You’re likely projecting. Based on assumptions.

  7. Only Frank Schaeffer takes Frank Shaeffer seriously.

  8. Notice the wording


    It other words, there is no proof, they are just trying to claim that everyone in the world is gay. It just hasn’t come out yet

    I hereby raise questions that Obama is secretly Santa Clause. Book to follow

  9. Disclaimer. ..I haven’t read this book and so I could be way off base. But I have to give it to the author, the best time to write a biography is 69 years after the person is dead and 15 years after the only other person that could verify the book is also dead. needless to say I’m a skeptic.

    It makes no difference to me if Bonhoffer was gay or not. It also makes no difference to me if he was sexually active or not. But really? is it ethically responsible to speculate about this when there really seems to be no evidence? It raises a few questions however.

    1. Doesn’t being gay mean having a physical and sexual desire for the same sex? is there any evidence of that at all?

    2. Am I the only one who believes that heterosexuals can have an extremely deep and loving friendship with the same sex to the point where it doesn’t compare to any other, but yet never seeks to find any expression physically or sexually because that desire is simply not there.

    Anyway… I love Bonhoffer so I may get the book… And maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.

  10. Kudos to Tyler. I especially appreciate his closing line: “Whether he was or wasn’t in love with Bethge, a woman, or both.”

    Is it possible to be attracted (sexually and/or otherwise) to more than one person? Absolutely. Almost everyone is. Heterosexual men are attracted to many a woman superficially and sometimes more deeply. The same men can demonstrate behaviors of attraction in relation to a close male friend with or without conscious sexual and/or romantic thoughts. Are such men “gay” or bisexual? In most cases, no.

    Attraction isn’t the end all. How we choose to focus our thoughts and feelings and actions is what counts. 32 years ago I got engaged and a few months later got married to then Miss Renee Shawn Hord. I’ve been 100% faithful to her, and she to me. Then again, Renee and I would be lying through our teeth if we said we’ve never been attracted to another woman or man.

    Again, attraction isn’t the end all. For the record, I’m attracted to beautiful women. I’m very happily married to one. I’m not attracted to handsome men. Those last three lines don’t make me any better or worse than the next guy. It’s simply (1) how I’m wired and (2) how I have chosen to be wired.

  11. its comical watching the gaystapo…lemme put it this way..any time the gaystapo attacks a business, an individual, or anything else its probably a good bet that’s the righteous path you should take…i personally only buy at places like chick-fil-a that the gaystapo has boycotted and attacked..makes it easier on me knowing where to shop and the like..

    ps: Bonhoeffer gay is like saying Hitler provided the Jews free housing and medical care..the author of this book also must have a secret love affair with Goebbels..Goebbels would have approved of this misinformation attempt…

  12. Wow. Gaystopo? “Proof” for someone being gay? Sexuality stained with absolutism.
    Thanks, Tyler for a bit of sanity. However, if someone has not come out, the answer would not be “no,” but “we don’t know and it’s not relevant.” He loved his friend. Good for him. Don’t drag him into our sex-obsessed culture.

  13. It is not plausible at all that Dietrich Bonhoeffer should have been gay. This would not go together with the very (extremely) holy character he had got. The good reputation of Bonhoeffer is confirmed by many witnesses. It is almost a crime to claim that he had been gay.That is evil defamation.

    History is the sum of all real events ever have taken place. Any stories which don’t refer to real events which really happened, are fairytales. It is a crime to try to rewrite history against one’s better judgement.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the greatest saints together with St. Paul, Luther, Augustine, etc. Bonhoeffer overcame his sinful nature through the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection. Bonhoeffer knew that he was connected with this releasing power through faith and sacramental baptism. Bonhoeffer was member of the Protestant church “Altpreussische Union”. Bonhoeffer was convinced that baptism and Lord’s Supper were sacraments. Bonhoeffer did not regard these rituals as mere symbolic acts, but believed that God would act during that rituals.

  14. Anyone who has ever served in combat, or under enormous physical or psychological stress over a long period of time, will bond with those with whom the experience(s) is directly shared. So, Larry, you make a good point in #2 above. My oldest and best friend and I flew together in the service and would, without ever stating it, have risked, or even given our lives for each other, and we both share love on that level. Yet I am saying nothing more about that relationship than the words that appear here in their simplest and most direct meaning. Period, end of story.

    Whether Bonhoeffer was gay or not, it’s pretty clear he never acted directly upon those feelings beyond what his culture at that time considered correct. But, I ask, who cares??? His value to us as Christians is to reiterate the committment even unto death at the hands of the unjust that may be required of Christ’s desciples. He shows us the truth of the old adage that ‘we owe God a life.’ Anything else is muddying the waters.

  15. In Ferdinand Schlingensiepen’s (International co-founder of the DB Society) whose own biography on Bonhoeffer,(and update to Bethge) released the same month, by T&T Clarl/Continuum, as the EM work by Thomas Nelson, includes a statement by DB’s close friend, Eberhard – on page 393 – where EB categorically denies this claim. Ferdinand’s father was a student at Bonhoeffer’s “illegal seminary” and wrote nothing about this in his work on Bonhoeffer – released in 1953. Hmmmm????

  16. Say what you like about it–call it “sinful” if you’re one of those so-called christians who reject science – including the behavioral sciences – but as a gay guy who’s been out and about in the world–gay and non-gay–for over 40 years, the passage I’ve quoted below sounds to me like they were in love. And i know no place in the bible that says being in love with a person of the same sex is “sinful.”

    “Bonhoeffer and Bethge shared a bank account, gave gifts under both of their names and slept by warm fires, read books, traveled and played the piano together, Marsh writes. “Bonhoeffer’s relationship with Bethge had always strained toward the achievement of a romantic love,” Marsh writes, “one ever chaste but complete in its complex aspirations.”

    “Marsh suggests Bonhoeffer’s engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer as an imitation of Bethge’s engagement to Bonhoeffer’s niece in an effort to remain close to his “soul mate.” Bonhoeffer left his fiancee a memento of her choosing from his belongings, while Bethge received most everything else, including his car, clothes, books, music and money.”

  17. True. Loving someone is not a sin. Being physically intimate, romantic and trying to make something a marriage is the sinful part.

  18. Ever since the homosexual lobby succeeded in convincing the majority that sodomy is normal, healthy, and greater than mom’s apple pie, every historical figure is now under scrutiny or claims make they were homosexual or lesbian. Just as the history of the world has been rewritten to reflect the views of the atheist, pro-Communism/Socialism/terrorist.

  19. The media is inflamed with all things gay. Raising a question about the orientation of a Christian leader who lived in the early portion of the last century is very low-taste on the part of a media outlet that, I would think, places a high amount of value on itself and takes itself seriously.

  20. Let’s just ask D.B. if he is or isn’t… oh we can’t because he’s dead! Here is a quote that may help those of us alive. 1Th 4:11 And that you may take pride in being quiet and doing your business, working with your hands as we gave you orders;
    Notice; that conjecture and speculation are missing. But that doesn’t sell books does it?

  21. your comments hold water only if you believe being gay is something negative tending to detract from his character and his reputation generally. Otherwise, no. The overall tone of this thread demonstrates how deeply and subtly entrenched homophobia is among many religious people. Even the postings of some of the less antagonistic people here reveal it.

    The matter of his being gay is interesting because so many people in public life and elsewhere who trumpet their “christianity” are so nasty to gay people–to the point of violence or approving violence. That Bonhoeffer, whose witness to the Cross was one of the most Christ-like testimonies imaginable, may turn out to have been gay kicks homophobia in its teeth. And ought to. In no way should – or would – his being gay be as problematic as it is in this discussion if so many so-called christians weren’t consumed with hatred of gay people. That’s why raising the issue is important – especially in a venue like this.

    The flip-side of it is all that so many very public, very visible so-called evangelists and other conservative so-called Christians in public life are so often caught with their pants down with a person of the same sex – that person often turning out to be a rental.

    Whatever can be done to expose this flaming hypocrisy is fair game. I’m sick unto death of so-called christians who have so much to say about this issue while ignoring the science that totally debunks their attitudes toward homosexuality.

  22. “Whether Bonhoeffer was gay or not, it’s pretty clear he never acted directly upon those feelings beyond what his culture at that time considered correct.”

    There is simply no way to verify that. But other evidence cited in this article most definitely suggest the type of intimacy shared by people in love with one another. The ambiguity of the picture – their engagements, etc – may easily be attributed to the perceived necessities of the world in which they lived.

  23. sounds like you suffer from the delusion that being gay makes it impossible to live a holy life. you’ve got a lot to learn, bro.

  24. Engaging in homosexual behavior and a holy life are mutually exclusive.

  25. How dare you?
    Fascism. That is all you are about.

  26. @Frank,

    Why don’t you just go out and kill the gay people like your God commanded?

    “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

    At this point you appear frustrated that civilization won’t let you behave the perfect, BARBARIC way your God wants you to.

    Only when religion vanishes will there be peace in this world.
    It is inhuman nonsense.

  27. What is the point of this new biography?

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a shining example of a Christian. A man who loved Christ and was willing to give His life for the Lord. I find him inspiring. I believe the point of this biography is to SELL. Everything “gay” sells. I believe there is an agenda here. The Metaxas book is very good. I would recommend it.

  28. By “secular standard” you mean by rational, sane and objective standards. “Lacking internal dogma” meaning an acceptance of arbitrary, ridiculous and irrational outside authority.

    We can’t all find such ready made excuses for immoral and harmful behavior like religious people. So convenient when you want to be a raging jerk towards others. So uncluttered with consideration.

  29. So unless a book advances your belief, it has no value?

    As many point out, being a Christian and being gay are only mutually exclusive to a certain subset of the faith. One which is pretty vocal in their bigotry and short sighted arguments as of late.

    Of course the agenda here may be shedding light on something which although may be true, makes people like yourself uncomfortable. Fundamentalist Christians are not know for being receptive to views or facts which go against their predigested dogma.

  30. Oh no, a person who is often name checked and wildly misquoted by religious conservatives might be gay!

    Quick, get my clutching pearls and fainting couch!!!

  31. Very well said. Your logic perfectly sums up the matter.

  32. Frank Schaeffer only gets attention because he abandoned the faith of his influential father. I view him as anything BUT an authority on matters involving evangelical.

  33. This falls into the same category of those who claimed Sam and Frodo in LOTR were gay because of their close friendship and loyalty. It appears the author is just trying go gain attention when no one involved can speak out.

  34. @RHB,

    You said, “It is almost a crime to claim that he had been gay. That is evil defamation.”

    What a despicable thing to say.

    Most people are good.
    Most Good people will do good.
    But if you want otherwise good people to say and do absolutely sickening things, you will need god.

    The relentless evil of jesus is an ongoing disgrace to this world.

  35. I’d say you don’t know much about marriage except what you can regurgitate from a catechism or extrapolate from the bible – which is, by no means, a consistent, reliable source to use to buttress your narrow conceptions of what a marriage is.

    But in my experience, I’ve consistently found that the less learned someone is the more sure he is in his opinions.

    Well, have at it. As Napoleon said, never interrupt your adversary when he’s making a fool of himself.

  36. well, Deacon, I’d certainly agree that “there is an agenda here.” Yours seems to be one of intolerance that can’t abide the idea of a gay person living a life of holiness. You also seem unable to abide tellingthe truth about a brilliant star in the life of the church if it includes that this star may also have been gay.

    Can’t have it both ways, bro. Christians have bludgeoned gay people, time out of mind. Maybe the agenda and message is, “you have been wrong; now it’s time to stop.”

  37. I have studied the issue quite extensively and homosexual behavior is still sinful and marriage is till man plus woman.

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  42. It’s all about getting publicity and selling books.

  43. The first person who commented on this write-up asked the question,’and this matters how?’. I would like to answer here that though engaging in homosexuality is wrong, and having same sex attractions,though a disorder, is not, it does matter if Boeheffer did have same sex attractions,because that is the extent all the writings about him have suggested, it does matter because it shows us, it shows the world, that those who have same sex attractions can live Holy Lives, can be Holy and Chaste, and can even be Saints. Our world today needs such saints. Saints that would show us what True Love is, amidst the crisis of it, amidst the weaknesses that has plagued it,. It matters to those who have same sex attractions and are engaging in homosexuality that they do not have to because it is contrary to the order of love which they should have amongst them, the divine love that they should share. Bonhoeffer did other things with berthge that strebgthened that love..not contradicting the love they both had for God,bringng God into it, and living in the Love of God.

  44. Thank you for your well thought out and well presented position here. I agree with your statements and am just repulsed by those who insist on throwing sex into every topic, at every turn. Who cares what people do under the covers! This man is now and will always be a hero of mine. Nobody can truly ruin the truth of what this man did, how he lived his life and the bravery he showed the world as he fought one of the greatest evils this world has ever known. What have THEY done to make the world a better place? Consider this: The gestapo knew everything about everyone. They hated homosexuality…… along with other things. If they knew Bonhoeffer was gay, don’t you think they would have killed him on the spot?

  45. While divorce shows a moral failing, there is no 50% divorce rate amongst heterosexuals, and never has been in the United States. It is a myth repeated ad infinitum — by those against marriage and by those against divorce — until everyone, out of shear ignorance of the facts, has accepted it. It is not unlike the growing acceptance that gays are “born that way.” Repeat a lie out of ignorance and soon the whole of society accepts it as a fact.

    Point being, per the 2010 US Census, the national divorce rate is 3.5%. (The highest divorce rate in America is in a county in Indiana: 19%.)

    Nonetheless, the mere fact that one person sins isn’t an excuse for another to sin, and is most certainly an illogical basis upon which to redefine sin. So if Bonhoeffer was tempted, he nonetheless resisted, and therefore did not commit that which he considered sinful, apparently. Temptation is not a sin.

  46. LOL…Thank you for that comment. It helped! I admire Mr. Bonhoeffer very much, as a Christian man who gave his life for what he believed in.

  47. Marsh has a limited understanding of relationship between same sexes in other cultures. Cultures of Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe would not look at all at the relationship between Bonhoeffer and eberhard as being homosexual in nature. This is the kind of friendship/relationship that most Americans are not capable of understanding. And if you do not have understanding, don’t write a book to prove that you do not have understanding. What a moron.

  48. This assumption about Bonhoeffer’s sexuality is pure speculation. I suspect the author is capitalizing on the high profile that homosesxual issues have in current society. One could write something suspecting gay interests about nearly any famous person, and with the right ghost writer and agent turn it into a popular, if not “best” seller. On the other hand, the excellent novel based on Bonhoeffer’s life, Saints and Villains by Denise Giardina, boldly suggests that Bonhoeffer had a female friend with whom he was intimate in the 1930’s. Try that for another view of Bonhoeffer’s sexuality and see which one you are satisfied with.

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