Rosaria Butterfield

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On lesbian identity
“My lesbian identity and my love for my LGBT community developed in sync with my lesbian sexual practice. ... we were proud, we wanted to be autonomous ... It was our hearts first, our bodies followed. I got it. I heard it, finally. I counted the costs and I did not like the math. This was my crucible, and it is my crucible. ... I still felt like a lesbian, but what is my true identity, I wondered? ... Why did I have to give up my girlfriend for Christ? Why couldn’t I have both? After all, can’t someone believe in Jesus, and be gay?

One: Can someone struggle with homoerotic attraction and be a faithful believer? Yes.

Two, but can someone unrepentantly embrace and deny as sin homoerotic lust, allowing it to flourish and root as a practice and an identity, and then add Jesus to this identity and then call this the Christian faith? No.”
— Rosaria Champagne Butterfield [1]

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is a former leftist tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University who in her late twenties, allured by feminist philosophy and LGBTI advocacy, adopted a lesbian identity, but later in her late 30s, while researching the alleged 'Religious Right' “and their politics of hatred against people like me,” converted to Christ and consequently left her lesbian partner and lesbian lifestyle. Now she is a confessional Christian, author, speaker, and a homeschool mother, married to Kent, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina.[2] Butterfield discourages usage of the term “gay Christian,” and she disputes conversion therapy,” in part because in her view the 'heterosexual sin' is no more sanctified than 'homosexual sin'.

Family background, education and research

Butterfield was raised and educated in liberal Catholic settings and she earned her Ph.D. from Ohio State University. After graduation, she served in the English department and women studies program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Her primary academic field was 'critical theory', also known as postmodernism, and she was specializing in so called 'queer theory', a postmodern form of 'gay and lesbian studies'. Her historical focus was 19th century literature, informed by Freud, Marx, and Darwin. She advised the LGBTI student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBTI goals alongside her lesbian partner. Their two houses they owned and lived in, one in the country and one in the university district, became hubs of intellectual and activist work. Butterfield was a coordinator of a welcoming committee in the gay and lesbian advocacy group, she was regularly invited to lecture on gay and lesbian studies at major universities including Harvard University and she also was giving a key address at local Gay pride march. In 1997, Butterfield wrote an article against the Promise Keepers, an international Christian organization for men. A response to that article triggered a meeting with Ken Smith, who became a resource on the 'Religious Right' and 'their Bible', a confidant, and a friend.


In April 1999, at the age of 36 and just few weeks shy of 37, when she was an associate professor recently tenured and also holding a joint teaching appointment at the Centre of women studies, Butterfield converted to Christianity after repeatedly reading the Bible in large chunks for her research. Her thinking was challenged by the letter of a local pastor who inquired about her basic presuppositions and asked her questions no one had ever asked her before. What began as an academic exercise to find fault with the Scripture and expose the darker side of Christianity ended, after a process taking two years of laborious Bible reading, with answers and a changed life that resonates in today's culture.[3] Her conversion lead to the cataclysmic fallout — in which she lost “everything but the dog,”[1] yet she believes thus she have gained eternal life in Christ.


  • The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith — In her first book Rosaria Butterfield describes, as a reflective English professor with a tenured position at a large university, events that led her from a cohabiting relationship with lesbian partner and animal activist to what she now describes as a “train wreck”, an encounter with something that turned her world upside down and changed her view on Christianity that she previously had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging religion.[4][5]
  • Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ — In this book, a followup to The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Dr. Butterfield not only goes to great lengths to clarify some of today’s key controversies such as those pertaining to terms like same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gay Christian, but she also traces their history and defines the terms that have become second nature today—even going back to God’s original design for marriage and sexuality as found in the Bible. She cuts to the heart of the problems and points the way to the solution, which includes a challenge to the church to be all that God intended it to be, and for each person to find the true freedom that is found in Christ. The book addresses questions of sin, identity, and repentance that Butterfield often encounters during speaking engagements.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Samantha Watkins (13 Mar 2014). Lesbian Professor’s Fall To Grace. The College Fix. Retrieved on 7 Aug 2016.
  2. Rosaria’s Story. Crown & Covenant Publications. Retrieved on 7 Aug 2016.
  3. An Unlikely Convert: A Former Lesbian Professor's Journey to Faith. FRC (12 Jun 2013). Retrieved on 7 Aug 2016.
  4. Rosaria’s Books: Secret Thoughts. Crown & Covenant Publications. Retrieved on 7 Aug 2016.
  5. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith Audio CD. Retrieved on 7 Aug 2016.
  6. Rosaria’s Books: Openness Unhindered. Crown & Covenant Publications. Retrieved on 7 Aug 2016.