Is Shane Claiborne Getting Married Like LeBron Leaving Cleveland?

If you haven’t heard, this weekend thousands of single female Christian university students and graduates cried all weekend upon hearing the news that Shane Claiborne is getting married to a woman named Katie Jo Brotherton. They even have a wedding site. Yep, Katie Jo is the Kate Middelton of the neo-monastic world :). For some, this is like LeBron leaving Cleveland. Right now there are countless women burning their fair trade, organic, cotton Claiborne jerseys and shredding their copies of Jesus For President. From Facebook/Twitter and a few personal conversations, people are not only surprised but some have expressed disappointment. And though I haven’t actually seen it yet, I imagine there’s some Neo-reformed young woman that tweeted, “Farewell Shane Claiborne”. My question is why?

Before we go any further, a post like this only makes sense in the blogworld in our little subculture of Relevant/Hipster young adult Christianity. This is really none of our business. But in a world that has lost its sense of privacy and that loves to Senifeldize every detail of life … here we are.

It’s true that Shane had expressed that he had chosen celibacy. It’s true that many of us saw that as part of his radical message of revolution seeking the simple way of Jesus. It’s also true that Shane became a Christian rock star by his radical way of life. That’s all ok.

I created the rumor today that Shane Claiborne was seen at Target, IKEA and Macy’s filling out their wedding registry (they actually have one at Alternative Gift Registry but I couldn’t find it). Of course, I have no idea what Shane Claiborne did today, again, is isn’t my business, but in all honesty, I have no problem with him and his fiance filling out a registry, leasing a Toyota Prius and/or a Ford Explorer and moving out to the suburbs of Miami tomorrow or in years to come.

Here’s why:
1. It’s not just ok, but absolutely wonderful for a someone to fall in love and decide to get married.  (As a married guy, I highly recommend it … provided it’s with the right person).
2. I find the vow of celibacy to be a pretty suspect idea IMHO.
3. If the guy who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye can get married, why can’t Shane? (I know the book is about the return of courting but I still think it’s funny though I am happy for Josh Harris, his wife and family).
4. Purely hypothetical: What if as the years went by, Shane felt that he desired the company of a woman? He doesn’t owe anything to anyone to not purse that desire. Frankly, I’m just glad that he hasn’t gone the scandal route and had numerous affairs in the back of his Bentley. In some sense, it’s quite brilliant for a Christian celebrity type like a Shane Claiborne to take on a vow like this. For one, it gets rid of some of the “Christian groupies”. Second, it creates space for them not to have to expend a great deal of mental energy to deal with this dynamic. I imagine it’s great deal of pressure to be a single man in the Christian public eye.

So what’s next for Shane and his beloved? Will they stay at the Simple Way until they have children and move out of Kensington? Will they write a couple’s devotional published by Zondervan The Irresistible Soulmate: Living as an Extraordinary Married Couple in the American Suburbs. Will the Arcade Fire be their wedding band?

What I really think and hope is that Shane and Katie Jo will continue to pursue the will of God in their lives, bringing hope, justice and redemption to this world as they follow Jesus. I and many wish them the best.

All I really know right now is that countless Christian women are doing their hair and makeup because they are spending the day stalking Don Miller. Run, Don, Run.


  1. “If the guy who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye can get married, why can’t Shane?” = awesome!

    I am actually really excited for Shane! I am interested in how his marriage will affect his ministry.

  2. Hey man, so you don’t know me but I just googled “Shane Claiborne getting married” and you showed up. I really enjoyed the post, and it made me laugh. But Shane never made a vow of celibacy. On the contrary, in his (and John M. Perkins) book “Follow Me To Freedom” he comes out and says that he’s been praying about whether to marry or not. So yeah, I wouldn’t say he vowed but he did show a lot of single guys (like myself) that you can live a beautiful life as a bachelor.

    But I dig the post…especially the end.

  3. @Patrick, thanks for reading and commenting – glad you enjoyed the post.
    It’s been a while since I’ve read it but I thought he talked about his vow of celibacy in Irresistible Revolution.

    In any case, he has inspired many in a few different ways and that’s very cool.
    Again thanks for reading – See you around Patrick.

  4. Well said Tim. Even if every Christian could take a few years to do what Shane has done, the world would be a better place. I’m glad that he has been able to follow God’s lead through each season of his life.

    And you’re totally right, this is the “royal wedding” for the neo-monastic group… Right on with that one!

  5. Dan Austin says:

    Maybe after all these years he found out he did not desire the company of a woman but rather the company of Katie Jo. He said he could have continued to be perfectly happy being single and that he didn’t marry her for sex, but rather because he came to love her.

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