Veteran graphic novelist Chester Brown's new book, Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus: Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible (Drawn & Quarterly), presents comic-book versions of Bible stories involving prostitutes. The libertarian-leaning Brown is a partisan for the quasi-heretical belief among some outré Bible scholars that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a prostitute.
But Brown's larger message goes beyond just whether God can forgive, or even glorify, women who sell sex for money—though Brown is sure He can. In a detailed prose afterword, Brown offers up evidence for his own esoteric take on scripture: From Cain and Abel to Job to Jesus' parables of the Talents and the Prodigal Son, Brown insists the Bible tells us that God admires and rewards those who don't follow the rules.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "The Good Lord Loves a Rebel".