Amazon Exclusive Essay: God Believes in Love by Gene Robinson
Perhaps you are the aunt or uncle of a young woman who has been living her life with another woman, and now you're invited to their wedding, and although you love her, you're not sure how you feel about marriage for two women. Or maybe the co-worker who came out to you a couple of years back has now invited you to his wedding to another man, and you're not sure if you should go, being uncomfortable with the whole notion of gay marriage. Perhaps you're a member of a church in a denomination that now blesses same sex unions, but can't understand how, as a Christian, your church can officially approve of and support such a relationship. Or maybe you want your denomination to be more accepting of gay men and lesbians and their relationships, but you don't know what arguments to use in convincing your fellow parishioners that this would be a good thing. Maybe you are gay or lesbian yourself, but can't seem to find the words which would help your resistant parents or judgmental sibling in accepting you and your beloved partner, and you're looking for a book to give them which would answer their misgivings about you and your relationship. You may feel that changing the definition of marriage after thousands of years is a risky and unwise thing to do. Or perhaps you have a desire simply to learn more about this social change phenomenon which seems to be sweeping the nation and its religious institutions.
Maybe you're concerned that gay marriage threatens the separation of church and state and is a threat to your church and what you believe. You think of yourself as being somewhat supportive of gay people, but this "marriage thing" goes a little too far, and you're looking for help in sorting through the religious, legal and social issues raised by the affirmation of gay relationships. After all, isn't it better for children to be raised by a mother and a father? And doesn't the Bible clearly condemn homosexuality? And you don't have time to read one of the books which deals with only one aspect of this issue.
I wrote God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage just for you!
There's a lot to sort through in this issue that seems to be sweeping the country, and arousing fierce passions in its wake. I have tried to imagine a conversation between me and you. In countless conversations I've had with people just like you, I have heard and understood the legitimate concerns and questions you have about gay marriage, and each one of those concerns/questions becomes the subject of a chapter in the book. Using good theology, reasoned secular arguments and a respectful tone, I have attempted to make the case that citizens of the United States and members of religious communities should be supportive of this development in our common life.
While I may not convince you of the rightness of gay marriage, I at least hope to open your minds and hearts to the possibility that this could be a responsible, godly and wise development. I even think it might make it possible for you to go to that gay wedding you've been invited to, with joy and appreciation for the love exhibited between these two people. Because in the end, God believes in love!
“An invitation to recognize the power and possibility of marriage for all people . . . Written with a pastoral heart and considerable academic insight, Robinson effectively argues the importance and value of strong marriages . . . a thoughtful theological approach.”
“A family-friendly, easy to read book that explains the necessity of gay marriage to the masses . . . courageous . . . erudite . . . conveys complicated principles with ease.”
“Conversational and essayistic . . . methodically argued, cogently and brightly written, structured as chapter-length responses to commonly voiced questions about, and objections to, same-sex marriage . . . consistently Christian but also pervasively liberal.”
—The Boston Globe
“[A] mix of reasoned logic, personal experiences, church teachings, and social science . . . The underlying tone is one of compassion and genuine hope for meaningful shift toward acceptance of same-sex unions . . . gentle with moments of humor . . . a solid entrance into the LGBT-affirming worldview.”
“Reasoned . . . Robinson's strength is his willingness to see these questions from another perspective . . . Sober and well-structured.”
“Couldn’t be more timely, nor more authoritative . . . Robinson does yeoman’s work at arguing [the gay-marriage debate] concisely.”
About Gene Robinson
“My friend, Bishop Gene Robinson, has long been a voice for equality—not with anger or vitriol, but with compassion and faith. He has been guided by the simple precept that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
—President Barack Obama
“For someone in the eye of the storm buffeting our beloved Anglican Communion, Gene Robinson is so serene; he is not a wild-eyed belligerent campaigner. I was so surprised at his generosity towards those who have denigrated him and worse. Gene Robinson is a wonderful human being, and I am proud to belong to the same church as he.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Nobel Peace Laureate
“Gene Robinson is no revolutionary: he upholds marriage as a sacred covenant, but knows the same covenant theology can include same-sex partnerships too. For living this truth he has been scapegoated—not for being the first gay bishop, but the first honest one. By God’s grace he had stayed strong, still trying to love his enemies into friends. One day the Church will understand what it owes him.”
—The Very Rev. Jeffrey John
Dean, St. Alban’s Cathedral, England