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Hate Thy Neighbor: How the Bible is Misused to Condemn Homosexuality Paperback – October 31, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Linda Patterson is a civil litigation attorney who lives in San Diego, California. Ms. Patterson was raised a Christian, but became an agnostic while taking courses in biblical studies at a Methodist University. After graduation, she married her college sweetheart- a man who she was with for nearly 7 years, until she recognized at the age of 28 that she is a lesbian. She attributes her belated realization to the homophobia that had been instilled in her as part of her Christian upbringing. She also believes that the constant onslaught of hatred and negativity that is directed at homosexual people by many Christians is based upon widespread misconceptions about what the Bible says about homosexuality. She therefore took a sabbatical from her legal career to rigorously research the issue of homosexuality and the Bible, and to share her discoveries in Hate Thy Neighbor: How the Bible is Misused to Condemn Homosexuality.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Infinity Publishing (April 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0741452154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0741452153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda J. Patterson is a civil litigation attorney who lives in San Diego, California. Raised a Christian, Ms. Patterson became an agnostic while taking courses in biblical studies at Seattle Pacific University. Some 20 years later, she took a sabbatical from her legal career to further research the Bible, and to share her thought-provoking discoveries in Shattered Scriptures.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Houston Burnside Jr. on August 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ever so often a work is crafted with such insight and passion that it becomes the standard by which other works on the same subject are judged. In grappling with the subject of homosexuality / sexuality and the bible, Linda Patterson brings a refreshingly clear perspective about what many have left to the purview of theologians. Tackling the standard "baseball bat" passages...bringing to the table sacred texts that the church would just as soon forget...opening the door on the dichotomy between what the Judeo-Christian scriptures say verses what the proof-texting interpretations proffered by many major and minor religious groups proclaim: Ms. Patterson's method draws the reader into a dialogue with the Divine at a level, though unintended, that challenges the believer and agnostic alike to wrestle with God for the truth behind canonical inspiration.

I whole heartedly recommend this book, both for the religious and non-religious alike. Let its pages inspire you to question the majoritarian miss-use of the Divine for political purposes. And, allow its process to draw you out of complacency, challenging the propaganda of those loud bullies whose twisted measure of the Holy is exclusion, hate, objectification, and separation.

Rev. Houston Burnside, Jr.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Norm on August 12, 2010
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This book covers much of the same ground that other recent books do in examining those biblical passages used to condemn homosexuality. The author is agnostic rather than devoutly Christian, however, and in individual chapters she offers her own analysis of the verses in Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Timothy and 2 Corinthians that Christians associate with homosexuality. The analysis of these scriptures in itself offers little that is new, although her perspective as a doubter gives her a somewhat different focus.

The author does add additional chapters on subjects not often included in similar reviews, including a summary of harsh and condemning statements about homosexuals by "devout" Christians; a review of Biblical creation myths used to condemn or dismiss same-sex loving relationships; the love stories of David and Jonathan and Naomi and Ruth; an examination of the "family values" associated with Abraham, David, and Christ; and a review of the strong biblical support for slavery and how Christians justified using it. It was not until 1995 that the Southern Baptist Convention - which strongly supported slavery - issued an official statement and apology condemning the racism that grew out of the practice.

One significant error in the book is that in discussing Paul's statements in Romans 1:26-27, the author falls into the same interpretative trap that many Christians do, equating condemnation of specific sexual behaviors with condemnation of sexuality per se. The author does not readily recognize that Paul's statements ("God gave them up to degrading passions") are embedded in a lengthy rant against a return to idolatry and practices associated with it, including the sexual behaviors he references.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I believe that the title of this book is at least a little 'tongue in cheek' But I love it. It illuminates the example many conservative Christians give by both what they say and how they live. Often one hears them quote the words of Jesus "love thy neighbor as thy self" but do they practice this? Sadly I think that the answer to that question is often, but not always, a resounding 'no'. As example I quote from the author: "Over the centuries...some of Jesus' followers have used the Bible to support such horrors as the Crusades, the Inquisition, oppression of women, burning of "witches", anti-Semitism and slavery." One wonders who do they think their neighbors are, other Conservative Christians? I digress. I have read many books on this subject and found this one to be informative. It also an enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Doug67 on December 2, 2009
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Linda has written a very thoughtful book, which is great reading for anyone who has heard any religious rhetoric to condemn not only homosexuality. It is a pretty quick read because the actual scripture about homosexuality is quite sparse and usually part of a list of other abominations which are common accepted practice today by Christians, Jews and agnostics alike.
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By Steve Harrington on October 8, 2014
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Concise, easy to read, and the title catches the attention of Christians who have been taught wrong but think they must be right. This one is getting passed around a lot.
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So true. People that are holier than thy and cannot love. Jesus taught love and he did not exclude anyone. Great writing and reading.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Girl Next Door on November 29, 2011
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Linda Patterson brings to the table some very thorough research and quite a few insights that the average person has likely never considered. Here's an example from chapter five:

"As discussed in chapter 4, Paul had an aversion to sex in general, regardless of who was involved. Instead of viewing sex as a gift from God/nature, he viewed it as something that should be avoided. And while Paul should not necessarily be blamed for failing to understand that homosexuality is natural, his ignorance is not an excuse for modern Christians. Just as it was irresponsible for Christians to persecute Galileo for contradicting erroneous claims throughout Scripture that the earth is flat and stationary, it is also irresponsible for them to persecute homosexual people by relying on Paul's antiquated beliefs regarding sexuality in general, and upon homosexuality in particular."

A very solid argument and one I'd never heard anyone use before! She really nailed it! And she does it again on the very next page!

"Perhaps those who believe that HIV/AIDS is God's punishment against homosexuality can explain why some 270,000 children under the age of 15 died of AIDS in 2007-more than 90% of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Does God hate children? Especially impoverished children? Surely if God had intended to punish homosexual people with HIV/AIDS, he would have seen to it that its effects were so limited. Indeed, if the absurd argument of the homophobic fear-mongers is taken to its conclusion, then God must favor sex between women over all other types of sex, as sex between two women is the least likely to result in HIV/AIDS.
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