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The Gay Agenda: Talking Back to the Fundamentalists Hardcover – October 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; First Edition edition (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573921033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573921039
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,744,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There are good ideas, theories and propositions hidden in activist Nichols's rebuttal of Christian fundamentalist anti-gay tirades. Unfortunately, the author, co-founder of the Mattachine Society, has chosen to answer his opponents in kind. His prose is shrill and overlaid with superlatives for his friends, and generalized excoriations for his enemies. Though the tract starts off sensibly with the basics (pointing out that not all gays are politically radical, etc.), it quickly descends to the level of diatribe. By the end of the book, Nichols, having dealt with the fundamentalists to his apparent satisfaction, launches an attack on religion in general, a battle he seems ill-equipped to wage. His lazy logic, careless language and reliance on only selective data suggest that his arguments will have approximately the same effect as the sermons he sets out to take down: some will find much to agree with; others will find his rhetoric insubstantial. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Exposing lies, threats, misunderstandings, and hate-mongering by the "righteous" religious, Jack Nichols confronts homophobic prejudice in The Gay Agenda: Talking Back To The Fundamentalists. Ranging from biblical times, through the early days of the American settlers, and on into the sexual revolution to the present day, The Gay Agenda explodes bogus claims about a secret gay cabal, while critiquing grotesque superstitions and "witch-hunt" tactics that subvert self-esteem and social harmony. The Gay Agenda also includes hard-hitting commentary on foes of same-sex love such as Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, and Pat Robertson. -- Midwest Book Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 1996
Format: Hardcover
The Gay Agenda by Jack Nichols provides an excellent rebuttal to the myriad propaganda tracts published by the religious right. Nichols, a long time activist and advocate for equal rights for gay people, provides as well a unique historical perspective for this subject.

The book effectively explodes the myth of a monolithic gay cabal by providing evidence of the great diversity of opinion, lifestyle, philosophy and theology among gay and lesbian people. At the same time the book traces the history of the opportunistic conservative attacks on gay and lesbian people. The book provides overwhelming documentation of the abuse of political power by conservative and right wing religious groups who use gay and lesbian people as scapegoats in order to achieve political power and raise funds for their divisive political agenda. More importantly, the book states and then exposes as deception all of the major propaganda of the right, ranging from same gender marriage to AIDS to employment.

Mr. Nichols also analyzes the basic belief system of the right and especially the religious right. He not only points out the contradictions in this belief system, but goes on to show how many of the philosophical and theological tenets of fundamentalism are destructive to social order. For example, Mr. Nichols discusses in detail the fundamentalist notion of atonement, demonstrating how this doctrine discourages self reflection and contemplation. Mr. Nichols points out fundamentalists want believers not thinkers, and goes on to argue effectively that this is largely due to the fundamentalist notion of atonement. Mr. Nichols dissects other fundamentalist doctrines, from Biblical literlaism (which is actually selectively applied, as Mr.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book illustrates what I already knew from experience in being married to a Promisekeeper. The whole order of their thinking is male dominance, specifically sexual usage of women, so the gay order infuriates them, since it depowers the man. Anyone female who has lived among the relgious right has to give up education, jobs and serve her man with the church. Gays are a threat to that, since it basically means equality for all people regardless of gender. Also, the relgious right has many divorces, unstable homes and has no right to Judge happy gay couples when religious right women live in misery.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Gay Agenda by Jack Nichols is a comprehensive review of not only the religious fundamentalists argument against gay rights and contention that there is a "gay agenda", but also a valid argument against it. Nichols successfully, in my opinion, tears apart the arguments of the fundamentalists, by stating each of their claims and then argues why they are invalid.
Other good parts of the book include Nichols careful analysis of our societies views of the sexes, the autonomous self, and ends with a self integration proclamation that advises everyone to look not only at homosexuality as one part of the sexual continuum, but also how we need to be a society that is inclusive, not exclusive.
Nichols definitely has a love for poet Walt Whitman, and uses his words often throughout his book, devoting an entire chapter to his ideals.
The only problem I have with this book is in the beginning. Nichols leans on the preachy side of gay rights, which is exactly what fundamentalists do: preach. While I believe strongly in Nichols argument, I felt that he was a bit repetitive at times.
I enjoyed this book immensely, and feel that it presents the views of fundamentalists thoroughly. This book is a good tool not only to learn about their major points, but also to learn about how to combat those arguments.
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5 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1997
Format: Hardcover
While this reader can agree with Bill's enthusiasm, there are other reasons to object to the books third part. First, the research Chandler Burr hass conducted (or else relies on) is problematic: either the gay gene studies haven't been reproduced, or else its author's are being investigated by the federal government for science fraud! These alarms were sounded not by mainstream press (except in San Francisco), but came to my attention in a well documented critical neswpaper-magazine review that appeared in Forbes (quarterly) MediaCritic (last year, or earlier..). Furthermore, there is rampant evidence that the gay gene hypothesis has been popularized because of a political agenda, both left-wing and pro-gay! Hence the inflated numbers of homosexuality Bill accepts, 9% instead of a more likely less than 5% (i.e., 3-4% gay, and 1-2% lesbian). Even the perverted agenda of that old noble standby, the founder of sexology, Alfred Kinsey, has been exposed as a pederast, a child molester! If the there is no "gay gene," then the floodgates of morality are indeed opened, or at least moralism. And here, of course, is where moralists of faith (whether religious or secular) put there money down, draw a line in the sand, proclaiming differences and objections. I support their right to do so, well knowing that I disagree with them. Why? Because I realize the great universal relgions, such as Chritianity, imposed strict moral codes because they sanctified the human requirements for sustaining the (once fragile) agricultural revolution. Today we're still accomodating such old moral codes to the social and political requirements of much more recent urban and industrial revolutions, historic changes that have made much of them, if not exactly obsolete, then seriously challenged (e.g.Read more ›
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