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Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590213667
ISBN-10: 1590213661
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An inspiring depiction of human endurance and the heart-healing balms of generosity and kindness.   -- Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory

Nominated for the Over The Rainbow Book List by the American Library Association in July 2012

Cowboys, Armageddon and The Truth tells a real hero's journey. Terry proves to be a wonderful model of the sensitive gay man rising up through and out of religious orthodoxy and coming into his own. This book is about the gay hero's journey.
--Toby Johnson, author of Gay Spirituality

''Scott Terry's gritty, colorful account of his church-choked years is insightful and cringe-inducing--a window into the lives of people with a terrible need to confine themselves in rigid little boxes. I shuddered at his predicament, marveled at his resilience, and was heartened by his breakthrough.'' --Will Fellows, author of Farm Boys

''Scott Terry's stirring memoir illustrates the maiming pain that families can inflict on their members, especially the young and powerless, and the many ways that orthodox religion can isolate and warp its believers.'' --Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory

''A lively, affectionate autobiography with messages of inspiration and acceptance.'' --Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth was named one of the Top 20 Must Read Books of 2013 by Advocate Magazine. It is the winner of the 2013 Rainbow Book Award in the LGBT Non-fiction category, and was named Best Debut Gay Novel of year by Elisa Awards.  It was named one of the best LGBT releases of 2012 by Out In Print and Band of Thebes book lists.  It is a Bronze Medal winner in the Living Now Book Awards, a finalist in the Next Generation Book Awards, and a finalist in the International Book Awards.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press (October 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590213661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590213667
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,769,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story of a young boy constantly reminded that he was unwanted and unloved while growing up in a religion that he looked too for hope, but instead only found unrelenting guilt as he slowly comes to grips with his sexuality.

I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness myself. I am also gay. So obviously this book resonates with me on several levels. While I never underwent the neglect and abuse that Scott suffered in his life, the constant reminder that "Armageddon was coming", "it's just around the corner", "you'll never even finish High School, so don't worry about ... " was such a huge part of my life as well.

Many of the tales of his blossoming sexuality are also reminiscent of experiences and feelings that I had as a young kid. Praying for Jehovah to "straighten me out", constantly asking for forgiveness over random thoughts about men, and never getting even a slight hint that anyone was ever listening.

The story of Scott's life is a painful one to read, and even the triumphs and help from outside members of his family that he eventually experiences are shadowed by guilt and pain left over from a cultish, homophobic upbringing and abusive parents.

If you are a Jehovah's Witness, used to be one, know one ... you NEED to read this book. There are a ton of books out there that deal with the doctrine and dogma of this religious, but none so capture the emotional damage that false expectations of a end time that never comes will cause, especially a young child.

Ultimately, this is a heartfelt, and heart wrenching tale of a young boy battered and left alone with only an unresponsive god to turn too for hope and support, but who still manages to pull himself up by his bootstraps and carve out a happy, fulfilling life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book needs to be sent around the world, it needs to hit all religion, all people who have prejudice, and anyone else who are interested in Jehovah's Witnesses and how they look at a Gay person in the organization. I can't say enough about this as it is so well written, probably in the top 5 I have ever read, that was written by an Ex Jehovah Witness. He has a way of making you feel back in time, and then brings you through tears and happiness, but it is a page turner and a big lesson for a lot of people. Also, it is a good book for people to see what they do to their children when they divorce and remarry and do not really know who they are marrying but only that they are of the same religion, you can get into real problems. This step mother was horrible and still said she was a child of God? she treated these young ones less than animals, it was sick. I have never read a book that had so many lessons in it about prejudice, all in one book, you can get a lot of wisdom. Don't miss this book, it is excellent.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is gut-wrenching at times as it tells of one man's life journey from a deprived childhood and religious domination to freedom and self acknowledgment. Take this journey with him, and know that you will not soon forget this story of triumph over such devastating life circumstances…..then count your blessings!
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As a man who grew up gay in rural Texas, in a very religious family, I found much to relate to in this memoir. This is a tale of bravery in the face of what most would find to be insurmountable odds; especially considering the age at which the young boy must learn to deal with a very abusive situation. Anyone who who has struggled against forces he has no control over will see himself or herself in this story. Scott Terry has a voice that I very much want to hear more of. You can bet I'll be watching for his next publication.
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Format: Paperback
Scott Terry has an elegantly understated way of writing. He and his older sister grew up on the edge without a sense of home. Everything belonged to their stepmother. The house was "Fluffy's house" and they were only allowed in it by permission. Food was "Fluffy's food." In a scene later in the memoir Terry is 14 and on a family trip when he tries Fluffy by taking a Dorito from a bag that his step-siblings are sharing. Fluffy yells at him and he runs off crying. How isolated he was, especially after his sister left, is highlighted. Terry and his sister were unwelcome visitors in the home of their father's wife. The abuse Terry suffered was poignant in that he doesn't outline the attacks for us in graphic detail but hints at them. He remembers Sissy screaming and the next day he had bruises on his body and a cut on his head. His experiences resonate with the reader and cause the heart to bleed for these children to whom society and their father seemed to turn a blind eye.

I would think that readers would identify with Terry's struggles with sexuality and coming to accept himself as an adult. He prays daily for Jehovah to remove the "wicked" feelings, he has girlfriends and misleads team-mates and ultimately he comes to the realization that happiness is being himself and there are people in his life who accept him and those who don't don't matter.

No one could blame Terry if he was bitter and used a memoir as a vindictive rant against and an abusive stepmother and a father willing to turn a blind eye. He was locked out of his home for hours in Wyoming in winter, he was forced to go hungry, accused of stealing and beaten. Bitterness is not the focus. Terry gives a relatable and compelling story of struggle, escape and ultimate success. He is a survivor and this is his story.
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