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God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality (Queer Action/ Queer Ideas) Hardcover – October 25, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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“The first part’s insistence that Judeo-Christian values require gay equality is so confidently and cogently asserted that it amounts to something new and invigorating in gay religious apologetics.”—Booklist
“God vs. Gay is an excellent resource for those struggling to reconcile their sexual feelings — or those of a loved one — with being a person of devout religious faith. Michaelson never panders, attempts to set aside all biases and simply lets the text speak for itself. What happens when he clears the smoke of punditry and bigotry is a beautiful thing, and the discussion over equality and human diversity is elevated because of Michaelson’s willingness to have faith in the words of the Torah — and in human dignity.”—NewVoices.org
“Mixing memoir and academic analysis in this well-researched and concisely written treatise, Michaelson embarks on a mission to reconcile sexuality with Judeo-Christian religious traditions… Inclusive and modern theology that will give both Jewish and Christian readers a reason to celebrate sexual diversity.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This title is very much worth reading and particularly useful for those interested in religion, civil rights, and social progress.”—Library Journal
“God vs. Gay is a game-changer and highly recommended in the debate…Michaelson has packed so much into his slim volume. A pleasurable and intelligent read, this is a book for our times and a book for the ages.”—EDGE
“As a salvo in the case for equality, however, it shows how to reframe the debate and stop seeing a chasm between God and gay.”—Publisher's Weekly
"Michaelson looks at the Hebrew and Christian Bible with keen intellect, wit, and often surprising insights. He roots his arguments not in dry exegesis but in hard-won self-acceptance and passionate concern for others. I highly recommended God vs. Gay? for anyone seeking to understand how being homosexual and religious are not antithetical."—Joe Perez, author of Soulfully Gay
"'The irony of God versus Gay is that actually Gay and God go together. Opening to one leads to the other.' So writes Jay Michaelson in the postscript to this beautiful, soulful book. Michaelson charts a journey from rejection to full acceptance, from religious alienation to spiritual wholeness that will brings the reader closer to the Divine. It did for me and it will for anyone who has felt abandoned by their faith and rejected for who they are. This is a healing book that yearns to be read."—Sharon Groves, Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
“God vs. Gay? is a timely and important book in this religious and political moment. Michaelson’s book prepares us, regardless of religious or sexual identity, to delve deeper into our souls, our traditions, and into the truth that religion is in fact a source of liberation.”—Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the largest gay and lesbian synagogue in the world
“Through careful discussions of Jewish and Christian teachings on homosexuality Michaelson masterfully reveals that both religions allow for the full embrace of LGBT persons. This religious-ethical work is illuminating and a must read for anyone who wants to understand the current debate over religion and homosexuality.”—Rabbi David Ellenson, President Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
“Michaelson shows that ‘God versus gay’ is a myth and that the overwhelming majority of our shared religious values favor equality for LGBT people.” —Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun
"God vs. Gay? is essential reading for people of all faiths who want to be allies of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. This book articulates what many of us have felt in our hearts for a long time: that our religious conscience compels us to support equality, not oppose it."—Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, co-author of Jewish with Feeling and From Age-ing to Sage-ing, Blessings for Health, Peace of Mind, and Prosperity
About the Author
Jay Michaelson is the author of three books and numerous articles about the intersections of religion, sexuality, and law. A leading activist on behalf of LGBT people in faith communities, Michaelson and his work have been featured in the New York Times and on NPR and CNN. He is the founder of Nehirim, the leading national provider of community programming for LGBT Jews and their allies, and lives in upstate New York.
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God vs. Gay? makes the sensible argument that Judeo-Christian morality with all its emphasis on compassion, love of neighbor, help for strangers should naturally be open to understanding and accepting LGBT people. What can it mean to "love your neighbor" if you discriminate against people for simply being who they truly are and telling the truth about that?
Michaelson very thoroughly explains the various supposedly anti-gay verses in the Scriptures. He writes from a highly-educated Jewish context, and explains the stories in Genesis and rules in Leviticus better than I've ever come across. And because he is a wise and broad-thinking eclectic, he can write about the Christian Scriptures as well. And then go beyond the words of any particular tradition to the "real meaning" of all religious teaching.
This is a VERY good book for preparing yourself for a Biblical argument with an anti-gay opponent in a debate or with a confused and upset parent who only wants the best for their child AND needs to understand what's in the Bible and religious teachings.
Especially for those with Biblical convictions who want to find the true meaning of the text, this is a wonderful introduction to the religion-and-homosexuality issue.
Reviewed by Toby Johnson, author of Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell
would likely give it 5 stars once I'm done!
If you are having any problems with your faith and your sexuality, I HIGHLY recommend you to read this book.-I ask for forgiveness to the author, because this words aren't definitively enough to express this book's accomplishment-
Best whishes! Hope it comes in handy as it did to me.
God bless you!