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Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism Paperback – March 15, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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  • Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melinda Selmys is a contributor and columnist for several periodicals. She is a wife and mother and very active in numerous Catholic organizations.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor (March 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592764932
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592764938
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David M. Elliot on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a magnificent book, and deserves a very wide readership. Selmys' prose is a work of art and a model of clarity. The book sweeps you along with novel-like readability and is happily free of technical blather. It's most obvious merit is that it thinks outside the usual box of culture wars rhetoric. The book was clearly written to appeal to both the pro and anti-sides of the gay debate. There's no language loud with fight; the tone is disarmingly pacific. Of the picking out of great passages, and the wearing out of highlighters, there is no end. Perhaps the highest praise you can give a book - that you give up underlining as futile since you're underlining everything - can be given this one. It performs the most interesting blend of genres I've ever seen: an autobiographic narrative that alone would have been worth buying the book for crops up amid compelling commentary on sex, history, psychology, the mainstream media, and Christianity. Almost by way of an afterthought, there drops from Selmys' pen the first really well-written and luminous exposition of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body in the English language, putting us further in her debt. For these, and for the book's lavish aesthetic merits, let it be reckoned unto her as righteousness.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't expect to agree with this book. In fact, I thought that I would probably
be offended. I am not Catholic, nor do I share the Catholic view on homosexuality. I
thought that this might be another account of 'how to fix the gay people you know so
that they won't burn in hellfire'. I was really surprised to find this to be an
honest and respectful discussion of sexuality and faith, which I found to be
insightful. I thought that the author did a great job of addressing multiple sides
of every issue. I'm also very picky about quality of writing, and I found Selmys'
style to be intelligent, yet still charmingly unpretentious. Overall, surprisingly
easy to read and interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in
the subject."
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Format: Paperback
Sexual Authenticity by Melinda Selmys is so much more than just another Christian book about homosexuality. Drawing on both her personal experiences and extensive research of homosexuality and Catholicism, the author's comprehensive approach not only reveals an understanding that is much more profound than one often encounters today, but also provides a wealth of information on many related issues such as love, marriage, family, society, temptation, repentance and religious conversion. There is something in this book for everybody, whether gay, straight, atheist, religious, some combination or none of the above.

In this book you will not find any of the stereotypical homophobia or legalism that Christians are often accused of. Sexuality is not boiled down to a set of behaviours dictated by feelings and "Thou shalt..." or "Thou shalt not..." statements. What you will find is a thorough yet concise explanation of sexuality as a gift from God and how it fits into a Christian worldview, told in the context of how one woman discovered it after years of trying to fight against it.

While there are many good resources out there on Christianity and sexuality, Sexual Authenticity combines a deep personal understanding with a rich abundance of information in 235 enjoyable pages. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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By A Customer on March 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A nice mix of philosophy, theology, real life experience and quirky candor. It digs into various aspects of what it means to be human...all with a personal flavor of logic, witticism, and liquid writing. If you want to delve past the surface arguments of the day, seeking depth that is the reality of the human heart: read this book. The author is honest about the trite sound bites and assumptions being made by both sides of the same-sex spectrum. I may not agree with a couple of statements made in the book yet greatly admire the author's personal integrity and level of intellectual honesty. I plan on reading the book several more times and cannot recommend it more highly to the Catholic/Christian community. If we are to truly love and serve those with same-sex attraction we must be willing to invest ourselves in the complexities within the human heart. This book begins that process.
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Format: Paperback
I know what you're thinking- another typical "I used to be gay, but then I found Jesus and realized that all homosexuals are evil, all the data shows the problems with the homosexual lifestyle etc etc." book. This is not that book. True, the author is a former lesbian, now committed Catholic and make no mistake about it, condemns homosexual actions as intrinsically disordered. However, there are at least two main differences between her story and the "typical" story. First of all, she is very fair and critical of the "science" on both sides of the debate, more so to the side that tries to use science to prove that homosexuality is evil. Not only is she critical of anti-gay science, but she is also critical of all the rhetorical flare and drama on the conservative side. She cuts through all the hoop-la by, for example, admitting that those homosexuals like those in the San Francisco gay pride parade parade are not typical and that it is unfair to hold them up and say "this is what homosecuality is!" In that sense, this REALLY is the kind of book that begins to build a bridge and find common ground between those who are pro-same sex actions and anti-same sex actions. There is such a strong attempt to actually get those who are for same sex actions to listen and hear what we have to say.

The other main difference is that rather than simply repeating ad nausea that homosexual actions are wrong, the author shows what it is that homosexuals are seeking; in other words, she views the sin of homosexual actions as a privation, a missing of the mark or a disordered attempt to do good, and shows how to focus that energy through things like John Paul II's Theology of the body.
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