News from AllianceQ: November 2013
Book Review: God vs. Gay
God vs. Gay by Jay Michaelson is an excellent book for those who want a thorough and academic yet personal and readable account of how our religious tradition does not require conflict between religion and the full equality of LGBT people, but rather our tradition demands support of full equality.
Jay Michaelson, raised in a Conservative Jewish home, reviews both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures with more knowledge and insight into Christian history and tradition than most Christian writers. He points out that when we read the scripture honestly and with our core values in mind, our shared religious traditions support the full equality and inclusion of LGBT people.
In the first section of this book, Dr. Michaelson outlines fundamental values from the scripture: the values of community and intimacy, of honesty and compassion, of diversity and integrity, and especially justice and equality.
In section two of God vs. Gay Dr. Michaelson reviews what the “bad verses” really say about homosexuality. He explains the meaning behind the Hebrew and Greek text clearly and thoroughly.
Finally, section three points out why inclusion is good for our religious communities. An understanding of justice, equality, and welcome improves our families, our marriages, and our understanding of sexual ethics; diversity enriches our lives and communities; and LGBT people bring gifts to the community that are rarely found elsewhere today.
Finally, in the postscript Dr. Michaelson reminds us that nothing in creation can separate us from the love of God. More importantly, he reminds us that there are many who need to hear this message: most powerfully, young people contemplating suicide because they have been taught that God doesn’t love them. These youth, and many others, need the message that equality, welcome, and justice are at the core of our scripture and tradition.