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Lesbian, gay, & bisexual topics

Five books, pro and con, about gay
marriages, a.k.a. same-sex marriages:
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About terminology:

The most popular term that describes marriage between two people of the same gender is "gay marriage." We mention it here because it is also the most frequently used phrase in Internet searches. However, we prefer to use the term "same-sex marriage" because it is more precise and inclusive.

Most such marriages are betweem two lesbians or two male gays, who are sexually attracted only to members of the same gender. They total about 5% of the population. However, some marriages involve one or two bisexuals who experience a separate sexual orientation. They are attracted to both genders, although not necessarily to the same degree. They include about 5% of adults.

In brief, some same-sex marriages involve one or more persons who are bisexual, not gay. The term "gay marriage" is not a good fit.

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Two books, one by a conservative Roman Catholic and the other by an evangelical Protestant. They changed their minds and now favor marriage equality:

Most people believe that humans are usually socially motivated to seek to pair-bond with another person for life.

  • Catholic Author Michael Coren originally accepted this teaching. He accepted Sections 2357 to 2359 of the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church which considers same-gender sexual behavior to be "acts of great depravity" and "intrinsically disordered. ... Under no circumstances can they be approved." The Church expects all lesbians and gays to remain celibate, without a significant other, for life. He has written a book outlining why he changed his heart and mind.

    We chose this book to be our recommended book for 2016-JUL.

book cover "Epiphany: A Christian's Change of Heart & Mind over Same-Sex Marriage," by Michael Coren. Signal publishing (2016) Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store. As of 2016-JUL, the book cost $17.24 plus postage in Hardcover, $14.24 in Kindle format. It was rated by Amazon customers at 3.4 out of 5 stars. book description:

"From the posterboy of Catholic conservatism, a major change of heart and soul on one of the Church's most controversial and intractable stances. ..."

"Michael Coren had a profound spiritual and personal change of heart. Epiphany is about how and why that happened; the reaction from both sides of the fence; and how the Christian doctrine, when studied closely and without bias, heartily supports Michael's findings. As a middle-aged, very white, very straight, very Christian man, he was obliged, first reluctantly and then eagerly, to explore the complex dynamic between faith and homosexuality and to work out a new narrative. The crux of that narrative: God is love.

Honest, brave, and rigorous in its scholarship, Epiphany is a groundbreaking book on one of society's most pressing issues."

  • book cover "The Bible's Yes to Same-Sex Marriage, New Edition with Study Guide: An Evangelical's Change of Heart," by Mark Achtemeier. Westminster John Knox Press, 2nd edition (2015). Read reviews or order this book safely from online As of 2016-JUL, the book cost $12.27 plus postage in Paperback, $7.61 in Kindle format. It was rated by Amazon customers as 3.8 out of 5 stars. book description:

"In the early 2000’s, Mark Achtemeier embarked on a personal journey with the Bible that led him from being a conservative, evangelical opponent of gay rights to an outspoken activist for gay marriage and a fully inclusive church. In The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage, Achtemeier shares what led to his change of heart: the problems with excluding groups of people and the insights into the Bible’s message that led him to recognize the fullness of God’s love and support for LGBT persons. Readers will discover how reading snippets of Scripture out of context has led to false and misleading interpretations of the Bible’s message for gay people. Achtemeier shows how a careful reading of the whole Scripture reveals God’s good news about love, marriage, and sexuality for gay and straight people alike.

This new edition includes a study guide and a new introduction from the author that reflects on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and changes within the church. Perfect for groups or self-reflection, the study guide directs readers over four sessions to explore both Achtemeier’s book and the Bible."

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Three books by authors who are opposed to gay marriage on biblical grounds:

  • book cover "Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage (Thoughtful Response)," by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet. Baker Books (2014). Read reviews or order this book safely from online. As of 2016-JUL, the book cost $9.99 plus postage in Paperback, or $5.32 in Kindle format. It was rated by Amazon customers as 4.4 out of 5 stars. book description:

"Same-sex marriage is here, presenting unique challenges and opportunities. How do those who follow Christ faithfully answer the standard talking points for same-sex marriage? And how can they best articulate the case for one-man, one-woman marriage in everyday conversation?

Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet believe a thoughtful approach to God's design for marriage is the answer to both questions. The key is not a contentious attitude towards those who believe in same-sex marriage, but a winsome perspective that is faithful to Christ, committed to truth, and shaped by a love for God and others. Christians need to know that because Christ has risen, there is no such thing as "all hope is lost." They are still called to engage culture even if they are viewed as wrong, illegal and intolerant."

  • book cover "We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong," by R. Albert Mohler Jr. Thomas Nelson (2015). Read reviews or order this book safely from online. As of 2016-JUL, the book cost $16.99 plus postage in Hardcover, or $15.66 in Kindle format. It was rated by Amazon customers as 4.7 out of 5 stars. book description:

    "Twenty years ago, not one nation on earth had legal same-sex marriage. Now, access to same-sex marriage is increasingly seen as a basic human right. In a matter of less than a generation, western cultures have experienced a moral revolution.

    Dr. R. Albert Mohler examines how this transformation occurred, revealing the underlying cultural shifts behind this revolution: the acceptance of divorce culture, liberation of sex from reproduction, the prevalence of heterosexual cohabitation, the normalization of homosexuality, and the rise of the transgender movement. He then offers a deep look at how the Bible and Christian moral tradition provide a comprehensive understanding upon which Christians can build their personal lives, their marriages, church ministry, and cultural engagement.

    Dr. Mohler helps Christians in their understanding of the underlying issues of this significant cultural shift and how to face the challenge of believing faithfully, living faithfully, and engaging the culture faithfully in light of this massive change."

  • book cover Robert Reilly, "Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything," Ignatius Press; 2nd Ed. (2015). Read reviews or order this book safely from online. As of 2016-JUL, the book cost $12.53 plus postage in Paperback, or $12.48 in Kindle format, and $19.57 in Hardcover. It was rated by Amazon customers as 4.4 out of 5 stars. book description:

"Why are Americans being forced to consider homosexual acts as morally acceptable? Why has the US Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to same-sex 'marriage', which until a decade ago, was unheard of in the history of Western or any other civilization? Where has the 'gay rights' movement come from, and how has it so easily conquered America?

The answers are in the dynamics of the rationalization of sexual misbehavior. The power of rationalization -- the means by which one mentally transforms wrong into right -- drives the gay rights movement, gives it its revolutionary character, and makes its advocates indefatigable. The homosexual cause moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest because the security of its rationalization requires universal acceptance. In other words, we all must say that the bad is good.

At stake in the rationalization of homosexual behavior is reality itself, which is why it will have consequences that reach far beyond the issue at hand. Already America's major institutions have been transformed—its courts, its schools, its military, its civic institutions, and even its diplomacy. The further institutionalization of homosexuality will mean the triumph of force over reason, thus undermining the very foundations of the American Republic."

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Copyright 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2016-JUL-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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