God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

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9780307948090: God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

From the IX Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, the first openly gay person elected  to the episcopate and the world’s leading religious spokesperson for gay rights and gay marriage—a groundbreaking book that persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument.

Robinson holds the religious text of the Bible to be holy and sacred and the ensuing two millennia of church history to be relevant to the discussion. He is equally familiar with the secular and political debate about gay marriage going on in America today, and is someone for whom same-sex marriage is a personal issue; Robinson was married to a woman for fourteen years and is a father of two children and has been married to a man for the last four years of a twenty-five-year relationship.
 
Robinson has a knack for taking complex and controversial issues and addressing them in plain direct language, without using polemics or ideology, putting forth his argument for gay marriage, and bringing together sacred and secular points of view.

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Amazon Exclusive Essay: God Believes in Love by Gene Robinson

Perhaps you are the aunt or uncle of a young woman who has been living her life with another woman, and now you're invited to their wedding, and although you love her, you're not sure how you feel about marriage for two women. Or maybe the co-worker who came out to you a couple of years back has now invited you to his wedding to another man, and you're not sure if you should go, being uncomfortable with the whole notion of gay marriage. Perhaps you're a member of a church in a denomination that now blesses same sex unions, but can't understand how, as a Christian, your church can officially approve of and support such a relationship. Or maybe you want your denomination to be more accepting of gay men and lesbians and their relationships, but you don't know what arguments to use in convincing your fellow parishioners that this would be a good thing. Maybe you are gay or lesbian yourself, but can't seem to find the words which would help your resistant parents or judgmental sibling in accepting you and your beloved partner, and you're looking for a book to give them which would answer their misgivings about you and your relationship. You may feel that changing the definition of marriage after thousands of years is a risky and unwise thing to do. Or perhaps you have a desire simply to learn more about this social change phenomenon which seems to be sweeping the nation and its religious institutions.

Maybe you're concerned that gay marriage threatens the separation of church and state and is a threat to your church and what you believe. You think of yourself as being somewhat supportive of gay people, but this "marriage thing" goes a little too far, and you're looking for help in sorting through the religious, legal and social issues raised by the affirmation of gay relationships. After all, isn't it better for children to be raised by a mother and a father? And doesn't the Bible clearly condemn homosexuality? And you don't have time to read one of the books which deals with only one aspect of this issue.

I wrote God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage just for you!

There's a lot to sort through in this issue that seems to be sweeping the country, and arousing fierce passions in its wake. I have tried to imagine a conversation between me and you. In countless conversations I've had with people just like you, I have heard and understood the legitimate concerns and questions you have about gay marriage, and each one of those concerns/questions becomes the subject of a chapter in the book. Using good theology, reasoned secular arguments and a respectful tone, I have attempted to make the case that citizens of the United States and members of religious communities should be supportive of this development in our common life.

While I may not convince you of the rightness of gay marriage, I at least hope to open your minds and hearts to the possibility that this could be a responsible, godly and wise development. I even think it might make it possible for you to go to that gay wedding you've been invited to, with joy and appreciation for the love exhibited between these two people. Because in the end, God believes in love!

About the Author:

Gene Robinson was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of the South with a B.A. in American studies and history. He completed the M.Div. degree in 1973 at the General Theological Seminary in New York, and was ordained deacon and then priest. Having served as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the bishop) for nearly eighteen years, he was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. He retired as bishop in January 2013. The author of three AIDS curricula for youth, he is also the recipient of numerous awards from civil, human, and LGBT rights organizations. Robinson is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

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