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God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Does the Bible prohibit homosexuality? No, says Bible scholar and activist Jay Michaelson. But not only that: Michaelson also shows that the vast majority of our shared religious traditions support the full equality and dignity of LGBT people. In this accessible, passionate, and provocative book, Michaelson argues for equality, not despite religion but because of it.

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Paperback, 232 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Scott Rhee
An alien anthropologist analyzing our early-21st century society in America, based solely on media coverage, would probably assume that the issue of gay rights popped instantly into existence sometime in the mid-1980s, around the time of the early AIDS epidemic, which was originally dubbed the “gay cancer”. Homosexuality was simply not something that was talked about in the mainstream media or in good company. One would assume---and many ignorant people probably have---that due to this lack of d ...more
Carolyn Lind
If only I belonged to a faith community willing to read and discuss this book together.....

Just a few quotes:

"It may seem like strength to hold fast to unchanging religious beliefs, and there are times where steadfastness is an act of heroism. Bt it takes even more strength to heed the demands of our faith traditions to introspect, discern, and reflect on what we thought we knew." p. 139

"We learn to stop trusting gut reactions that are based on falsehoods we've been taught....This is an invitati
A great book about how God really is not against gays. About how homosexuals strengthen the Church and how inclusion of homosexuals in organized religion is a great thing. Written by a strongly religious Jewish man who is now happily married after coming out of the closet. He was closeted for 10 years. He thinks closeting breeds bad sexual behavior and perpetuates shame and sin.
Mar 09, 2012 Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
While it presents an uncompromising position, this is a fairly gentle book that could be used to start a discussion with someone who was merely open to its message. The intended audience seems to be those who have qualms about sexual diversity and who may be repressing their own feelings. When Michaelson writes, "The love a straight woman feels for her husband, I feel for mine. It may be hard to believe or understand, without knowing me and my partner, but it is the case," he probably isn't spea ...more
Paul Froehlich
Sep 11, 2016 Paul Froehlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the debate about gay rights, one side invokes scripture while the other side typically dismisses it. In God vs. Gay, Jay Michaelson is unusual because he’s a proponent of gay rights who also takes the Bible seriously.

Unlike his counterparts on the Religious Right, however, Michaelson concludes that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures do not condemn same-sex love and intimacy, but actually command an acceptance of them. This is a difficult thesis for most evangelicals to accept, yet any who re
Jien Ogawa
Nov 22, 2013 Jien Ogawa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God vs. Gay, by Jay Michaelson, delves deep into the widely debated issue that is the religious argument against homosexuality. Each chapter is packed with religious values and examples that go directly against the aforementioned argument. The book is organized in three parts, dotted here and there with personal anecdotes. The first part explains the everyday values that we live and how they refute God's supposed opposition to homosexuality. The second smoothly dismantles any argument that can b ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting blend of logic, linguistics and speculation that lays out the case for gay equality based on Judeo-Christian religious values, and a re-reading of scripture. I realize that it's a non-fiction book, and the author has points to make, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have been written in a far more interesting manner. It's basically pretty pedantic. And, despite that I think that his overall point is a good one, some of his analyses fall flat - he lays out the case that lesbians ar ...more
Lisa A. Carlson
Jun 26, 2012 Lisa A. Carlson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Lisa A. by: found at the library
Shelves: non-fiction
Do you find yourself surrounded by people who constantly reference the Bible when talking about gay people? I often do and because I haven't read it from cover to cover I often feel my responses are inadequate. Jewish author Jay Michaelson presents a well-written religious discussion for supporting and acknowledging the LGBT community. He makes solid assertions about sexuality, Adam and Eve and probably most importantly takes apart the 7 Bible versus which are commonly referenced to demote gays. ...more
Mary Frances
Aug 13, 2016 Mary Frances rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty comprehensive look at the troublesome biblical verses that are commonly believed to condemn homosexuality. I've read the arguments before, but this author s more complete in his exigesis and otherwise takes an interesting approach. He argues that scriptural admonitions to love others and be kind trump any strictures in the Old and New Testament, that we need to read scripture and tradition broadly. His background is in the Jewish tradition and he uses a Talmudic approach in his ...more
Aug 12, 2015 Leigh rated it liked it
An excellent reinterpretation of the accepted belief that religion and LGBTQ life in incompatible. While I don't agree with all of the points the author makes (like many non-fiction books), I found many passages and arguments convincing. A worthwhile read. After considering for a couple of days one of the criticisms I have, though, is the author's opinion that most religious people are naturally conservative. Yes, this is the case but rather than explore why a religion, especially Christianity, ...more
Paul Rhodes
Sep 26, 2012 Paul Rhodes marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps, this book will finally convince me that gay "marriage" is not absurd, that it is, in fact, wholesome and good and even godly, but I doubt it. This first two or so pages are not that promising. In them the author talks about his strong emotional investment in the subject. Fine, but strong emotional investment are not arguments, and especially in matters of the libido strong emotional investments usually means the absence of clear thinking. But, okay, introductions are frequently the plac ...more
Mar 07, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written. Michaelson makes a very solid argument. He goes to the primary source--the Christian Bible and looks at the verses commonly thought to condemn homosexuality and he looks at other scripture. His analysis is insightful and, I believe, the sort of reading of the Bible that Jesus himself would approve of. Love, forgiveness, charity: these are the important lessons we should glean from the Bible. I would also point out that this a good book for Christians who support gay rights, Christi ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
It took me a few months to get through this book, not because I thought it was boring, but because I wanted to let the information sink in and have time to apply and reflect before I read more. I found this book very helpful in both my sexuality and spirituality and helping me become more confident with who I am. There is fear about giving gay people rights, or even including them in our churches,"Whatever fears we may have about change or transformation, they are ripples on the ocean of truth. ...more
This is a book that everyone should read, regardless of their beliefs. The central theme is that we should be for queer tolerance FOR religious reasons instead of despite them.
Jul 15, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I appreciate reading word studies from a Jewish Rabbi. This book had the perfect mix of technical argument as well as over arching Christian values argument.
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Jay Michaelson is the author of Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (Shambhala), as well as two other books and over 200 articles. A columnist for the Forward, Huffington Post, and Tikkun, Michaelson was recently named to the Forward 50 list of the most influential Jewish leaders in America. He is also executive director of Nehirim, a national nonprofit organization of GLBT Jews ...more
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