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God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  421 ratings  ·  88 reviews
From the Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, the first openly gay person elected (in 2003) to the historic episcopate and the world's leading religious spokesperson for gay rights and gay marriage—a groundbreaking book that lovingly and persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument, made by s ...more
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Terri Lynn
I am a very liberal person who has always supported gay rights including gay marriage. On the other hand, I am an historian well versed in ancient cultures/history/mythology. It always strikes me as funny when people want to cling to christian mythology while at the same time trying to find a way to twist and mold what the bible says to what they WISH it said.

Here are the facts:
(1) The bible says that for a man to lie with another man sexually as he would with a woman is an abomination. Ditto f
This book was written by Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church. I was raised in a (very conservative - 1920s prayer book, yo) Episcopal church, but with (fairly) liberal parents, so I remember back when he was consecrated, all my very religiously conservative college friends were horrified, and I was going "Wooop woooop Episcopalians! Y'alls my boys!"

So needless to say this book what somewhat preaching to the choir for me, which is why I have a hard time reviewing it
God Believes in Love is a wonderful delving into the subject of gay marriage.

It's a short book, and an easy read - but it covers all the bases.

Why talk about this now? Why should I care about it if I'm not gay? What does the Bible really say about it? Isn't this really more about validating immoral behavior than equal rights?

This is a major issue facing Christians today. To put our head in the sand and try to ignore it is almost as bad as taking an anti-gay stance without any understanding of
While I am already a firm believer in gay marriage, I saw Mr. Robinson on The Daily Show, and was so impressed by how kind and funny he seemed. I was curious about his book once he mentioned that he specifically discusses the Bible verses often used to mark homosexuality as evil and wrong. After checking it out from the library, I am thinking I may have to get a copy to keep.

Robinson, as most know, is the first openly gay Bishop of any faith in the United States. As such, he does have an underly
Simply put: this book makes sense. I talk to many who are still on the fence in terms of gay marriage or queer identity in general. This book deconstructs some of the thoughts and misgivings many people have in their lack of understanding of the LGBT community. It's liberating for SGL people who want to marry but feel constrained for whatever reason. It's liberating to those who are willing to open their minds and consider that the case for gay marriage is not only a valid one but a moral and ju ...more
Gene Robinson is the first widely known priest in an openly gay relationship to be consecrated a bishop in a major Christian denomination. He outlines the areas of the bible that discuss gay behavior, showing the distinction likely between this behavior (often in the setting of idolatry or rape) in contrast to modern day same partner relationships. His personal experiences nicely compliments his didactic arguments.

My favorite line in the book "I believe in marriage. I believe it is a crucible i
Recommended for any person of faith, regardless of what side of marriage equality you are on. Very reasoned, intelligent analysis of the same-sex marriage debate, which addresses all the arguments that are made against it -- then refutes these arguments by pointing out that not only are they unconstitutional, but that they are misinterpreting the supposed Biblical edicts against marriage.

Here's one of the many great passages:
"I believe (marriage) is the crucible in which we come to know most d
Nancy Elliott
This is a great little book for those who have honest questions about gay marriage and are looking for clear, well thought out answers. It would also be helpful to anyone who is sympathetic to the cause of marriage equality but doesn't know how to explain their views to friends and relatives who may not understand them or who object to gay marriage on religious grounds. Each chapter presents an argument against gay marriage and then carefully and logically refutes it. A well organized and though ...more
A wonderful, affirming explanation for why gay marriage is good for society, heterosexual marriage, and Christianity. Even for those familiar with pro-gay marriage arguments, the chapters on Biblical interpretation and history make it worth a read. It’s rare I read a book on a politically-charged topic that leaves me with the warm and fuzzies. This book did. Beyond his arguments for gay marriage, Bishop Robinson also does a good job reminding us all of why marriage - regardless of gender - still ...more
Daniel Bushman
I agree with this man almost entirely, regarding a reasonable Christian perspective on the issue of marriage equality. I continually found my own opinions, being put into words, yet with much more elaboration, and many more references. I wish there was a way I could make this book required reading for any Christian who wants to discuss marriage equality with me. Not that I would expect any one of them to be swayed, and agree with it all, but at least it could be used as a starting place for rati ...more
Somewhat unclear exactly who he is addressing in the book. Some really good points about civil and religious "marriage" and how the two are intersecting in our concept of the issue of gay marriage. Helps to sort out the what both really mean. Made it clearer what the civil rights issues are in marriage equality. It almost seems that the various chapters were written to stand alone at some point, as he reiterates ideas/positions almost verbatim in different parts of the book. Worth reading, not a ...more
Christine Farmer
this heartfelt, easy to read defense of gay marriage from a bishop is something i think everyone should read.

i don't agree with everything robinson asserts, and have some questions about how he gets to his conclusions, he has some excellent insights and makes some very challenging points.

as a left leaning former megachurch attender who is very fond of Jesus but struggling with some aspects of "Churchianity", this book asked many of the same questions i've been asking for a while. it was very r
First off I agree with Mr. Robinson's statement that God believes in love.

I read the whole book, not skipping pages etc. i tried to understand what he was saying about his beliefs and how he came to those decisions.

He made a point about a couple of Greek words Paul uses in Corinthians that I found interesting, but I will want to look at some other studies of these words.

There are several places in the book that would have made better arguments if he had footnoted them. One in particular I remem
Robinson does a poor job of crossing the bridge to someone like myself, a reader who approached with an open mind and who is walking away disappointed. Robinson's theology is understandably more liberal than my own, but with no acknowledgments of any legitimacy of my theology, it seemed that I could only accept gay marriage if I also denied God has a gender, or that salvation is exclusive to the Christian faith tradition. There was no attempt to cross the gulf to a Christian reader looking for a ...more
Tom Lank
Repetitive in places, but some strong arguments nonetheless. Some that I hadn't seen anywhere else. All the more powerful because of his personal experience. One tidbit that will stick with me is that priests were not involved in weddings until the 12th century and did not have a central role in the ceremony until the 13th.
Sherry Molock

Great book that provides a clear, cogent argument in support for marriage equality. The author uses some examples from his own life to illustrate the importance of marriage for all couples be they gay or straight or bi. The author does a nice job of presenting a balance view of both those who are for and against marriage equality. But in the end it seems all come down to respecting the right for everyone to live into the covenant relationship that mirrors the relationship that Is Trinitaria
Karen Boyer
In God Believes in Love, the author not only lays out the arguments for gay marriage in a deliberate way, but tells his story of being a gay man who lived out his calling of serving God in the Episcopal church. As he tells his story, he also explains the social perceptions of gays at the time and how those perceptions affected his life. In this way he also tells the story of the gay movement. As a younger reader, this was helpful to me to really understand how much things have changed in a relat ...more
Bishop Robinson's book is just as relevant today as it was in 2012. Even though same-sex couples have the right to legally marry in all 50 states now, there is still some hatred and misunderstanding going on in the aftermath. Bishop Robinson digs into the Bible and the views of The Episcopal Church and what these things say about marriage as a whole. He also talks about common reasons that people have against same-sex marriages and why these ideas might be misled. I found this to be a great read ...more
Jerry Neves
More people need to read this book. It's too bad that they won't.
Katherine Medbery-Oleson
"It seems clear to me that it is not just those directly affected by these issues who are called to that work of advocacy - but rather all who value and seek justice for all. Indeed, we will never achieve fair treatment and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people until straight people own this as their issue too." (p. 43-44)

"When you're trying to understand the plight of someone else, when you're trying to understand someone's experience that has never been your experience, yo
I first became aware of Bishop Gene Robinson while watching the documentary, "For the Bible Tells Me So." God Believes in Love addresses the same topic as the film, that is, the controversy over gay marriage, as well as whether or not gay couples should be allowed to adopt.

This book does not delve into the science in support or against the naturalness of homosexuality. That is a whole other argument that presets this debate, and for all intensive purposes Robinson treats this as secondary to the
There has been a lot of talk in the media about how the Bible prohibits same-sex marriage. You probably have people in your social network who subscribe to those views and given how loud they are it is easy to believe that they are right, that the Bible says no to same sex marriage.

But Bishop Gene Robinson disagrees. As an Episcopal Bishop and a gay man, he has thought a lot about his issue. And he has a lot to say. His conclusion is that the Bible does not prohibit gay marriage, but in fact sup
Such a great book! Gene Robinson lays out a very beautiful and compelling argument for gay marriage. If I wasn't already a supporter, I definitely would be now. I think this is a book that all Christians should read. Everyone should read it, but I think it is most important for Christians because it addresses many of the issues about homosexuality and gay marriage that come up for people of faith, and it does so in a very logical and loving way. As a Christian supporter of gay rights, I am asham ...more
I read this book after watching/listening to some interviews with Bishop Robinson and being super impressed by his articulation of his personal experiences and theology and how they've informed his views on gay marriage. Generally, I appreciate this book as a whole because it is just a huge relief to me that, despite the horrible parts, there is finally a large national conversation happening on gay rights. Like, when I read this and think about how we have a president who supports gay marriage, ...more
Jesse Bray
A fantastic read! Smart, insightful and really straightforward. Anyone that has taken either side on the issue of Gay Marriage should absolutely read this book! The author leaves no stone unturned has he uses his wit,personal experience, intelligence and contextual understanding of scripture. I found this book encouraging and incredibly easy to read. Robinson uses plain language and doesn't hold back any uncomfortable details.
While this book is probably geared more towards those who question whether or not to support same-sex marriage, it is still a great read for supporters. Provides a lot of great counter-arguments to some of the most common arguments raised in opposition to same-sex marriage. Chapter 4 in particular- which breaks down the seven main religious texts offered as support for opposing same-sex marriage and why they actually aren't about same-sex marriage (or even homosexuality) - is well worth the read ...more
Steve Lee Sr
I've owned this book since it first hit the shelves, but was not in a hurry to read it because I'm already a supporter of marriage equality and I don't need further convincing. I bought the book because a) I'm Episcopalian; and b) I'm a fan (so to speak) of Gene Robinson.

Looking for something to read the other day, this book caught my eye and I pulled it from the shelf and started to read it. I'm glad I did. I found it to be a helpful and enlightening discussion of marriage; not gay marriage, ju
Dallas Rising
I'm way behind the curve on this one - the time to read it would have been about four years ago when this debate was more controversial. But one can still learn a lot from how Robinson presents his view of a topic that can be so contentious in an approachable, respectful, and powerful way.
Blair Shamel
From the man who was the target of the controversy in the Episcopal Church. Well reasoned, spoken from experience and his heart. Read it and get the truth behind why Gay Marriage is a right and joyful thing we should all celebrate.
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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 MDiv degree in 1973 at the General Theological Seminary in New York, and was ordained deacon and then priest, serving as curate at Christ Church, Ridgewood, NJ. Robinson is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. He was elected bishop ...more
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“Still, as a straight person, you might say, "This just isn't my fight." No, it isn't. Unless you care about the kind of society we have. Unless you want the society of which you are a part to be a just one. Unless you believe that a free society, not to mention a godly religion, should fight injustice wherever it is found. Unless your religion tells you -- as our entire Judeo-Christian heritage does -- that any society will be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable. Unless you care about our children. Unless fairness matters to you. Unless violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people concerns you. Unless "liberty and justice for all" is something you believe applies to all our citizens.” 9 likes
“Jesus was consistently on the side of those who were outcast by society and bore the unfair burden of disdain, discrimination, and prejudice. It is likely that he would look at modern-day lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and hold real sympathy for them and their plight. He would have understood the implications of a system set up to benefit the heterosexual majority over the homosexual minority. It is hard to imagine Jesus joining in the wholesale discrimination against LGBT people. Isn't it logical that he would be sympathetic to young gay teens who take their own lives rather than live with the stigma attached to their sexual orientation? Would he not be found speaking a word of support, encouragement, and hope to them? Would he not be seeking a change in the hearts of those who treat them as outcasts?” 6 likes
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