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Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, refutes the arguments against same-sex marriage in a straightforward and simple but never condescending manner. Each of the 10 chapters answers one question, covering topics such as why heterosexuals should care about gay marriage, biblical teachings on homosexuality, the definition of marriage, and the claim children need two opposite-sex parents. These answers are designed for believing, religious individuals who may be undecided on the issue. Robinson's mix of reasoned logic, personal experiences, church teachings, and social science research may not convince the most ardent opponents, but it will provide proponents convenient, compact ways of addressing challenges. Each chapter stands independently, thus allowing readers to choose topics of most importance to them, but also leading to some repetition. Some answers also arrive more obliquely than others, answering both the main question and a related but unstated objection. The underlying tone is one of compassion and genuine hope for meaningful shift toward acceptance of same-sex unions. Robinson' s case is not radical but rather gentle with moments of humor. Such an approach seeks to defuse the debate and provide readers a solid entrance into the LGBT-affirming worldview of liberal Protestantism. Agent: Doug Abrams. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
With anti-gay-marriage amendments on the November 2012 ballots in Minnesota, Maine, and possibly Maryland, this pro-gay-marriage brief by the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire couldn't be more timely, or more authoritative, for Robinson is in a gay marriage himself. After considering Why gay marriage now? (for an exhaustive answer to which, see Linda Hirshman's Victory, 2012), Robinson fields direct and personable chapters on the standard elements of the gay-marriage debate: why straight people should care, why civil unions aren't a satisfactory alternative, what the Bible actually says about homosexuality, why Jesus would approve of gay marriage, how gay marriage would change the traditional definition of marriage, whether gay marriage undermines marriage per se, whether disapproving churches will be oppressed by gay marriage, gay marriage's impact on children, and whether gay marriage is a matter of civil rights or of validating bad behavior. Whole books exist on most of those topics, but Robinson does yeoman's work at arguing them all concisely and placing the love of God foremost in readers' minds as it is in his.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Robinson (In the Eye of the Storm) is the first "out" gay man to be advanced to the episcopacy in the U.S. Episcopal Church. He became the ninth bishop of New Hampshire in March 2004 and has been legally married to his partner for several years. He argues here cogently on both experiential and theological grounds that gay marriage should be supported by Christian churches. Relating some of his own biography to make his points, he writes simply and straightforwardly in a style meant to be accessible to Christian laypeople. He is heartfelt and unashamed of showing his emotions. However, many (or indeed most) people seem to have made up their minds on the issue of churchly support for gay marriage, and Bishop Robinson's chances of persuading the opposition with this forthright personal approach are not great. (Governmental approval for gay marriage is a separate issue, as he points out.) Religious opponents would merely say that he was justifying his own sin by (among other things) misinterpreting the clear sense of scripture. Verdict Easy to read and convincing but mainly to people who already agree. Unfortunately, this book will not much advance the discussion on church or government policy toward gay marriage.-James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.