Trying to broaden my horizons. Any good books I should read?

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    Apr 13, 2008 3:39 PM GMT
    I am trying to expand my way's of thinking about being gay life and everything. Right now I am reading a book on how homosexuality is viewed in many different religions, Androphile a right wing gay book. I have to still read the bible only Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John(only ones where the write about Jesus speaking... doesn't that tell you something about the others?) So I wanted to know of any other great book ideas. any topic from religion, life, on being gay,Philosophy, or any book you could say changed your way of thinking..

    Oh yeah I'll be posting this again at a better time like at night if no one responds. I know you all have ideas lol
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    Apr 13, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    'Stonewall' by Martin Duberman
    ISBN 0-452-27206-8

    ISBN 0-304-70543-9

    'Together Forever' by Eric Marcus
    ISBN 0-385-48875-0

    'Is It A Choice?' by Eric Marcus
    ISBN 0-062-51623-X

    'Making Gay History: A Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights' by Eric Marcus
    ISBN 0-060-93391-7

    'Girlfriend: Men, Women and Drag' by Holly Brubach
    ISBN 0-679-41443-6

    I thought I'd throw this one in there because it's a good reminder of who it was who fought the hardest for gay rights, and it's not only in North America that queens speak the loudest. Also, it has some great insights on gender roles in society.

    Happy reading

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    Apr 13, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    The one that comes to mind that is explicitly about homosexuality in the New Testament is...

    The Man Jesus Loved by Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.

    "Jennings starts out by examining the title character's role in the Gospel of St. John [John 13, 18-21]. It turns out that there is substantial similarity between the relationship between Jesus and the Beloved Disciple and that between a lover and a beloved in a Hellenistic gymnasium; nowadays we would say they were boyfriends or lovers. Jennings reviews various attempts to identify the Beloved Disciple and goes into the stories of the nude youth fleeing at the arrest of Jesus, of Lazarus, of the youth at the tomb of Jesus, and of the usage of the words eros vs. philia vs. agape (different Koine Greek words for love) in the text. Furthermore, there is no indication Jesus and the Beloved Disciple would not have consummated the relationship. Jennings makes a case that traditional commentators prefer to ignore or sublimate.

    Jennings moves on to show how the story of the Centurion's lad (pais,doulos) [Matthew 8:5-13] might reasonably be interpreted as Jesus being happy to help a sick lover in a same-sex relationship and on Jesus's compassion for eunichs.

    The final section gathers the evidence that Jesus wanted to convert traditional family values to a situation where everyone cares about everyone else and all have a direct connection to God."

    Not explicited about homosexuality, but good insight into how the New Testament evolved...I mean, can you add something to the gospels and have it still be the word of God?

    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman

    "The popular perception of the Bible as a divinely perfect book receives scant support from Ehrman, who sees in Holy Writ ample evidence of human fallibility and ecclesiastical politics. Though himself schooled in evangelical literalism, Ehrman has come to regard his earlier faith in the inerrant inspiration of the Bible as misguided, given that the original texts have disappeared and that the extant texts available do not agree with one another. Most of the textual discrepancies, Ehrman acknowledges, matter little, but some do profoundly affect religious doctrine. To assess how ignorant or theologically manipulative scribes may have changed the biblical text, modern scholars have developed procedures for comparing diverging texts. And in language accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman explains these procedures and their results. He further explains why textual criticism has frequently sparked intense controversy, especially among scripture-alone Protestants. In discounting not only the authenticity of existing manuscripts but also the inspiration of the original writers, Ehrman will deeply divide his readers. Although he addresses a popular audience, he undercuts the very religious attitudes that have made the Bible a popular book."

    Another Ehrman book...any of his books are good reads

    God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer by Bart Ehrman

    "Through close readings of every section of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, he discovers that the Bible offers numerous answers that are often contradictory. The prophets think God sends pain and suffering as a punishment for sin and also that human beings who oppress others create such misery; the writers who tell the Jesus story and the Joseph stories think God works through suffering to achieve redemptive purposes; the writers of Job view pain as God's test; and the writers of Job and Ecclesiastes conclude that we simply cannot know why we suffer. In the end, frustrated that the Bible offers such a range of opposing answers, Ehrman gives up on his Christian faith and fashions a peculiarly utilitarian solution to suffering and evil in the world: first, make this life as pleasing to ourselves as we can and then make it pleasing to others."


    Now this is a great book in my opinion. It examines Jesus' teaching without the divinity and heavenly reward crap...just what do Jesus' teaching say about how we should live HERE ON EARTH. This one will blow your socks off. I have never read the Beatitudes described like this.

    The Political Teachings of Jesus by Tod Lindberg


    This one is about Islam. It's the best history of the religion that I have read for the Westerner. It gives enough detail so you can understand who all the players in the religion are and why, but it doesnt drag you thru every Caliph that ever existed!

    No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan

    "Aslan, a young Iranian emigrant, lucidly charts the growth of Islam from Muhammad's model community in Medina—depicted as a center of egalitarian social reform—through the chaotic contest to define the faith after the Prophet's death. Within generations, seven hundred thousand hadith—accounts of Muhammad's words and deeds—were in circulation, many "fabricated by individuals who sought to legitimize their own particular beliefs." Out of this muddle was born the primacy of the ulema, Islam's clerical establishment. The ulema, in Aslan's view, foreclosed Koranic interpretation, detoured from the Medinan ideal, and obscured Islam under a thicket of legalistic decrees. Fifteen centuries after Muhammad, Islam has reached the age at which Christianity underwent its reformation; Islam's renewal, Aslan attests, "is already here." However, both modernizers and their "fundamentalist" opposites call themselves reformers, and the victory of the former is not assured."

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    Apr 13, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    I definitely ditto the Bart Ehrman book, Misquoting Jesus. It's a very eye-opening book about how the Bible was cobbled together by scribes and religious men with competing interests and an agenda to see the New Testament fulfill the holy prophecy of the Old Testament.

    You will never read the Bible the same way again.
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    Apr 14, 2008 1:26 AM GMT
    While England Sleeps by David Leavitt is my favorite book my by favorite gay author.

    In 1930's London a man tries to balance his two lives. One life with a wife he doesn't love and his other secret life with the man he truly loves. He cannot come to terms with societies and his own expectations for his life and the life he desperately wants to live. On the surface it is a cautionary tale about deceit and love. But by the end the despicable protagonist is very sympathetic and we see ourselves in him. You will want to can the Androphile book when you are done.
  • GeorgeNJ

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    Apr 14, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    Caslon saidThe one that comes to mind that is explicitly about homosexuality in the New Testament is...

    Caslon, do we get 3 credits for reading your post?

    (very nice, btw)
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    Apr 14, 2008 1:43 AM GMT
    Moneyball - The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

    Don't agree with all arguments made, but good baseball parallelization to life in general.
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    Apr 14, 2008 1:46 AM GMT
    The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

    It will change your life.
  • GeorgeNJ

    Posts: 216

    Apr 14, 2008 1:51 AM GMT
    Wrestling With God and Men, by Rabbi Steven Greenberg

    Jonathan Loved David, Homosexuality in Biblical Times, by Tom Horner

    The New Testament and Homosexuality, by Robin Scroggs

    A Place At the Table, by Bruce Bawer
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    Apr 14, 2008 2:02 AM GMT
    ggeo17 said[quote][cite]Caslon said[/cite]The one that comes to mind that is explicitly about homosexuality in the New Testament is...

    Caslon, do we get 3 credits for reading your post?

    (very nice, btw)[/quote]

    Yes, but I get 6 credits for going to all the trouble to post it! tee hee hee!
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    Apr 14, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    I've taught gay literature and these are three that I teach again and again.

    MAURICE by E. M. Forster

    A SINGLE MAN by Christopher Isherwood


    TALES OF THE CITY by Armistead Maupin

    I find gay men telling their own stories to be much more affirming than trying to find an interpretation of the Bible that suits you.

    Also, there's a great documentary about Isherwood and his lover, Don Bachardy coming out this summer. Isherwood was 49 when they met in Santa Monica and Bachardy was 18. They were together for 30 years, until Isherwood died in 1986. It's called CHRIS AND DON: A LOVE STORY and it's terrific.

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    Apr 14, 2008 3:33 AM GMT
    I won't say this will help you in your "gay" studies, but I'd recommend it all the same...

    I love survival stories. I finished reading "Rough Waters" last week.

    It's a collection of stories of people who were lost at sea, shipwrecked, drifted on rafts for months, or were rescued in terrible storms.

    My favorite is Stephen Callaghan, who, after more than 70 days on the open sea in a raft, could still look around him and see the beauty in the water and the sky and the sunsets. Remarkable man. Incredible stories.

    Strength comes from all different aspects of life....just a suggestion.icon_wink.gif

    Here is a link:

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    Apr 14, 2008 3:46 AM GMT
    Very interesting topic and replies... thanks for posting ;-) I'm going to have to look into this topic and catch up on the suggested literature. I've read a little bit on the topic in high school, but since I didn't have any belief that my sexuality and spirituality were ever in conflict with one another I never felt compelled to learn more about this particular issue. I hope to learn a lot more about what other gay men go through with religion and their sexuality... it will be worthwhile reading.
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    Apr 14, 2008 5:00 AM GMT
    Thanks you guys for starting me out. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 16, 2008 1:08 PM GMT
    Two good books to read as a backdrop for others might be:

    A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror
    by Larry Schweilkart - a ballanced guide to American history with a slightly consertive Republican bent

    and the counter to above book:

    People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present by Howard Zinn - This book is written from the point of view of those who were effected by history's events. It might be seen as a more libral Democratatic view, but accurate.

    Between the two books, there is plenty of information glossed over and forgotten by the public at large. I always think history is important in understanding current events and most other subject matter.