UNFAIR: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work
Reading John Shore is unlike reading any other author. He radiates brilliant intelligence and passion, yet is devastatingly funny. One of the first prominent Christians to challenge conventional Christian thought on homosexuality, his writings are widely recognized to have permanently changed the debate on that issue, and remain central to its ongoing conversation. UNFAIR offers the best of Shore’s galvanizing essays on homosexuality and Christians/Christianity, interspersed between inspiring, heart-wrenchingly honest letters sent to Shore from gay people testifying about what it’s like to grow up and live both gay and Christian. Its concluding essay, “Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality,” is an original, comprehensive, and masterful argument for why using the Bible as the basis for condemning “unrepentant” gay people is not only untenable and unscriptural, it’s immoral. If you read only one book on the subject of gay people and Christianity, make it UNFAIR.
Printed edition, direct from author, 8.5 x 5.5 in., softcover, signed by John Shore and inscribed per your request. (Each book also comes with one of John’s utterly bookmark-worthy business cards, signed and dated on back.)
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“The touching, brave, and frequently heartbreaking letters in ‘UNFAIR’ should be required reading for any Christian who claims that gay people can’t also be Christians–and for LGBT people who feel there’s some conflict between their sexual orientations or gender identities and their faith. John Shore is sharp, he’s funny, and he’s right. To find out why I’ve called him America’s preeminent non-douchey Christian, buy and read this book. And I challenge anyone who believes that the Bible justifies the persecution of their gay and lesbian neighbors–particularly those on the religious right who’ve made lucrative careers for themselves out of bearing false witness against their gay and lesbian neighbors–to read this book’s concluding essay, ‘Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality.’ Read John with an open mind and he’ll change yours.”
More praise for UNFAIR:
For most of us, the fact that gay kids growing up in evangelical homes are made to feel worthless, unloved and unwanted is just plain depressing. For John Shore … it’s a challenge–an opportunity to teach, to preach, to gently mock, and, most importantly, to throw the love of Jesus right back at evangelicals. — Randy Roberts Potts
Amen! A book that gives voice to the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people who have been told they must sacrifice their identity to be Christian — Believe Out Loud
John Shore writes a very popular blog on religious and social issues. Early in 2011, I observed as a few folks began emailing John about their struggles with the church’s position on homosexuality and the prejudice they faced from the church because of their sexuality. Without fail, John responded with grace and love to those letter writers, and in his responses, issued numerous challenges to the church to repent of their sins.
Sensing the power of these personal stories, John issued a call for folks to share their stories, to share the pain inflicted upon them by the church, and their struggles to reconcile faith and sexuality. Those letters form the framework of UNFAIR: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work. Each of these letters tore at my heartstrings as I read of the hatred and abuse heaped upon the writers, and I am angered by the fact that this abuse was committed in the name of Christ. Yet there is liberation in the letters as well, as some of the writers relate wonderfully touching, amazing personal experiences of a God that offers no condemnation, but only love and welcome.
Interspersed between these letters are John’s own reflections, in articles that challenge the church to actually inhabit the gospel of grace and share that grace with others.
Finally, John and his wife Cat systematically lay waste to all so-called “biblical” opposition to homosexuality, taking each of the so called “clobber passages” and stripping them of the rhetoric that has been attached.
As a former conservative evangelical, and now progressive pastor; I have studied the issue of homosexuality for years. I can say that without a doubt, this book is the best treatment of the subject that I have ever read. This should be on the desk of every pastor, every teacher or youth leader. — Roger McClellan, The Progressive Christian Alliance
I just finished reading John Shore’s UNFAIR: Why the ‘Christian’ View of Gays Doesn’t Work.
I’m not trying to exaggerate, but anyone who reads this book and still has a hard heart towards gay people defended by a christian worldview, I would seriously question the existence of their soul, conscience, heart or ability to reason.
Shore presents a collection of letters that he’s received over the years from GLBT individuals who have had a first hand experience of the Church’s discrimination against gay people (he writes a blog, so he gets a lot of mail/email from readers), interspersed with essays written by himself, all ultimately demonstrating “Why the ‘Christian’ View of Gays Doesn’t Work”. The last chapter is an essay written by Shore and his wife entitled Taking God at his Word: The Bible and Homosexuality, which addresses the 7 specific verses in the Bible that appear to refer to homosexuality.
The letters themselves are what I found most powerful about this book. Personal accounts of people who have lost relationships, livelihood, and love because of the Church’s insistence on defending the lie that God does not accept gay people as they are. Some of them lost hope and lost their faith. But a very good many of them learned to separate the Church (humans) from God, and found that God loved them and wanted to have a relationship with them. It is really beautiful, and this testament supports the overwhelming truth of this book. God loves everyone, he created everyone to be exactly who they are, and he intended gay people to belong in his Church body.
Shore’s essays are sharp and clairvoyant. He has a gift for seeing the true nature of things, and expressing it concisely with words. He clears the cloudiness in our minds of why this issue makes people uncomfortable, why they fight it so strongly, why this topic, hardly discussed in the Bible, is blown SO COMPLETELY out of proportion as to destroy people’s lives. He exposes the blatant hypocrisy in the church on this issue, that should leave just about anyone who identifies as Christian, not just a little embarrassed. He is confident that things are changing, and that it is only a matter of time before the church hardly remembers a time when it excluded gay people.
John Shore is a straight, married man. He didn’t become a Christian until he was 38 years old, but he is very earnest about his faith, and I think that’s why this is so important to him. He came into the church later in life and was horrified to see that this was going on in communities of believers. People who grow up in the church I think become immune the appalling attitudes of the church towards GLBT people.
Please, for the Love of God, read this book. — Fish out of Water: The Life and Times of a Gay Girl in the Midwest
John Shore, a straight, humorous, insightful man has written UNFAIR: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work. The “quotes marks” around Christian are on purpose, in case you were wondering. Now, lest you think this is John’s only book about Christianity, what works and what doesn’t, think again. He’s been writing these thought provoking page turners for a while.
UNFAIR offers thirty powerful pieces of writing that ran the gamut of personal persecution stories to gays by people who feel the Bible justifies them and makes them right in their thinking, and an additional eighteen pieces of writing by Mr. Shore that point out why what these “Christians” are doing in the name of Christianity is so wrong. It’s pretty potent stuff. The beautiful thing is that much of the book is done with insight and humor, which make it eye opening without being inflammatory — Shelly’s LGBT Book Review Blog