North Carolina Newspapers

    8
The Book Corner
God and Gays
Gays Under Grace: A Gay Christian’s
Response to the Moral Ma.jority by
Maury Johnston. Winston Derek Publishers,
Nashville. $15.95.
To call Gays Under Grace powerful would
only underestimate the influence this book
has on its reader and the potential change
it could bring about in the Christian
Church’s perception of homosexuality. It
is not another weak defense of the gay
community but a serious theological study,
based entirely on the Bible from Sodom and
Gomorrah through Paul’s Epistles.
Johnston does not pick and choose his
i scriptural passages from those which fit
’ his arguments; instead, he brings out
every single verse used by Jerry Falwell
and the rest of the Radical Religious
Right to condemn homosexuals. He puts
these verses into their proper social,
historical, and scriptural contexts
— something the Moral Majority often
fails to do.
Gays Under Grace begins by laying out
the arguments put forth by Anita Bryant
and Oral Roberts. Johnston discusses some
of the more popular contributions to what
he refers to as the "Homophobic Book
Binge." Among the more ridiculous is a
passage from Tim Lattaye’s The Unhappy Gay
where Lattaye argues that the Antichrist
will be gay based on Daniel 11:37. (Only
the King James Version even allows the
possibility of this argument: "Neither
shall he regard the God of his fathers,
nor the desire of women...." The "desire
of women" actually refers to the god
Adonis-Tammuz, whose cult consisted of
women.)
Gays Under Grace meticulously explains
the scriptures, concluding that it is not
homosexuality that is condemned but
perversion (unnatural sexual practices).
The homosexual is not perverted but in
reality inverted. He would be perverted
if he tried to go straight, something
which for him/her is unnatural. A
person’s sexual orientation is a gift from
God to be used as it is given.
But gays get criticized in Gays Under
Grace, too. Johnston believes that gay
churches, namely the Universal Fellowship
of Metropolitan Community Churches, is
afraid to tell its members that not all
sex is permitted by God. Johnston criti“
cizes promiscuity and "open relationships
as immoral and uses scripture to back it
up. He may not make too many friends
among some people in today’s gay social
scene, but as a gay Christian myself, I
could not help but feel that he was right.
Just because I’m gay doesn’t give me the
right to ignore what God says in the
Bible. I feel it is my responsibility as
a gay Christian to bring the gospel to the
rest of the gay community. If gay Christ
ians don’t do it, who will? Certainly not
the Radical Right.
-Jim Duley
Activists Join GRNL Board
Two gay activists, Deborah Johnson of
Los Angeles and Gil Gerald of Washington,
DC, have joined the Board of Directors of
the Gay Rights National Lobby. The two
will begin their work with the Lobby this
month.
Deborah Johnson currently serves on the
Board of Directors of the Gay/Lesbian
Community Service Center in Los Angeles,
as well as on the Board of Project
Justice, a gay/lesbian coalition working
for justice for minority gays/lesbians.
In June 1984, Ms. Johnson and her lover,
Zandra Rolon, won a discrimination suit
against Papa Choux, a Los Angeles
restaurant.
Gil Gerald, Executive Director of the
National Coalition of Black Gays, served
as whip for Jesse Jackson’s District of
Columbia delegation at the 1984 Democratic
Convention in San Francisco. Mr. Gerald,
an architect, is also a former board
member of the Human Rights Campaign Fund
and former president of the DC Coalition
of Black Gay Men and Women.
Integrity Forms in Durham
Integrity, a national organization
providing a ministry by and for gays and
lesbians, has formed a chapter in Durham.
Integrity is an affiliate of the Episcopal
Church and offers support to gays and
lesbians, as well as to their families and
friends. It embraces persons of all
sexual orientations and religious
beliefs.
No regular time has yet been set for
meetings. For more information on the
group, call Stephen in Durham at 477-
0654.
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