Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection

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Marvin Mahan Ellison, Kelly Brown Douglas
Westminster John Knox Press, 2010 - Religion - 439 pages
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Christian discourse on sexuality, spirituality, and ethics has continued to evolve since this book's first edition was published in 1994. This updated and expanded anthology featuring more than thirty contemporary essays includes more theologians and ethicists of color and addresses issues such as the intersection of race/racism and sexuality, transgender identity, same-sex marriage, and reproductive health and justice.


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The reference to Guy Nakatani as an example of a glbt man who engaged in sex as a form of self-gratification to lessen the pain of self-hatred and which is framed within the construct of religion and theology is by its very nature, the kind of righteous and moral sin-based messages that hurt children who are growing up glbt. The author frames Guy's experiences in the negative and is unable to acknowledge that perhaps Guy Nakatani was simply seeking love because he felt unworthy and unloved. It is a stretch to equate feelings of unworthiness with feelings of self-hatred. Marvin Ellison reflects either no understanding about human diversity as being part of being human, or simply chooses to exclude it in his essays. Because I am Guy's father, lived with him and was with him as he journeyed to his death, I know first hand that it is we, the so-called American, mainstream, Christian faith folks who led the process of denigrating and diminishing those who for whatever reason(s) that had a hand in his death. To attempt to say that it was Guy's sex addiction (which he was not one)
and by his hand alone that caused his demise is simply an attempt to disavow the complicity we all share in the outcomes of young people like Guy Nakatani. What I find unacceptable is to continue to promote the categorizing of people as "sinners" and being "holier than thou", even when cloaked in the context of being academic and educational
Alexander D Nakatani
President, Honor Thy Children, Inc.

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About the author (2010)

Marvin M. Ellison is Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics at Bangor Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books and articles on gender, sexuality, and family life, includingSame Sex Marriage?: A Christian Ethical Analysis.

Kelly Brown Douglas is the Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

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