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Book Review: God Believes in Love – Straight Talk about Gay Marriage by Gene Robinson

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Gay, History2 Comments
god-believes-in-love-cover There’s been a lot of talk about gay marriage recently, not just in the UK but internationally. So when God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage by Gene Robinson arrived from Publishers Group UK I couldn’t wait to read it, which is what I did over the festive period.

Now before I start the review I feel compelled to say upfront that I’m pagan; but I was raised as a Catholic as so much as my brothers and I all went to Catholic Schools and we attended Church on special occasions (e.g. Christenings, Weddings, Christmas, etc.). So with my Christian childhood in mind, let me tell you about this book…

Firstly it’s presented really well – hardback with parchment-like paper and a easy to read font. On the back cover there’s a quote which instantly sparked my interest from President Barack Obama which says:

“My friend Bishop Gene Robinson has long been a voice for equality – not with anger or vitriol, but with compassion and faith. He has been guided by the simple precept that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
– President Barack Obama
(From: God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage by Gene Robinson, 2012)

Gene writes in a conversational style throughout the book making it feel like you’re sat somewhere warm and cosy listening to him speak, a writing style that I found captivating. He starts with an introduction sharing his story of being in love with and marrying his best friend (a woman); having two daughters but later realising that his attraction to the same gender could not be suppressed or changed.

Gene writes that he and his wife divorced and that he later met and fell in love with Mark his husband. In this introduction he explains what marriage means to him, that he and Mark had a ‘Civil Union,’ before getting married (after it was made legal for them to do so) and the he later became IX Bishop of New Hampshire. It is a heart warming that he chose to share his life experience and I have a huge respect for him doing this as it would make most people feel exposed & vulnerable.

Gene answers ten questions commonly posed by those against gay marriage:
1. Why Gay Marriage Now?
2. Why Should You Care About Gay Marriage If You’re Straight?
3. What’s Wrong with Civil Unions?
4. Doesn’t the Bible Condemn Homosexuality?
5. What Would Jesus Do?
6. Doesn’t Gay Marriage Change the Definition of Marriage That’s Been in Place for Thousands of Years?
7. Doesn’t Gay Marriage Undermine Marriage?
8. What If My Religion Doesn’t Believe in Gay Marriage?
9. Don’t Children Need a Mother and a Father?
10. Is This About Civil Rights or Getting Approval for Questionable Behaviour?

Gene’s answers are intelligent, insightful and obviously well thought out. His knowledge of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans history and civil rights activism was fascinating. I thought I was well educated on gay history, but he conveyed some history of which I was unaware.

Gene recognises that straight people need to advocate for gay people and encourages them throughout the book to “get to know us,” listen to gay people’s stories and believe them as their truth. He asks them to try and imagine walking in a gay persons shoes.

Gene examines the meaning and context of scriptures used to condemn homosexuality which would help any gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans Christians accept their sexuality within their faith.

Gene discusses the concept of marriage and it’s evolution over centuries; this chapter of the book was absolutely engrossing. I’ve never really looked into marriage as a concept or how it’s developed over time.

Gene shares his vision for the future; where the State recognises marriage regardless of the sexuality of the people involved legislatively (giving them the same benefits, rights and protections) and that Church’s role (regardless of religion) is to invite God to bless and be a part of the marriages. Gene states that religious institutions need to look at their own stance on homosexuality and the issue of gay marriage.

Gene concludes with a chapter on God Believes in Love stating that to selflessly love another is how God feels about us his children. He encourages all to love your neighbour as you would want to be loved.

Now you’ll notice throughout this review I’ve referred to the author by his first name, Gene. That’s because by the end of the book I feel as though I’ve made a friend; one whose educational, non-preachy and represents the best of human spirituality.

If you’re undecided about gay marriage whether you’re gay or straight or merely interested in the topic you’ll love God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage by Gene Robinson which is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,


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Day Trip: Liverpool

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Happiness & JoyNo Comments

(A photo of one of the famous
Liver Birds.)
One weekend a few weeks ago on a gorgeous, bright sunny day Chrys, Simon, two of Chrys’ visiting foreign friends and I went for a day trip to Liverpool. I’ve not been to Liverpool in years and don’t know the city well. So we were really lucky to have a proper scouser in Chrys. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide to show us around her lovely city.

One of Chrys foreign friends has a love of architecture and photography and Liverpool is full of beautiful architecture. The foreign friend pointed out many grand architectural features at high points on the buildings. I’m not normally one to notice architecture, so her pointing it made me notice the detailed carvings in the stone.

Here’s a man holding a torch which is an example of the architecture I’m talking about along with a fountain that caught my eye (click on any of the photos on this blog post to see a full size image):

Next Chrys showed us where The Beatles started off at The Cavern Club:

Opposite The Cavern Club is ‘Liverpool Wall Of Fame’ (photo right). It’s got a gold disk for every liverpudlian whose had a Number 1 Single in the charts.

As I was taking in the graffiti people from seemingly all over the world had written, I noticed this:

It was a statement somebody had written that read:
“Everyone and everything in this universe is interconnected
Stay true to your heart and you’ll see the signs
Follow the signs to uncover your destiny”

I was shocked to see something so deep written. It reminded me to keep listening to my heart and to keep an eye out for signs from the universe in my daily life.

Chrys treated us to a cruise on the ferry across the Mersey. The sun was hot but it was cooled by the breeze. As the ferry sailed along I found the combination of the sunshine, breeze and movement very relaxing. I got to see the fantastic Liverpool skyline and found the history of the Mersey, Liverpool and the docks coming over the tannoy really interesting.

We did a full circle on the ferry getting off where we’d started. Then we decided to walk along the Mersey on the way to the docks.

(Waiting to get on the ferry.)

Along the Mersey front we saw these:

There was some debate as to whether they were sheep, dogs or some other animal. They reminded me of The CowParade in Manchester (see CowParade Gallery for photos). Simon explained to me that these pieces of art work had at one time been dotted around Liverpool like the CowParade. I was pleased that Liverpool had kept these and displayed them on the Mersey front.

We approached the docks with the various bars, shops and resturants. I really wanted to get a photo of the dry docks, but unfortunately they were carrying out work on them. So here’s a photo of a “wet” dock:

After having a look around a few shops, we decided to head to a traditional pub as Chrys and Simon wanted to show the rest of us the immaculate toilets. Before jumping in the taxi I saw this yellow submarine and just had to take a photo:

We reached the pub and all enjoyed a drink before realising just how late it was, just after six. Chrys’ two foreign friends had really enjoyed themselves and informed us that as a thank you they would cook tea when we get home to Chrys’. Chrys wanted to show them one last place on route to the train station, the Catholic Church:

(Above Left: The Catholic Church, Right: Architecture on the Catholic Church.)

Apparently Jesus goes home at six, back to Chrys’ cellar as does the Catholic priests as the Church was closed. So we didn’t get to see the inside which is apparently beautiful. We headed back to Chrys’ on the train.

When we arrived at Chrys’ Simon got the fire going, Chrys and I made the garden look pretty with candles and Chrys’ two foreign friends got busy in the kitchen. I started to flag at this point as I’d only had about three hours sleep the night before. By the time we all sat down to eat my stomach was churning due to tiredness and I wasn’t able to eat anything. But it smelt delicious and I thanked them for their culinary efforts after I explained why I wasn’t eating. We said our goodbyes and I headed for home.

It was a wonderful day and I’d just like to thank Chrys, Simon and Chrys’ two foreign friends for a great day trip.

Blog soon,


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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