How does an atheist approach reviewing a book on gay spirituality?
I suppose from the rear would be too cute an answer, so I’ll go with with patience and cautious optimism and leave it there. My atheism stems from an aborted major in Philosophy and Religious Studies in college, but one lesson I learned from those classes is that most, if not all, world religions stress the same tenets – basic caring, kindness and compassion for others, no matter what your differences are.
And on that basis, Salvatore Sapienza’s Gay is a Gift is a gift indeed – a fine offering of affirmation, information and motivation that will raise both your spirits and your consciousness. Livened and enriched by personal anecdotes and practical exercises, Sapienza’s book illuminates one man’s struggle to eliminate the negativity of being gay and replace it with the fine, white light of positivism.
If you are already of a spiritual bent and have reconciled that side of yourself with your sexuality, you may find much of what’s here to be old news. This is more of a primer than a deep exploration of the subject, but simple doesn’t mean simplistic. Sapienza does an excellent job of reducing some difficult concepts down to a layman’s level and everyone can find something to think about here.
For example, in a discussion on the question of Jesus’ sexuality, Sapienza states the following:
“…I don’t mean to imply that Jesus was gay. It is interesting to note, however, that a disproportionately large number of the most highly conscious spiritual teachers in the history of the world were men and women who refused to partner with the opposite sex. If marriage and procreation are so sacred, then why did the majority of the most spiritually aware individuals on the planet refuse to partake in either?”
Now, that’s a question I’d like to put to the Westboro Baptist Church, if they could only understand it.
Modeled after Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Gay is a Gift has an inclusive bibliography that will lead you to more specifically detailed reading on the subject. It’s a short, eminently readable summation of spirituality that will uplift, encourage and start you down whatever path you choose.
So help me G … well, you know.
Reviewed by Jerry Wheeler