by Donna Minkowitz ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 6, 1998
An offbeat but engaging exploration of the religious right from a self-described radical lesbian. Minkowitz already has a gem of a reputation among the religious right for her famous 1995 Ms. article, where she posed as a teenage boy to get the scoop on the Promise Keepers. In this book (her first), the Village Voice reporter infiltrates other bastions of evangelicalism, including Focus on the Family, the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, and Grace 'N Vessels, ""a kaffeeklatsch of Christian women."" But Minkowitz's insinuations shun the facile genre of exposÆ’ for a more subtle and more personally revealing give-and-take. At Promise Keepers, she is moved by the tender affection that men are permitted, for once, to demonstrate to other men and by the participants' anguished admissions of their relational failures. At its core, though, this is a book about sex, about the unbridled passion that simultaneously fascinates and repels the religious right. At the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (a group whose worship is so spontaneous and radical that it has been removed from its parent denomination), Minkowitz observes how the language of worshipers casts God as an angry, abusive lover, a theme that is repeated often throughout the book. In many evangelical circles, the worshiper's relationship with God is portrayed as almost explicitly sexual: ""can't nobody do me like Jesus,"" as one little gift says proudly. Minkowitz interweaves several chapters on organizations in the gay rights movement, including Sex Panic! and the S/M Leather Fetish Celebration, What she discovers through these implicit comparisons is that the radical right is a lot more like the radical left than it is different from it--especially regarding sex. She claims that both groups obsess about conquering sin (which S/M people call ""violence""). Told with great humor and also--yes, really--love. As Minkowitz brazenly tells three white men from Focus, ""I really love you guys. But I just really hate your sin!
Pub Date: Nov. 6, 1998
Page Count: 224
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1998
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