A searing indictment of the heterosexual patriarchy and evangelical institutions that posits that true spirituality is found through love, not religion.
Bradley’s debut offers what many readers may see as a radical idea: that Jesus Christ’s message of love was ultimately hijacked by straight men in powerful religious organizations that promote inequality and impede civil rights. These institutions, he says, cultivate an atmosphere that threatens Christ’s nurturing love by empowering propagators of “dark thoughts”—including political conservatives and their “values voters.” As a result, Bradley’s book encourages a rejection of religion and dark thinkers in favor of a spirituality focused on love, self-reliance and personal well-being. Along with an introduction to this philosophy, he offers an array of commentaries on disparate subjects, including gun ownership, the benefits of meditation, the lie of the American dream, and the dangers of pornography and video games. The timeliest of these looks at the long-term effects of bullying, drawing on the author’s own experiences as a gay teenager. Although this book clearly champions the rights of the LGBT community in general, it hardly touches upon bisexual and transgender issues, instead focusing primarily on those of gay men. As is fitting for its subject matter, the book reads like a sermon, filled with fiery rhetoric and plentiful vitriol (“Barbaric violence between testosterone-driven alpha male masters is abnormal”), but it still manages to digress in an easy, conversational matter. It also includes a smattering of biblical references, along with some vague anecdotes and unsourced figures. However, for a text that focuses so heavily on love being the path to spirituality, it’s surprisingly negative. It’s clear that the author’s indignation comes from a candid place, so it is impossible not to feel sympathetic and share his outrage. But because so much of the book bristles with anger, many of its most promising ideas remain unexplored.
Passionate writing on a plethora of topics that might have delved deeper into its positive philosophy.