Not Ours to Give

Gary David Comstock is Protestant chaplain and visiting assistant professor of sociology at Wesleyan University. The author cites his "lover/partner Ted" in the acknowledgments, and thus manifestly belongs to the group he describes in uniformly favorable terms. The book is interesting, and in many respects challenging to the traditionally minded reader. A jacket blurb by Professor Wade Clark Roof of the University of California at Santa Barbara calls it a "useful and timely piece of research." Despite its impressive scholarly apparatus, however, Unrepentant exhibits several methodological and philosophical defects. First, we note that Comstock draws his data from unrepresentative sources: most of his tables compare the United Church of Christ (UCC)—an almost entirely liberal denomination and one of two which have recognized homosexuality as morally legitimate—and the United Methodist Church (UMC), a much larger denomination with strongly liberal tendencies, especially among the denominational leadership, but in which conservative and evangelical elements exercise considerable influence. He assumes the accuracy of the gravely flawed Kinsey studies on human sexuality and their conclusion that ten percent of the males in American society are more or less exclusively homosexual. He refers to "Good News," a parachurch organization in Atlanta, but makes no reference to the Good News Fellowship, an...

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