Join the reconciliation.
Love isn’t a prize to be won.
Here are the stories behind the largest-ever scientific study conducted on the religious history, practices, and beliefs of the LGBT community.
The facts are startling. The verdict is clear: We don’t have to agree in order to love each other well. Whether your position is pro-gay or traditionalist, progressive or conservative, welcoming or affirming, we are all people who desire to be loved by God. In a dialogue defined by opposition, one small act of kindness is all it takes for reconciliation to begin.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The data and underlying stories in Us Versus Us have never been told before, and the vacuum left by that neglect has been filled with conjecture, presumption, prejudice, anger, insecurity, paranoia, and a host of other unfortunate distractions. And so we find ourselves in a place where LGBT people feel persecuted by the church, and people of conservative faith feel persecuted by the LGBT community. There is no common ground or desire to engage in meaningful conversation apart from the expectation that one side drops what they believe to join the other. The outcome is a minefield across which we lob accusations, threats, and insults—and which hardly any would dream of crossing.
For the first time ever, this research shows that the stories of the LGBT community and the religious community are interwoven in the most intimate ways. This makes our stories more complex, and yet more hopeful through our shared experiences.
Community is only authentic to the extent that it includes everyone.
About the Author
Andrew Marin, a world-renowned voice on the intersection of faith and sexuality, is the author of Love Is an Orientation and Our Last Option. He is researching and teaching in the divinity school at the University of St. Andrews, and has spoken on issues of faith, sexuality, and reconciliation to the US Congress, the United Nations, the Australian Parliament, and churches and conferences throughout the world. Andrew resides in St. Andrews, Scotland, with his wife.
In Andrew Marin’s Own Words:
I see the intersection of these two communities as a point of connection, not a point of divide.
I have committed my life to building bridges in defiance of a binary-building world, connecting opposing worldviews not based on common ground or even the prospect of future agreement, but rather on fidelity to the idea and process of reconciliation.
Someone has to begin to love. This is how social healing happens.
Revolutions of peace never start big. One small act of kindness is all it takes.
The groundbreaking research behind Us Versus Us changes the conversation between the LGBT community and the church, offering new insight into how these two communities can relate to each other within one of our society’s most prevalent culture wars. This book is not only timely and important, but also profoundly helpful; addressing how to understand and heal so many painful experiences between religion and sexuality. Give yourself and the rest of humanity a gift; read it.
WM PAUL YOUNG
Author of The Shack, Cross Roads, and Eve
No conversation in the church is more explosive than the sexuality debate and no voice in this conversation is more effective than Andrew Marin’s. These deeply personal debates often divide more than unite, but Marin’s sober and winsome approach summons both sides to a common table. “Us Versus Us” is a page-turning collision of stats and stories with the power to revolutionize the modern sexuality debate. Do not miss it—the church will be discussing it for a long, long time.
Author of Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined and senior columnist for Religion News Service
God and gays are closer than you might imagine, and the gap is shrinking every day. If you think America is doomed to a future of polarization and culture wars, Andrew Marin provides an antidote, with the hard data and human stories to back it up. This big-hearted, richly textured book will shatter stereotypes and help us all think better. And love better, too.
Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
Through meticulous research and in-depth interviews, Andy Marin reveals some staggering truths about the religious beliefs and experiences of LGBT people. The results are both shocking and hopeful. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground at some of the statistics and testimonies in this book. If Us Versus Us doesn’t produce a radical posture shift in the evangelical church, then God help us all.
Author of People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue
This book will shatter the predominant caricature many in the church have of LGBT folk. They are, as Andrew Marin’s research reveals, just like us. For those of us to whom LGBT are people with faces, this research will be received, not with surprise, but relief. Finally now, can we get on with seeing the other rightly, and that must surely start with the Imago Dei. This book should be read far and wide.
Author of Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality
Almost all discourse and writing about LGBTs and faith ebbs to theology and biblical interpretation. What’s been sorely missing are sociological insights—anchored to research rather than opinion—of the current landscape. Andrew Marin offers a profound gift to us (however you define “us”) that will, I’m confident, lead to more understanding, more inquiry, more grace, and more love.
Partner in The Youth Cartel, and author of Hopecasting: Finding, Keeping and Sharing the Things Unseen
Andrew Marin thickens the plot once again. You can try to say LGBT people are through with religion or are not themselves particularly religious, but the findings from this ambitious study suggest there is much more to the story.
MARK A. YARHOUSE, PSY.D.
Rosemarie Hughest Endowed Chair & Professor of Psychology, Regent University