Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance

Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance

Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance

Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance


"In this dynamic legal context the publication of Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini's Love the Sinoffers a smart, but controversial, intervention." - Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"Important... a fresh way to argue for gay rights and sexual freedom." - Boston Phoenix

"Love the Sinis a progressive contribution to discussions about sexual and religious freedom in a country where we find less of both than most politicians, religious thinkers, media moralists, and "average Americans" want to admit." - Gay Today

"A brilliant book, one that can move public conversations about sexual, racial, and religious difference beyond present assumptions and impasses.Love the Sinsuggests that religion can become the ground for sexual freedom rather than the justification for sexual repression." - Margaret R. Miles, author of Seeing and Believing: Religion and Values in the Movies

"This impressive book provides analytical and strategic insights on the central obstacle to gay and lesbian freedom today: sexuality's treatment by religion. The authors' accessible voice, wide-ranging and original synthesis, and deep knowledge make the experience of reading this book a pleasure." - Urvashi Vaid, former director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute

"Jakobsen and Pellegrini argue convincingly that movements for ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual justice would be well served by using the paradigm of religious freedom instead of biological determinism to make the case for social change.Love the Sinis required reading for all the sinners to whom the title euphemistically refers, and for everyone who dreams of a more just society." - Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, author of Like Bread on the Seder Plate

"Gives us vital language to escape both the trap of toleration and the seduction of assimilation. Not afraid to challenge the certainties of the secular left on religion, nor willing to settle for a narrow version of gay and lesbian rights,Love the Sinpresents a new vision of American sexual and religious freedom." - Laura Levitt, Director of Jewish Studies, Temple University

"As ambitious, feisty, and exciting as any new passion,Love the Sintakes its readers on a compelling ride across the volatile landscape of religion and sex in American public life. The authors not only provoke and stimulate, guide and elucidate, but they redefine freedom and democracy as values for our sex lives as well as our sexual politics." - Lisa Duggan, coauthor of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture

"Jakobsen and Pellegrini do a nice job of showing how the love-the-sinner/hate-the- sin tradition falls dramatically short of the higher aspiration to tolerance." - Stephen Pomper,Washington Monthly

"The authors of this short but succinct study explore the connection between the traditions of Christianity and the political and social regulation of sexuality in America." - Library Journal

"Like any trumpet call to pull down the walls, this book serves its purpose by giving the GLBT community a new focus and even a renewed idealism." - The Gay & Lesbian Review

"We cannot afford to lose the battle for nonpartisan sex education in the schools, sexual freedom for all citizens or a host of other endangered human rights.Love the Sinis essential reading for anyone who cares about these issues." - Women's Review of Books"Love t


Love the Sinner. Hate the Sin. This familiar catch-phrase seems to be the guide for thinking about a number of contemporary moral issues, particularly those having to do with sex. In debates over homosexuality, reproductive rights, and teen pregnancy and welfare policy, the distinction between sin and sinner, act and person, seems to provide a middle ground, a compromise in which all are welcomed to the table, no one has to change deeply felt moral convictions, and, better still, no one gets hurt. But do things really work this way?

Love the sinner, hate the sin means that when Christians like Rev. Jerry Falwell or media personalities like Dr. Laura denounce homosexuality, they are not being hateful. They are simply taking a moral stand about a particular act or set of acts. In practice, however, love the sinner, hate the sin allows people to take positions that are punitive toward their fellow citizens, while at the same time experiencing themselves as being not simply ethical, but compassionate and even tolerant of difference.

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