September 27, 2009

SNN Recommends 9/27/09-"Stranger at the Gate" by Mel White

I (Jim) couldn't put this book down when I finally got around to reading it. White's writing style is captivating, and I found the story of his mighty struggle with his sexuality riveting. I challenge anyone with an open mind to read this book and not want to be an activist for equality!

Amazon customer ranking: 41 of 62 gave 5 out of 5 stars
SNN ranking: 5 out of 5 stars

There are plenty of clergymen's coming-out stories (most by Anglican priests) and plenty of gay replies to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other antigay Christian evangelists, but on both counts, this is the one everybody's been waiting for. Raised in the same mold as those religious-right leaders, White was their colleague and collaborator. He ghostwrote two books for Falwell (including Mr. Moral Majority's "autobiography"), one for Robertson, and speeches for nonclerical gay-baiter Ollie North and the less problematic Billy Graham. Before the ghosting, White pursued a hectically successful career as an evangelical filmmaker, conference and retreat organizer, and occasional preacher. All the while, he, a married man with two children, struggled with homosexuality, which he says he felt from his earliest awareness of sexual consciousness. He lasted 25 years as a committed family man before he and long-suffering wife Lyla agreed he had to come out completely and divorced. Although decidedly egotistical (we especially wish White would say more about his heroic wife), this autobiography is moving, inspirational, and not a little spectacular--which makes it all the more readable.

Click here to purchase the book and read the customer reviews.

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