[br]Hi friends, I’m so pleased to present this book review by David Parker. Enjoy!
Review of Grace and Demion
by David Parker
From the beginning of the formation of tribal societies, being different – an “outsider” – has been anathema to each tribal unit. The bible – or the Torah – addresses the particular strictures on the Jews for how they live their lives; these essentially tribal “laws” have been distorted by later-day religious leaders to condemn and criminalize same-sex attraction. Mel White addresses both the pain of being different due to his same-sex attraction and the competing joy of God’s love in his new fable.
Grace is an apprentice angel assigned to carry the message. Of God’s love of all his children to a young Boy Scout who is frightened and ashamed of his attraction to his tent mate. Meanwhile, Demion, a student demon in hell is sent to whisper in his ear “you are different” Both are assigned to this young man for life. Demion is charged with undermining his self esteem, while other demons slyly encourage parents, religious and political leaders, and others to attack anyone who is attracted to their own biological sex. Grace battles Demion and the others by constantly assuring the young boy that God loves him – just as she created him.
The fable follows the training of both; Grace in Heaven and Demion in Hell, in alternate chapters. Demion’s training is a vehicle for examining the meaning of the “clobber passages” and the story of Sodom used by many who have succumbed to Satan’s lure. Grace’s instruction is more direct – God loves every one of her children, just as she has created them. As a parent of a trans* child, I found it interesting that God “holds” her trans* children just a little longer before sending them off to be born because their lives will be especially challenging.
This is an excellent introduction to discussions about the various excuses given by many, especially religious leaders, for their discrimination and hateful teachings for discrimination against LGBTQ people. It includes a series of discussion questions about passages specifically directed toward each excuse. Affirming churches, support groups should find this book a valuable asset when discussing the Bible, same-sex attraction, and gender identity in their Sunday schools and programs.