In are critical of the LBTQ community due to

In this book, Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann
Pellegrini examine the intricacies of sex and religion. Love the Sin shows how sexuality and homosexuality are evaluated in
the public sphere. Moreover, the book provides crucial links between sexual and
religious freedoms, while pinpointing the effects of religion as a regulatory
tool for sexuality. 

Love
the Sin comprehensively details sex, gender and religion with
compelling arguments. One of the arguments is in regards to the evaluation of conflict
between the sex and religion.  The two
are more alike than they are different. Jakobsen and Pellegrini note that
religion and sex are able to coexist. The authors are critical of the LBTQ
community due to their lack of fervor in demanding equal rights. Freedom and
equal justice should be the priority of the LBTQ community per Jakobsen and
Pellegrini. Apart from criticizing members of this community, the authors are equally
critical of the phrase, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Jakobsen and
Pellegrini imply that someone can be falsely empathetic but still want action
to be taken upon the individual for their sin. The authors
emphasize that tolerance cannot be a substitute for freedom. Freedom is worth
too much. Freedom, not tolerance, is the driving force behind justice.

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  Concurrently, Jakobsen and Pellegrini emphasize
the “born this way” perspective adopted by the LBGTQ community. Though a
perspective with much scientific evidence behind it, Jakobsen and Pellegrini question
the perspective due to to its potential consequences. The consequences are that
biblical literalists will continually use scripture to further condemn homosexuality.
Neither scientific evidence nor biblical evidence adds to the conversation. Jakobsen
and Pellegrini note that the two statements “born that way” and “love the
sinner, hate the sin,” still overlook the fact that religion should not
directly influence public policy. Sexual freedom is a practice. Jakobsen and
Pellegrini concur that if individuals are free to exercise religion, individuals
should have free exercise of their sexual practices. 

In Love
the Sin, Jakobsen and Pellegrini emphasize how sex and religion are
intertwined with one another. It is not possible to evaluate sex without
evaluating religion and vice-versa. The authors note that many right-wing
Christians regard religion and sex synonymously in the public sphere despite
the emphasis on the separation of church and state. Several Supreme Court
rulings on homosexuality that have passed have been in favor of conservative
biblical perceptions. With this, the authors further emphasize how Christian
doctrine becomes disguised as common American values. The Supreme Court uses
these theological views in order to evaluate law and ethics. Jakobsen and
Pellegrini argue that the Bible is not a tool for framing public and social
policy regarding sexuality and homosexuality. The Bible should be confined to
the church and religious discussion.

An accompanying point of contention is the
lack of religious freedom and sexual freedom possessed by individuals. Jakobsen
and Pellegrini note that religious conservatives have turned Christianity into
the premiere religion of the nation and use it to govern the American legal
system. Freedom of religion is not practiced; instead tolerance of religion is
practiced. Christianity is used as the foundation for a variety of activities
in this country. Jakobsen and Pellegrini note that the currency proclaims, “In
God We Trust,” and heterosexuality is the expectation throughout the government
system. Americans now have neither sexual freedom nor religious freedom. Jakobsen
and Pellegrini argue that sexuality and the free exercise of religion are the
forces needed to provide the nation with equality and justice. Jakobsen and
Pellegrini declare that this will not be an easy task. Jakobsen and Pellegrini argue
that changing the current landscape of religion and sexuality in this country
will require a great deal of sacrifice.

Finally, the summary will end with Jakobsen
and Pellegrini’s take on love, intimacy and sex. Sex should not focus on love
and intimacy. It is valuable regardless of love or intimacy. There is no
definitive way to have sex. The act of having sex is very versatile. Jakobsen
and Pellegrini note that sex in America is the inherent problem and the way to
counter is sex is with religion. Sexual freedom is inherently stifled by
religion. Religion inhibits the freedom to develop relationships. The freedoms
that individuals have in America per Jakobsen and Pellegrini do not spill over
into the free exercise of sex. Being sexually free would imply immorality and
chaos.

Jakobsen and Pellegrini note that the common
belief is that sexual regulation is an imperative moral value that will uphold
our democracy. Traditionalists are afraid that heterosexuals will adopt the
free sexual lifestyles that are characterized in the homosexual communities.
Traditionalists are less concerned with heterosexuals becoming homosexual or
engaging in intercourse with homosexuals; instead traditionalists are more
afraid that the prospective homosexual cultural attitudes will rub off on the
heterosexual community. Moreover, Jakobsen and Pellegrini argue that sexual
practices and religious values should be disconnected. Similarly it is their
belief that Christianity and religious freedom should be disconnected. Jakobsen
and Pellegrini argue for a more complete separation of church and state, a
complete model of religious freedom and a complete model of sexual freedom.

Love
the Sin and Queer Theology are very similar. The most glaring
similarity between these two readings is the emphasis on the establishment’s
tradition and challenging traditional views on sexuality. Traditionalists in
both readings view sexuality as a fixed binary system, whereas these two readings
view sexuality as fluid and non-binary. Both readings discuss how Christianity
has been used as a tool to suppress sexual minorities. Love the Sin argues that sexual practices and religious values should
be disconnected and that Christianity and religious freedom should be
disconnected. Queer Theology argues for challenging and deconstructing the
binary placement of sexual and gender identity as well as the society’s norms pertaining
to gender and sexuality. Both readings note how traditional Christianity
condemns same-sex acts. Christianity is the norm and anything that is outside
of the realm of Christianity’s fundamentalist teachings is deviant.

Both readings note the scrutiny that is placed
under sexual and gender minorities on a daily basis. Any behaviors or actions
that deviate from normal Christian practices are viewed with a keen eye. Each
reading points out that gender and sexual minorities should be able to live
their everyday lives without this intense scrutiny. Cheng states, “As noted
above, even though people may differ in terms of, say, hat size, that
particular physical marker of difference has little to no relevance in everyday
life.” (19).

While the readings are similar, they do
vary in certain aspects. Both readings offer a perspective of inclusivity for
gender and sexual minorities but perhaps the way in which they offer this perspective
is somewhat divergent. Queer theology is written by the LGBTQ community for the
LGBTQ community. Followers of queer theology still look to God and Christianity
as a source of guidance. Cheng notes, “…queer theology is premised upon the
belief that God acts within the specific contexts of our lives and experiences,
despite the fact that LGBTQ lives and experiences have been excluded from
traditional theological discourse (18).

Love
the Sin, however looks
to provide inclusivity by eliminating the intrusiveness of Christianity from
the lives of gender and sexual minorities. Christianity from the view of Jakobsen
and Pellegrini is seen as too involved in the lives of American society,
particularly in the lives of gender and sexual minorities. American society per
Jakobsen and Pellegrini is contradictory for the most part because it proclaims
freedom of religion yet Christianity keeps a watchful eye; and the authors note
the of lack of freedom to exercise sexual practices is because of religious
values. Jakobsen and Pellegrini state, “When sexual freedom is contemplated it
raises the specter of licentiousness, not liberty,” (129).

            Love
the Sin makes great points regarding sex and religion. I cannot agree more
with their statements. As a heterosexual Christian male, it is hard to
acknowledge the privilege that I have on a daily basis. That is why privilege
is invisible. My religion and my sexuality match what is deemed as the norm. Subjects
do not become clear until an individual allocates time to self-reflect.  Jakobsen and Pellegrini succeed in their goal
of challenging current institutions.

The institutions of Christianity and
heterosexuality in American society are not devoid of criticism. America cannot
march on with the principles of freedom if the actual implementation of freedom
is not done adequately. Americans, more specifically conservative Christian
Americans, must be cognizant of the fact that gender and sexual minorities will
forever be among us. As Jakobsen and Pellegrini noted, tolerance will not
suffice. Tolerance only perpetuates the injustice and inequities among gender and
sexual minorities.

Americans must allow for freedom of
religion and for freedom of sexual practice. America was founded on the
principles of freedom. As a heterosexual Christian male, it is imperative for
me to educate others on the dangers of tolerance and inaction. Moreover, I
agree with Jakobsen and Pellegrini’s stance on disestablishment. I have always
wondered why Christianity continues in the face of religious freedom. Sexual
freedom should not be stifled. This deviates from inclusivity. Moreover,
heterosexual Christians must let the voices of the gender and sexual minorities
ring true for all to hear.