As soon as I read Justin Lee's book Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, I knew I wanted to get this book into more people's hands. You can read my full review here and the stellar reviews on Amazon here. (Note: This is an Amazon Affiliate link.)
The subtitle of the book comes from the fact that many people believe there's this big war between "gay people" and "Christians," and that there's no overlap between these two groups. It stems from a belief that God doesn't approve of homosexuality (an ill-defined term in this context), and that a Christian attracted to the same sex must either fight those attractions (become/act straight) or renounce God.
Yet, as Justin lays out well in this book, that's not true at all. There's plenty of overlap between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) folks and Christians, plus many Christian allies. Like this:
Note: The proportions of these circles and the overlap may not reflect actual numbers.
I didn't want to just run a regular giveaway of Torn on here because most of my readers would probably consider themselves in this middle "2" section of the Venn diagram. Those of you who do would undoubtedly enjoy the book, but it would be more or less "preaching to the choir." And real change, real healing, doesn't come from people only reading things that agree with their existing beliefs. (If this describes you, keep reading, as you can still enter!)
So here's how this is going to work.
Thanks to a generous Amazon gift card I got from my parents for Christmas, I'm going to give away three copies of Torn to people in the "1" group, three copies to people in the "3" group, and one copy to someone in the "2" group. I'm limiting this to my U.S. readers, but I still highly recommend everyone buy a copy of the book for yourself if you're able!
In particular, I'm interested in giving away copies of the book to people who consider themselves close to the center section but not in it.
This might describe you if you are a straight Christian who does not consider yourself an ally of the LGBTQ community, but you have changed your views about homosexuality over time or are willing to be open-minded about possibly changing your beliefs. This might also describe you if you grew up Christian but left the church behind when you came out (or when you became a vocal ally), but you are willing to revisit Christianity again with the understanding that not all Christians are the same.
This isn't a requirement or anything; I'm just most interested in giving the book to people who may be challenged by the book but are willing to read it with an open mind.
I don't know if this is going to work! But I'm excited to try it.
If you consider yourself to be in the "1" or "3" area of this graph (you are LGBTQ or an ally, or you are Christian, but not both), here's how to enter:
- Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the subject line, put "Torn Giveaway" and the number 1 or 3 according to which group you fall into.
- In the body of the e-mail, include these three things:
- A brief explanation of why you're interested in reading the book.
- A statement agreeing to write to me when you finish the book with one thing you learned or one thing you will do differently as a result of reading it. (If you get nothing from it, you can tell me that too.)
- A statement agreeing to lend the book to someone else when you've finished it.
- Get one entry if you tweet a link to this post saying you want to win a copy of Torn by Justin Lee, and include @keepbabbling in the tweet so I see it.
- Get two entries if you write a blog post about the giveaway and why you are interested in reading the book and/or why you think other people should check it out as well, and share a link to your post in the comments of this post.
- You can do both for a total of three entries. If you do only the blog post, make sure to include your e-mail address with your comment.
From the first group (1 and 3), I'll pick the six people I think can most benefit from reading the book. From the second group, I'll select a winner randomly.
This giveaway will run for two weeks, from January 8-22, ending at midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday, January 22. Winners will be notified by e-mail or Twitter within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway and will have 48 hours to respond with a valid mailing address before a new winner is picked. Books will be shipped directly from Amazon.com to a valid U.S. address, and I'll announce the winners here once the books have been sent off.
Note: This giveaway is not sponsored by or associated with Justin Lee, Jericho Books, or Twitter.
I'm looking forward to sharing this book with you!
There will be no Friday post this week as I am off to Phoenix for the Gay Christian Network conference! If you're going to be there, let me know!