Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway

Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway

by Frank Schaeffer
     
 

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From bestselling author Frank Schaeffer, a new laugh-out-loud take on his years growing up evangelical, focusing on the unforgettable figure of his mother.See more details below

Overview

From bestselling author Frank Schaeffer, a new laugh-out-loud take on his years growing up evangelical, focusing on the unforgettable figure of his mother.

Editorial Reviews

Jane Smiley
Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, 5/15/11
“The book shines in sections centered on Edith, a ‘life-embracing free spirit’…A consummate memoirist, Schaeffer fills the narrative with interesting anecdotes…The sage conversation on a New York-bound bus with a distraught Asian girl is warmly resonant and a befitting conclusion to…[a] book of ruminations, memories and frustrated opinion.”

Booklist, 5/15/11
“[A] startlingly honest work, which is part memoir and part religious history…Intriguing fare.”
 
Church of England Newspaper, 5/13/11
“Part memoir, part exploration of evangelical views.”
 
PoliticusUSA.com, 5/16/11“A work that alternates from heartwarming to thought provoking to laugh out loud funny…Schaeffer brilliantly guides the reader through an exploration of the Bible’s strange, intolerant, and sometimes frightening attitudes about sex, and how these Biblical teachings, through the evangelical grassroots of the Republican Party, have come to dominate the GOP stance…Schaeffer’s writing style combines intelligence, warmth, humor, depth and insight…Sex, Mom, and God is hands down one of the best non-fiction books of the year.”

 
Kirkus Reviews (website), 6/1/11
“The memoir, the third and last in Schaeffer’s God trilogy, unfolds in lucid anecdotal excursions probing the chinks that later became gaping holes in the fundamentalist walls that penned him in.”
 
Internet Review of Books, 6/8/11
“A fond and sometimes hilarious look back at [Schaeffer’s] mother’s child-rearing methods and the effect they had on him…Schaeffer’s journey demonstrates that the world could be a better place if we were all able to reassess our beliefs and values—to examine them closely and glean only those worth saving.”
 
Library Journal, 6/15/11
“Well worth reading, highly entertaining, and very informative about the recent history of American evangelicalism. It will appeal to readers interested in the world today, memoir, or religion.”
 
Huffington Post, 6/13/11
“Intelligent and easy to read; it transitions smoothly back and forth between story-telling and point-making prose…In his portrayal of Edith Schaeffer, Frank is able to call out the nuttiness of the religious right and to humanize conservative and Evangelical Christians in the same narrative. It is the deft work of a talented writer practicing his craft…It is a bit of wisdom our entire nation—hell, the whole world—needs to hear.”
 
RH Reality Check, 6/16/11
“Part memoir, part revelation about Evangelical pathology, and part prescription for theological sanity, the book has much to recommend it.”
 
Patheos.com, 6/16/11
“Offers an insider's glimpse into how fundamentalism became the dominant voice in the U.S. political area.”
 
InfoDad.com, 6/16/11
“Frequently entertaining.”
 
The Humanist, July/August 2011
“[Schaeffer’s] stories aren’t just interesting, they’re also well told…[He] serves up an intriguing combination that’s part sexual memoir and part exposé of religious right extremism. It’s a strange combination to be sure, but in the hands of a gifted wordsmith like Schaeffer it works.”
 
State of Formation, 6/20/11
“Part memoir, part theology, and part political commentary…An ambitious undertaking. But Sex, Mom, and God did not disappoint. Alternating between laugh-out-loud episodes and poignant reflections, Schaeffer recounts with candor the influence his mother had on both his beliefs and the beliefs of a generation of Evangelicals…His readers—believers and non-believers alike—will be challenged to reconsider their views about politics, sex, and religion.”
 
The Daily Beast, 6/24/11
“Intriguing…[Schaeffer’s] privileged view of the Christian right’s sexual weirdness makes his account particularly interesting, and helps explain why the aggressively pious so frequently destroy themselves with sex scandals.”

Milwaukee Shepherd-Express, 7/7/11
“[Schaeffer] has grown into rueful middle age with his sense of sarcasm sharpened… Sex, Mom and God dips into the same well as Crazy for God and draws irony and venom from its depths.”

WomanAroundTown.com, 6/16/11
“By turns biting, funny, and thought provoking.”

Washington
Post, 7/10/11
“[Schaeffer’s] memoirs have a way of winning a reader’s friendship…Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny…Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics…Frank has been straightforward and entertaining in his campaign to right the political wrongs he regrets committing in the 1970s and ’80s…As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace.”
 
Roanoke Times, 7/10/11
“A thought-provoking analysis of the social and religious struggles that continue to define American consciousness…Schaeffer covers a lot of important territory in his book…He provides an insider’s view on the ways America has become fragmented, polarized by various forms of extremism.”
 
In These Times, August 2011
“An unusual mix—part memoir, part exegesis on Bible-based belief systems, and part prescription for a more compassionate, human-centered politics for both religious and theologically skeptical people. Humor, at times of the laugh-out-loud variety, is abundant. And while readers will likely bristle at some of Schaeffer’s conclusions, his wit, sass and insights make Sex, Mom, & God a valuable and entertaining look at U.S. fundamentalism.”
 
San Francisco Book Review, 7/20/11
“This memoir/diatribe on organized religion is so shockingly bold and intimately revealing that it will spin your head around whiplash-quick, and cause you to double check to make sure you read the words correctly…Schaeffer comes to a jarring conclusion for fundamentalists, Roman Catholics, Jews, and Muslims alike, that if we don’t set aside our dogma and start making a serious effort at getting along, we will end up destroying ourselves and everything we thought we believed in.”
 
Reference and Research Book News, August 2011
“Provid[es] a new, less prudish view of radical Christianity.”
 
New York Times, 8/20/11“To millions of evangelical Christians, the Schaeffer name is royal, and Frank is the reluctant, wayward, traitorous prince.”


World
, 8/27/11

“Schaeffer can be witty and ironic and, like the stopped clock that is accurate twice a day, some of his observations hit their mark.”
 

Bitch, October 2011
“Braids the rise of the religious right with Schaeffer’s development as an evangelist and antiabortion activist…Recommended for history, religion, or political buffs who enjoy a dash of tender reflection.”

Maclean’s
magazine
, 9/21 issue
“Former evangelist Frank Schaeffer may have quit the business and turned his back on what he now calls ‘our dreadful, vengeful little God,’ but the man clearly still has a knack for sermon titles. And Sex, Mom, and God is nothing if not a righteous, furious, cringe-inducing and surprisingly nuanced sermon delivered in book form against Schaeffer’s heavenly demons…Schaeffer’s contention that most, if not all, of organized religion’s shortcomings stem from hang-ups over sex is nothing new. What’s compelling about Sex is Schaeffer himself, who bashes away at what he held dear for so long.”
 

Santa Fe New Mexican, 11/25/11
“[Schaeffer is] unafraid to tell it like it is.”
 

Metapsychology Online Reviews, 2/11/12“Amusing and eyebrow-raising anecdotes…The reader is treated to a compelling and affectionate portrayal of [Scgaeffer’s] complex and conflicted mother…For a reader unfamiliar with the kind of Christianity Schaeffer describes, the book provides a helpful picture into the good and bad of living as a fundamentalist Evangelical…A first-hand account of one evangelical's unusual childhood and the life of a recovering fundamentalist.”

Politics & Patriotism (blog), 4/10

“An eye-opening exposé of American Right-wing socio-political history.”
 

The NervousBreakdown.com, 5/20/12
“Schaeffer paints a beautiful portrait of his mother…And while he may have a lot to say against the institutions of fundamentalist religion, he offers the reader an equally powerful alternative view of faith and hope.”

Springfield News-Leader, 8/22/12“Excellent resources for anyone interested in the strange history of the heretical anti-abortion doctrine being taught in American churches today for the purpose of garnering political support.”

Library Journal
Schaeffer, public speaker, filmmaker, novelist, and former fundamentalist Christian, presents the third book in his "God Trilogy" (Crazy for God; Patience with God). His title refers to three topics that are very important to his thinking and intimately tied together. Schaeffer learned all about sex and God at his mother's knee—unlike most parents, she explicitly told him on many occasions her feelings and ideas about both in great detail (including, for sex, the physical aspects). Schaeffer's family believed the Bible to be God's infallible word and true in every detail, so his mother used the sometimes lurid Bible stories to illustrate her beliefs and provide authority for her thinking. In each chapter Schaeffer dwells on a particular aspect of his mother's thinking and uses it as a stepping-off point to discuss other experiences of his own life and work. There is no firm chronological order here, and the narration often skips around temporally, which may make it hard for some readers to keep straight. Crazy for God is an easier (strictly temporal) autobiography. VERDICT This is well worth reading, highly entertaining, and very informative about the recent history of American evangelicalism. It will appeal to readers interested in the world today, memoir, or religion.—James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA
Kirkus Reviews

In the third installment of the "God Trilogy," prolific novelist and nonfiction author Schaeffer (Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism), 2009, etc.) tells "the truth" about his mother's curious impartation of religion and sex.

The author's mother Edith played as much a spiritual role as his father, the late Evangelist Francis Schaeffer, and continues to do so at 96, though her memory loss and sight deterioration defy them both. The book shines in sections centered on Edith, a "life-embracing free spirit" whose sexual education of her son began with a show-and-tell of her diaphragm to him at age eight while on a family vacation. This candid abandon extended to matters outside of sexuality as well. The author distinctly remembers Edith praising a God that foreknew and condoned the miscarriage of her first male child in favor of subsequently giving birth to Schaeffer. He attributes life growing up with three sisters as vital to his affinity for women in later years, though they usurped too much of his parents' time and attention back then. As a woman who'd sacrificed a dancing career to become a religious juggernaut, Edith's fiery personality and sexual extroversion were contradictory to the piousness that defined her, yet she managed to formulate extraordinary interpretations. From advising women to wear sheer, black lingerie to keep their husbands' interest to confessing Francis' sexual demands on her—all were justified with biblical significance. A consummate memoirist, Schaeffer fills the narrative with interesting anecdotes about his sex life, like a nervous first-time encounter with a French woman and the ice-girl he fashioned (and attempted to mate with) while growing up in the Swiss mission his parents founded. The author's heated rejection of modern Evangelicalism and discussions of abortion, Reconstructionist movements and even Sarah Palin rob the memoir of the loving glow cast by Edith's legacy, but the sage conversation on a New York–bound bus with a distraught Asian girl is warmly resonant and a befitting conclusion to an occasionally disjointed book of ruminations, memories and frustrated opinion.

Sweet and savory familial adoration.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306819858
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
05/31/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
614,395
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Frank Schaeffer is the author of the New York Times bestseller Keeping Faith and the memoir Crazy for God. His novels, including Portofino, have been translated into nine languages. He and his wife, Genie, live in Massachusetts and have three children.

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