Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America

Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America

4.5 11
by Steve White, Mel White

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Few issues divide our country more dangerously today than does the question of homosexuality and the conflict between the concept of family values and the individual rights of gays and lesbians. Families are divided, careers are ruined, lives are lost - all in the struggle between beliefs founded in tradition and those based on personal freedom. Spearheading the fight…  See more details below


Few issues divide our country more dangerously today than does the question of homosexuality and the conflict between the concept of family values and the individual rights of gays and lesbians. Families are divided, careers are ruined, lives are lost - all in the struggle between beliefs founded in tradition and those based on personal freedom. Spearheading the fight against the increasingly vocal homosexual community are the leaders of the so-called "religious right," men and women who denounce gays and lesbians from their pulpits and encourage their followers to enact laws against them. Perhaps no one is better qualified to write about these issues and the conflicts they engender than Mel White. He was born into a conservative Christian home and educated in conservative Christian schools and churches. He met his wife there, and together they raised their children to believe in God and to follow a Christian lifestyle. He worked within the church as a filmmaker and writer, and eventually became a ghostwriter of books, autobiographies, and speeches for such noted figures in the religious right as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Billy Graham. But all that time Mel White had a secret. He was gay. In this remarkable book, Mel White looks at his own life in the church and details the struggles he went through to deny and overcome his own natural sexual desires. And in ways sure to anger many of the people he used to know best, he provides a firsthand look at the teachings and workings of the religious right today, showing how they use their power first to politicize their followers and then, using these politics, to spearhead fund-raising efforts. Most specifically, he examines the methods they use to create a campaign of hate and fear against homosexuals. It is a deeply personal story of torment and triumph, as well as a frightening examination of the anti-homosexual tactics of the religious right and a prophetic look at where they might lead our nation. Both aut

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
White, a former ghostwriter for such prominent Christian conservatives as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Oliver North, details in this melodramatic, sentimental but absorbing autobiography his own troubling, yet ultimately empowering acknowledgement of his homosexuality. White's account of his futile attempts to deny or ``cure'' his desires--through life as a husband and father, through prayer and self-denial, even through shock therapy--is affecting if overdrawn; more interesting is his success in finally reconciling his faith with his sexuality. Such a reconciliation rested in part upon White's recognition that only through distorting the Bible can one find prohibitions against homosexuality there. That White himself, while still closeted and struggling, worked for those most responsible for perpetuating such disinformation is one of the more pungent ironies in the book; it is startling to read that Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell's agitprop denunciation of ``perverts'' purportedly overrode his nobler impulses towards tolerance and compassion. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This autobiography, read by the author, carries a vital, heartfelt message of topical significance as it portrays a fascinating personal odyssey. For decades the author strove to follow the creed of his conservative Christian family, church, and community. Although he married, had children, and ghostwrote for the Christian right (i.e., the reverends Falwell, Robertson, Graham, Baker; Oliver North; and others), he was gay. He tried every "cure": prayer, self-denial, shock therapy, and analysis but couldn't deny his God-given nature. Now dean of Dallas Cathedral of Hope, the world's largest gay church, he examines the religious right for which he worked. Gays have replaced Communists as the right's scapegoat for fundraising. He's witnessed the consequence: an immense toll of suicides, violence, and self-hatred among gays. The eloquent, spiritual life story of torment and triumph narrated by White and introduced by his wife appeals to all who need to understand identity crises. A successful publicity tour has placed Stranger at the Gate in the national spotlight. Recommended for most public libraries.-James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hrs.
Product dimensions:
4.55(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.91(d)

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Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mel's book is enthralling. It made me feel so many things: empathy, fear, shock, but hope as well. He writes with the honesty and detail of a person who has truly had a difficult, even traumatic life. It's not propaganda or an agenda. It's a picture of a man and God bridging a painful gap between each other. The story is also educational, by explaining how the issues surrounding homosexuality have been used by powerful leaders of the religious right to make money and gain political influence. Meanwhile, there are vivid recollections of people in Mel's life who died or severely harmed themselves because of the religous right's hateful rhetoric. It is also very enlightening about the very root of this battle, the question of choice in one's sexual orientation. This book is a must-read for anyone with even the slightest interest in what it's like to be gay and Christian in America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to anyone who feels alone in the world. This book will show you that your not, that other people are going through the exact same thing. This book brings hope and helps ease the lonely feelings. I loved every page of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mel White's story of his unsuccessful attempts to change his homosexuality through faith healing and reparative therapy is a cautionary note for all. He managed to retain his sanity in the process and create a new life for himself as an openly gay man and activist. Sadly, not everyone has been so lucky. However, they can take inspiration from this story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rev. White does a fantastic job of pointing out how the not so simple act of coming out has on empowering those around him to broaden their thinking about who it is that God Loves, and why. His story is wonderfully and heart wrenchingly told, and a must read for gay and straight alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Growing up around the Christian faith and knowing early on that I was Gay created quite a conflict between my spirituality and my sexuality. This conflict led eventually to my separating myself from the church in my early twenties, accepting that I had no place with god in my life, and in effect becoming my own god. As a result I spent the first years of my adult life living without direction, living a lie in the closet, and feeling empty and unhappy. If you are gay or love someone who is please read this book. Mel White is a living example to those who have struggled to keep the faith of our youth, and for those whom are seeking a fuller more rewarding life. The insight and refreshing perspectives in this book hold some of the keys to living a life of honesty and happiness. As you follow Mel along his road to happy destiny you will be given many valuable tools to use on your journey. To thine own self be true.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every Christian in America should read this book, particularly those who are so vocal and self-righteous in their opposition to homosexuality. Mel White is an inspiration.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was like looking in the mirror for me. It spoke so deeply to me that I literally read it three times in a row. 'Stranger At The Gate' has helped me immeasurably in coming to terms with my own sexuality and my relationship with God. I've given three copies away to friends and family members already and I just ordered 4 more. A definate must read for anyone coming to terms with being gay and Christian.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I sure do like strangers at my gate. The book was a little preachy tho...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is truly a great book.. I enjoyed every page- I could not put it down. Mel takes us through his difficult, yet liberating, journey as he struggles to find his place as a gay man in the Christian religion. A must-read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm alive today because I found hope God loves me in this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is another attack of absolutes. The real issue is whether or not man, who was created by God, is to be ruled by God's boundaries, or is to be free to choose his own boundaries. Obviously, Christianity is founded upon the commands of Jesus and the writings of the New Testament, which clearly condemn the practice of homosexuality. But most people struggle with giving God control over their lives. So they instead try to conform the Bible's teachings to fit their lifestyle. It would have been better to just go off and live their lifestyle than to try to hijack Christianity to go along with them. As Jesus said, 'Things that cause people to sin must come, but woe to the one through whom they come. It would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around their neck and to be cast into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.' I am afraid that such people don't realize that God's boundaries are good, just as the law that forbids driving on the wrong side of the interstate is good. Such boundaries are for our protection, and actually liberate us to go far without the congestion, confusion, and carnage that would result if people drove on whatever side of the interstate that suited them. For the same reason, God forbids homosexuality, the sexual decision that some people make. God loves the person, but he must separate the person's wrongdoing from the person themself, if the person is ever to enter heaven, for the scripture states that only the person with clean hands and a pure heart will be able to ascend to the place where God is. This means that every single one of us must be willing to change and let God cleanse us of our wrongdoing. But God will not do this if we are unwilling. He has given each of us a sovereign will to determine our own destiny. As the scripture says, he has put before us the choice of life or death, and he urges us to choose the way of life. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 not only condemns homosexuality as a way of death, but also other forms of sexual immorality, lying, stealing, idolatry (giving your energies to things like your Xbox instead of God), slander, and swindling. The real question is, if God created us, then he owns us, and has the right to tell us what to do. So will we submit, or rebel? Consider the end state of him who submits to God's order. Then consider the end state of him who rebels. Which one is truly free? Since the related titles entry isn't big enough, I continue here: Also, after reading the 4th edition of Molcular Biology of the Cell, I am convinced that evolution is based upon pure presupposition, not fact. It is assumed that similarity among genomes equals evolutionary relatedness. By the same reasoning, I conclude that the Hyundai Santa Fe and Saturn Vue are evolutionarily related. WAIT! They were both designed! The similar components are simply examples of design reuse! Could not the designer of life on earth have used similar and even identical designs, as he so desired, for the genes of different oranisms? But evolutionists categorically exclude the possibility of design without even considering it. And so they miss something as evident as the nose on their faces. Similarly, every radiometric dating method assumes that the material being dated had natural origins. Therefore, they exclude the possibility of a supernatural creation. And for this reason, no radiometric dating method will ever conclude that the material being dated was supernaturally created, for the input to the radiometric dating equation is the assumption that supernatural creation did not happen. So the equations are artificially fixed by their input, and the output can never go beyond the limitations of the input. More presupposition.