“The God Box”– sexual and religious identity

Sanchez, Alex. “The God Box”, Simon and Shuster, 2007.

Sexual and Religious Identity

Amos Lassen

Alex Sanchez has done so much good for our community. His books, the popular Rainbow series (“Rainbow Boys”, “Rainbow High” and “Rainbow Road”) are now considered classics for young gays. He also tours the country talking with our youth as well as librarians and educators about the importance of acceptance and teaching tolerance.

Sanchez’s new novel “The God Box’ deals with the issue of spirituality and homosexuality as he  looks at the problems that young people have when they realize that their sexual ideas are not in sync with what their religion tells them. The blurb on the inside front cover deals with the theme of the book, “how could I choose between my sexuality and my sexuality, two of the most important points that make me whole”.

Sanchez opens the Bible and those sections that have been long abused and used to denigrate the homosexual way of life and shows how wrong interpretations have been.

Peter is a high school senior and has had the same girlfriend, Angie, since he was in middle school. They share interests and compliment each other. When Manuel, a new student, transfers to the school, Paul realizes that he must rethink his life. Manuel is unique in the small town where they live—he is both openly gay and an observant Christian.

When Paul and Manuel talk, Paul sees that he has been hiding thoughts from himself and e has been hiding them. Manuel has the knack for interpreting Biblical passages on homosexuality and as Paul listens to him doing so, he finds himself reevaluating everything he has ever believed. Because Manuel is so open with and about himself, dramatic consequences ensue which eventually brings bout a situation that causes Paul to take a stand.

We have been hearing a great deal of late about how sexuality and religion are divided and Sanchez takes this theme and breathes sense into it. He does so candidly and with very strong conviction and by doing so he gives us a look at the struggle so many have when they try to find a balance between their sexuality and religious beliefs. Here is a story that youth will be able to read and understand with no problems but it is not just for kids; it has something to say to all of us. Dealing with G-d’s love and self acceptance, this is a very important book.

Sanchez looks at the interpretations of theology and then tackles them head on. He does so through dialog and the thoughts of youngsters as they question their sexual, ethnic and religious identities. Sanchez’s greatest gift is the use of honesty and with this new book, we now have Alex Sanchez back with us. The book is remarkable and Sanchez beautifully captures the problems of youth. We get entertainment together with a strong story which will help anyone having trouble with the issues of religious/homosexual reconciliation.

 
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