Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It's a No Go
Book Review for No Going Back by Jonathan Langford, published by Zarahemla Books, 2009
Touted as an appeal for compassion for conflicted LDS self-determined “gay” teens, the novel, No Going Back, is yet another push for accepting gayness, alternative sexual orientation, homosexuality, SSA—call it whatever you like — as an identity within an orthodox church, in this case in minors, ages 12-16. Yes, this is an exploitation of children in an over-the-top attempt to have one's cake and eat it. Sorry, one can't be both a true follower of Christ and proclaim a gay identity.
The book is an overlong, self-conscious one, including vulgar sex jokes among kids, that cannot decide its audience and goes nowhere. The adult characters come across as clueless and self-absorbed as those in the funny movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And the protagonist is a sneaky know-it-all teenager who rationalizes ways to break the rules while fooling Mormons around him (including readers?) into thinking he is an exemplary young man. The difference is, Ferris blows off criticism while the gay teen throws up a lot, has to take antidepressants, and moves away because he allows himself to be victimized by just about everybody and everything. Evidently it is not his fault that he masturbates, oversexualizes his classmates, looks at porn, and acts out homosexually. According to this book, lusting is a wholesome activity for LDS youth both gay and straight. This is a work of fiction in many more ways than one.
Like most attempts at literature today, this piece of writing is one long whine about everything the author wanted to whine about. He has his characters give lip service to religion and the worth of souls, without an iota of real understanding or application, which unthinking exercise is represented as righteousness. The premises and doctrines it is based on are stunningly false. Scientific facts and common knowledge are stunningly absent. The publisher of this book, Chris Bigelow, has said that his fellow Church members must soften their “rigid and extreme” (does he mean "steadfast and immoveable?") orthodoxy concerning homosexuality or the Church risks loss of membership, negative popular opinion, and “further expulsion from society.” Make of that what you will.
As far as ideas for helping sexually wayward kids, this book leaves adults hopeless and empty-handed. Young readers who are socially underdeveloped, whose sexuality is moving in unhealthy directions, and who may be emotionally troubled (all of which apply to the book’s protagonist) are left without direction or assistance in getting to the roots of and overcoming a sexuality dilemma that could destroy an otherwise bright future. In the meantime they are cast afloat, at odds with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and grossly preoccupied with sex. Young people not troubled with sexual issues may be persuaded by this book to jump on the band wagon in the gay parade just because it appeals to the shallowest of human emotions and is oh so cool. Kids are like that. And adults who produce material like this about and for kids would seem to be, well, you make the call.
Our assessment? KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
*If a young person you know announces he’s gay, do not accept this deception to any degree. Love him, teach him the truth about human sexuality, nature, and God, and, if necessary offer him some cutting-edge professional help. Send questions to our resident expert at Ask Dr. Dan (email@example.com). Or call expert Dr. Jeffrey Robinson at 801-318-9528. Watch for the new book, Chased by an Elephant, the gospel truth about today’s stampeding sexuality, for LDS families. Also Captain of My Soul, a young man’s true story of conquering pornography addiction and homosexuality, a great book for teens and young adults. SoL will keep you informed as to when and where these books will be available.