Exposing a Deceptive Book Review

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When someone takes the time to read one of my books and write a lengthy review, when possible, I do my best to respond. And when the reviewer is passionate about his or her work and claims to be living for Jesus, all the more do I want to interact.

In this case, the reviewer, Kathy Baldock, also known as Canyonwalker, has often been called my online stalker, as she once posted a 5,000 word “review” of one of my other books (her most recent one is close to 3,000 words), as she frequently challenges others who post reviews to my books, and as she has actually been banned from at least one website where I post articles because of her constant attacks and critiques. She even stated once on social media that God had appointed her to oppose me (seriously!), but as deceived as she is, I believe she is sincere (many people think they’re doing God’s will and are actually working against Him), so for her sake and the sake of those who follow her, I’ve written this exposé of her deceptive review of Outlasting the Gay Revolution.

You can see Kathy’s true feelings by comparing the title of her review on Amazon, “Lacking academic research and understanding” with the title of this same review posted on her website: “Michael Brown’s ‘Outlasting the Gay Revolution’ Continues His Non-Academic Anti-Gay Rantings.” So much for Kathy approaching things in an honest, even-handed way. (Ironically, Kathy has no serious academic credentials of her own yet freely speaks as an authority. Let the reader beware.)

Before getting into the contents of Outlasting the Gay Revolution, Kathy makes the ludicrous and unsupportable claim that the Bible never condemns what we know as homosexuality today. She writes, “What IS examined are biblical passages depicting violent, abusive, lust-filled, same-sex behaviors performed no less than two millennia ago in cultures where the social and sexual status of men and women were entirely different from what we have known in the past 60 to 70 years.”

Yes, she claims, “The same-sexual behavior that biblical authors wrote about was the outcome of violence (Genesis), power dominance and social-sexual dominance (Leviticus and Deuteronomy), and lust and lack of self-control (Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy).”

To the contrary – and I speak with authority on this as a biblical scholar – the Word categorically prohibits all homosexual relationships, and what God spoke of in His Word millennia ago was as radically countercultural as it is today. I document this carefully (and with great care) in my book Can You Be Gay and Christian?, annotating each position in detail and treating all relevant scriptures.

In short, Kathy’s ideological and theological foundation, that which fuels the fire of her gay-affirming activism, is spiritually and scripturally bankrupt.

Kathy next takes considerable space to outline contemporary LGBT history, claiming, “That was a quick overview of modern events. If [you] ignore them, as Brown does, you are bound to get the rest badly off-kilter.”

In point of fact, I do not ignore this history. Instead, I’ve amassed a large library of books and articles on modern gay history, studying them with great interest and even citing two major, gay- celebrating histories in the beginning of my new book to make this very point: I’m quite conversant with this story. Let anyone who thinks for a moment that I have ignored this go through the 17-page, detailed bibliography of books used in my 2011 study A Queer Thing Happened to America.

I’m 100% aware of everything that Kathy stated; I simply reject her point of view, since it is based on turning God’s intent for marriage and family upside down. This, again, is part of the deceptive nature of her review: She attributes differences of opinion, based on years (or, in some cases decades) of careful and prayerful study, to “ignorance” or “lack of research” or “lack of understanding.” If these charges are true, they are true of Kathy’s work, not mine.

Finally, before getting into the contents of my book, she writes, “EVERY professional medical and mental health organization in the U.S. asserts that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexuality, though certainly less prevalent than heterosexuality, still, it is a normal, expected variation. These organizations also all agree that attempting to change a person’s natural orientation is damaging.”

This too is deceptive, and for two reasons: 1) There is documented, demonstrable bias in these major organizations, a bias so deep that it excludes research and input from those who differ with the gay-affirming conclusions. Watch this video featuring a lifelong liberal psychologist (who supports gay “marriage”), highly respected for decades, explain the nature of this bias. 2) The attack on attempts to change sexual orientation are based on highly biased research, and even then, the conclusions do not match what Kathy has written. I document this in the chapter, The Stifling of Scientific Debate” in A Queer Thing Happened to America.

Moving to her attack on my book, she writes, “Much of the book is devoted to Brown’s personal ‘martyrdom’ for the issue.”

This is either an outright lie or, if Kathy really believes it, a highly deceptive statement. The truth is that a few times in the book, I mention some of the verbal abuse I’ve experienced as a follower of Jesus standing for marriage and family, also describing one incident where colleges sought to ban open debate, but that’s it. And I’m careful to distinguish these minor things from real suffering for the gospel – I have had to bury one of our ministry school grads who was martyred by Islamic terrorists and I have washed the feet of a martyr’s widow during one of my annual ministry trips to India, where my life was also threatened by militant Hindus. Kathy again does a real disservice to potential readers by bearing false witness about the book, something that is hardly “Christian.”

She continues, “The use of academic resources could give Brown more credibility. These do not include WorldNetDaily, Barbwire or Charisma, or similar echo chambers. (Yes, I read the footnotes too. I find FN quite telling.)”

Once again, this is deceptive. In A Queer Thing Happened to America and Can You Be Gay and Christian? I provided detailed academic research (the former book with 1,500 endnotes, the latter book based on decades of biblical scholarship), but I still received the same scorn from Kathy. In the current book, which deals primarily with contemporary issues and our response to them, I cite many news sites, including The New York Times and numerous others, also referencing conservative sites like WND and Charisma, sometimes simply linking to my articles there.

In that regard, the book is carefully and accurately annotated (almost 40 pages of endnotes for about 235 pages of text), it is based on lots of research, and when sociological or historical issues are discussed, I’m careful to provide solid bibliographical data. Once more, Kathy is deceiving her readers.

She next disputes my claim that as a result of the rise of gay activism, conservative believers will be called homophobes and bigots, making clear that she would never use terminology like that. Well, how about referring to my book as “anti-gay rantings”? Does that qualify? And what of the veritable flood of defamatory, vile, profane, ugly, and even threatening comments I get from LGBT’s and their advocates on a daily basis? Are these simply coming out of thin air?

Kathy claims that, “Brown’s recounting of the lifting of homosexuality from the DSM is just too riddled with myth. I cover it in detail in Chapter 4 of my own book, ‘Walking the Bridgeless Canyon.’ For the love of God and truth, can we PLEASE move on from the ‘bullying tactics’ narrative?”

This too is as false as can be, as documented in the aforementioned chapter on “The Stifling of Scientific Debate,” which cites extensively from the authoritative volume on the subject, written by Ronald Bayer and published by Princeton University Press, Homosexuality and American Psychiatry. But there’s more: I never even mention this is Outlasting the Gay Revolution, so what is she attacking?

And since she mentioned her book, I should mention that I have reached out to Kathy several times, offering to meet with her face to face, offering to talk with her privately by phone, and even inviting her onto my radio show to discuss her book. She has refused every invitation to date. Let the truth be known.

In her “review,” Kathy disputes details of fact which I mention, relying on her own observations as opposed to eyewitness accounts of several hundred others. But to give one small example of her false statements, she claims that at our 2011 outreach at the Charlotte gay pride event that we “pointed to a reparative therapy site, Exodus International. So the message was actually — Jesus loves you and He wants you to stop being LGB or T.”

Once again, she is bearing false witness, either intentionally (called lying) or unintentionally (which is still dangerous). We put up our own site filled with words of love and encouragement, answers to scriptural questions, and testimonies from some ex-gays, presenting Jesus as the better way. It was not an Exodus International site nor did it have any connection to “reparative therapy.” And Kathy is presenting herself as a reliable witness? Do you see why I have branded her “review” deceptive? As for Jesus calling people out of homosexuality, of course He does this all the time. After all, He’s the Savior! (Check out the video testimonies of 225 ex-gays here.)

She claims that, “For several chapters of ‘Outlasting,’ the moral decay in America is linked to those who are LGBT or those who support those who are LGBT.”

That is not an accurate statement. Instead, I demonstrate that the acceptance of homosexual practice is part and parcel of our larger decline into sexual anarchy, by which I mean more and more cohabitation, more and more people having kids out of wedlock, more and more pornography, more and more acceptance of polygamy and polyamory, more and more children sexting each other, more and more celebration of “swinging” and of nude reality TV shows, etc. This is presented both anecdotally and statistically, but for Kathy, because it’s natural for homosexuals to be attracted to the same sex, their actions are moral and acceptable and cannot be part of the larger moral decline of the culture. Apparently, she doesn’t recognize the massive blind spots in her argument.

But it gets worse from here. She makes no substantive comment on the lengthy Introduction, “The Day the Line Was Crossed,” in which real issues of religious freedom are raised; no comment on the first chapter (one of 8 major principles laid out in the book), “Never Compromise Your Convictions,” in which we document how gay activists have become bullies (even to the consternation of some other gay activists); no comment on the second chapter, “Take the Highest Moral Ground,” in which I call on the readers to live a life of sacrificial love for LGBT people in the midst of our differences; then she devotes just 465 words to very limited interaction with the rest of the book, underscoring again that this was more an example of “anti-Michael Brown rantings” than an actual book review.

She claims that the third principle, “Sexual Purity Trumps Sexual Anarchy” actually “lays and conflates all sexual immorality to gays.” That is a blatant misrepresentation, and the chapter says no such thing. Rather, while frequently pointing to heterosexual sins and while acknowledging that there are loving gay couples, I simply place gay sex in the context of the larger sexual revolution, as stated in the previous paragraph.

As for the fourth principle, “Refuse to Redefine Marriage,” she claims gays aren’t redefining it, nor are they tampering with words like husband and wife (really?). Instead, Kathy states, the radical redefinition of marriage took place in the late 1880’s. Again, we are supposed to take this seriously and ignore both the God-ordained definition of marriage in Genesis 2 and Matthew 19 as well as the mountain of contemporary data that refutes her position. And despite her constant claims of compassion, she dismisses scornfully the moving poem of the child of an anonymous sperm donor. Just reading the poem, followed by Kathy’s dismissal of it, says it all.

She has nothing constructive to say about the fifth principle, which calls on us to celebrate gender distinctions, completely ignoring the assault on these God-ordained distinctions that is ravaging our social order. And rather than interacting with the gay activist lies exposed in the sixth principle, she simply claims that her review is exposing my lies. Pity those who follow Kathy rather than take the time to do the research for themselves!

As for the seventh principle, “Factor in the God Factor,” she wrongly claims that the evidence is on her side in terms of the “gay Christian” movement, failing to realize that around the world, almost all of the vibrant, growing, Jesus-loving churches stand against homosexual practice while the churches in America that are embracing it are, with overwhelming regularity, in numerical decline.

Finally, addressing my last principle, which calls on believers to stand firm for the long-term, multi-generational haul and write the last chapter of the story, she writes, “When people come back in a decade or two and order ‘Outlasting’ on Amazon for a penny as part of their research to see how the conservative church got it so wrong and as badly as it has – ‘Outlasting’ will be part of the record.”

Well, the good news is that my book is out (among others that are relevant) and so is hers, and time will speak for itself. What is fascinating, though, is that at the time of this writing, we have completely sold out of all copies of A Queer Thing Happened to America, despite a healthy initial printing, and the e-books have done very well too (thanks be to God), while the more I have addressed these issues with grace and truth, the more my ministry platform has increased. That’s why I say in Outlasting the Gay Revolution, you can mock my words today, but you’ll mark my words tomorrow. Could it be that I (and others) are honoring God and His Word and His ways, leading to greater blessing and more effective outreach? She might point to her success as well, so I’m happy to let God be the ultimate, since this is not a personal battle but rather a battle for God’s best for the people He created and for this nation.

For the moment we can be sure of this: Those who read Kathy’s review before reading my book will be in for quite a shock, since the book they’ll read bears almost no resemblance to the book she “reviewed.”

Please take a moment to go to her review and mark it as helpful or unhelpful, and then take a look at the other reviews and let the reviewers know if you find their reviews helpful or unhelpful. (I ask you to do this because of the dishonesty of some internet trolls who frequent our pages.) And once you’ve had a chance to read Outlasting the Gay Revolution, please take a moment to post your own review on Amazon.

And Kathy, my door remains open to interact in private or in public, and you’re welcome to come on my radio show and present your position. I truly believe that you really do care about LGBT individuals and that you feel you’re doing God’s will, and my goal remains to help you, not hurt you, since grace without truth is not grace at all.

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