Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
The River Is Always Waiting
By Stephen Measure

Book Excerpts

Excerpt from Part Two: Some build bridges

But Dana wondered what those who disagreed with Simon would say about his opinions. Trying to force his religion onto others, that's what many would probably claim, she thought. Except that accusation seemed strange now, unfair, unbalanced. Because it's not the presence of same-sex attraction that's in question, Dana realized. It's whether we should accept it or resist it. And how do we answer that question? How do we decide 'should'?

Then she remembered what Simon had said about values. Should we resist? People answer that question based on their values, she thought, and those values are not all the same. But isn't the source of our values always religion in one way or another? Not necessarily a formal religion—complete with churches, rites, and scripture—but often an informal one instead, an informal religion whose core can never be proven through science or reason, an informal religion whose beliefs are no less subjective than anything taught from a pulpit.

Which means there are two competing religious beliefs, she thought: the one preaching acceptance of our attractions being imposed now over the one recommending resistance. And why? Is it because the idea that we should accept our same-sex attraction is any more objective than the idea that we should resist it? No, that isn't why, she said to herself, remembering more of Simon's words from the day before. No, it's just more fashionable, that's all. It's conquering the other point of view because it's more popular, because it's being pushed by prettier people, more powerful people. And the impact is everywhere. Who would agree with Simon today? Who would dare? Dana didn't know.

Excerpt from Part Three: Nothing stands forever

Age? That is just a number, Simon. When biology itself has been ruled to provide no rational basis, do you actually expect an arbitrary number to be compelling enough to stand? No, Simon, do not be so naive. The future will judge that tradition to be nothing but an artifact of a time—a time that has passed. Why follow a standard you know will be crushed by the stampede of future progress?

Because doing that is wrong!

Who are you to say it is wrong, Simon? When history marches away from you, will you claim it is moving in the wrong direction? What arrogance. When millions stand against you, will you insist it is you who is right and the millions who are wrong? What arrogance indeed! Do not pretend to be so wise, Simon. You are no smarter than those who will disagree with you. Let go of your arrogance and accept what is coming. Accept what you can have, Simon. Accept it in the little time you have left!

Simon shook his head, dismissing the twisted logic, but he had turned to look [...]