Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality
by Mark D. Jordan
University of Chicago Press
273 pages, $35.
EARLY in Gore Vidal’s novel The City and the Pillar is a scene that gay men who have read the book remember vividly. Two close friends, Bob and Jim, have gone camping. Bob graduated from high school the day before; Jim is a year behind him. As night falls, the two boys, both athletes, remove their shirts and wrestle. Their contact suddenly turns sexual, and Vidal, in “poetic” language, implies that both reach orgasm. Afterwards, embarrassed, they repudiate the “kid stuff” that just happened, but through the rest of the novel Jim, who is gay, will search for Bob, who is not. Much of Recruiting Young Love, Mark Jordan’s seventh book on religion and homosexuality, is encapsulated in this scene.