4 out of 4 stars
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Love. Doesn’t the word just warm your heart? Then why would anyone want to BAN a book about love?
Sure, some of the things Scott Hughes writes in his tome, The Banned Book About Love, may be a little hard to swallow, but aren’t many important, life-changing ideas and concepts? Granted, as a Christian, having agape – not a word he uses, but it is what he’s talking about - love for others was not a new concept for me, but it’s very simply presented in this book.
Mr. Hughes starts off by noting that he “loves” Brock Turner, the infamous “fast swimmer” convicted of a trio of sexual felonies. I don’t know if the author was going for shock value or just using an extreme example to get his point across, but it certainly got my attention. I kept reading to find out that even though the author was not condoning Brock’s actions, he also doesn’t wish him to hurt or suffer unnecessarily. I don’t want to cover the whole book here, but the author goes on to discuss the emotions involved in vengeance vs. justice, which means he spends a fair amount of time delving into hatred, as well.
There is also a chapter on the religious history of this concept, but Mr. Hughes is not heavy-handed about it, nor does he thump a Bible in your face. A couple of Bible verses are included in this chapter, but I don’t think the chapter is “preachy” enough to turn off those of a different belief system. The author also includes a relevant quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a part of which says, “The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe.” I felt this was a wonderful way to tie this book and its ideas all together.
I really liked this book. Even though, as I mentioned previously, I was already familiar with this concept, I’d never heard it put forth as Mr. Hughes explained it, and I found myself entranced by his words. He included many thoughtful analogies and examples that gave me pause, before turning around and giving a call to action.
I am proud to give this book 4 out of 4 stars and urge all readers to read it. From the young to the old, whether male or female, and whatever the race or belief system, I feel everyone can gain something for having read it.
The Banned Book about Love
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