“The God Box” Bridges Sexuality And Religion
Alex Sanchez, author of the hit Rainbow Boys series, issued a novel in 2007 that dealt with sexuality and religion. In today’s world, it is still as relevant as it was seven years ago, as we continue to have religious leaders condemning those who are homosexual. The God Box tackles controversial topics as told through a confused religious high school senior, Paul, who looks to the scriptures for advice on how to handle the most confusing time in his life.
Sanchez writes Paul’s character as one who prays to take away “those feelings” and how to become a good, stereotypical “all-American” boy, believing that dating a fellow Christian girl, Angie, will set him on the straight and narrow path eventually. Having rejected his Mexican heritage, and slowly repressing his feelings towards the same-sex, Paul is ultimately challenged when a new student transfers in. Manuel’s religious views contradict what Paul was taught to believe his entire life. As Manuel begins to teach Paul that homosexuality is not evil or sinful, Paul’s views begin to soften and he finds himself attracted to his new friend.
Gradually, Paul begins to lose his initial self-loathing for not being straight, accepting Manuel as his first gay friend. When a violent incident occurs, Paul questions his faith in God and professes his uncertainty. With some wise words of his grandmother, Paul accepts not only his sexual identity but his heritage as well.
The God Box is for those who identify as something other than straight, those of faith, who have questioned a perceived imbalance between their faith and their regular life — or anywhere in between. “To those who believe in a loving God and those who struggle to love themselves,” is the dedication written upon turning the first few pages; and its overall message applies as you read the remainder of the story. For those who consider themselves religious and are of the LGBTQ community, The God Box proves to be a piece of merit, mentioning passages from the Bible to soothe conflicts held within a tortured soul.