5.31.2016

Because I know you've been wondering...



     Today someone posted a homophobic rant on my daughter’s Facebook page.  I actually think it was a stupid teenage joke because the same kid that wrote it left a comment saying, “Can you imagine if this is really how I acted?”  But it wasn’t funny to me.
     When I read those words in the early morning light, I felt that old familiar adrenaline surge that means only one thing…danger.  It is a swell of energy that starts in my stomach and rises up through my chest tells me that I need to protect someone I love, and that is a feeling I detest.  I wanted to find that kid and throat-punch him into submissive apologies.
     However, I decided to be a grown up about it.  I let a comment for him to “Delete this shit immediately” and then I reported the post to Facebook.  Can you believe that Facebook saw nothing wrong with the post?  I am still speechless.
     Today this got me thinking about this whole situation.  On the one hand, I am proud of all of the people in my life that I know (that I know that I know) are homophobic, for not lashing out at my daughter since she came out.  They have either been supportive of her, or they have been very obviously quiet and absent in the matter.  The silence speaks volumes, trust me.  We all know why you are all silent, but I appreciate that you have a silent judgmental disapproval than a vocal one. 
     I have been asked, more than once, “How do YOU feel about this?” (my daughter coming out as a lesbian).  Emphasis on the YOU because most of the people asking me this are silently wondering if I am traumatized, or trying to beat the gay out of her, or if I am mortified, or if I’m just a big worldly sinner that thinks it’s all okay.
     So, to answer that question… I am fine with it.  I love and support my daughter. Please let me explain further. 
     I grew up in an extremely legalistic, judgmental, critical church (and family).  As in most churches, the worst part of the judgment is that everyone picked and chose what would be judged, and what would be acceptable.  For example, we had several pedophiles in the church that no one would outwardly condone, but would allow in the church if they pedophile was being quiet and good…but I couldn’t teach the preschoolers in Sunday School anymore because I had been divorced.  People could stand in the parking lot and smoke cigarettes.  Oh, it might have been frowned upon, but no one would say anything.  However, let a gay person try to attend church…they would be chased out of there and probably told they were going to hell and to never come back.
     I am a Christian.  I love Christ.  However, I greatly dislike most churches and most religion because of the way I was raised.  All I think of when I think of these kinds of churches is hate, judgment, and hypocrisy.  Please don’t get me wrong, there are some truly lovely people that are very dear to me that still attend, but overall I stand by my statement.  I think the Christians in all of these old-fashioned little churches have a sincere desire to please God, but I think they are going about it all wrong.  I think they are mostly based in fear rather than love.  They are afraid of displeasing God, and they are afraid of looking as if they condone something "worldly".  Because of this, they shun anything that the mainstream church would not deem acceptable.  
     I mean, hey, if they're caught hanging out with or being friendly to a gay person, they will be the next person judged and criticized.  Who wants that?  Better to be safe and critical than to be kind and love one another.  I feel like those statements are going to hurt a lot of feelings and that isn't my intention. I think if people take a step back and with an open mind see if there could any truth to this perception, they will see how I can feel this way.
     Here is where I stand… we no longer live under the law.  We live under grace.  Of course the law is still a holy guideline for us to follow, but not even Jesus cast dispersions upon those that sinned.  He loved them and he commanded us to do the same.  We each have free will.  It is up to God and the Holy Spirit to convict us if we are doing something that does not bring him honor.  IT IS UP TO GOD.  It is not my business to condemn anyone, as long as they are not harming another human being.  It is my job to love.
     Let me say it again…
IT IS MY JOB TO LOVE.
     I do not believe that any of that legalistic, critical, hatemongering garbage accomplishes anything.  When I was in college, my good friend Scott revealed to me that he was gay.  I didn’t bat an eyelash because I loved him.  He was my friend.  Months later, he revealed to me that when he came out to me, he expected me to shun him because he was gay.  Because that is what every other Christian he had ever known had done to him.  Hearing that broke my heart.  He also went on to tell me that because of my kindness and friendship, he had gotten up the nerve to go back to church.  The last time he went, he was chased out and told “God hates fags” and that he is going to hell.  This time, he tried again and found a peaceful place to seek the Lord.
     Isn’t that the most important thing?  Living in a way so that others see Jesus through you and want what you have?  How do you expect that to happen when you go mysteriously silent and absent from their lives, or even worse… you act out in hate?  That is not how Christ would act.  You know the old cliché, “What would Jesus do?”  Well, that’s a legit question.  What would Jesus do?  Jesus would love the person and encourage them to seek the Lord.  And he would tell all of the rest of us to only cast a stone if we are without sin.  And we are all full of sin…we just like to judge others who sin differently than we do.  My other kids have all started smoking in adulthood.  Should I shun them? What about all of you/us who are divorced?  Overweight?  Have had phone sex or fornicated?  Gotten drunk? You get the picture.  I mean, aren’t kids who sass their parents supposed to get stoned to death under the law?  If that was the case, there would be no teenagers left and then what would we do?
     Just to clarify, I do not think that being gay is wrong.  I believe that gay people are born that way and I believe that love is love, no matter who is doing the loving.  I do not mean to purposely lump gay people into a pile with other "sins".  I have only written this in this way and made the points I have made because I know that most of the people reading this will be hard-core Christians who do believe being gay is a sin.  Okay, moving on.
     My daughter is my heart.  She is beautiful, creative, funny, articulate, and kind.  She is also gay.  I love her and I am proud of her for being willing to be open about it rather than kill herself with shame and fear.  If this is just a phase and next year she is into boys, then okay.  And if it’s not a phase and she lives her life as a gay woman, then I pray that she finds a kind and gentle, intelligent, open-hearted woman to spend her life with.  I married two MEN from my church…one was an adulterer and the other was a woman-beater and a child molester.  My goal is to see my children in loving, happy, healthy relationships.  Period. 
     I will love my children because they are worthy of love and kindness, no matter what decisions they make about anything in life.  I will stand by them, and I will come for the throat of anyone who tries to harm them.  And, I will leave the rest to God.


 Emma and her girlfriend Madi.


xoxo v.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Beautifully written. And even more beautiful is the way that you love your children, through the good, the bad and the ugly. This is true love. And this is what is means to be a mom. <3

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