“James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice though wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted. Goodbye, Dad”
WHAT THE HELL is wrong with a dad, that he would write something so hateful to his child? As far as I know, none of my kids are gay, but if they were, I sure wouldn’t respond like this guy. OK, wait. That doesn’t make sense. Of course I wouldn’t respond like this jerk did, because I don’t think it’s wrong to be gay.
So let’s try for a better analogy. What if one of my kids shared with me something that I DID feel was terribly wrong – they were dealing drugs to toddlers or vivisecting animals? Both very disturbing images, right? (I tried to be as disturbing as I could think of…) So yeah, I’d be upset, horrified, saddened by the news. But I still can’t imagine telling my kid that I never wanted to see them again.
Why is it that some straight people are so distraught by the mere existence of gay people? Even more, why do conservative Christians take it as a personal affront when they encounter a gay Christian? A new friend was telling me recently how, after he wrote a letter to the editor as a gay Christian, he got threats, had his windows broken, and received a lengthy letter from a complete stranger telling him how immoral and evil he was. Who would write such a letter? Do such individuals spend all their time writing letters to everyone in the world they disagree with? Or is their hatred reserved for gay people?
Maybe they’re simply distressed by the possibility that they’ve been wrong. Terribly, horribly wrong. Slaveholders once used the Bible to justify their actions. Nazis used the Bible to justify their persecution of the Jews and other minorities. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch hunts… there’s a long list of atrocities committed under the guise of religion. And most people today recognize how wrong these things were. We look down on the perpetrators of such acts as being of a less-advanced ethical age. We think we’re better than that. So I suppose it must be pretty shocking, pretty inflammatory, to be accused of being on the wrong side of moral justice. Could the explanation be as simple as that?
Whatever the explanation, I still can’t imagine disowning my child.