Seriously? I just read this post on People I Want To Punch in the Throat. It's Jenn's reaction to a NC pastor that is encouraging his congregation to prevent their children growing up to be gay by physically correcting their behavior. When I read it, I saw RED!!!
This subject hits close to home for several reasons. I'll start from the beginning. I grew up in THE church...that's the Church of Christ. We were at church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings...and often small group or bible study another night. Plus I went to a private Christian school from 6-9th grade. Then all HELL broke loose!! My parents got divorced!! In all reality, shouldn't I have been able to lean on my Christian friends for support during this tragic upheaval of my life? You would think so....but nope. Not only was I pulled out of my school because my parents could no longer afford the tuition...but my whole family was judged/shunned at church too.
I can imagine the thoughts running through my friends parent's heads. My mom was branded with a "Scarlett D" for divorcing my dad...and because we were her kids, we were considered the bad kids that would rub off on their perfect little angels. Granted my sister earned that title fair and square...when her pack of cigarettes fell out of her purse in the middle of Sunday school. But I didn't...until way later. Eventually my mom stopped forcing us to go to church...and I've been turned off of organized religion ever since.
Now for the second reason this subject squeezes my heart so tight. My brother is gay. Sure we dressed him up in our Easter dresses and gave him 3rd degree burns on his forehead when we tried to curl his bangs. And so what if he played with my Barbies with me...my sister never did. Oh and who gives a rat's ass if he chose to take dance classes instead of playing sports? He's my brother and I love him just the way he is...as do my parents, my kids, my sister...and anybody else that knows him. He wouldn't be him if he wasn't gay.
I don't believe for one second that my parents could've changed his sexuality by forbidding us from dressing him up or refusing to let him take his dance classes. I don't think it would've made a difference if they'd spanked him for playing with Barbies. The only effect that would've had on him would've been that he wouldn't have felt like he was good enough, or loved enough....and would've forced him to be somebody he wasn't. Everyone deserves to be happy.
I know that no parent really wants their children to grow up to be gay. Their reasons may be different. My reason is this: Life is hard enough without throwing sexuality into the mix. The added struggles that being gay or a lesbian brings are nothing I would willingly set my kids up to have to fight. BUT, if one day one of my girls comes to me and tells me they like girls more than boys, I will love them the same. I will hug them and give them every ounce of support I can muster to help them live the life that they were dealt...by GOD!!
I'm raising my girls to live by the Golden Rule. I demand that they respect other people's opinions and choices and beliefs. They don't have to agree with them, but they have to respect them. They're not allowed to use the word "gay" as a put down. They've been taught that you NEVER know who you might offend with your words...just like we try not to call people retards either. If all parents encouraged their kids to just respect and accept those that are different from them, the world would be a better place.
As for the whole judgmental thing...I'm guilty of that. The bible says not to judge...yet Christians seem to be the most judgmental of the bunch. I judge people on their parenting, their work ethic, maybe even their political views or IQ...but I don't judge anybody by their sexuality, the color of their skin, the size of their house or the label on their clothes. I hope that you'll read this and take something useful away from it...and teach your kids to respect themselves and others.
I'm now pushing my soap box back under my bed...til the next time I get fired up about something I feel passionate about. Feel free to share this with your friends and follow me on FaceBook.