ust for the record, [The Citizen in this space in July published]
the fifth disparaging article toward gays in five months. William
Maier is proficient at finding any subject and twisting it in an effort
to demonize all homosexuals for the failings of a few.
No one ever claimed that all homosexuals were saints; but don't
try to portray all of them as demons. When you continue to parade
these "so-called" Christian-based writers with their anti-gay
slander, you are directly insulting the integrity of my son. You also
are guilty of spreading the hatred that gays and lesbians must
face on a daily basis.
However, you are in very good company. When Jerry Falwell and
Pat Robertson claimed the terrorist attacks that killed thousands
of our fellow citizens were the direct manifestation of God's anger
toward homosexuals, what was the message? It was certainly not
love or compassion. It was, however, that any association with
gays and lesbians could bring God's wrath upon you and your
And, yet, these same self-proclaimed "men of God" become
indignant at the suggestion that these kinds of distortions might
have contributed to Matthew Shepard's murder or other violent
Imagine the effect these messages, from respected Christian
leaders, have on impressionable, violence-prone youth. Vile
distortions, presented as Biblical truth, reduce many of God's
children to nothing more than game for a predator.
I will try to explain how this subject has affected my family. Until
recently, my prayer and God's response remained constant. For
four years I continued to pray that Adam would be changed but
God refused to grant my request. My son told us that he was gay
and that his same prayers got the same response. He had
assured us that this wasn't his choice and we had no reason not
to believe him.
Adam has always been an "ideal" son. He always strived to do
the things that made us proud. No parent should be put in this
position. I love my son but nothing from my upbringing endears
me to homosexuality and we still need to maintain the
respectability of our family. How do we continue to convince
Adam that we need to keep this a secret without him feeling as
though we are ashamed and embarrassed by him?
We're a good family. Why did this happen to us? If we could just
remove this one obstacle, he would be on the fast track to
happiness and success. Everything about Adam makes him a
winner except this and if he is discovered to be gay, all bets are
Homosexuality seems to be our unforgivable sin. This country is
so sensitive when it comes to discrimination and yet we have an
unwritten pact that it is socially acceptable to openly discriminate
against gays. The military, which is big on honor and integrity,
wants them to pretend, the business community can fire them at
will, the church holds them to a standard that they don't require of
anyone else, and the public's open contempt borders on brutality.
Perhaps the saddest discrimination occurs within our own
families, which are supposed to be the bedrock of love and
support. It must be the mystery and confusion that brings out the
worst in us. We use the Bible as our righteous shield as we
defiantly condemn homosexuality as the sin above all others.
If it were truly sin that we abhor, we would attack it all evenly. But,
in our blistering attack, we conveniently forget to mention the sins
of which we are all guilty. This unseemly part of our human nature
prompted: "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."
Our rotund reverends proclaim that we "love the sinner, hate the
sin." Is homosexuality the only sin we can find to hate? It's obvious
that gluttony is quite palatable. Gossip, previously called "bearing
false witness," seems to be the glue that holds many churches
together. And I've never heard a sermon preached on the sin of
divorce and remarriage even though Jesus directly addressed it.
But let's stop kidding ourselves; we all know why. We, as adults,
have created our own schoolyard playground. The "bullies" in the
pulpit pick on the most vulnerable members, knowing that their
victims are helpless to defend themselves. Through years of
intimidation, the bully also knows that the others on the
playground will do nothing to stop the attack in fear that he will turn
on them. This is commonly known as injustice.
Adam's "sin" is that he shows love to someone of the same sex.
Our sin is that we show hate to gays by treating them as though
they were subhuman. We withhold our love from them and then do
our best to make them believe that God is doing the same. Which
is the greater sin?
If Adam is incapable and God is unwilling to change his sexual
orientation, maybe it is me that needs to change. Perhaps my
backbone needed a little strengthening as well. There is great
risk for me to openly declare that I love my son just the way he is.
The same wrath that has been directed at my son and anyone
else that is perceived to be different will now be directed at me.
Is the risk greater than the reward? WWJD? If God created 10
percent of the world gay, could they be his tithe? A gift-wrapped in
mystery? A gift that, when truly beheld, teaches parents all about
authentic and non-judgmental love? A gift that bestows courage
to stand up to the bullies?
What if every parent of a gay and lesbian child was courageous
enough to stand up and demand that their children be given the
respect they deserve? The world might be forced to change
overnight. The military could freely allow them to excel. Business
could openly appreciate their contributions. The reverends would
have to go find another victim to exploit.
But best of all, families could return to doing what they do best:
love and nurture each other.
My prayer and God's response have changed. I pray that God will
change the world's attitude toward my son. God's response is: "If
you want your prayer answered, then get off your knees and stand
up for your son."