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Should be required reading for humanity

Posted by bill_vincent Central Maine (billvincent@hotmail.com) on
Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 19:06

I just read this article response. I know a while back someone (not sure who) posted a thread on an article entitled I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay. This article I just read was in response to that from a mother, after reading her son's school essay on the article.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Real Eye Opener


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

omg, what a brave kid. Now his mom knows what it means to be a Christian. Mysterious ways.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Thanks for sharing, Bill.

I think this message applies to many many situations. This hating behavior freaks me out. We have never used the word in this house, and every time I see the "hate" word uses in this Forum, it makes me so unhappy. It goes hand in hand with the use of other words like "spewing" and personal, not good-natured name calling and personal insults. Good wake up call for all. :)


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 21:17

Judge not lest ye be judged ... that lasted all of one post :)


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Oh, don't think that was judging--it was observing, at least from my view.

I don't like seeing the word "hate" either--I do not use it and my children were not allowed to use it, at least aloud. I don't go for calling people "the moron demographic" and "not caring" and "selfish" and "shallow," either, but it happens here and only for giving one's opinion.

*

As to the OP,

What a powerful story--how very courageous of this young man.

I still find it difficult, however, for a grown woman to change on a dime so quickly when she realized that HER son was gay.

That's almost as scary as her attitude to begin with.
I wonder what her reaction would have been had he said he wasn't really gay, he just wrote that essay to prove a point. I wonder if she'd still have changed her tune.

At least she supports him and still loves him.


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How many churches are half filled with people with the same "pre essay" attitude as this woman?


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Pretty sad, isn't it? Those who should have the MOST compassion, have the least sometimes.


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I'm glad it moved you, Bill. Hoping that means we can count on your positive vote this time for the Maine marriage equality referendum in November?


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same old same old...and why should compassion be only a christian virtue?(those who should have the most compassion) Most athiests I know have loads of compassion.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

This is what some of us have been saying all along... we are all human beings fully deserving of all the same rights, freedoms, choices, and the same chance to be loved, love, and to be happy.

You don't have to be religious to see that hatred is a poison that spreads... and stopping it CAN begin with one person.

Excellent article/story, Bill... thank you for posting this.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

YQ, I know the infuriating attitude you're referring to, but I honestly didn't read that in Bill's article. It seemed to me to be a call to (some) Christians to up their game if they want to truly live in compassion as did their savior.

Much of the article seems just like common sense to me; I'm an atheist and I know very few people who consider homosexuality a sin. But then I'm not the target audience. I think this kind of writing has a lot of power for people in the more fundamentalist religious communities, and fraught as it can be with conflicting messages and feelings, I applaud it. Having someone speaking from within, as it were, is so much more effective a tool than any number of us 'outsiders' braying on about equal rights, etc. As evidenced by Bill's being so moved by this article. :-)


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 10, 12 at 6:51

I still find it difficult, however, for a grown woman to change on a dime so quickly when she realized that HER son was gay.

...well that was my first thought too, but I didn't want to be accused of judging this so-called christian woman.

Love is not conditional.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

circuspeanut-- that was an attack on me-- not the article, which is why it went unanswered. She's just not worth it.


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it was a commentary on your erroneous assumption that Christians should have the most compassion.

your comment "Those who should have the MOST compassion, have the least sometimes." why is compassion "owned" by christians? that is so prejudiced


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Compassion is "owned" by Christians in part because this is what the teachings boil down to. This is a large part of basic or general Christian teaching and preaching... isn't it? Do unto others, and so on and so forth? No?

I've read and heard too often that non-believers are heathens without direction or morals... sinners without souls and all that. By this definition, owning compassion wouldn't begin with atheists. It often does, but that's not the point.

In other words, in general, Christians "owned" compassion themselves, simply through the basic messages of their religions. Why wouldn't one expect a little more out of someone claiming Christian values?

"Having someone speaking from within, as it were, is so much more effective a tool than any number of us 'outsiders' braying on about equal rights, etc."

Absolutely. I concur.

As I read the story, I was thinking that it could have ended very differently. Instead of really looking hard internally, that mother could have reacted in a way that may have ended not in acceptance, but in the suicide of her son... and we're losing too many youths to this particular type of tragedy, as it is.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Thanks for posting this Bill. A very powerful story. I then went and read the original post. Also very powerful.

If his post(s) makes even just a few people rethink what they think, he has accomplished more than most.

Here is a link that might be useful: Original story


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

It's a problem many families encounter departing from the articles/dogma of their particular branches Christianity. Some folks have happy smurfy endings I did with my folks but they never cared for the hierarchy of Catholicism they just wanted to rattle their beads, & keep a jaundiced eye on the religious community that had betrayed their families in the Irish Civil War.

If the boy had been raised in an affirming branch of that ideology I doubt he would have gone through the extra grief but would have still gone through something.
After all how many of you guys had to hide till you could hide no longer because your family faith & culture made it implicit that while it might be ok for some it probably wasn't in your neck of the woods.
All childhood is a nightmare by psychological definition filed with conditioning wounds.
On these terms I will feed & support you, on these terms I will smile or frown, on these terms I will cherish or freeze you out if only for a moment. I'm told that those moments can be quite scaring by a lot of the greats of child psychology (took years to believe them).
This kid knew long in advance to hide who he was & what he feared more than anything else he may well be.
Who knows he may still jump ship & do the ex route quite a few do when overwhelmed by a bar & sex culture they encounter & confuse for their only choices at happiness & fulfillment.
With so many states battling any kind of affirmations or even mention of the word the message is being telegraphed.
Your bad, act bad, be bad live badly be angry instead of proactive. Like a terminal diagnosis or anything else traumatic & this is traumatic (your life & here your eternal life is in jeopardy)
There are stages like the ones Elizabeth Ross explained on death and dying.
Either a complete submersion in the LIFESTYLE uggggh. political activism (better) Integration of all of it the most difficult or nearly impossible to attain while still young individuation!
When you reach individuation I am me and so......being gay & christian is a simple process of going where it's warm & welcoming.
Accepting the message of Christ & ignoring the mess that is such an epidemic in His Body.

I am not a Christian but even I understand that.
A reading of Mel Whites work's would be beneficial for anyone traveling the journey between a rock a hard place & golgotha. Rise Up!


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Beautifully stated article, Bill. As Ghandi wrote: "Be the change that you want to see happen on the planet."


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Is this what it takes to change someone - they have to have a personal connection to someone that is gay? It's a shame if that is true, but perhaps bit by bit, things will change.


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The personal is the political, Esh. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: the personal is the political


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Write this down, CP. I agree with you :0


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

I think the saying is very connected to what's going on within the larger picture, because so many people have the same problems or issues affecting them on a personal level. It's relieving to find out that you are not alone in your issues, that many others want, and deserve, social change, as well. The personal, therefore, becomes political as we gather to attain that which we're after, be it equality, better programs, better or more inclusive laws, or whatever.

There is great strength in numbers, even though popping the bubbles some live in might have to begin with one person putting an idea to voice... even if it means dealing with the aftershocks.

Those aftershocks have a tendency to spread out, and become the voice of not one, but of many.

One would think, in a country noted for its multi-culturalism... if that's even a word... that more inclusion would exist, instead of exclusion.

I think this ties in with not only religion, but also in our continually falling education system. We have all these groups, each positioned within their own little bubbles, feeding only on the information allowed to enter those bubbles, and sometimes it seems to be less rational and more about injecting misinformation, or keeping things a certain way.

I've said this many times before... but logic tells me that if I was born not given a choice in my own sexuality, then it stands to reason that no one else is, either. And to my way of thinking, all that makes us is human beings that are each unique in certain ways. No uniqueness automatically makes us bad. That's the stagnation and falseness of religions at work, in my own opinion.

And if morals are somewhat subjective, who gets to say a person is evil or wrong by simple circumstance of birth?

And now we have our political system taking on what is really none of their business, and trying to inject a brand of morality that not everyone wants or needs. What we WANT is to be recognized as equal human beings in the eyes of the law, regardless of our differences, or uniqueness as I like to call it, free to live our lives in justice and liberty... free to pursue our brand of happiness and love on a fair playing field.

How hard should this really be to attain???


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Compelling read, Bill. Thanks for sharing.


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I loved what was written. All three. The original article, both of the letters. Well done. As for hating gays, it's not limited to people hiding behind Religion. Bill, I loved that you said humanity needed to read it. As always, you're right on. Thank you.


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That letter sounds so much like a fake to me. In so many ways.

And that stock photo of a lipsticked up kid? Neither here nor there, but reminded me of the cover of the right wing Christian teen magazine (whose name I can't recall right now) that Labrea posted.

I have no problem with the sentiment expressed.

Hay


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

As Ghandi wrote: "Be the change that you want to see happen on the planet."

Exactly right.


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Post Script

A whole lot easier BEING the change ion order to get the message across than PREACHING the change. people tend to put a little more stock in it, too. ;-)


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Har har, Bill. Good luck with that :0


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Answering

Matter of fact, I HAVE had pretty good luck with it. Talk is cheap. It's alot easier to lead by example-- same as when I'm teaching an apprentice how to set tile. Absolutely no difference.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 10, 12 at 17:46

Thank you Bill for not falling into that particular trap :)


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Chill out, OM. Setting traps isn't my thing. Wide-eyed cyncism is more like it :0


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Hay my gut is rater sensitive also & hmmnnn being a curmudgeon made me think that indeed thats a stock picture as amatter of fact heres the link where that stock photo came from.
True the article doesn't really state that that is the fellah in question!

Here is a link that might be useful: Taking Stock


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The article actually states that it is a stock photo. See page 3 in OP's link --

Quick note: The image used in this post is stock photography and is not intended to be presented as an actual photo of the boy in this letter.


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I still find it difficult, however, for a grown woman to change on a dime so quickly when she realized that HER son was gay.
That's almost as scary as her attitude to begin with.

if you are a parent (and especially I would think, a mother) the point should be so obvious to you...that is, that the love for a child supersedes religious beliefs as well as any ideologies or preconceived notions about homosexuality.

Your son is your son, no matter what he is, what he has done, where he is or who he is. (same for daughters). That is the unconditional love that any parent should have for their children., IMO you should not begrudge her for that or for her religious beliefs. I think you would agree once you have time to think about this a bit more.


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Quick note: The image used in this post is stock photography and is not intended to be presented as an actual photo of the boy in this letter.

I don't know why they felt compelled to use a picture at all.

Is this what it takes to change someone - they have to have a personal connection to someone that is gay?

It seems to have worked that way for Dick Cheney.


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Of course Heri; my point is at the age of having a young son, one would hope that an adult would have examined at least some of these issues independently and asked herself that question long before finding out that her child was gay.

I know that I went through just about every scenario possible before I decided to have children--mainly, how would I feel about being the parent of a disabled child, both physically and mentally, or if they were gay, or if they were problem children, or if they required round the clock care.

So I would have already known the answer to that question; why would I judge anyone else's child differently than I would judge my own?

Perhaps others aren't so thoughtful, before or after bringing more into the world.


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Ok thanks Jill


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Demi, I don't care how liberated you THINK you are, how accepting you are, or how "enlightened" you think you are. When your kid comes up to you and tells you that he or she is gay, it blindsides you. If for no other reason than knowing the hard time he or she is going to have, going through life. A good friend of mine had that happen several years ago. He even mentioned it a couple of times that he thought his son might be gay, that he had no interest whatsoever in girls. But when this kid finally came out to his family in his HS sophmore year, my buddy was pretty bowled over. But I've got to give him the credit-- in spite of his beliefs (his wife, too), he stood by his son right from the second the kid told them and let him know that he loved him no matter what. This article brought that all back like it was yesterday.


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Bill, I never said it wouldn't.

Who would want to see their child hurt like that?
Who would want the complications that reactions to being gay brings in our society?

It has nothing to do with not being "blindsided," it has to do with how you REACT to being "blindsided."


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As Bill wrote, it is about leading by example, and walking the walk. I agree, talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Love of parent for child should be unconditional, but too often, this is not the case.


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Bill, thank you for sharing this.


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"if you are a parent (and especially I would think, a mother) the point should be so obvious to you...that is, that the love for a child supersedes religious beliefs as well as any ideologies or preconceived notions about homosexuality.

Your son is your son, no matter what he is, what he has done, where he is or who he is. (same for daughters). That is the unconditional love that any parent should have for their children."

And...

"As Bill wrote, it is about leading by example, and walking the walk. I agree, talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Love of parent for child should be unconditional, but too often, this is not the case."

Exactly.

As for the stock image, sometimes I think including an image or photo along with an article or story can sometimes add to or bring the message across on a bit more of a personal level.

As example, if one were reporting on a plane crash or a social issue like homelessness, adding a photo can put a little more reality to what are otherwise just words. Not everyone wants to read news without accompanying imagery, and it's become almost standard practice, I notice.

I don't think it matters whether or not that is the actual person spoken about in the story, and I think it may make more people actually read it... which can be a good thing.


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"Who would want to see their child hurt like that?
Who would want the complications that reactions to being gay brings in our society?"

That's why caring parents work to reduce those complications by eliminating official discrimination against their gay children, like bigoted laws that tell them they don't deserve to get married and live happily ever after just like anyone else.


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Dorothy Bloch wrote "once I began to probe childrens fantasies I saw they were a means of survival".
Survival of & from the already internalized often destrcutive wishes, desires, prejudices & cultural bondage of their parents.
Thes fantasies can often turn into means of withdrawl & pain killing rituals from drug addiction to religiosity.


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CS: "eliminating official discrimination against their gay children like bigoted laws..."

Exactly! Why oh why did the Obama admin decline to act upon the executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against GLBT persons?

That's crazy...such a great opportunity to make a difference that really makes sense.

To me, anyway.


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Here's the first thread: I'm Christian..... unless you're gay. Thought I'd post it since you're "not sure who"...;)

Thanks for that update. The story continues, and as long as there's just one person it'll make stop, and think, and then take action--good job.


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RE: Should be required reading for humanity

Thanks, Maddie... I reread it, and I see that my own opinions haven't changed, but have been strengthened through time and through certain happenings within our own society and around the globe.


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