Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Tell the truth in love." Ummm, thanks I'll pass.

Over the years, I have been able to swallow, although not completely digest the whole idea of "hate the sin, love the sinner" and "tell the truth in love."  Today, for reasons that are not entirely clear to me, that idea has risen in my throat and made me feel literally sick. You know why? It's utter bullshit.

This philosophy is usually liberally applied by Christian people in situations when they have to interact with LGBTQ people and they don't agree with their "lifestyle". It's interesting, really. I have been on the receiving end of this idea and I've been able to deal with it. Recently a friend was the recipient of this notion and now I'm livid. Here is the problem: These folks equate being LGBTQ as being sinful in the same way as other sins are, you know, like murder, adultery, child abuse and the like. But here is where that argument falls apart. I do not know ANYONE who would approach someone who harmed children, or committed a major violent crime, or someone who steals from their family to purchase heroin, and gather around them and collectively say, "Well, we need to tell you the truth in love. We love YOU, but we don't love what you're doing."  If it were a parishioner, let's say, in a big church who had embezzled thousands of dollars from a non-profit organization, would the treatment be the same? Would the other fellow church goers get together and talk about the importance of rallying around this person, loving them, and trying to get them to see the error of their ways? Highly unlikely. You know why? Because everyone knows that this behavior is wrong and it harms other people, that's pretty clear. It's a horrible decision that they've made, and they'll have to deal with the consequences. What a shame.

And yet...these same people do not appear to be capable of understanding that being LGBTQ is not the result of a bad decision, or a desire to harm other people, or selfish desires. Being gay is NOT a decision. It's NOT a lifestyle. This notion is so outdated and stupid and illogical and it totally amazes me that people still believe it. I suppose it's their right, everyone can think what they want. However, coming forth and expressing love and "understanding" towards these people is a thinly veiled insult. You know what it reminds me of? You know that scene in The Color Purple where Miss Milly approaches Sofia (Oprah) and compliments her children?  "Your children are so clean! Would you like work for me and be my maid?"  That is how it feels to me...it's condescending as hell. It's demeaning. It's insulting. And in the immortal words of Sofia (Oprah), may I just say....


"HELL NAW!"

I don't need strokes on having a clean child. I don't need anyone to tell me that my daughter is wonderful, but...  To be clear, this hasn't happened to me lately, it just hit me like a ton of bricks today. Maybe I'M tired of being politically correct for a change. Maybe seeing all the madness in the world right now has made me wake up and realize that I no longer care about making people upset. My daughter is freaking amazing. She is intelligent and witty and talented. If ANYONE in my life feels that they can have a conditional relationship with my kid, that they can "love" her without supporting who she is as a human being, get ready for a rude awakening. You may NOT. I would have more respect for people if they would tell me the truth, that they don't understand, they don't accept her. They think she is sinful and is putting her soul in jeopardy. Alright, sweet, good to know. Silence is also acceptable to me. But please don't express "love" as a means of absolving your own conscience, and don't think I am going to help you do it. The mere idea that anyone could express this to her, or to me, under the umbrella of it being a loving Christian action completely confounds me. It isn't. It is a total and complete cop-out. It is a way of saying, "We don't agree with who you are at all, we believe it's a sin but we don't want to look like dicks, sooooo....we love you. We just hate what you're doing." NO THANK YOU. We're good. She isn't doing anything, she is BEING.

You know who else is BEING?  My cousin, my dear friends, a man I consider to be my second brother, our God-family, my colleagues, my neighbors, and my late father. I hope that his BEING in Heaven right now is kicking ass and having the best time ever. The only "sin" any of these people are/were guilty of is being themselves. The God I believe in would never, ever turn them away. Jesus would never reject them. I do think the tides are turning a bit, and I think that there are popular Christian folks like Jen Hatmaker that are taking incredibly brave steps and admitting that maybe their earlier beliefs were wrong. I love them, and they give me hope. The other folks I know, and many of them are good people, will be on the wrong side of history and that makes me sad.

I am fortunate. Other than being female, I really don't know what it's like to be blatantly discriminated against, but my child does. The things that people at school say to her would make your heads spin, but out of respect for her, I will not share what they are. She doesn't even share them all with me because she knows I will get riled up. She is not interested in a spiritual life right now, and it's her walk and honestly, I understand. The idea that in the future, if she does decide that it's something she would like to investigate and pursue and she might be turned away because of who she is makes me want to scream and never stop. This is NOT love. This is NOT looking out for ones soul and trying to save them from themselves. It's discrimination. It's short-sighted. It's incredibly stupid. It's simply not Christian behavior. 

So to my LGBTQ friends, family, and coworkers, I say this:  I love you. I accept you. And contrary to popular notion oftentimes, GOD loves you too. I know this. 

To my Christian friends and acquaintances who express love towards me and my family while choosing to make it conditional due to our child's "lifestyle", let me be clear...do I want or need this kind of conditional love? Does she? Do I believe this illustrates the love of Jesus?

HELL NAW!


Thanks, Sofia!

6 comments:

  1. I could not have said it better myself Jane. I love you, and I love my smart,talented, beautiful goddaughter UNCONDITIONALLY!! I am proud to call you family.

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  2. This is the basic blueprint of how I counsel my son when he is headed to the youth group he has not quite given up on, despite that the leaders of it continually assure him they are praying for him and ask him to check in every 6 weeks to address his ftm transition. I've encouraged him to try another youth group, but he loves the biblical teaching he gets at this one. Much better Christian than me.

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    1. Wow. This makes me so sad to read, I don't even know what to say. I'll be praying for him too, but probably in a different way. :) Stay strong!

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  3. Love, support and respect to me are humanistic values.
    When religion gets into it, there always seem to be a lot of "shoulds."

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    1. Sadly I agree. And it SHOULD NOT be this way.

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