There's two topics that are known to avoid, politics and religion. I try to keep things as light and non confrontational here as I can. Tonight though, I need to get on my soap box and get something off my chest.
Two weekends ago I was driving the kids to a birthday party. We live in a very nice little city where I feel completely safe. I saw an elderly man walking a dog from afar. He had on a white shirt with HUGE red letters on it. He was also pointing to his shirt furiously as cars drove by him. I couldn't quite make out what this guy's shirt said, so of course my curiosity got to me and as I got closer I started to slow a little. It's not often you seen some old guy going crazy on a walk. Then I saw the front of his shirt, "REPENT PERVERTS". Immediately I sped up because Belle noticed him pointing to his shirt and she was trying to read it. The back of his shirt read "All Gays Will Burn in Hell". Belle asked, "Mommy, slow down I can't read what that old man's shirt says! I'm trying to read it but you're going too fast. What did it say?" I took a deep breath and said, "His shirt says he needs us to pray for him to not be a hateful old man." Belle said, "Ohhh...why is he hateful?" I said, "I dunno." She replied, "Well, it's not nice to hate so we should pray for him. Pray for him right now Mommy." So, through gritted teeth I did. I prayed that God would remove the hate out of this old man's black heart and he would learn to love just like Jesus does. At that moment I realized that I was feeling hate. Hate that this old man's hateful heart was on full display and that he almost robbed my daughter of her innocence. If I had slowed a little bit more she would have read what his shirt said. I wish we didn't live in a world where I have to explain hate and bigotry to my kids.
The news has been flooded with reports of Tyler Clementi, a young man who committed suicide this week. Tyler was a young gay man who's roommate hid a camera in his room and taped Tyler with another man and broadcasted it on the Internet in an attempt to humiliate him. Tyler was so distraught at being outed and harassed for who he was that he took his own life. This young man who had his whole life ahead of him cut it violently short due to hateful people who found pleasure in mocking him and torturing him for who he was.
I am a Christian. It infuriates me beyond belief when hate is spread in the name of Christ. Christ loved everyone. Christ showed love and respect to all and taught that we should do the same. To those who think homosexuality is a choice or a sin, you have the right to your opinion, but please keep it to yourself. You are not God, and guess what, I'd bet anything that you've got a few of what others would classify as "a sin" under your belt. God is the judge, of all of us. Leave Him to His job. You do NOT have the right to torture, harass, and bully people. Every single person has the right to be treated with respect, and love, and equality.
Between my husband and myself we have several relatives and friends that are gay or lesbian. We don't label or think of them as "my homosexual uncle/cousin/friend". They are just who they are. They are family. They are friends. They are hilariously funny, kind, giving, caring and some of the loveliest people that we know. Old man hate would say "these people" are a bad influence I'm sure. To old man hate I'd say, I'd rather have "these people" around my children any day of the week than the likes of you. For they will not teach my children hate. They have always promoted love, respect, and acceptance of all. I will continue to grit my teeth and pray for the Old Man Hates of the world and that someday, we will live in a world where young boys don't feel their only choice to escape hatred is by jumping off a bridge.