Saturday, February 12, 2011

Her Son Is Gay...Or Not

Way back last fall, a blogger mom wrote about her five-year-old son who relentlessly begged her to let him be Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween.  He wasn't normally a wear dresses kind of kid, but he and his bestie girl friend were super excited about being these characters this year.  She gave him ample opportunity to change his mind, mostly out of the normal motivation of any mom not wanting to go last minute to the store with a kid to pick from what's left over from the vultures.  The ensuing treatment of her child prompted her to speak out against what flabbergasted her and really opened my eyes as a fellow mom of boys this age.  This caught my attention for a few reasons.  It was in the news, and typically blogs aren't newsworthy.  She had spoken out because she was prepared and gently braced her son for other kids to jab him for the skirt and purple sparkle tights that were part of his costume.  Thing was the kids thought nothing of it until direction was set by the adults at the "Christian" preschool he attended.  It was the PARENTS who had no problem pointing, gasping, and making this kid feel like he was doing something wrong.  They accused the mom of "allowing him to grow up to be gay".  She retorted with accusing them of "allowing their kids to grow up to be ninjas" and pointed out nobody had a problem with the girls who chose Batman costumes.  Her screen name was also CopWife, so she pretty much had my heart.

Her Church forced her to apologize to the moms who, though not specifically named in her blog, were "libeled and slandered against", and that the Church felt she was walking a thin line with her blog and may possibly be promoting gayness and they thought she ought to take it down or at least publish a clarification on her (the Church's) position.  After all, she had made the statement in her original post that if her son DOES grow up to be gay she will love him all the same.

The reason this strikes so strong a chord with me at this particular time is that my "home" church is embroiled in a congregation-dividing issue of its own.  A Lutheran church, it's part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (the other "governing" mothership is the Missouri Synod).  The ELCA made the earth shattering move to allow "practicing gays" - those who are open and honest about their orientation and who are most often in long term monogamous relationships - lead congregations.  Some of the members of our local church LOST THEIR MINDS when they found out about this, including my mother, who loves to tell me all about how upset she is about it over breakfast almost every morning.  It was SUCH an issue for these people, in fact, that they decided to have a VOTE on whether to even be PART of the ELCA anymore, which only interested me insofar as to wonder who was going to re-carve the sign out in front of the church.  Let's be honest.  EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF AMERICA is a long word, and whoever carved it the first time is going to be pissed off if he's not already dead which is actually more likely given the average age of the congregation there.

It just really sickens me that someone who is otherwise so kind, can hold a hatred for someone or something they don't even know.  And yet I held my tongue, not standing up for CopWife's Daphne kid to people like my mom....until after Christmas.  I will not get into detail because any at all would reveal the person I am talking about and it's not my wish to cause anyone embarrassment because I really do consider this person such a great great friend even though I haven't seen them for years....
MomIs so-and-so married?  I saw them today with their parents.
MeNo, they're gay.
Mom:  Deer in headlights look.
Jason:  Deer in headlights look that I just said the word gay in front of my mom.
MomBut they didn't seem like there was anything wrong with them when you guys were growing up.
MeThere's nothing wrong with them now.  They are highly educated and have a very lucrative job in a large city in another part of the country.
MomWere they like that when they were younger?
MeThey have always been like that.
Mom:  In a total stupor realizing that she has actually known an actual gay person for some 30 years that she thought was a good person and not a slimy shady deviant Devil worshipper.
Jason:  Thinking he is in a dream because that conversation could NOT just have happened.
I have been given the blessed and highest responsibility of turning two innocents into adults out into this world.  So far they have both (Esten by default in his more numerous experiences) surprised me in their insight and wisdom for their short little years.  They are tolerant, color blind, loving, ask questions of the ridiculous things adults do to one another.  I hope I can keep them on this track as long as possible without confusing them with the ideals of this tainted "Christianity" that I frankly am not approving of.

CopWife's church is threatening to kick her out, refuse her communion and revoke her membership.  I haven't heard how that vote came out at "our" church.  Depending on what it is, I don't know that it will be "our" church anymore.  It's a great place, but in the end it is just a building, and at coffee hour the old ladies are really long as they think you're straight.  I just want to be 100% sure that they'd be just as nice to Esten and Clayton if they grew up and flew out of the closet in giant hot pink feather boas waving their jazz hands.

Or to me, for that matter, if I invited Ellen DeGeneres to Lewiston for a slumber party and to do a guest sermon on Sunday.  At least it wouldn't be the snooze-fest we have now....and I'm pretty sure Ellen's never molested an altar boy or a boyscout.  Ever.

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