Thursday, May 10, 2012

The One Where I Get (A Little) Political

Coming from CA, seeing same sex couples together, openly, has never been something new.  It's not just because of my proximity to San Francisco, but it was just something that happened.  I can't even remember when it became the norm, I don't remember it when I was small, but it did.

When A moved to CA, his closest friend made comments about watching "his rear" while in the city.  There were inappropriate comments made, laughed at, and life moved on. 

But things changed.

During the almost 5 years there with me, my husband's views mellowed and changed.  He actually worked with people of different religions and ethnic backgrounds, as well as sexual orientations, and being exposed to it in that way, he became a more accepting person.

Just before James was born, we learned that a relative of his had finally come out of the closet.

I say finally because everyone "knew" and just never said anything.  He struggled with it, and admitted to the family he had been in counseling for years to come to term with things and had been drinking.  The need to talk about came after spending a night in jail for a DUI, apparently not his first, because he was depressed and didn't know where to turn.  His religious upbringing made who he was a bad thing, and he didn't think he could be honest with everyone.  This is something he had struggled with for over 30 years.

During the year we were here before James was born, we attended that church a few times.  I loved it, the community, the singing, and the joy.  But A only took away the fact that they were still preaching about things that he no longer held true.  He had lost a close friend from work, who happened to be gay, back in CA to cancer.  Listening to the pastor talk about homosexuals in the blatant way he did, and the community agreeing, killed him.

We had always said that James would attend Sunday school and church, would be taught as we had each been growing up, and had planned on baptizing/presenting him to the church.  But when the time came, we couldn't.  We discussed everything and it boiled down to our responsibility as parents.

We want him to be a good, strong man someday.  Someone who will stand up to bullies, not just for himself but for others.  We want him to be able to make his own decisions about things, to be with the person he loves and who loves him even more than we could, no matter who that person is.  We will support him, love him, and want him to learn that love should be unconditional and the greatest thing ever.

So, eventually we will teach him about religion and God.  His grandmother will take him to services if we cannot, and we will sit down and discuss what was preached.  We will teach him that he has the right to make decisions for himself, that he doesn't have to take the words he heard that day as something that is not up for discussion and thought.  He will get to make his decisions about religion, finding a fit for him and his beliefs once he is old enough.

We will teach him love and tolerance for all people.  Even his enemies will deserve compassion, and he will learn this through our words and actions.

That's our job.

And I will point to the things that have transpired in the last 48 hours, from the election in NC, to both our current president and vice president taking a stand that gay marriage should be allowed, and hope that it will be a history lesson about the way things were once, and how things can change.

Because they need to change.


  1. That's a nice, thoughtful post. I hope you'll consider the possibility of researching some area churches who are open and welcoming of ALL people, who have no restrictions of membership, and who have no restrictions on who can be a leader in that community of God. There are many, and more and more churches are having to announce their position, and that should be easily found on their websites. If you enjoy the community of church, I'd hate for you to give that up when so many congregations are out there with open arms to ALL.

  2. Thank you! I honestly hadn't thought about that, and should have considering how many different churches we have within a stone's throw.

    What I found interesting is that we drove by the Catholic school downtown and they actually have a banner stating they are accepting new students of all faiths. That has me ready to begin the search!