Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 117
At the base of the issue, is what is "normative" for a human being created in God's image. If what you desire is not correct, then you need to work and pray to change them.

You've managed to misidentify the base of the argument while, in fact, landing directly on it. For you think the answer is for gay people to just stop being gay.

The closest gay friend I have ever had was raised in a southern Protestant family. I wouldn't describe them as fundamentalists, but they were quite conservative and were taught in bible class that homosexuality is a sin; one that you will go to hell for if you don't repent.

I'll call him Matt. When Matt started realizing he was attracted to boys and not girls he at first hoped it was, like they had taught him, a phase that everyone grows out of. He waited. When he got to be the age when kids start "going steady" he got nervous. He dated girls, but nothing changed. He didn't want them. So now, his problem began affecting these girls as well as Matt himself; they were going out with a guy who didn't want them.

He started praying. He prayed to God to help him not be gay. He truly believed he would be damned to hell if he didn't "fix" himself. He started getting more involved in his church and doing charity and volunteer work, hoping to show God that he was a good person and didn't deserve hell. Nothing changed.

Finally, he broke down and told someone at his church that he was struggling with his sexuality. The "love" that he was met with was this: His belief that he would go to hell if he didn't change his feelings was reinforced. The reverend told Matt he would try and help him. They prayed together, and, much to Matt's humiliation, the entire youth group began praying for him. Matt was given the most ridiculous advice. Take a cold bath before bed. Play sports. Fix cars. Go hunting. Seriously - the church told him if he killed things it would help him not be gay. Still, nothing changed. Matt was still gay.

Things got very dark for him. He began to really convince himself that he could be heterosexual, at least in intervals. Maybe he could kill himself during one of these moments and be judged to have repented. But suicide is a sin. It started to look like Hell was his fate no matter what. To complicate the matter, since he had been outed to his church peers some had started to engage in the harassment that any gay and out teenager knew. He sunk into depression and grew despondant. Like many people who endure significant emotional abuse, he became mentally ill himself.

Life became a living hell for him. He prayed and prayed and begged God to fix him, and grew angry at God for making him gay and not helping him change. He felt as if God had played a trick on him and left him with no way to avoid damnation. This was about the time of his suicide attempt. The first one, anyway.

In his late teens and early 20's he got away from the church. He met other gay people and started feeling more comfortable with himself. He came out to his family and was summarily disowned by his father. His dad eventually relented on his hard-line position, but he never ever told Matt that he was ok with him as a gay man. Things between Matt and his dad were never the same.

Matt moved out on his own to live with people who accepted him for who he was. He started dating men and actually having fulfilling relationships - without hurting innocent women. Unfortunately, his earlier life left him deeply scarred. He has since never been able to trust other people and has some paranoid tendencies. It seems like when you realize early that those who you are supposed to be able to trust the most - his church leader, his own father, and even God himself - abandon you, it leaves some wounds. He became alcoholic in his teens to help him get through the horrific pain caused by the way he had been treated. He attempted suicide two more times, and nearly died from self-abuse at least once.

To this day, he hates himself. He was never able to overcome this.

There are millions of stories like his. Many physically die, many just die inside. YOU, CT, share in the responsibility for this. It is important for anti-gay crusaders to hear this. YOU are the one perpetuating the backward, hateful, vindictive, and cowardly attitudes that every single day cause gay teens to choose death rather than one more day feeling your judgement and cruelty. What you are doing here causes actual harm to human beings who do not deserve it. I hope you are willing to take responsibility for that.

You speak of "loving the sinner." If there is such a thing as sin, this is it. If there is a path to hell, this is it. And yet, this is the end you work toward. You believe that Matt deserved what was done to him.

I'd just like you to understand, that is why your beliefs are greeted with contempt by decent human beings, Christian and non-Christian alike.
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.