When I was setting ground rules for this blog (yes, hello, there are ground rules), I decided to leave religion out of it. It’s getting increasingly hard to follow that rule because of my own struggles and because about 50 percent of the e-mails that I receive mention religion and/or God in some way. I’ve started to write a blog post about religion and may publish it in the coming weeks.
Last week the following e-mail thudded into my inbox. What’s your reaction to it? What are your thoughts on homosexuality and religion?
“CJ’ s mom If your child wanted to kill your pets would you be so happy about it? Or if your child got really happy trying to jump off a ladder or wanted to drive your car would you allow him to do this?
For God sakes you so called mothers what the hell have you been brought up on. This is your child yet you have given up on them without even trying. This is so wrong. If you do not believe in the Bible then I guess there’s nothing to talk about but if you do, believe for your child because this is not what God intended for him. There a way too many scriptures that say this is wrong but it will be you who will have to stand before God about this. If the Bible said that being gay was okay, then I would be okay with it too but woman this is just wrong and I truly believe one day you will regret this mistake.”
“Monica” is the charming woman who sent me this message. When I tried to reply…..wouldn’t you know she gave a fake e-mail address? What do you think of people who hide behind anonymity?
Granted Barbie wasn’t around when they wrote The Bible, and no, I haven’t finished The Old Testament yet, but so far, I haven’t come across anything about playing with dolls.
Yes, there is Deuteronomy 22:5 5 ¶The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
But there’s also 11 ¶Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
So if you’re going to quote 22:5, you better not be wearing polycotton while doing it.
I knew a girl in Middle School who only wore skirts to school because of 22:5, but I’m not aware of that many people who think like that.
Playing with Barbies and liking the color pink are totally comparable to killing pets and attempting suicide – NOT. Let’s forget about religious views for a second and just use our common sense. C.J. being interested in things that plenty of other children are interested in does not harm (or even affect) anyone, and it is in no way comparable to him abusing animals or himself. If Monica doesn’t like it, she can leave the rest of us alone and go live in her fantasy world where boys playing with dolls is comparable to animal abuse.
Everyone is welcome to believe what they please. I don’t care if one worships dishwashers. The problem comes when these dishwasher-worshippers start telling me how to live my life in order to please the almighty dishwasher.
For those believing to be gay is not a sin and that it was just condemned in the Old Testament, and those who have said they have read the Bible and have never read of homosexuality being wrong….read Romans again, I believe this says enough.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Saint Paul also said that woman are inferior being, which is something Christ himself never said (alas, his special relationship with women is very well documented).
And for how much I might appreciate what Saint Paul did for Christianity, he never MEET Christ.
Also, despise what some people believe, the Bible is a book. It needs to be contestualize. Saint Paul was preaching against certain ellenistic costume that he, as a Jew, didn’t accept or understood.
“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”[1 Cor. 14:34–35]
“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”[1 Tim. 2:11-12]
Now I permit a woman neither to teach nor exercise authority over a man, but let her be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived [when he sinned]; but the woman, having [first] been thoroughly deceived, became [involved] in the transgression [of Adam], and she will be saved by the Child-bearing [i.e., the bearing of Jesus Christ], if they abide in faith, and love and sanctification with self-restraint.”[1 Tim. 2:12–15]
I hope you don’t think that woman are inferior, also. But if you do, I fear you are born in the wrong century.
A child like C.J. is as much wrong as a woman in an authority figure… for the Bible.
YES! That movie ROCKS!!
I haven’t been able to read all of the comments here, but the ones I’ve read are brilliant. What are your religious beliefs? I am not here to preach, but I want to share my perspective…
I’ve mentioned in earlier comments that I’m Mormon and it is my faith and doctrine that has taught me that God created us exactly how He intended. God does not make mistakes and your sons, my dads, you, and all of our brothers and sisters are exactly perfect. Sometimes, we make mistakes. That’s part of being human. But who we are is divine. Your son, untouched by culture, but only by love and compassion and love love love, is absolutely divine.
The Bible says a lot of things, for sure, but it also says that in my Father’s kingdom, there are many mansions and I know that my dads’ mansion is fabulous. And smells like great Italian cooking.
So much love,
I always thought, and I may very well be wrong, that the Christ died to obtain a “new deal” or a new contract for us sinners. The old contract (or old testament) no longer applied. Doesn’t that mean then, that the laws in lev no longer apply?
At any rate better minds then my own have commented far more intelligently on the wrong thinking of your anonymous e-mailer.
So sorry you have to deal with that… Just continue on as you are finding the grace and courage to help us moms of non-traditional boys (my soon to be 5 yr old currently prefers purple skirts and pink polka dot nail polish; to his father’s horror).
There seems to be a documentary about this, called “For The Bible Tells Me So”, I heard it was really not anti-LGBT… There’s a website, too… Just thought you might be interested in taking a look…
And we all know that marriages like Kim Kardashian’s or Britney Spears’ are the apotheosis of God’s will concerning mankind. “¬¬
I think EVERYONE should see “For The Bible Tells Me So” with understanding eyes.
There should definitely be a warning with that movie! It’s great for people who are curious about how people use the Bible against gay people, etc. It is, however, very triggering. Just a warning.
We must be thinking about two different movies. I for one don’t see the “triggers” I see many who have closed their eyes start coming around. I see acceptance. I see the positive side. It hadn’t occured to me that it could be viewed any other way.
Before He sent His children to earth
Gave each of them
A very carefully selected package
He promised, smiling,
Are yours alone. No one
Else may have the blessings
These problems will bring you.
And only you
Have the special talents and abilities
That will be needed
To make these problems
Now go down to your birth
And to your forgetfulness. Know that
I love you beyond measure.
These problems that I give you
Are a symbol of that love.
The monument you make of your life
With the help of your problems
Will be a symbol of your
Love for me,
Blaine M Yorgason
Heavenly Father (or diety) does not give us challenges that our greater than our strength to turn those challenges into servants. My brother battled with the religious wrongness and secret identity. He is so much happier since coming out. We all are. He didn’t choose to be attracted to the same sex – but we understand that God loves him regardless, that he has the strength to serve a different kind of mission. And he and his partner are both awesome people who are just about as Christian as one can get. Forget the Pharisees of the world – they are never going to get it.
Read “A letter to Louise”.
This letter has helped many in a most fabulous way!
The one person in my life who is most incredulous about my faith is my partner. I’ve finally found the best answer to his question “How on earth can you be gay AND Catholic?” “The same way that you can be gay and Republican.” Shuts him up every time.
If you ever have doubts, just remember the first time you looked at your boys. They are truly miracles, born of love and hope. Whether or not you believe God had a part in it, they are the closest thing on Earth to perfection.
I also agree!! I am a Christian. And it is because I am christian and because I have faith am I an advocate and supporter of Gays Rights and Acceptance. One thing I am sure of, Jesus was about love and supporting ALL!! No one was greater than or less than in his eyes. He said the greatest commandment of all was.. “love thy neighbor as thyself”. He gave his life for this love… That is the example I choose to follow.
It’s so sad that someone would otherwise be ok with homosexuality, but isn’t because her (imaginary) god says it isn’t ok. When will people start thinking for themselves and stop basing their beliefs on heavily outdated rules based on fantasy gods?
I’m not sure of the beliefs of the writer here, but I’m SO happy that they influence/do not influence her in such a positive way. ❤
I have a few choice words for this woman, but I’ll let the author of this letter do it for me:
“Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum,
Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia”
If only more religious folks didn’t pick and chose what they considered a sin.
Love it! 🙂
ABSOLUTLEY LOVE IT !!!!!!
It is quite true! The bible did say all those things and more! Though for now I will leave you with this: “Jesus loves everyone for who they are and died on the cross for all our sins. When we accept Christ into your lives and ask for forgiveness we are to receive it. As long as we try to lead a good Christian life, it matters not what others say.”
This is the message of a true Christian. So why is it that the various denominations of Christian’s neglect these very fundamental teachings when dealing with “Sinners”?!
great response. Love it.
yes. HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU RAISE A CHILD TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH HIMSELF EVEN IF SOCIETY THINKS IT’S ODD! HOW DARE YOU RAISE YOUR SON NURTURING AND SUPPORTING HIM! (Please note that the above comment is in MASSIVE sarcasm. please continue being amazing)
Hello. I just found your blog today and find it so amazing! I wish it was around for my mother when I was growing up. I’m 25 now. I was raised Lutheran, and almost became a pastor myself. I’m very well versed in the Bible and its history. However, I tend to believe that God isn’t just the God we know from the Bible and know as Christians. I believe He has chosen to reveal Himself in ways that best allow us to understand. There’s lots of evidence out there I can post to explain why I came to that conclusion, but this isn’t the time for that. I just put a little about myself to hopefully make my post make more sense lol.
I always laugh at people that quote the Bible and treat it as a viable source. Until modern history, we have no two copies of the Bible that are exactly the same. And it has been translated so many times, what it says isn’t credible anymore. I also love how the Old Testament says things like “don’t eat pork and shellfish” but we do now because we have learned how to prepare them properly and that is obviously the reason the law was given to us. Can’t the same thing be said for homosexuality? It makes sense that in a war torn nation surrounded by enemies you want everyone cranking out babies to supply troops for the army, gays and lesbians arent’ so good at producing children lol.
I couldn’t agree with you more. I attended 9 years of Catholic school and it was hard because i did question the bible alot. I beleive in God and I also believe that homosexuality is not a sin. I haven’t met very many people who think the same lol so yes very well said:)
AMEN! I do believe this with all my heart and soul.
I’m not Christian — probably closer to being a Unitarian Universalist (especially the latter: illimitable god will eternally damn no one) — I believe in illimitable god, & gee, I even have a B.A. in Religion. Anway, here’s what I say:
Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” Call it Kingdom of God, or spirit, or Buddha-nature: call it what you will, but you have it within you, C.J. has it within him, & even what that person who wrote such a horrible anonymous post has it, if s/he would only know it.
And this, from a blog post I wrote a couple of weeks ago:
Bless you that you don’t pile that harm upon your son, & honor the Kingdom of God within him instead. Illimitable god is watching, & nodding in approval & love.
I’ve often refered people to this article. One of the most intelligently written articles I’ve seen, it cites each Bible passage used to combat homosexuality and places it in context of era & altered text:
What the Bible Says (and Doesn’t Say) About Homosexuality: http://www.soulforce.org/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf
I am a Catholic (and according to the Pope, a right proper bad one), and a Christian, and I also believe that God does not hate. For that belief, I am at odds with most Christians, apparently (go fig). I also believe that if “God did not want this for him,” your son would be something different. There seems to me to be no greater argument of nature against nurture than a child that at such an early and innocent age is as openly, wonderfully, non-gender-stereotypical as your son. Truly, how could God “hate” a child? an open, loving, joyful, child? These people need to go back to their New Testament. All the “hate” is in the Old Testament. Christ himself said he was re-writing the law, and his law was about love, non-judgment, and caring for one another. And your son seems to epitomize all of those, not only in his own approach to the world, but in teaching others those lessons.
I have been following your blog for quite some time now. Bravo to you and what you are doing. You are raising a child to love himself no matter what, love everyone no matter what, and to love life no matter what. Who knows if your son is gay? Do we really know what kind of sex we love when we are 4? The fact that you are raising him to be happy to play with dolls and to wear dresses is awesome!
I am a “Christian”, however, I do not like the religious astigmatism that follows that title. No where in the bible have I ever read dont be gay. I have read the act of sodomy is wrong. Well, the act of sodomy is rape with force or fear and I do NOT believe my gay brothers/sisters are hurting anyone when they are doing what they do behind closed doors. They love one another in the same way a hetero couple loves.
God made ALL of us. God does not make mistakes. He made your son beautiful and you intelligent enough to teach us all a thing or two about tollerance and real LOVE.
Bravo to you dear, you are doing a marvelous job! **marvelous is to be read while using jazz hands**
I will continue to follow and read. Keep up the outstanding work momma!
WOW! Just found this blog (from KFI) and am thrilled!! My 22 yr old is bisexual and I “knew” when he was little that he was fabulous and special. I am Christian and raised my kids in the Christian faith, but have always picked and chosen which parts I agreed with. If it didn’t jive with my heart, I didn’t swallow it! When my son came out to me about a year ago (tears welling up) I had never seen him in such pain. To think that he went through this all alone in middle and high school will always pain me.
I had the opportunity to share my beliefs with a close friend who is concerned about her 8 year old and attends a more fundamental church than mine. Despite having a sister who is a lesbian, she is having a hard time coming to grips with what might be her son’s future. I will be referring her to your blog.
Unfortunately, my son has heard lots of negativity towards anyone LGBT and harbors (understandably so) much resentment towards mainstream churches. He now lives in NYC and my hope is that he will find a church he can be comfortable with. Whose Gospel? by James Forbes is a great resource.
People who do not provide a way to respond to their words = People who do not have any credibility.
Interesting post! My theory is that if you erase mothers from the bible — as has been done — you take away the love and acceptance in the world that mothers inherently have for their children.
It gave the writers permission to hold bias’ and plant the seeds of hate we see continuing to flourish.
As my blog is entitled, mother’s are the “ultimateoutcasts”. It’s time we write our stories of love and truth into the margins of the bible.
As C.J.’s mom, you are off to a great start!
I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I felt the need to tell you that you are both a great mother and a great person. I’m gay, and I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother similar to you in that she was very supportive of who I was. She didn’t care that at age five I loved playing with Barbies and had a long term goal of becoming a Disney princess, and when I was fifteen and she asked me if I was gay, she didn’t care that I responded yes. I’m pretty sure she had been dying to ask me for almost my entire life, as you are to ask C.J., but, of course, she had to wait. Her support made my coming out as painless as it could have been. In fact, when I realized at 10 or 11 or so that I was gay, it didn’t even bother me. I was very lucky in that I didn’t have to experience the self-hatred or anxiety that so many people go through upon discovering their sexuality. The only reason I waited until I was 15 to come out was that from a very young age I had been bullied, because of my femininity, my appearance, and for just being different in general, and I was afraid that people might bully me further. My parents always taught me that it didn’t matter what others thought, but it’s a little hard to swallow when you’ve been victimized on a daily basis from a young age. However, it finally sunk in, and I realized that being open and proud of myself was far more important than anyone else’s opinion of me. Now when someone says something derogatory toward me, whether it be about me being gay or otherwise, I only feel pity for their close-mindedness. C.J. is so lucky to have a mother like you in that, should he turn out to be gay, he will be able to avoid the turmoil that so many gay teens have to suffer through to come to terms with their sexuality. It’s people like you that give me hope for the future of all gay teens.
From one proud gay man to the wonderful mother of a possibly gay son: thank you. I wish you the best with this blog and with helping others to be more tolerant, and I hope that in ten years or so, we’ll all be able to see the wonderful person that C.J. becomes.
I suggest that we respond to Monica with compassion and pity. Yes, she is being an obnoxious jerk, but let’s try and see where she’s coming from.
Children need a set of rules, a lot of parenting, to make them feel safe and loved. They need bedtimes, and “what do we say,” and “only one!” Rules show that parents care, that things are consistent, that tomorrow the world will not have changed and that monsters aren’t going to get them. And especially that Mommy has all the answers and if I do what she says everything will be okay.
Spiritually and emotionally Monica has not matured. And like a child, she needs to know that someone else has the answers and can tell her what to do when the world gets confusing.
Monica has “what the Bible says” to give her comfort. No, not the principles and wisdom and divine inspiration in Scripture that can guide us and give us footing, but rather a list of rules that tell us what to do and what not to do. Children can’t apply abstract principles to complex situations, they need specifics. And “what the Bible says” provides answers to tough questions, certainly in difficult times, and something to cling to when tragedy like earthquakes or tsunamis could strike at any time. As long as she has “what the Bible says” to rely on, then she feels safe.
And, if I dare hazard a guess, Monica is not gifted with advanced intellect. She probably isn’t expecting the Nobel people to be calling any time soon. And she is probably a bit intimidated by the “ivory tower scholars” and the pundits and the scientists who say things that she doesn’t exactly understand.
But Monica doesn’t have to care what they say – even if it’s on Fox News – because they’re wrong and “what the Bible says” is right and they just need Jesus.
But then you came along. And you challenged not just her theology, but her security.
And you weren’t a scientist or ivory tower scholar whom she could dismiss because but a Christian!! Someone who also claims the Bible and God and faith. And if you are right, then that means that “what the Bible says” is wrong and Monica is nowhere near ready to give up “what the Bible says.”
You threaten her. And you scare her.
You are giving her difficult choices. You are making her think. You are putting a wedge between love, decency, and kindness and “what the Bible says”. You simply have to be told off so that Monica can go back to her security. Back to her rightness. Back to her certainty. Back to her Mommy.
And that is very sad.
So rather than be angry with Monica, I suggest we have some pity. Yes, she’s behaving obnoxously and is hurtful and cruel, but it’s a really tough thing to be confronted with the fact that what you rely on, what gives you comfort and security and certainty isn’t exactly as secure as you though it was.
And it’s tough out there. Especially if you are just trying to understand it and respond to challenges with dignity and decency without having some rigid rule book to rely on.
So, yeah, it’s tough being CJ’s Mom in today’s world. But imagine how difficult it must be being Monica.
First a few callouts to some of the commenters here:
Pam – you brought tears to my eyes.
Gina – remember when “a good Christian woman” meant that she fixed food for the hungry family, took in the kid from the abusive family, and could be counted on to stay and clean up after the community play, all without fanfare or complaint? Now, sadly, “Christian woman” has come to mean someone like Monica. I too am having trouble using “Christian” as my identity. I end up having to explain “no not that kind” far too often.
Danny G – yes, Gomes was brilliant. “The Good Book” should be required reading for everyone who identifies as Christian. It was instrumental in finally resolving the
“but the Bible says” issues for me.
And now, CJ’s Mom… this will be a two-parter. Part one:
Yeah, it’s tough. We want the comfort of “the Bible says.” So let me start there.
Some years back, Yale historian John Boswell decided to look at “what the Bible said” about homosexuality and found out that, well, no on knows. The Leviticus passages which seem so easy in English were more muddled when you look at the time and culture in which they were written and he concluded that they most likely dealt with pagan practices. And then when you consider that most prohibitions in Leviticus were resolved in Christian theology by Peter’s vision of the sheet from heaven (“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”) it makes insisting on keeping those particular prohibitions seem a bit arbitrary.
But it really gets silly when you look at the New Testament. This scripture is almost certainly mistranslated. Any honest (and I emphasize that word) will admit that we simply do not know what Paul meant. The words that are translated as “homosexual” in today’s Bibles (arsenokoites and malakos) were not words in Paul’s time.
Linguists look to usage to understand what a word means at a particular time. How were others using the word, what were the subtleties? But there were no other writers using these words. As best we can tell, he literally made them up.
And he did have other words for “homosexual” that he could have selected from, but for some reason chose not to.
We assume that the recipients of his letters knew what he meant, but no one else writing at that time used those words. So we don’t really know. And Monica certainly doesn’t know. She’s misinformed when she asserts that “there a way too many scriptures that say this is wrong.”
But you’ve probably already heard this. And while it takes away some of the fear, learning this only left me with doubt.
So let me quote just a bit more Scripture at you.
We know that Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” And we stop reading there. But the next words are “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In other words, if “what the Bible says” isn’t love, then you aren’t reading it right. Period.
Jesus was giving an answer that would extend beyond the legalistic society he lived in (as do we) and would address issues that “the Bible said” a lot about. Slavery, race relations, the role of women, dealing with people of other faith, and yes slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous sons.
So it comes down to this: the BIBLE says (and isn’t it fun to say it that way) that love is a translator. It’s the way you read scripture. So every time we get caught up on a conflict between how our conscience tells us to treat others and “what the Bible says” then we go with love.
And one final thought (before Part two).
Have you ever wondered about those people in Egypt in ancient times who threw their children to the crocodile god so the Nile would flood and water their crops? How could they worship a deity that was so cruel?
But are we any better?
God made CJ as he is. And while you could make CJ miserable, you couldn’t make him anything other than the way that God designed him. And any god that would punish CJ for being exactly as He created him to be would be a vile god.
Only an evil deity would ask a mother to toss him to the crocodiles of rejection, intolerance, and rigid conformity.
I don’t believe that God demands masculinity or gender conformity (or maybe heterosexuality) of CJ. But if Monica is right and I am wrong, then God is an evil deity who doesn’t deserve my worship.
I have been following your blog for a few weeks now. I often wonder what my mother went through with me. However, much like you, she loved and supported me in whatever I put my mind to . She was always there to say “go for it!” When I came to terms with who I am as a person, my mother struggled with her love for me and what our conservative faith preached. For much of my life I lived with self hatred and disgust because I knew who I was, but yet was taught that it was against God’s plan for my life. I suffered in silence for my teens and into my mid twenties. I was afraid to come out, that I might loose my family’s support, and the unconditional love of my mother. When I did open up to my mother, I told her that if she couldn’t accept me, I would go away and she would never have to deal with me again . . . I was on the edge of a cliff and scared of the fall . . . when I saw the tears in my mother’s eyes, I knew all would be okay.
I often wonder how my life would have been different if it would have been okay for me to be me growing up. However in rural West Texas in the late 80’s and early 90’s, my mother did the best she could. It wasn’t until after her early death from breast cancer that I found out how proud she was of me. Often going on and on, much to her best friend’s annoyance. I always told her how much I loved her, but I wish I had told her how much I appreciated her allowing me to become me.
I follow your blog with a lot of hope for CJ. Whether he is or is not, he is very fortunate to have a family that is allowing him to be whomever he wants. I feel that is the legacy that America should leave for all our children. It is mothers like you that will leave that legacy.
Well… Dont they say God made man able to make choice? Thatd be a sin… I guess (but god still loves sinners). Except being a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son isnt a choice.
The part that gets me the most is how flippant she is about the Bible saying that being gay is wrong. If it said it was okay then she’d be okay with it? What kind of critical thinking is that?
I seriously doubt she takes everything else in the Bible at face value like this decree. The Bible is a piece of literature. A holy piece, albeit, but literature WRITTEN BY MEN all the same. It is most appropriate to analyze it and find deeper meaning, not simply agree with the verses that say to never cut your hair and kill any woman who gets married when she is not a virgin. Come on, people! God loves us. Have faith and believe in Him. I doubt an all-powerful God, at the end of the day, really cares if you let your child play with girl toys instead of boy toys. He’s got more important things to worry about.
First, I think that people who want to leave anonymous comments should not give you a fake name, as if they really exist. They should post as Anonymous. That lets you know they are just hatebots, spamming any site they don’t approve of.
Second, according to some Biblical “scholars” (using that term VERY loosely), the Bible says my husband and I should not be married, because he’s black and I’m white. They can sincerely point to passages, usually in the Old Testament and having to do with mixing herds of cattle, and tell me that theirs is the correct interpretation.
Honestly, all I think reasonable people can do is to continue to live their lives reasonably. Unlike Jesus, we can’t make blind people see.
Hiding behind and assuming an online persona may be something that allows people
to feel omnipotent, when in real life, they are cowards. I think that when you speak from the heart with care, compassion and concern for other human beings you really don’t have to live like people who claim to know what God says, thinks, and approves of. No human can tell another what “pilgrimage” they should be on in life. We are all here, side by side, each doing the best we can. I will never understand the source that feeds the authority in the angry, hateful, and violent among us.
I used to go to church in my early teens and stopped in my mid teens. I had always had some degree of faith. When I started questioning my sexuality I got told I had to choose between my sexuality and my God. I spent years trying to change my sexuality and I knew it wouldn’t happen and I couldn’t believe it was wrong. I had never been 100% in my faith so I picked.
It’s people like you who make me rethink Christianity and my faith. Seeing religious people be accepting is making me consider religion again.
Just wanted to show a different side of the debate.
I don’t know what else you could write, other than compiling all the wonderful comments and above and reposting them.
Can I just tell you that my parents were of similar thought and practice as Monica. Let me tell you, you are doing the right thing with your son! He will be grateful for it once he’s old enough to realize how much you’ve done for him. So many others have made excellent points regarding the Bible and anonymity, so I won’t repeat their words.
I will say this…You are doing the right thing. Know that is true and you are right in your actions. If Monica had a gay child, she would never succeed in changing his sexuality, only in making his life much harder than it ever had to be! I know, I lived it.
My parents did what they thought was right and I know that their actions were born of love for me. But in this matter, it made my life so much harder.
Have faith, be strong, you’re doing the very best thing you could do.
This person is a coward, in every sense of the word. They hide behind a screenname, a fake email, and mostly, religion. Don’t use “faith” as a shield for your own ignorance, because most of what the bible says can be interpreted in a thousand ways, and is mostly discouraged to be read literally. Sodomites are the people of Sodom, not what the moronic people of today automatically assume. These people are sad, because they don’t have the guts that you do to openly celebrate good things, only to talk trash behind closed doors. Raise your kid the way you are doing, with love, compassion, and openness, because that is what God would really want. Those people are crazy, though, nobody is making them read the site, so why do they feel the need to come here, and start trashing a family that, from what’s been described, seems completely normal and caring? Prejudice is insane, and not very holy at all.
I think God loves you and God loves CJ. As a Christian, I am often curious as to why so many Christians hold homosexuality up as this terrible sin in comparison to the myriad sins the Bible namess. I’m amazed how so many conservatives can turn a blind eye to things like divorce and adultry, which the Bible also condemns (along with a host of other things) and yet have no tolerance for homosexuality.
I had a very dear friend come out when we were in high school, in central CA– the “Bible Belt” of California. I remember what he went through and something that has ALWAYS resonated with me and forever confirmed my belief that homosexuality is biological and NOT a choice, is that he once said “do you think I would CHOOSE this? My life would be so much easier if I was straight.” My friend was born gay. If God “knitted [us] in [our] mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) then God made my friend and every other gay person, and God don’t make junk.
I think you can only respond to the Monica’s of the world with the tolerance that they lack. Turn the other cheek and all that jazz, even when it is hard to do.
Well said Colleen:)
I loved the line, “If the Bible said that being gay was okay, then I would be okay with it too…” And if CJ wants to eat shrimp? Or pork? Or doesn’t leave the corners of his fields unplowed? Or wears two types of cloth at the same time? What are you going to do about it then? Stone him to death at the gates of your village is what you should do…’cause the Bible tells me so! (It’s in Leviticus, people!–double points if you get The Simpson’s reference.)
Look, I’ve never read the Bible cover to cover, and frankly, as a Jew the entire New Testament, the Gnostic gospels, and the Book of Mormon are all kinda silly to me. (Btw, I hear the new musical Book of Mormon by the guys from South Park, is a hoot! Go see it if you’re in NYC!!) While I’m sure there are some valuable parables in there, I guess I wouldn’t waste too much time and effort of the “Monica’s” of the world. Your blog is too important and CJ is too important for you take time out of your day to deal with haters.
As they say in the Hip Hop Bible, “Haters gonna hate!” …And keep ya’ head up!
PS-The recently deceased head of the Harvard Divinity School had this to say about the literal interpretation of the Bible, ““The Bible alone is the most dangerous thing I can think of,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “You need an ongoing context and a community of interpretation to keep the Bible current and to keep yourself honest. Forget the thought that the Bible is an absolute pronouncement.” You can check out the obituary for this wonderful Gay man of God here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/us/02gomes.html
I am a gay Christian. I have been Christian since before I came out to myself as gay. I was lucky to find several people in the church who directed me carefully and thoughtfully to churches that were gay and gay-friendly. I have also been unfortunate in having met several “Monica’s” on my path as well. God created me the way I am the same way he created “C.J.” Whether he is gay, straight, trans, or bi, he is as God created him. Please, please, please, do not forget that. God created your wonderful child in his image. As for “Monica” she is a coward who hides behind false identities and a narrow view of what God truly is. Keep up your amazing work “C.J.’s Mom!”
In light of the recent Supreme Court’s decision allowing people to protest the funeral of gays and the military (among others), I have been thinking a lot about this. I grew up with parents very involved in the church and grew up going to church every Sunday. Until recently, I lived in a small southern baptist town after college that has very little tolerance for homosexuality (or women, to some degree. I told my boss once about going to meet a former co-worker for lunch, the former co-worker was a man and a friend of mine, and my boss was shocked to learn that my husband “let” me go. Seriously). I have found people who think like this are small minded and want little to do with any changes or anything that makes them uncomfortable. I don’t have time for people like Monica b/c trying to reason with them is like trying to talk to a brick wall. Keep up the good work and know that, in spite of people like Monica, there are people that support you. And I really hope that the Monicas of this world are the minority.
I have never commented on any blog before but I feel compelled to do so. I found out about your blog about a week ago and I think you are an amazing mom. I wish I had been so open. My son (26) was always slightly “fabulous” – he has 3 sisters and my husband and I allowed him to play barbies with them. When he was 2 he was so infatuated with Rapunzel that his preschool teachers, friends and family had to draw pictures of her with her long braid constantly. As he grew he would always comment on girls beautiful long hair. At first I thought and feared (out of ignorance) that he might be transgendered and I cried when I asked him (he was only 4) and he would always say no “I am a boy”. My son was always so special and people were drawn to that. As he hit pre-teen years the awful teasing began and as a Catholic I would always tell him to pray for those people because they were jealous of him and that’s what God would want. In my heart I knew he was gay, but I still could not hear him say it. Finally in his teens, as old friends turned against him and his taunting became unbearable, he attempted suicide. That was my wake up call. I was angry at myself and at God so I went to speak with my priest. I cried and talked . I even mentioned what one therapist had suggested – that we send him to those Christian programs where they would make him straight. Immediately the priest told me to drop that idea. He said, “God does not make mistakes, your son is exactly how God wanted him to be.” He told me that I needed to accept him and love him the way he was because that is who he was meant to be. You, CJ’s Mom, have learned this message earlier then I did. Bravo to you for trying to make CJ’s life a happy one. Too many of our “fabulous” children are treated hurtfully- we need to stop that cycle one bigot at a time. You are doing that with your blog.
I LOVE MY GAY SON and SO DOES GOD.
sobbing at this comment. Beautiful.
This post made me cry. I’m so glad you got through this with your boy, and I genuinely hope that both of your lives are for the better. I’m very happy to hear that he only attempted suicide and did not succeed. That would’ve been awful, and it’s been happening far too much lately.
I have met “many Monica’s” on my journey, sad fact is I find them everywhere and they are never ever short on words, opinions or scripture once they become aware of my lifestyle. Oh, before they knew, I was the greatest person, caring, thoughtful, funny, wise & insightful, was admired for my parenting skills & patience. After, you could hear a pin drop & I’m sure plenty of them were involved in a high-speed freeway chase that day in order to get as far away from me as fast as possible.
I saw this sign at a local church outside on that sermon monument the other day (in all places ultra-conservative Brea) & it read “God loves everyone, get over it,” I consider myself to be part of “that everyone” and it made me smile inside to know that I’m not anyone that needs to “get over it”.
Keep up the good work & just know that this is going to happen. People are not always kind and supportive and it is your job to find the ones that are. But isn’t that the case in raising ANY kind of child?
I find “Monica” to be extremely cowardly and desperate, more comfortable with an appeal to authority, not to mention patriarchal notions of gender, than her own reasoning and experience. Like most conservative Christians, she strongly holds that the entire Bible reflects the will of God and is inerrant and infallible. If she were to ever believe that some biblical passages were in error, then her faith in the validity of the rest of the Bible would crumble thus proving how fragile her belief system actually is. In her mind, it is best to ignore those passages that are no longer viewed as moral by modern standards. After all, the Bible condones and regulates slavery (Deut 23:15-16; Matt 18:25; Mark 14:66; Luke 12:45-48; Eph 6:5-9; Col 4:1; 1 Tim 6:1-3; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11; more), advocates discrimination against women (Gen 1:27 to 3:24; Ex 20 & 21; Judges 16; 1 Kings 11; Deut 22:13-21; Num 5:17-31; and more), promotes religious hatred and intolerance (Gen 4:2-5; Gen 19:24-25; Ex 4:24-26; Ex 12:29; Lev 21:16-23; Num 11:1; Joshua 11:19-20; Deut 7:1-2; 1 King 18:19; 2 Kings 10:18-31; 2 Chr 19:1-2; Acts 4:10-12; Cor 10:20-21; 2 Cor 6:14; and more), describes the killing of innocent people and genocide (1 Sam 6:19; Gen 19;12-16; 1 Cor 13:7-11; 2 Sam 6:6-11; 2 Sam 24:1-15; 1 Chr 21:1-14; Ex 32:1-4,26-28,35; Num 25:1-9; 1Kings 18:17-40; Luke 19:27; and more), and denigrates homosexuals (Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Judges 19:14-29; Deut 23:17; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-1; 1 Tim 1:9-10; Jude 1:7; and more), etc. I find it interesting that only those passages relating to homosexuality are the ones still given any weight in today’s society.
As for “true Christianity” being about tolerance mentioned several times in the comments… The concept of Christian tolerance is really a very 20th Century construction. (Full disclosure; I am noncommittal in my belief or disbelief of a one true god—agnostic, I suppose.) The word “tolerance” does not occur in the three most common English translations: King James Version, New King James and American Standard Version. There are actually very few Biblical passages that promote tolerance (Micah 4:3-5; Mark 9:38-40; Luke 9:49-50; Luke 9:52-56; John 4:7-27; Acts 17:10-13; Acts 28:30-31; Romans 2:14-16; Romans 14:1-23; and 1 Cor 10:31-32), in comparison to its many instances of religious intolerance (see above). Particularly in the Hebrew Scriptures, the bible often calls for the oppression of women, followers of other religions, and sexual minorities, as well as genocide and mass murder of “others.” Cafeteria Christians like Monica tend only to pick out the parts that they like and which suite their most immediate needs. It’s best to view the Bible as what it actually is; a very selective collection of writings, written by man, meant to control a group of peoples desperate to understand the frightening world and time they were living in. This definition still holds true today.
As for CJ’ s mom, you go gurrrl! You remind me of how my own mother raised me and that makes me smile. 35+ years later I am a well adjusted, happily partnered (we just passed our first decade together), and successful adult who never once needed to questioned the love or support I would receive of my family when I brought home the man I hope to spend the rest of my life with for the first time. This is not to say that CJ will grow up to be gay, he will have to discover that for himself. But should he be, he will take great comfort in knowing that you love and support him no matter the outcome. Every child deserves a mom like you.
(FYI: great reference site on religion http://www.religioustolerance.org)
It’s people like “Monica” that make me struggle with religion so much. I was raised a Christian, but knowing that so many people use “Christian” when they mean “Hateful Bigot” I find that I would rather people think I am godless than THAT kind of Christian.
Hello my name is Sabbdu what I can say is that people say and think about the lives of others as they know best, ignorant and mediocre based on misinterpreted information. God does not punish, God is love , God will never punish youby supporting and accepting your baby , God wont punish your little angel by accepting himself just how he is … my advice is support, protect and love him. So when he grows old he’ll be grateful, he will Love and support you when you need it that will be the reward of what you’re doing for him . Wish I had my mom to support and accept me for who I am, I am sure that will never happen she dislike me for being GAY but loves and supports the drugadict trouble maker…so last thing ignore ignorant people I follow your heart and feeling for you SUNSHINE, your RAINBOW, your ANGEL
I often wonder what these God-fearing mothers do when they realize their own child is gay. I have a different concept of God I guess. CJ’s mom – I respect you so much for what you are doing. I never wrote a blog about raising my rainbow (now age 27) – but I was very open about it. I raised both of my children exactly the same way – one is straight and one is gay. I actually wasn’t surprised. My sister is gay and I knew that genetically it was a possibility. My cousin also has a gay daughter. I feel blessed that my family is loving and accepting – this has only made life easier for my rainbow. I agree with you – keep religion out of it!
I may be showing my marketing background, but, I think you should consider this response (and future similar responses) as good things.
#1-This woman has read one or all of your blogs; that’s 1 point
#2-This woman has responded to your blog; that’s 2 points.
#3-She has probably happened upon your blog from a similar related blog or post; she is actively participating in this ‘discussion’; that’s the Tri-Fecta of successful marketing/education.
You…you are changing the world…one indecisive person at a time.
Keep up the great work and God Bless you, your family, and your future adventures!
wow Tom good points! ha
Pleased your CJ’s Mum and not Monica.
“Monica” is gutless for not using a real email address so you could respond. “Monica” likes to preach but doesn’t want to know what you believe. “Monica” is a fool. And, “Monica” writes more like a man than a woman. Men usually refer to women as “woman”, other females don’t.
A very wise child once told me something I have never forgotten. She was playing with a little boy who was very feminine in manner and attitude. She told me “I think he was a girl before he was in this life and but someone forgot to tell him to change to a boy when he got here. But that’s okay, next time he’ll be a girl again and he’ll be happy.” She was four years old and as far as I know had never heard of reincarnation or past lives.
If she holds so much faith in the bible then she really shouldn’t be trying to preach to you –
‘Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ Timothy 2:11-14
See. The Bible says a lot of things. That doesn’t make it right.
You cannot make a child gay or straight but you can make a child happy or miserable.
Monica (if indeed that is her real name, I see no evidence) needs to read her book of fairy tales a little more and realise that it is impossible to follow it to the letter.
Ignore people like her and carry on as you are. I would have been proud to have you as a mother.
Ugliness like this is taught. The person that posted the vicious comment is deserving of pity.
I have a 15 year old son who is transgender. We have been through alot and the adventure is on going. Children such as mine are without a doubt born this way. I told his father when Vi or Violet (he has chosen his female name already) was 2 years old that we were blessed with a Daughter and 2 sonsl not 3 sons as it outwardly appeared.
We can not change the beliefs of the author of that post but we can all band together to educate. It begins at home.
If I were a religious person I’d thank God CJ has you as a mother rather than ‘Monica’.
I like that I can be anyone on the internet, but I also hate when people use this superhero costume that is a screen name to play the villain for no reason other than to say “Hah! I made them hear me and my hate!”. There is no discussion to be had in her message, there is no room to grow and learn. There is just hatred for the sake of it.
I much prefer to see people build each other up than tear one another down, or at the very least to open a dialog between different viewpoints.
You asked the question…”What do you think of people who hide behind anonymity?”
I immediately thought of this quote…
“It’s not fair that the accused is not protected from adverse publicity whilst the accuser is guaranteed anonymity, whatever the verdict.~Jonathan King”
I think the quote fits this situation quite properly.
I also am willing to bet “Monica” either has no children of her own, or they are so supressed they will grow up to be members of society that cannot ever function properly. I can PRAY that I never become a person like “Monica”, and I know I will not, because I think the most important lesson in the Bible is one of tolerance,and loving God enough to understand and respect His asking of his followers to simply love and respect each other no matter their color, creed or preferences. I am a firm beleiver God rewards only the purest of heart with certain children, wether they are special needs, or any other type of classification tht makes then not what society would consider “normal.” As the saying goes, God only gives us what he thinks we can handle, and for some of us we can be proud in the knowledge Godd thinks we can handle ALOT. As you have said before it takes a certain parent to raise a certain kind of child, all we can do is pray for the children that people like “Monica” think are less than worthy of God’s love because we know the truth, and the truth is we all are equally deserving of God’s love, no matter what the bigoted and judgemental may say!
Yes i call myself Catholic, but it’s people like this that make me sick. I believe that, when it’s time for God to judge you, He’s going to be so proud of a mother who was STRONG enough to let her son be who he really is. You’re teaching C.J. that its ok to be who you are and love what you love, as long as you’re not hurting anyone. He’s going to be such a strong man one day because of the backbone you gave him. Kudos to you, and ignore those who have such closed minds.
I think cowards like this give “Christians” a bad name. Makes me ill, seriously.