Open Letter to LGBTQ-phobic Pastor Sean Harris

Homophobic North Carolina preacher Sean Norris recently gave a sermon in which he advocated physically assaulting gender variant toddlers.  Listen to it here.  This letter is my response to him.

Dear Pastor Harris,

Hi.  I’m C.J.’s Mom and boy would you hate me!  I have a little boy who likes “feminine” things and I’ve allowed him to do so.  I’ve even shared it with people on the internet.  But, not by taking pictures and posting them on YouTube, as you suggest — mostly because that’s not exactly how YouTube works, I think you have it confused with Facebook, but that’s not really the point I’m trying to get at anyway.

My point is my son is gender variant.  He’s a little boy who likes all things girly, like playing with dolls and wearing skirts.  My son started acting a little girlish at age two and a half and I didn’t, as you suggest, “squash that like a cockroach.”  He’s had childhood fantasies and I haven’t squashed them.  Why?  Because here’s the thing: I’m a Christian.  One who believes that God doesn’t make mistakes.  He made my son perfectly, by his own design.  God knew every hair on his precious little head before he was even born.  Before he started “acting like a female.”  I figure that God knew what he was doing when he created C.J. and that I was given C.J. as my child to love him, not change him.

My gay brother (yes, I have one of those in addition to my effeminate son!) and I grew up in a home where somewhere along the way religion became more about fear, rules and judgement than love, kindness and peace.  Your words remind me of that home.  When you say things like “Dads, when you see your little son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist” it makes my heart feel like a scared child again.  Aren’t fathers supposed to model their behaviors after the ultimate father?  Christ.  Would Christ crack his child’s wrist?

I have to believe that Christ wouldn’t tell one of his little boys to “man up” and then “give him a little punch.”  I haven’t read the part of the bible where Christ punched people.  Did I miss that part during my two years of theology courses in college?

So anyway, thank you for giving my husband and me permission to crack our son’s wrists, punch him and bully him in his own home.  We have chosen, instead, to love our son just as God created him and to allow him the freedom to flourish and thrive using the gifts God gave to him specifically.

Bless you,

C.J.’s Mom


About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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103 Responses to Open Letter to LGBTQ-phobic Pastor Sean Harris

  1. robin says:

    Thank you for that beautifully written letter. I feel very much like I have found in you that benevolent leader that I would willingly follow into battle. Thank you for fighting the fight so openly, courageously, authentically and lovingly. You are the true disciple of Christ.

  2. Anne Kelly says:

    It never hurts to know that one or two more people support you in your being supportive of your son. In case you haven’t seen this bit of news, it was the “Best Mother’s Day Gift” for this woman and may brighten your day as well.

  3. stilltooyoungtofail says:

    This is disgusting and a cruel violation of a priests power, used only to spread hostility! Don’t get the word of God confused with your own personal agenda of homophobia. I love what you have writen to him, couldn’t have said it any better.

  4. ablueskyboy says:

    When I saw that on the news, I was having breakfast in a hotel breakfast hall. I was so appalled that I just shouted out, “That is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE!” to a bunch of startled hotel customers and walked out.

  5. emiklio says:

    Kudos to you for making a beautiful piece of writing in response to such ugly words. The worst part of that video was the audience’s laughter.

    I’m not a Christian, but I understand your kind of Christianity, the kind that loves and cherishes children. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  6. Ethan says:

    I don’t usually post links in response to these things but I felt this was appropriate. This is a short performance poetry piece called “10 Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up.'” I feel it’s right in the vein of this topic here.

  7. Andrew McFarland Campbell says:

    Reblogged this on Faith and Pride and commented:
    This line sums up so much of what it means to be Christian: “Because here’s the thing: I’m a Christian. One who believes that God doesn’t make mistakes.”

  8. Right on! Thank you for sharing!!!

  9. Kookith says:

    I despise people who choose to use religion to judge, discriminate and bully others – exactly what the religion advocates NOT to do. We could do with more love in the world. You’re an amazing mother and CJ is such a lucky little boy. I only wish that all mothers were that way.

  10. Why do these people keep wrapping Gods word up in violence and cruelty. I can almost here Jesus weeping with despair. My best wishes to you and your son. God bless. 🙂

  11. As I’ve commented before, I love everything you stand for and reading about all your experiences. Not that you need help advertising, but I love your blog and message, and want to help share it with others, so I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award!

  12. Lymis says:

    For another wonderful resource for open-minded Christians, check out John Shore’s blog:

    The discussion about this particular Pastor Harris gem is in this discussion thread:

    For anyone who needs a periodic reassurance that not all Christians think like Pastor Harris or are unwilling to say so, it can be a wonderful resource. And for those who it would matter to, Dan Savage often recommends people pay attention to John Shore.

  13. Smiley says:

    Reblogged this on glitterwords and commented:
    Phenomenal writing and extremely true!

  14. It’s guys like this pastor who give religion a bad name. What an uninformed and sad individual. Why are they so afraid of gay?

  15. soultwist says:

    Reblogged this on soultwist and commented:
    What a great article that puts a real face on all of the stuff flying around about Pastor Sean Harris.

  16. Fia says:

    Well written! I admire how you can write nicely even though that man seems to be a true a*****. Good luck with everything and say hi to CJ and his brother from Sweden. 🙂

  17. David says:

    YOU are a FABULOUS Mom and CJ is lucky to have you!!!!! Personally, I wouldn’t have used the word “bless” in closing, but that’s just me. 😉

  18. auntiemip says:

    I have spent the better part of the past several weeks in an all out war with myself. You see my faith has been rocked to the core. Raised a life long Catholic, I have always been able to see past what I believed was antiquated, out of date, out of touch…to live by the golden rule. Some would say that was a cop out or failing. Maybe that is true. There is so much about this religion that is inherently good. Plus, I attended Jesuit schools and their philosophy of social justice aligns with my personal beliefs. My church has chosen to fight the legalization of gay marriage in my home state of Washington. The parish I was raised in chose to discuss this from the pulpit and to place this piece of political legsilation in the vestibule for parishioners to sign. I am horrified. The Jesuit parish my father was raised in decided not to, waited until the end of mass to discuss it stating that it would be hurtful to GLBT members of their faith communit. I miss my old beautiful, gothic designed church, but I do not believe I can ever again worship where hate speech was spewed from the pulpit, a place to speak the word of God.

    So I am rocked by this. And struggling. And then I hear of this preacher who advocates hitting children because they have feminine attributes. I am sickened. Where did it all fall apart? When did we stray so far away from the simple ideology of love thy neighbor as thyself? Why is it so hard to simply do what Jesus would do? And then I read your post. Then my faith was restored. Then I remembered that God does not make mistakes. Not even in the misguided, hate advocating pastor who supports violence perpetrated against children. God does not make mistakes. CJ, you are one blessed little boy! God chose the perfect mama for you?

  19. Isabelle says:

    Thanks for standing up to this horrifying “religious leader”! His words make me physically ill and I am terrified to think how many people might actually agree with him. I am glad there is a growing community of people standing up to this hatefulness!

  20. mhasegawa says:

    Reblogged this on FortLeft and commented:
    Wonderful response Pastor Sean Harris.

  21. Paul Johnson says:

    I saw the video and cringed at first before just crying. I am appalled that there are still religious leaders out there like this. I also want you to know that not all pastors/priests/ministers/rabbis/priestesses etc are like this. I am currently a seminarian with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and a proud member of Proclaim! (a group of out Lutheran pastors and seminarians) who truly believes that ALL God’s children are welcome. Religious individuals like Sean Harris often leave a bad taste in peoples’ mouths regarding religion. But we’re not all monsters.

    I absolutely love your blog and have even referred people to it because you are doing such an amazing job with C.J. and his brother in raising them to be who God made them to be. I only wish there were more parents out there like you. It shows real courage to do what you do. It’s so much easier to cast blame and throw stones than to stand up against them. You are an inspiration!

  22. Wonderful letter. CJ is so lucky to have a mommy like you. God bless you and your family.

  23. So much hatred being preached these days. I am of the mind that only those that have something in themselves they don’t like, press others and themselves to be cruel to others. The only punching that will be permitted for this preacher is having his one way ticket to hell punched. Good for you and for speaking up for all those people and children who fear to do so or can’t for themselves.

  24. C.J is lucky to have a mother advocating for him. People like you bring me hope. Thank you.

  25. Miriam Joy says:

    Amen to that!
    I hate that so much of Christianity’s public image is the violent, intolerant views of people like that. The whole POINT is love – looks like you’re getting it, even if he’s not.

  26. Lydia says:

    Awesome! Well said!

  27. sydneydxb says:

    Wow! That’s how I react to all your posts. I’m appaled that our Christian leaders could be so barbaric and advocate such cruelty. I’m surprised that people like this pastor still exist. What a rare and sad species! I’m glad C.J has you for a mom. Soon enough he’ll learn that being a young man of character is so much more important than any label a cruel, ignorant and insensitive world can place on him.

  28. Eve says:

    Another reason why I continue to distrust these so called preachers, priests with their sermons and holier than thou attitudes while behind closed doors they are adulterers, rapists, drunks and living off other people’s hard earned monies.

    GOOD FOR YOU in responding! Great letter and these ASSteroids should read the bible again and refresh themselves on brotherly love and how God is love….

    CJ is one lucky child to have so much love and support.

  29. Carolyn says:

    What a beautiful letter. God bless you and your entire family!

  30. nrlymrtl says:

    Once again, let me just say that you and your family rock! There will always be small-minded jerks in the world and love and understanding are the best shields for that.

    Here’s another blogger who addresses Pastor Sean. She’s not as sweet and kind as you are, but she has a huge following and says it clearly. I shared your blog all over the place as well.

  32. Ellen says:

    I cannot believe that this pastor was able to say these things with no repercussions. I applaud you for continuing to believe in your faith. I agree that God does not make mistakes. I also think you were too kind in your response but it was the better way to go!! You are an amazing mom and I think CJ is such a lucky boy to have you to be his champion in life. You have a wonderful family. Keep on doing what you are doing. Spreading the word makes people open their eyes to what is around them.

  33. I keep saying that real Christians need to start standing up for their religions. For too long, the haters have had the bully pulpit even when they represent a small minority of actual believers. Thank you for speaking up (as you always do) and taking back your faith.

  34. amanda says:

    Beautiful letter. You were much kinder than I would’ve been if I had to write this letter.

  35. sweetsound says:

    I’ve been following your blog since it was Freshly Pressed, and find it so inspiring. And though I applaud your effort to stand up to this “pastor,” I cynically feel that people like that will never ever change, and it doesn’t matter how much logic anyone throws at them. They will only see and hear exactly what they want to see and hear.

  36. courtney says:

    Your letter speaks volumes as to the reason I cannot follow organized religion as a path for me. I believe in Goodness, and treating others as I would like to be treated. When its all broken down piece by piece, molecule by molecule, we are all the same on the inside. Why can’t we just accept that, and get along? Many hugs to you and your family!

  37. Emily C says:

    I applaude you as always!!!!
    Well written, my friend.

  38. pinkagendist says:

    Reblogged this on The Pink Agendist and commented:
    Open Letter to LGBTQ-phobic Pastor Sean Harris by C.J.’s Mom, the author of Raising My Rainbow, an amazing blog about raising a child that is gender non-conforming.

  39. It would be amazing to be able to see into heaven when the time comes for this man to pass. I can only imagine the conversation that Jesus woould have with him. “You told people to abuse their children? In my name? Uh huh.”

  40. MMM says:

    Your blog is one of my favorites. CJ is so blessed to have such a loving and supportive family around him!

    I wanted to share with you a petition my school has started. 15 years ago, the student body asked the board of trustees to include “sexual orientation” in the school’s non discrimination policy. Today, the battle has been renewed and it’s stronger than ever! We’re fighting not only to include sexual orientation, but “gender identity or expression” as well. We want generations of future students, faculty and staff to be able to feel safe and free to express themselves! If you want to help us reach our goal, please feel free to sign our petition and pass it along!!

  41. pinkagendist says:

    This is absolutely shocking, but pastors aren’t the only people we’re up against. Here’s the Austin School District’s instructions to staff regarding the Day of Silence (a movement to stop anti-lgbt movement). Their position is that teachers must be “neutral”:

  42. Ms. Herbert says:

    People (I use the term loosely) like this are in a word dangerous. They are supporting laws in other countries that make being gay a capital offence. We need to stop them now before they kill more people.

  43. asintree says:

    When I read about this on another blog my thoughts went straight to you, and I wondered what you would think. Now I know.

    Your reply is perfect. It’s exactly the choice my parents made.

    As usual, I think you are to be admired. And blessed.

    May God do so, richly.

  44. I am both shocked and appauled to learn that a pastor would be allowed to say something like that. He sounds like a criminal who should be locked up and banned from preaching!

    Things like this make me so glad I’m an athiest because I would not have been able to tolerate hearing somebody make judgements like that.

    Good on you for your letter and for boldly standing up for both your son and your beliefs. Your son is very lucky to have you as a mum. Xxx

  45. RainbowWarrior says:

    You tell him, Mama! RAWR!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if there were more parents like you in the world, who accept and foster who their children become as they grow into themselves, there would be far fewer sad, confused, despairing adolescents, teens and adults in the queer community.

    While I have a lot to be grateful for, vis-a-vis the home I grew up in being a loving place, I often wish that I had more direct affirmation. My mother treats my sexuality with the kind of offhanded, playful eye-roll one gives to an eccentric relative – “oh, well. That’s who she is, and it isn’t ideal, but what are you gonna do?” Many people have it a lot worse, I realize, but you are the shining example of the most supportive kind of mom a person could be – you don’t just resign yourself to your son; you celebrate his uniqueness in every moment and actively encourage him to be who he is. You defend him unabashedly to others, sometimes at the expense of sharp criticism and aggression falling on you.

    Please, please keep being who you are and help make this world a better place for your son and all of us like him to be who we are. 🙂

  46. Parenting with Asperger's Syndrome says:

    What a disgusting piece of filth.

    You keep doing right by your son, mama. You’re all so much better than this pathetic excuse for humanity.

  47. ClearlyCurtis says:

    I am shocked to even hear this. I know there’s been instances where pastors have made comments like this but “joking” about it IN church is not right in my eyes. I don’t care if you’re trying to make a point. I can’t imagine what kind of life his children would live if any of them would be “tempted” by the devil. Kids (such as myself) grow up and start to believe and like different things, you can squash it at what ever point you think is necessary.
    Side tracking on the story, I grew up in a Christian home and I’ve ha a hard time expressing myself to my mother because when ever there would be a LGBT story on television she would wince in disgust but she has brought up numerous times that she loves me for who I am.
    I guess what I’m trying to get across is that trying to subtly scare us into believing that what’s different than the norm is bad and will send is into a never ending put of fire is not good parenting. (personally)
    God doesn’t make mistakes, he loves me for who I am and I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to tell ME or anyone else who God loves.

    Thank you for posting this. I hope I made my point, I was a bit over the place. So glad CJ has the chance that I didn’t.

  48. ClearlyCurtis says:

    I am shocked to even hear this. I know there’s been instances where pastors have made comments like this but “joking” about it IN church is not right in my eyes. I don’t care if you’re trying to make a point. I can’t imagine what kind of life his children would live if any of them would be “tempted” by the devil. Kids (such as myself) grow up and start to believe and like different things, you can squash it at what ever point you think is necessary.
    Side tracking on the story, I grew up in a Christian home and I’ve ha a hard time expressing myself to my mother because when ever there would be a LGBT story on television she would wince in disgust but she has brought up numerous times that she loves me for who I am.
    I guess what I’m trying to get across is that trying to subtly scare us into believing that what’s different than the norm is bad and will send is into a never ending put of fire is not good parenting. (personally)
    God doesn’t make mistakes, he loves me for who I am and I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to tell ME or anyone else who God loves.

    Sorry of this was all over the place I hope I get my point across. Isn’t being a pastor supposed to help teach the bible and it’s written words, not giving personal thoughts on certain things?

  49. Felix says:

    Now apparently he is back peddling some. In a statement to the local paper he says it was all a joke. He closed down comments to his blog because so many people were reacting in a negative way (gee go figure) to his sermon and posting about it. He has also posted a ‘clarification’ on his blog. In his ‘clarification’ he states that his words were taken out of context. It seems as though he blames the LGBTQ community for the taking his words out of context. What a weasel.

  50. antarabesque says:

    Amen! You are blessed, and you are a blessing, to your children, to your readers, to me. Thank you.

  51. Christine says:

    Tears. Thank you for loving your CJ as he deserves to be loved. All children should be so lucky.

    That said, I have additional beef with the good reverend. I highly doubt he would apply the same assessment and recommendation to my amazing, perfect Alice who loves 1) dirt, 2) sticks, 3) rocks, 4) blocks, 5) dinosaurs, 6) planets, and *GASP* 7) the color blue. Oh, she also pretends her dolls don’t exist. Why, then, the problem with boys who like “girl” things but not girls who like “boy” things.

    I am posting this tremendous blog on the book of alice’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Thank you again.


  52. batmouse says:

    I am truly glad you chose to respond to his “preaching” and not I. I am not so forgiving. I’ve lost too many friends and relatives to people like him. I wonder if he knows about the latest information about people like him? It goes along the lines of “Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!” (paraphrased I think).

  53. swensonk says:

    Clearly Pastor Harris is an advocate for child abuse. He should be investigated by the police and family services. Your comments were beyond excellent.

  54. aaaack says:

    I deeply pity the ignorant parents who follow the word of Sean Norris in these matters. But my heart truly goes out to the innocent children who are abused by such blind, ignorant, and heartless adults.

  55. Pingback: Still in Session « There She Blows!!

  56. Melynnda* says:

    Love without ceasing …..thank you for standing in your truth and helping others who are releasing limiting belief systems. ><3<

  57. sheriji says:

    Reblogged this on Just Sayin' and commented:
    Bad enough that he says this. Even more horrifying that there are people in the “congregation” saying Amen and laughing.

    There is no hope. Punch your toddler boy who acts “girlish” and tell your girl that her primary role is to look pretty?

    I’d like to punch him in the nose. Asshole.

    And look at his wife, there, smiling. Criminy.

  58. A broken hearted mom says:

    please know all Christians are NOT like that. He sickens me and saddens my heart.

    • Mandy says:

      Thankfully, CJ’s mom herself is a Christian who is not like that.

      Perhaps we are in the minority, but we exist. And we will love enough to make the hate less powerful.

  59. Gillian Colbert says:

    Reblogged this on Black Door Press and commented:
    The post says it all.

  60. Karen says:

    It’s so difficult not to judge this man. But his words really make me wonder what he is really afraid of.

  61. aaaack says:

    Pastor Harris is advocating for child abuse. What’s more, his methods will not succeed in changing something so fundamental as gender preference. If anything, a child thus abused will grow up into just a shadow of its true potential. The child will wall off whole chunks of his or her brain to take refuge from the pain!

  62. scutaloo says:

    Oh, how I wish one of our country’s lawmakers, Mr. Milonov, would read this. Just google something like “Milonov, gay propaganda, Russia” and you’ll get to know that sick man and his deeds. In a few words, he makes it illegal to love and support kids like C.J. and adults like UncleUncle. One straight man was already sued for his support of a lesbian friend. At a pretext of his Christianity (!) Mr. Milonov pushes a law (already pushed in several cities) which is specifically worded to EQUAL gays and child molesters in the eyes of the majority of people. Thus, regular folks are led to believe in such a nonsense, but a dangerous nonsense!

  63. girlvswild says:

    Thank you so much for this post. When my eldest son told me he was gay at 15 (always knew, so confirmation really), I talked to God and asked Him how to deal with this within our church because I will not allow my son to hide who he is. I was more than happy to choose my son over the church, but He gave me a scripture that I now have tattooed on my forearm,

    Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

    This scripture is for EVERYBODY! There is still a long way to go within the church and I struggle but God has placed us in a church that has so far been loving and accepting, who knows what the future will hold.

    • lizzy says:

      It’s great that you left the church that wouldn’t accept your son, but I just want to say that if your son ever does want to hide who he is, you should allow him to do so, because it’s his choice. Sometimes people don’t feel safe enough or patient enough to be out in a certain context, and it’s not your call to make for them.

      • girlvswild says:

        Knowing my son, there is no way he wants to hide who he is and at 15 he knew this. He has been bought up believing there is nothing about him that should be hidden. We didn’t leave the church, not sure I made that clear, we didn’t have to as it hasn’t been a problem so far.

    • Christie says:

      We have a lot in common! Our son also came out to us at 15 and we also left our church after a pastor we met with told us to put him into a “conversion program.” We have never looked back…but we have found a TON of LGBT welcoming churches in our area that have apologized for that other pastor’s recommendation. I am also so happy that you chose your son over your church (note that you don’t have to choose your son over God, because the church and God are obviously not one and the same). Good for you for letting your son come out publically instead of telling him to keep it inside like some parents do because they went into the closet when their child came out (in a manner of speaking). We also did not “make” our son come out, but it was a natural order of occurrence in his healing from so many years of hiding. Thank God we live in a fairly “safe” place but then we read things like this one about this “pastor” (if one could call him that) and we realize that sick people will continue to encourage people to do “sick” things. And then we wonder what happened when violence occurs…people with a “slightly off” mind will take his words and carry them out to the extreme, citing “GOD” as their backer. God bless you and your family!

      • girlvswild says:

        Hi Christie
        I think I worded my post wrong as we haven’t left our church as there have not been any problems so far. There are a few people in our church with gay sons and daughters and whilst some ignorant comments are made, I believe that God wants me to stay a while longer because He needs people like us to have His Grace when dealing with homophobic, judgmental people within His church.

        God bless you and yours 🙂

    • To help… People like these so called pastor (I don’t think he could really be a guy that Jesus would look and say “That’s one of mine”) should learn from Mt 7, 1-2; “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

  64. bennyer says:

    I applaud how you’re raising your son, so please don’t think I’m disagreeing with you on that front.

    I’d be wary of the argument that because God creates innate aspects of human beings there is nothing wrong with acting according to those desires (god doesn’t make mistakes). What happens when you apply the same argument to paedophilia? I’m not an expert on the topic, but from what I gather that’s an innate desire – some people are just wired to find kids sexually attractive. According to the “god doesn’t make mistakes” argument, those desires should be viewed as ok.

    Rather, I think it would be more helpful to view this through the lens of harm. Gender non-conformity doesn’t harm anyone, so why should we prevent it? Same goes for being LGBT.

    • Renee says:

      Bennyer, the difference is that pedophilia is considered to be a mental disorder, whereas homosexuality is considered “normal”. It’s actually quite simple when it comes down to it: homosexuality involves consenting persons, whereas pedophilia involves a minor, who cannot consent. I think it is safe to assume that God would not create an “innate desire” that brings harm to another person.

  65. Paula Turner says:

    I continue to be baffled by “good Christians” saying, feeling and acting out bad things. If I understand the way Jesus lived, it was accepting and reaching out to others. Helping and leading in a way that enlightened, not darkened the waters with hate. Although i do not attend church or have any strong religious affiliations or beliefs, I am a way better Christian than that so called “pastor” will ever be simply because I try to be accepting and kind. How hard is that?

  66. Angeltots says:

    Goof response! Shame on people like him…

  67. Thank you for the fast action on this one. While some may not know that you had another post planned (and I’m sure you’ll be able to use it), you acted like a citizen journalist and responded to the urgent, pressing news. And like some of your other atheist readers, I guess I’m not surprised and to that extent it isn’t news. I honor that you made a fast and fresh response.

    Thank you as always.

  68. Robert O. says:

    Reblogged this on T.G.I.M. – thank God it's monday and commented:
    This is a blog post by a mother who supports and encourages the effeminate disposition of her ‘gender variant’ son. She wrote a letter in reply to a preacher who condemned her parenting style. And currently, I’m trying to determine who I disagree with more: the mother or the preacher. I don’t think the teachings of Jesus align with either of these two opinions. Christ was certainly gentle and loving, as the mother affirms. But Christ’s love was shown to lead the sinner to repentance. His love of the sinner is never an acceptance of the sinner’s sin. May preachers without love be silenced, that the Christ’s name not be blasphemed. And may we not forget that the same caring and gentle Jesus is the judge to come.

    • haugenka says:

      Hey Robert O… In my New Testament, Jesus pretty much boiled things down to this: “Love one another.” So, somehow I fail to see why he’d judge CJ, who seems to love everything and everyone he meets, or CJ’s mom, who seems to love CJ and the rest of their family to no end, and who, rather than going for an eye-for-an-eye, Old Testament-style, has made a thoughtful and calm response to this hate-filled preacher who advocates beating children in the so-called name of God. And we haven’t even touched on that thing called Grace. I don’t understand why so many people who call themselves Christian turn their backs on real sins – like child abuse, war, self-serving politics and greed-driven business practices – that cause so much harm to children above all, and instead focus endless time and energy (and money!) railing against other people simply for whom they love or, worse, innocent ways in which a child might play, dress or act. Don’t forget – CJ (and all the other kids like him) is still a child. Are you suggesting he needs to repent for wearing a dress or loving pink? And where is the sin in allowing a child to do so? What kind of God would condemn that? Certainly not my God.
      And CJ’s mom… Thanks again for speaking out. You nailed it again.

    • haugenka says:

      Robert O…As you probably have read, in the New Testament, Jesus repeatedly boils things down to “love one another” (John, Galatians, Romans, etc.). I fail to see how he’d judge a little boy simply because he loves dresses or the color pink, or a mother because she loves her son and speaks out, not about an eye-for-an-eye, but calmly and honestly, even in the face of a preacher who advocates hurting children in the so-called name of God. And on the topic of “Pastor” Sean Norris and his ilk, perhaps you understand more than me (because I don’t understand at all) how a large subset of people who call themselves Christian can turn their backs on truly and deeply sinful, hurtful acts – like war, child abuse, self-serving politics or greed driven economics – to spend seemingly endless venom, time and money condemning others for whom they choose to love, or in the case of CJ and similar kids, suggesting that we physically harm these children for nothing more than what they like, how they move, or what they wear. We’re talking a kindergartener here. What “sin” exactly is your Jesus waiting to judge him for? And how can it possibly trump the sins the rest of us have racked up through acts of anger, jealousy, or fear? Given who Jesus hung out with, his “Blessed are’s” and what he said about money changers, Pharisees and such, I’m guessing CJ’s looking just fine in Jesus’ book.
      CJ’s Mom…thank you for speaking out. You nailed it yet again.

      • Robert O. says:

        No, I’m placing no fault on CJ. I am not suggesting that he shall be judged, primarily because he’s – as you said – a kindergartener. The Bible speaks of an age of accountability for wrong doing, and certainly I would not argue CJ (a 4 yr old) has reached that place. That being said, I Corinthians 6 says the effeminate will not inherit the kingdom of God. So I have to say, red flags are raised in my mind when I hear of parents supporting that kind of behavior in their kids. So I disagree with CJ’s Mom. But I also disagree with Pastor Harris. The proper response is not condemnation and abuse. I believe there is a happy medium between love and correction… what that looks like, I don’t know. I’m not a parent, so it’d probably be strange if I did claim to know. One final note, just because Jesus hung out with money changers and other social rejects, that doesn’t mean he was accepting of their way of life. Zacchaeus, a tax collector, reformed his ways and became a generous giver; Jesus was the only one to love the prostitute brought before him, yet he gently told her to stop sinning. My point is, part of Jesus’ love toward the rejected was to have them abandon sin. Sin hurts the sinner and others — so it makes sense for him to cleanse those he came in contact with. But let me reemphasize Christ’s gentleness. He was not a Sean Harris by any means.

      • Christie says:

        The church conveniently chose the translation as “effeminate” instead of any of the other equally correct interpretations which include “weak” or “cowardly.” Just as there is no Biblical equivalent to the word “homosexual” in the Bible, there are other tranlational possibilities that the church chose to ignore and instead picked those that better served their purpose. Thus, the King James version…based on more “obedience” words. Unfortunately for us the Bible was not written in modern day english and thus is susceptible to all the errors that come with translating an ancient language. Just look at how the word “gay” has evolved over the last 50 years! If you would look at that word many years ago, there would be a definate interpretational error!

      • Robert O. says:

        Interesting. Can you show provide a scholarly source on an alternative interpretation of the word?

    • T. says:

      I’ll take out my New Testament in Greek and see the word they traslated as “effemminate”, and my Greek dictionary and tell you other possible translation soon 🙂

      Yes, I have studied greek. They gave us also part of the bible to traslate. Let me tell you, some translation were FUNNY! 😛

      Also, a lot of people forget that, when Jesus says that men and women should be “one flesh”, in the next paragraph he also says “save the eunuch”.
      Now… Eunuch does NOT mean only “castrated man”. It meant all men who *could not or didn’t want to reproduce* (he says something like “some are eunuchs because they want to be”). Such men, say Christ, shouldn’t marry (well. Obviously. If you are gay, don’t marry a woman).

      It is sad, but the Bible, when the vulgata (the translation in latin), was done, some things were traviated or invented. Take Magdalena. In not one part of the New Testament it was said that she was a “prostitute” (greek knows several words for a “professional of sex”, and never one is used for her). But, since she was a strong woman, she was equiparated to ANOTHER Miriam/Mary who was and said they were one and the same (the one about the first tone, btw).

      One should never forget that the New Testament is wrote in greek. A rather easy week, kind of the english we use to comunicate globally. And THEN it was traslated globally in latin. Much later. Also, despise what one may think or not about Saint Paul, his various letter spoke more about what *he* thought to be the right things to do (also about women, and he was truly a mysoginist) and less about what *were* the right things to do. IE: they were suggestion. Also, he wasn’t Pope, and Pope infallibility wasn’t even canonical back then.

      Remember: Christianity is History. And, even if Luther, and many Protestants, believe they have broke off with Catholicis, it is not true: they inherited a lot. Canonical Tests/Apocripha, to tell one. Translation from Greek into Latin into their lenguage (the Bible most Protestants read is a translation of a translation).

      Back to the topic: I’ll let you know soon wich other possible translations from “effemminate” there are 😀

      • Paul Johnson says:

        I believe the Greek word you’re looking for is transliterated as “malakos” which may mean effeminate, weak, soft, passive partner, fancy, luxurious… The word can be taken a lot of different ways. To look up more definitions, I’d suggest the Bauer, Danker, Arndt and Gringrich (BDAG) Greek-English Lexicon.

      • Christie says:

        Thank you T and Paul! Just got back to this now…so thanks for following up! 🙂

  69. Kat says:

    You have written an excellent response. I hope he reads it and takes it to heart. But, he probably won’t. He is too attached to the hatred. Keep on loving your family.

  70. samatwitch says:

    Good for you! More and more of my friends seem to be atheists and I’m sure that for some of them it’s because people like this ‘man’ – and I use the term loosely – are more and more the face of Christians as seen by others. You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian; you just have follow the teachings of Christ, which did not include hitting children or making war but do include being kind to others, especially those less fortunate than you, tenets that you don’t have to be a Christian to embrace but I don’t think you can be a Christian without them.

    It seems to me that this man is afraid – afraid of a child exhibiting behaviour that he can’t understand and that scares him; afraid of people who might believe differently than he does or behave differently; afraid of anything “other”. I suppose we should feel sorry for him but I’m not yet at that point.

  71. I’m on the verge of tears and have a gnawing hole in my gut- both at your words, and at his audio. I feel sick listening to him. I feel sick thinking of the families whose children will be raised that way. It breaks my heart. Breaks it down the middle. I will share your words and hope and pray that the peace, love and understanding you speak becomes the way everywhere.

  72. Perfect response….this man nor the like is a representation of Christ. Love will discipline and mold character, but never squash the spirit!

  73. Lyn~ says:

    I wonder why is it always “good Christians’ and Catholics who are doing all of the hating?
    What is it that makes them so fearful…… I wonder if it might be because in so many ways they have taken His word and changed what His original message was…… which was to LOVE EACH OTHER One and All…..
    Your letter so rocked!!!!! The world needs more loving Moms and Dads like You!!!

  74. Jamie says:

    What a beautiful and honest letter!

  75. jenxbyron says:

    I’m not a Christian, so I suppose I have no say in this, but I have read about that guy Jesus, that all these crazy folks claim to love, and I think we would get along a lot better than they would with him.

    • girlvswild says:

      jenxbyron, I am a Christian and think what you have written is beautiful and very insightful.

    • irisgirl says:

      Dear CJ’s mom: That was an awesome letter! I am also not a Christian, but my Christian friends have taught me that Jesus’ primary message is about Love. These friends also believe that Jesus loves and embraces kids like CJ, and every beautiful variation of LGBT.
      Sounds right to me!

  76. So glad you wrote and shared your families story with him. So sad to think that there are many more out there just like him. 😦

  77. dion7789 says:

    Just brilliant! People like this man need to get it through their heads that advocating child abuse behind the guise of religion is not on. Action needs to be taken to make examples of them so it doesn’t continually get perpetuated.

  78. Kyla says:

    Good for you!!

  79. Patrick says:

    Excellent. Thank you for sharing this.

  80. Amen!
    It is time we stand up to the people pretending to spread christianity when they are only spreading hatred.

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