We all think we’re right. I was reminded of that fact yesterday as I watched a video that has gone viral of a toddler in church, wearing his Sunday best, gripping a microphone in his pudgy little hands and singing “Ain’t No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven.” Only a few seconds into his performance, the pews of parishioners started to cheer and applaud and I clicked the “X” on my computer screen. I couldn’t watch a moment more.
That Video Boy’s parents think that they are raising their child right. I’m sure they were proud of their sweater-vested tike as he sang a church solo up on stage. My guess is that they were beaming with pride as out of his mouth tumbled words of hate, judgment and homophobia.
Whatever happened to “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world?”
The viral video was off of my screen, but not out of my mind. I got up from my desk and indulged myself in a simple pleasure of the working mom: a walk to the overpriced, underwhelming deli in the lobby of the next office building to grab a sandwich to eat as I worked through lunch.
“I think that Video Boy’s parents are doing a shitty job of parenting,” I thought to myself. Then, I realized that they’d think the exact same thing of our parenting of both of our sons…especially C.J.
To me, they are bad parents. To them I am we are bad parents. They are raising an LGBTQ hater and I’m raising an LGBTQ lover. Tit for tat. Agree to disagree. One step forward, one step back. I wonder…in this great big world…do our families cancel each other out?
I thought of something that I posted on my Facebook page recently. It’s a quote that says “No child is born homophobic.” True that. No child is born full of hate. Video Boy’s parents are making him homophobic. They are feeding him hate for breakfast, especially on Sundays.
The equivalent in our family would be to pump ecclesiaphobia into our children; to instill in them a fear of church, organized religion or holy people. I refuse to do it. In our house hate will not breed hate and fear will not breed fear. Sometimes it’s a daily struggle that goes against every urge in my sassy soul.
As I ate my chicken salad sandwich, I thought more about Video Boy and his family. I read some of the comments about the video that people had left on my Facebook page and other comments found online. Some people believe that it all docmented a form of child abuse.
Do I think it’s abuse? No. I do think that kids shouldn’t be forced or persuaded to make big statements about big topics that they can’t possibly understand, let alone develop an opinion on.
How much of our agenda can we push on our kids?
I’ve been accused of abusing C.J. because I let him slide all over the gender spectrum….and I (gasp) write about it! But, I have never so much as encouraged either of my sons to take a stand, make a statement or advocate for my position on anything, unless they can understand it and can determine how they (not me) feel about it.
I do insist of my childen – as I do of the people who matter in our lives – that they have an open heart and an open mind. Poor Video Boy is all closed up already. Locked in his body with fear and hate. God was not smiling down on Video Boy’s homophobia…his parents, the parishoners and the pastor are fools for thinking differently.