Shaking With Rage At Christian Cruelty

As a rule, I don’t generally talk too much about my personal life on this board, but I’m making an exception today.

I’ve been dating a guy for about two months now. He and I were getting more intimate each day, talking about our pasts, our feelings, what we wanted out of life. Early on, I knew that Bill (not his real name) had issues about being gay. He has a fundamentalist Christian family that would wig if they ever found out, and he was terrified of coming out to them, at his job, and to his friends. Bit by bit, as we spent more time together, he saw how I lived completely out to everyone who knows me. He got the courage to come out to his friends, and to feel better about himself.

Then he told his brother. His family unleashed horrendous pressure on him to get Jesus and go straight.

This morning, I got an e-mail from him, telling me he wanted to cut off all contact with me because the pressure on him was too great. I e-mailed him and called, but all I got was one final e-mail telling me he couldn’t have anything to do with me because he wanted his family to take him back. I’m really worried about him because he has tried to harm himself before and I’m afraid of what he might do. We have no mutual friends, so I have no way of checking on him.

So I would like to ask the Christians on this board why they seem to enjoy causing people pain. Is God really pleased by gay people pretending to be something they are not, lying to themselves and to those around them? Is it really your holy duty to Jesus to make gay people feel like pariahs to the very people who are supposed to love them, their families?
Why are you people so hateful? Whatever happened to charity, compassion, and sympathy? If I weren’t an atheist, I would pray that you would repent and apologize to God for the misery you inflict in His name.

You see, it’s stuff like this that makes me ashamed that I have to share the name Christian with these folks. These people have obviously forgotten that Jesus’ first command was to “love”.

I’m sorry about your friend, goboy. Almost nothing can be beat by family pressure for making you do things you don’t want to do. I hope he realizes that a family that doesn’t love him for who he is doesn’t really love him (IMHO).

(((goboy)))

Don’t lump us all together; it’s the idiots that get all the press.

(This might dupe - I got a “network not responding message”)

I know you’re hurt at what’s happening.

But you know, I think, that this doesn’t apply to all Christians, both on this board and in the world as a whole. I am a Christian (although perhaps Jack Chick wouldn’t think so) and in my view, Christ’s teaching stands first and foremost for love, compassion, and acceptance. Does anyone seriously believe that Jesus, a man who dined with prostitutes and tax collectors (your pick as to which profession is more open to criticism), would reject someone because he was gay?

For some reason, though, many people don’t seem to get that. When the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, the Mother Superior of the order Bernadette would later join was supposed to remark, “Why would the Holy Virgin appear to an ignorant peasant girl, instead of to a virtuous, instructed nun?”

Later generations would chuckle over that foolish Mother Superior, but turn around and do the same thing themselves. It makes me wonder - despair, even - at how much of an effort remains to truly effect Christ’s teachings in the world.

For the record, I don’t agree with a family disowning their child, or putting such pressure on him that suicide would begin to seem an agreeable option. I don’t think that rejecting anyone, withholding love and compassion from anyone, is at all in accord with Christ’s teachings.

  • Rick

But goboy, they’re just doing it for his own good. Better for him to be unhappy now than face an ETERNITY of hell!

Right?

::shudders in disgust::

Be there for him if you can. If his family is gonna put him through the hideous ordeal of choosing sides like that, they don’t deserve to be on the side he chooses.

Well, burn me for being a … non-heretic, I guess, but, yeah… that’s kind of their point.

It’s been said a million times before, all churches are not the same, all beliefs are not the same, and all Christians are not the same. This guy’s family (and bear in mind, maybe this guy, too) is obviously from some part of the spectrum where, at the very least, it’s better to be unhappy in life so long as they play by their rules.

I feel for you. That is absolutely awful. Sorry I can’t do anything for you man.

{{{{goboy}}}}

I had to be away from my desk for 15 minutes just after reading your OP, and while I was gone, Bunnygirl (bless her little pink nose and fuzzy tail!;)) posted most of what I’d say on dissociating myself from these rabid cornfed dinosaurs. Just for the record, most Christians of whatever stripe would not play this sort of game. Certainly you know that Jodi, Bunnygirl, Bricker, RTFirefly, myself and half a dozen others would not even frown on the relationship. More conservative folk would say something to the effect that the Bible calls it sin (we won’t get into the debate on that here), and they feel honorbound to warn the two of you about that, but it’s after all your decision. I confidently expect Navigator and/or Lauralee to show up within the next day or two and confirm that last sentence.

I know it is absolutely no consolation to you to think that their motivation, misguided as it is, is that they’re saving him from an eternity of torment for giving in to temptation.

There is, however, a bit of “don’t shoot me; I’m only the piano player” in that sort of post. I believe in a God of love and a Jesus who does not condemn people who love, but rather those who judge. And though I know the reasoning in terms of Scripture and God-as-judge behind their views, I cannot understand how anyone can pervert what the Gospels depict in terms of a call for us to love unconditionally and act with integrity into the legalistic code of most fundamentalists.

A little unsolicited advice, probably worth what you’re paying for it:

In your shoes, I’d mostly respect his cut-it-off e-mail out of caring about him and his concern for keeping his relationship with his parents, but if I know you, this is a serious interpersonal relationship and you care very much about him.

You need to tell him that, in a way he won’t mistake for trying to sway him away from his parents. Overtly say something like you respect his need to be reconciled to his family, but you will be there whenever he needs a friend who understands what being gay is like. Make it clear that you are not trying to influence him away from his decision to reconcile with them, but you know something of what he’ll be going through, and want to be his friend through it. Ask him to share that with his family. And feel free to use anything I had to say on the Snark Hunter thread over in GD, along with my e-mail address, if you see that as being any sort of help to the situation.

That’s what I can give. It’s far too little. I can only say that I’m sorry you’ve been hurt, and that your friend is going through what can only be tear-myself-apart-and-stuff-the-bleeding-pieces-in-the-closet for the sake of his family’s intransigence. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

Thanks for the kind words. Since the OP, Bill sent me another e-mail, telling me he loves me, but he is deeply confused about what to do and needs me to leave him alone for a while. I responded, telling him that I love him, too, and that because I do love him very much, I’m going to step away and let him be the one to initiate contact, whenever that may be. I wish I had read Polycarp’s post first, so I could have passed on some of his wisdom to Bill.
I just want to do what’s good for him and suppress my own selfish desire to hold on to him.

I apologize to Christians here for lumping them in with the intolerant Pharisaical fundamentalists who are causing this mess. I keep trying to remember Luke 6:27.

I don’t want to let hate and anger consume me because that would mean that the bad guys win. The worst thing those people can do is to make me become as evil as they are and join the dark side of the Force, as it were.

I just want Bill to be happy and safe. I’m going to go to the gym and seriously punish some weights and get this poison out of my soul.

Good luck. It’s always tough giving up someone you love.

slow burn

Anyway… an ex of James’ just leapt back into the fold too… thinks he can go straight if he loves Jesus enough (how ironic is that?) Everything is so bizarre…

GOBOY, I’m so sorry for your current situation, and even sorrier for your friend. I’m glad others have posted to tell you “we’re not all like that,” and I hope that you can remember that even in light of the painful idiocy you are now facing. When you’re looking at the worst a group of people can give, it’s hard to remember they could possibly offer anything better. I appreciate you striving to keep that potential for good in mind, despite all the evidence to the contrary. I don’t know if I could.

I really hope things work out for both of you.

goboy, I’m really sorry to hear about what Bill’s family is putting the two of you through. Please let me hasten to add my voice to the others, that real Christians, real families, don’t do that sort of thing.

It’s a shame what some people do in the name of religion, and the name of love. I only wish they could see the effects of what they do.

As a Christian, a fellow SDMB denizen, and a fellow human, I support your right to love whomever you want to. I do not, and cannot, condemn you. I hope everything works out for you and Bill. And I hope his family goes to hell. (Just kidding! :D)

It’s just so . . . sad. It’s for me hard to accept that there are people who believe in the existence of a God who would cause such pain and even harder to accept that anyone thinks It is worthy of worship.

Jesus won’t turn him straight, I just hope it doesn’t take him too long to realize it.

{SIGH}

We’re here for you, babe - and him, too, when he’s ready.

I’m going to go write out my annual contributions to the NGLTF, the HRC, and my local UU church now…

Esprix

Good luck to you and “Bill”, goboy. The “Christians” you describe make me hope that one day, when the rapture comes, Jesus turns out to be a black lesbian woman. Ya know, just to see the looks on those righteous faces. :wink:

[sub]Not that I actually believe in the Rapture, but still, wouldn’t THAT be cool?[/sub]

Beware people who know things they have no evidence for. Trouble lies that way…

'Course, some irrationalities are worse than others.

I would have to agree with BunnyGirl. We’re not all like that. You are probably right to give him some space and let him sort it all out. Family pressure can be incredible. I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I hope it all works out for you.
{{{goboy}}}

Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that you be not judged."

Mark 12:30-32 "And the second, like it, is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Somewhat OT, but kind of related story:
When I got remarried several years ago, a fellow co-worker (very fundie fundamentalist) refused to attend our wedding…because my fiance and I were both divorced and we had lived together before we got married. She handed the invitation back to me and said she couldn’t encourage our “sinful” relationship. She also refused to attend another co-worker’s wedding because it was a Catholic ceremony, and of course we all know those heathen Mary-worshiping Catholics are on the highway to Hell.
She was so narrow-minded and ignorant, it makes me mad just thinking about now, years later.

I feel for you :frowning:

My family is like that on my dad’s side. It sucks.

Thank you! Like Poly said, I may feel that it’s a sin, but so is a lot of other things. That doesn’t mean that Bill’s family has the right to say “Change, or we don’t love you anymore!” Families are supposed to say “I may not approve, but I’ll love you no matter what.” Whether they’re Christian or not, they’re not acting like a family. They’re certainly not acting like a Christian family.

goboy: By proxy, I feel your pain. Early on in college, I had a friend who went through the same thing (she was dating a Catholic girl)…came back to their apartment one day to find all her girlfriend’s stuff packed, girlfriend in the car with her parents. They took her out of college, moved her to New York to live with her grandmother and prayed over her.

Be strong and help him as much as you’re able. What he’s going through must be terribly difficult (receiving a lot of mixed and contradictory messages), and he may not be a good friend in return right now. But maybe the two of you can get back on track later. :slight_smile: