My Facebook feed is always rampant with links to articles about the gays. When our own son came out I read everything I could find about how to not be scared shitless when your kid comes out of the closet. That lasted a couple of years and then absolutely nothing eventful happened so I stopped reading.
Somehow, though, the articles about the gays want to stalk me.
I rarely click on any more, whether they are on Facebook or a news site. I can predict where they are going to go and heading down the rabbit hole of righteous shame is not healthy for me. Occasionally I'll read an article that chastises the Christian right on this subject for their failure to put love into practice and I'll pump my fists, open the front door and yell, "YESYESYES. A thousand times yes." Then I'll read the comments with their wagging fingers of preachiness and Bibleness and say to myself, "Oh, sister, you had to know that was a bad idea." Again.
As I have loved you so you must love one another.
As someone who was raised in faith and raised their kids that way, who jumped through the Catholic hoops, (Confirmation, anyone? What exactly is that?) and reminded even the littlest of my tribe that they were accountable for how they treated each other, I think the playing field always has to tip to the disenfranchised.
It is what we are called to do, isn't it?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
When I was in a study hall in senior year there were three of us that secretly played word games in the corner of the room three boring times a week.
John was his name. It was the mid-70s. It occurred to me that he might be gay even though that wasn't much of a thing yet. At seventeen I worried about how he was treated outside of that room in that big, rough school. A thousand times since then I have wondered how his life turned out.
Love what is sincere. Hate what is evil: cling to what is good.
I was in grade school in the 60s and vividly recall the struggle for civil rights. I have watched women in the workplace struggle for equal rights and equal pay for decades. I am witnessing the battle for gay rights with some skin in the game. I know that despite all this incessant shouting and laws passed for headlines rather than common sense, that the tide will turn very soon.
There is no fear in love.
I do not need to read the words of another Christian donning the cloak of Jesus and shaming my kid. It is a horrible waste of my time. Instead, I am better off using my energy to help push the boat of love and justice for as long and as far as I can, and when I feel my shaky legs giving up I need to push harder.
Love does no harm to its neighbor.
For my kid and for the kid in middle school that is terrified of who they are attracted to. For John, who kicked my butt in dueling-back-of-the-room-word-games in a study hall at Thornridge High School. He went on to graduate. I had another year to go. In the end of the school year craziness we scribbled our names in each other's yearbook but I forgot to look at him and tell him that he was always the highlight of my day.
When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
I will follow him.