Thursday, February 17, 2005

Love & Hypocrisy

I am a mom.

I love my children with my whole heart.

I love their faces, their foibles, and all that goes into making them who they are. I have even loved them when their behaviors have been less than stellar, or their choices have not been those that I would have made. I like to take credit for creating these wonderful human beings who are caring, giving, tolerant and trustworthy.

As parents we are expected to give our offspring unconditional love. I cannot imagine a parent who could have feelings that are anything less than that.

Now, would I have loved them had one of them come to me and told me that they had feelings for another of the same sex? Indeed I would! Their sexual orientation is not what makes them the people that they are. The deciding elements, to me, are family values.

Yet there are children, teenagers and adult children who have felt their parents' wrath because of their sexual orientation.

I have always told my children that they can come to me about anything. It would be nice if they always had. There were times when they felt they needed the counsel of an older sibling or a friend or another family member. This did not distress me, particularly, as I can recall not always telling my parents "everything". Somehow, my parents always found out, and somehow I always found out. And even though I may, initially, have felt disappointment that my children had not turned to me with every problem, my reaction to the situation, I always hope, would be one that would be to reinforce the idea that I was approachable, and understanding. My darned old family values...again.

But what of the youngster who does not have that option? There is a child who since the beginning of awareness has been told that being "different" is an abomination, who has seen others who were different treated with ridicule and scorn. These children who FEEL and KNOW they too are "different" are made to feel that they are at fault? Their parents' solution: "It is nothing that cannot be fixed with prayer or a good beating, perhaps." What stupifies me the most that their parents are supposedly educated people! I do not know about you, but these to me are NOT family values!

We have a Vice President whose daughter is openly gay. Obviously she has made peace with her parents and they have accepted her for who she is. Yet, her parents are members of an administration which has a decidely homophobic agenda. This is hypocrisy. I have to accept you but will do my utmost to persecute others like you. It doesn't wash. How can this be a family value?

We have a failed Senatorial candidate, Alan Keyes, whose daughter has recently stated that her homosexuality is NOT accepted by her parents. They have cut her off. Again, "I love you...but...as long as you are the way you are, do not come for Thanksgiving." "As long as you are identified with a group that I loath, you are on your own."

I am tired of the right wing stating that anyone to the left of THEIR ideas of how the world works, or whose lifestyles are not reflected in their image, have no family values! No, it is they who are confused!

This is what I have found.

Throughout history, those who have made a magnificent impact on us have been those who were, well, "different". They were the dreamers, the creators, great politicians and great thinkers. Great philosophers, Jesus included here, and, yes, even great warriors. They were the most tolerant, the most giving and the most loving. We have great literature, great poetry, great works of art, and most definitely a great religion, Christianity, all given to us by those who dared to be "different."

I would ask any of you to show me where in Christianity we have been told that we should be none of these things. Currently, there is a group of rightwing politicians who are preaching intolerance. They have wrapped themselves in a false coat of many colors and the stolen words, "family values." It is they who are false and intolerant and hypocritical, not we!

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