Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Love is ALL That Matters

I was perusing the facebook blog page and ran across a link to an article that caught my attention.  I followed the link, read the article, and cried.  I couldn't figure out why it made me cry at that moment.  It just touched a place in my soul that's sensitive.  Then, I saw another post, reminding people that I was the guest writer of the month on a very popular anti-hate website.  In the reminder, he told his audience that I was writing about my childhood experiences.  Then, it made sense.  The tears were coming from that still-bruised 12-year-old.  You have to read the article to understand.

In a nutshell, the link led me to a lengthy comment to an article from another blogger, "I'm a Christian, Unless You're Gay" which, itself, is a rather lengthy article.  Lengthy but very worthwhile.  Correction:  lengthy but a must-read!!!  The article is powerful.  It's powerful because the author, Dan Pearce, is speaking the truth on a topic that far too many people shy away from.  It's powerful because it hits the nail right on the head.  It's top-dead-center.  Perfect.  It's what I've been saying, in one form or another, here in this blog.  But, wait!  For as powerful as the article, itself, is, the article isn't what this is about.  The message he sends is, in a nutshell, love is all that matters.

Writing such powerful articles, straightforward, honest, and real is certain to evoke plenty of emotions and get overwhelming responses.  THAT'S what this is about.  The still-bruised 12-year-old who resides inside of me connected with that lengthy comment that was left by one of his readers.  A teacher gave this article to his class and told them to write about it.  In that class was a 15-year-old gay student.  The article resonated with him.  See, in his Christian home, in his community, homosexuality wasn't just frowned upon:  it was more like the ultimate sin.  As such, he'd lived his entire life buried deeply, and safely, in the closet.  That is until he was handed this assignment and read it.  The comment was written by his devoutly Christian, deeply homophobic mother.

We see it everywhere.  We see it in the news regularly.  We see it in communities across the country, and around the world.  We see it in our homes.  We hear it from certain politicians.  We hear it from some religious "leaders".  The message is clear:  God hates gays!!!  In God's eyes, gays are condemned to hell.  Sick.  Disgusting.  Perverted.  The list goes on.  The message is picked up by the LGBT youth across the country and around the world.  The results...well, we're seeing the results.  The results are being manifested in the bullying we're seeing that's leading far-too-many LGBT teens to suicide.  The results are being manifested in the lack of self-esteem that far-too-many LGBT teens experience that leads them to depression, drug-abuse, and eventually suicide.  Here's the real deal:  this message is being sent by people who call themselves Christians.  In their own minds, and in their own warped visions of religion, they are "doing God's will".  The wake-up call is that God Doesn't Hate!  I say this a lot, and I say it for good reason:  1 John 4:8 could not be any clearer.  "God is love".

The core message in Dan's article is one that I've been saying all the while:  in order to change the culture of hatred and intolerance that plagues our society, the one that leads to the bullying and violence we're seeing towards our LGBT teens, the one that's leading to far, far-too-many LGBT teen suicides, we have to start with the adults.  Look, no one is born hating.  No one is born intolerant.  We're born to love.  Plain and simple.  We're taught hatred and intolerance.  Young people are taught that it's ok, and in some cases accepted and expected, for them to treat people who are different than themselves harshly.  With disdain.  With disgust.  With hatred.  With intolerance.  Especially if they're gay or lesbian...real or perceived.  And, they are being taught that from certain political "leaders", some religious "leaders", and from their own parents.  Meanwhile, in many of these ultra-conservative, "religious" homes resides an LGBT teen who are being destroyed from the inside out by the nastiness and disgust they hear coming from their parents' mouths.  The end result is usually bad news.  On the other side of the coin, in many of these ultra-conservative, "religious" homes, there are impressionable teens hearing mom and dad saying those very same words of disgust and intolerance, being taught to live "right", live up to the parents' expectations, and pass their hatred and intolerance on to any classmate he or she may have who is even perceived to be gay or lesbian.  The end result is equally bad news.

Here's the real deal:  it is time for people to start speaking up for love, to start speaking up against hate...in all forms.  It's the only way we're going to change our culture.  It's the only way we're going to start seeing the incidences of bullying, hatred, violence and intolerance towards LGBT teens or anybody perceived to be different.  And, it's the only way we're ever going to start seeing the number of teen suicides, LGBT and straight, begin to reduce.  Regardless of what Fred and his group of loonies say, God does not "hate fags".  In fact, God doesn't hate.  Remember that.  God is love.  And, love is all that matters!

Thanks, Adriana.  And, thanks, Dan!!


  1. what a lovely article you wrote Ron, and you summed up so much in one simple words. Love is what matters. As a Heterosexual woman I am never questioned why I decided to be straight, I am never questioned over my sexuality. As a woman I have done my job well, produced 3 beautiful, healthy kids (and do 95% of the house-work ;-0). I try and raise my children to be (hopefully) open minded, loving and generally good people. My heart bleeds that still today we have teenagers killing themselves because as a human race we question who they are. I also hate that crimes against homosexuality grows as each year passes. Why are people to bigoted, why is so much hatred in the world. Some people always have to find someone to blame. We saw Hitler doing it, and many political leader do it since the Holocaust. We see it every day in this county. The Tabloid love to 'Out' the latest Conservative/Labour leader or celebrity . I would love my children to grow up in a hate free society, however I know that is to much to ask. However after reading your artical today, I will always remember to teach my children to love, because at the end of the day that is how we can sum it all up. if we could all just simple love and respect one another this world would be a finer place. thanks for your artical. Sending you a big heap of love to you today, Sarah x

  2. hi ron. i'm not sure what this will mean to you, but this blog post seems almost serendipitous to me. i am currently in the process of trying to publish a book about two southern guys who come from very different sides of their small town's society, and the secrets and torment that threaten to destroy them. as (another) straight woman, i have often struggled with (and prayed over) why i, of all people, was chosen to share this story. last night before bed i was praying to God about finding the internal strength to keep this path, and where God stood on the matter. while i am a very spiritual person, i am not the most actively religious. but then, this blog post was one of the first things i saw when i woke up (from Bisexuality Is Real/WHOF). it just seems kind of amazing to me.

    1. Hi Hilary. It is true that God does work in mysterious ways. I'd say that this also speaks to how we're all interconnected!! Thanks for the comment. It made my day.