Gays and Conservative Christians

It’s been a long day. A long and scary day. But before I get to that…

You may have noticed that I don’t much write about what is said and done by conservative Christians or the religious right anymore. For quite a long time I’ve referred to our most vocal opponents instead.

That’s because I’ve been schooled by Will’s family, especially his parents. They’re conservative Christians, beyond a doubt. And after a long period of not really wanting to meet his boyfriends, they suddenly changed their mind. There was no big announcement. Four and a half years ago, when our first Christmas rolled around, Will’s mom simply called and asked what time of the day we were coming over. And since then they’ve treated me like family.

Our house is in my name. A year after Will moved in we remodeled the kitchen. Will’s family, led by his dad, came down for the demolition. And it was a crowd, because Will (at that time) had 8 nieces and nephews — it’s up to 10 now. The cutest memory is his 3-year-old nephew grabbing a fist-size piece of floor tile and running to throw it in the enormous trash bin. Meanwhile, Will’s brothers and parents (including his mom) were taking sledgehammers and pickaxes to our flooring and walls. We took that mother down to its studs and saved about three grand doing it. Then Will’s brother Gordon, an electrical contractor, ran the kitchen wiring.

Back to the point: This was pulled together by Will’s conservative Christian father, for a house that wasn’t in his son’s name. And he did it not in spite of but because of his conservative Christian family values. And I think you can date the change in my vernacular to about that time, though I don’t think I was aware of it as it happened.

So, today. Today we got word that one of Will’s nephews had been in a serious accident. He’d been choppered from his home an hour away to a Children’s Hospital close to our house, and he’d been placed in a medically-induced coma.

He’s out of it now. Looks like everything’s going to be fine. But Will’s whole family descended on our house tonight and I told them the entire place was at their disposal. I mean, come on. They’ve treated me like family for years now. Obviously I’m going to do the same.

Mostly I was happy that Will and I happened to live so close to the facility. My thoughts were chiefly with young Jonathan, but I’d spent a whole week spent reading about how angry our opponents were about the Supreme Court proceedings (angry that their lawyers hadn’t put forth a moral case against homosexuality); as the clan enveloped this house that they helped build, I couldn’t help but remember those awful commentators. I couldn’t help but declare: GO TO HELL.

Go to hell, and go there forever. I’ve never said go to hell with such a sense of moral authority as when saying it to these fools who think that there is something wrong, something immoral, something unnatural, about the safe haven built by this whole family of people who suddenly find it available in their moment of need.

Yeah, go to hell. All I know is that the conservative Christians who were with me today won’t be there to greet you.

And now I have to go tend to the little ones who are too young for visiting hours.

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17 comments to Gays and Conservative Christians

  • 1
    JP says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. I think it’s too easy to just hate everyone because they belong to a group. And I am saying that in reference to the gay community that blankets utter vitriol against everyone (christians in general) who doesn’t support them. Because really, if we don’t treat this as a one on one kind of deal, then we become the hypocrites for doing to them exactly what they have done to us. And if I am anything, I believe in integrity and I can’t see it any other way. I have christian friends who support my rights and it would be pretty evil of me to hate them because they are christian.
    If anything we ought to be fighting this group think mentality that is a part of so many problems in this world. You name it, christians, democrats, republicans, etc. and so on. We need to be able to stand on our own two feet and make changes in ourselves without fear of retribution from others.

  • 2
    august says:

    Thank for this.  May Jonathan have a speedy recovery.

  • 3
    Chris M says:

    When the discussion turns to the conservative christians who are not against LGBT people, my knee-jerk reply was usually to condemn their silence and failure to speak against the vitriol of their outspoken brethren. But I then remembered that I too was silent for a long time, silent about who I was. I failed to speak out to my family and friends about my identity and my life, and my evolution resulting in my coming out took time. How can I then fault others for needing time to also “evolve” and finding their voices?

  • 4
    Paul says:

    I see why you fell in love with Will. He comes from a fine family. Thank  you for sharing this story. I hope and trust Jonathan will fully recover and all those nieces and nephews have a special time with Uncle Rob during the healing process.
     
    This reminds me something my niece told me a few months ago: Her favorite relatives are the gay ones.

  • 5
    OldBaldGuy says:

    Amen.

  • 6
    Roosterbear says:

    When we paint all conservative Christians with the same broad brush, not only do we pretend they are one homogenous group, but then we also tend to accept this notion that the folks on TV who call themselves Christians actually speak for all Christians. They don’t. Neither do they own God. We should not cede that to them, ever.
     
    Thank you for this reminder that not all Christians (even the conservative ones) are the same, nor are they our enemies. And best wishes to Jonathan for a speedy recovery.

  • 7
    candide001 says:

    for me the term anti-gay christian works or else i say those christians who make the choice to follow an anti-gay version of their faith tradition.  and i’m always quick to point out that 53% of american catholics support ssm and another 25% civil unions despite the vile anti-gay teachings of their hierarchy.

  • 8
    Christopher says:

    There’s only one thing I’d like to add to this: may Jonathan have a quick and full recovery, and may you and all your family–which would include Will’s family–see this through with as little stress as possible.

  • 9
    Jim Hlavac says:

    You know, I speak on the net with conservative Christians all the time — many are perplexed. They are rexamining their ideas. They ask reasonable questions, I don’t feel any “hate.” I comment on Tea Party sites — the gay-friendly/anti-comments has been shifting to our side.  

    Yes, the worst can “go to hell” — I agree – but we still have to deal with them – and well, treat others as you wish to be treated is a good start. I just think we’re misssing something in our approach to these people. But it is being wittled down to groups akin to Neo-nazis and KKK for Jews and Blacks — a tiny looney fringe — worthy more of pity than scorn. 

  • 10
    Fortuna Veritas says:

    The only real problem I have here is the assumption that valuing family is a conservative christian thing as opposed to a having basic humanity thing.  I always found that it was a value independent of conservatism or christianity, especially given the number of so-called conservative christians who pay lip service to the idea while doing all they can to devalue and destroy their families and the families of others both on a personal level and a political level. 
    Groups within the umbrella might value family, but the umbrella does not appear to do so, nitpicky as it is, it’s something that sticks in my craw, especially when it’s turned from being a value of conservative christians into being a value that *all others* lack.

    I’m very happy for you though and I’m glad that Jonathan is doing well and I hope that he continues to do well.

  • 11
    Mrs. Chili says:

    I have nothign to add, except to say that all of my good wishes are with you and your family. 

  • 12

    [...] conservative family doesn’t think Will and I are trying to destroy [...]

  • 13

    [...] conservative family doesn’t think Will and I are trying to destroy [...]

  • 14
    dorothy says:

    thanks – as the straight mom to a pack and a ‘conservative christian’ I am so thankful for what you shared here.  I am blessed with a strong LBGT community of friends and wouldn’t trade them for the world.  No way

  • 15

    [...] hard to read, because even as you’re thinking, Exactly, exactly!, you also know Peters is still determined to deny you the right to marry, deprive you of the honor [...]

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    [...] hard to read, because even as you’re thinking, Exactly, exactly!, you also know Peters is still determined to deny you the right to marry, deprive you of the honor [...]

  • 17

    […] You really ought to read the whole thing, not just for its sweetness (and it is sweet!), but also for the vision of marriage that Tisinai articulates in the post. That vision is one of complementarity (“My memory can be a sieve, but Will remembers every damn thing”) and mutual self-sacrifice. And an understanding that self-sacrifice makes both partners better members of the community. It’s a vision of marriage that has been evident for a long time in Tisinai’s writing. […]

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