Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Intolerance = Good Christian?

Dear Ruth Malhotra,

I have a big problem I need to discuss with you. I came home from a wonderful 4 days visiting my two sons who, like you, are in college and around your age (20 and almost 22). I am in this great mood because for the first time in months our entire family was able to get together and have this really nice time and enjoy this really wonderful city in which they go to school. Anyway, we get home, I get unpacked, do laundry, catch up on mail, return calls, and finally get a few free moments to sit down and catch up on the news I missed while I was gone. I am feeling really relaxed, really happy and then it happens, my head explodes. I stumble upon this LA Times article about your lawsuit demanding that your school, Georgia Tech, revoke its tolerance policy because you see it as an unacceptable infringement on your right to religious expression. Huh????? Are you kidding me???? You are feeling infringed upon because there are policies in place that protect people who are gay from being harassed by the likes of people like you? Really? No kidding? You’re for real? And you’re actually doing this in the name of Christianity? Wow!

Ruthie, Ruthie, Ruthie you poor misguided, ignorant child, what on earth is wrong with your life that you, at the tender age of 22 have nothing better to do than to initiate a lawsuit intended to rip away protections of anyone who does not fit your idea of the perfect Christian? How on earth do policies protecting people from harassment for something they cannot help hurt you? Let me tell you why I am having a royal conniption fit right now. One of my sons is gay. And I can tell you from firsthand experience that he had absolutely, positively, NO CHOICE in this matter. As his mother I watched the agony and torment this child went through for years, alone and afraid, because of cruel and hateful people like you. I can tell you with the certainty of a mother who watched helplessly for what felt like an eternity that he fought like hell to be Ruth Malhotra’s brand of generic, nothing out of the ordinary, sterilized normal. I can tell you that after years of praying, begging, pleading, denying, and pretending to be something he could never really be, he finally accepted that God meant him to be who he is. He finally realized that he never had a choice in the matter, he finally realized he was born gay, he finally realized that people like Ruth Malhotra are snake oil Christians and not real Christians. He finally realized that his life would never be like Ruth Malhotra’s life and that he was damned grateful about that. He finally realized that he would have to deal with pompous, sanctimonious, little asses like Ruth Malhotra his entire life. And he finally realized that people like Ruth Malhotra will one day have to stand before God and explain their hateful actions.

Ruth, nothing sets an already Seething Mom into a rip roaring fury faster than some snot-nosed, hateful, misguided, sanctimonious, pretend Christian telling me, a mother who has spent many a night crying, begging, and pleading to God to help her son accept who he is. I knew my child was different from a very early age. I may not have put my finger on what exactly was different, but I sure as hell knew that he was different and that he had problems with being different as soon as he was old enough to know that he did not quite fit in with the Ruth Malhotra crowd. Ruth, do you have any idea how it feels to have your heart breaking into a million little pieces because someone you love more than life itself is hurting, really hurting and you know that you are powerless to make the pain go away? Ruth, have you ever been able to feel empathy? Are you capable of knowing the depths of someone else’s pain? Have you ever heard that saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes? Do you even care about anyone other than yourself?

And I suppose what makes your lawsuit and your misplaced sanctimonious superiority even more hideous to me is thinking back on the last conversation my husband and I had with our oldest son right before we left to come home. He is getting ready to graduate in May after 3 years of grueling, heavy, coursework (averaging 23-26 units per semester) and a semester at Oxford. He will be graduating at the top of his class with a dual major in Political Science and Economics. He is planning on going to law school. He is an extremely optimistic, high on life, goal oriented person. But he has a big problem right now. He does not feel that he can go on with his educational goals until he finds a way to give back to those less fortunate than him. He has interviewed with both the Peace Corps and another program in which he will devote 2-3 years of his life teaching in a very poor inner city school. Ruth, this kid is one of the most driven individuals you will ever meet. He sets goals and then he achieves them. But he has decided that he must take a break and do something for those less fortunate. His dreams and goals will have to wait until he satisfies this need to give back. He wants no attention, no accolades, no praise. He just wants the satisfaction of knowing that he has made a positive difference in other people’s lives. I cannot convey the pride my husband and I felt that night as he told us this.

Ruth, I can’t help but wonder how your parents feel about what you are doing. Are they proud, are they ashamed, do they feel they failed as parents? I would be so heartbroken if you were my daughter. I know I would feel as though I failed as a parent if one of my children were doing what you are doing. I pity your parents for they shall never know the pride my husband and I felt the other night when we listened as our son apologetically explained to us why he had to take time off from school. Ruth, real Christians don’t waste time worrying about their rights to be intolerant, in fact real Christians don’t tolerate people who make a mockery of true Christianity. And you, dear, are making a mockery of true Christianity.

Hat tip to Shakespeare’s Sister for pointing me to this nightmare article in the first place. Please go read her take on this whole thing, as always she does not disappoint.


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