• Absolutely brilliant. I too wish this was the norm, but it a beautiful and exception and example. And I’m very pleased to know this family. This dad was a life-long Adventist, who was a church leader in education (and many families members were/are very involved in church leadership as well). This–this is the love ethic on display. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  • Ben in oakland

    Let’s see.

    Love. Acceptance, support. Reaffirmation of parent child bonds. An old man learning new things. Family values (the real kind)


    Sin. Damnation. Hell. Condemnation, judgment. Rejection. Family values (the fake kind). And their usual fellow travelers: bigotry and hate.

    Its so difficult to choose which way to go.

  • Doc Anthony

    Readers, did you notice the following?

    Headline: “I hasten to assure you, sweetheart, that I affirm you…”

    Actual Letter: “I hasten to assure you, sweetheart, that I affirm you IN YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND SEXUAL BEHAVIOR….”

    In the context of the homosexuality debate, that’s a huge difference. The first statement means love/affirmation; the second one means defeat/disaster.

    This article shows the often unseen tensions that parents, families and friends go through. To borrow from British evangelist Michael Green, there are issues “of the heart” involved, as well as issues “of the mind”. Intense issues.

    There is sometimes a lot of pressure on parents and relatives and friends, to demonstrate one’s love and affirmation via denying — that’s right, denying and rejecting — the clear teachings of the Bible on certain issues.

    (Such pressure is intensified greatly by Christian compromisers like Walter Wink. It’s seriously no accident that Daddy was handed a Walter Wink book — as opposed to a Robert Gagnon book or a Thomas Schmidt book — by his lesbian daughter.)

    But that pressure must be resisted. Don’t tap out. Don’t give up. God ain’t done. Don’t give up on God’s Word.

    Imagine what it must be like to be in the latter years of your life, and realize that your deepest prayers and hopes and questions and regarding your loved ones may well go “unresolved”, “unanswered”, “unfinished”, “uncertain” (at least as far as you can tell), all the way to the grave. What then?

    1 Cor 6:9-11 and 1 Cor. 10:13 provide good news of salvation, healing and deliverance. Christ still sets the captives free, including the Christian captives too. The Bible is very clear that nothing (repeat: nothing) is too hard for God (Jer. 32:17, Luke 1:37), and God’s still making a way out of no way. Even if things just “aren’t working ouit” or it’s seemingly “too late” anymore.

    So it’s important to do like the gospel singer (and former homosexual) Donnie McClurkin does, and openly ENCOURAGE those parents and families “who are still waiting on God’s promises” to hang in there, keep on loving, hoping, and waiting patiently on God, to keep on receiving on HIS daily provisions of power and grace and Bible and miracles and hugs.

    HE is not “too late”, no matter what things look like with family or friends. So do NOT give up, even if it looks like you gotta take your “I won’t give up” to your own funeral.

  • Lynda

    In the context of the full letter, this father is clearly showing affirmation and love. Defeat and disaster? How can you read this into his letter?

    This father has correctly concluded that “love… shall not be limited to those who think that they have the truth”. He is so obviously questioning the truthfulness of those beliefs that condemn homosexuality, especially when he affirms in no uncertain terms: “Our sexual orientation is God-given, and we can’t and don’t want to change it. God loves and appreciates individuality.”

    Yes, your bible may very well condemn homosexuality, but some readers of that same bible recognize its authorship as flawed and far from infallible. They understand biblical history and archaeology. They understand how scripture must change with new evidence that illustrates how inaccurately the ancient writers understood the world and their god’s inventions.

  • Ben in oakland

    Doc isnt interested in understanding anything that conflicts with his “understanding” of homosexuality, the bible, and what it means to be gay. As far as I can tell, it’s his pet sin. whether it’s because he is ex-gay, earns his living from the anti-ex-gay industry, thoroughly believes in his own superiority, or simply decided to back this particular horse to the exclusion of all others, isn’t clear.

    The latter horse is simply this: if society rejects the fundy Christian label of gay people as extra special icky sinners, then society might well reject the rest of the fundamentalist Christian perspective. I mean, where do you stop?

  • Jack

    Cruz has a right to his opinion, but note the lack of compassion he has for parents who don’t provide exactly the right answer he demands of them.

    In Cruz’s mind, any parental answer to a son or daughter who has embraced a gay lifestyle that is anything short of total celebration of that lifestyle is unloving.

    That is not a plea for love, but a demand for total surrender.

    Or to put it another way, it is a demand that love be one way and one way only — the parent is supposed to surrender their deepest beliefs about God’s will and ways in order to prove their love for their son or daughter….but there is no obligation of any sort on the part of the son or daughter to show sensitivity and tolerance toward the parent or parents.

    Very interesting….and telling…..as well as fundamentally narcissistic.

  • Jack

    Ben, you and the author are dodging the difficult question of parents who don’t fit easily into either extreme — ie rejection of their son or daughter who’s gay vs. celebrating their lifestyle. I’ll bet that plenty of parents respond by continuing to love their son or daughter deeply, while still holding to the biblical belief that the lifestyle is wrong. A good though imperfect analogy would be parents who love their son or daughter even if they live together and have relations with a person of the opposite gender without being married. In the real world, that “in-between” position is the norm….and it requires both sides, parent and son or daughter, to show some empathy and understanding.

  • Ben in oakland

    Jack, I absolutely agree with you. It’s a process, not a one step, one size fits all. But ultimately, at the end of the process, this question must be answered. And either the parents accept the fact that their child is gay, or they don’t. Those that don’t are going to lose their child eventually, or lose whatever closeness they may have had.

    My own parents, 43 years ago, were a case in point. They were not willing to accept that particular fact of my life, though not, as far as I could tell, for religious reasons.Tthey eventually agreed to “live” with it, since they really had no choice if they wanted me in their lives. Eventually, I said, “it’s clear to me that your beliefs about homosexuality and what it means to be gay are more important to you than your relationship with your son.” Without going into too many details, eventually they agreed with that statement.

    I was always the perfect son. Never got into trouble. Straight a’s. Well thought of, successful. Loyal and loving where my siblings were not. But that wasn’t enough. Eventually, I began to see that the problem was our whole relationship, not just the gay issue. My two brothers, one gay and deeply closeted, the other straight, came to the same conclusion.

    So it really does boil down to either accepting your otherwise fine child, or rejecting your otherwise fine child in favor of something else.

    Meanwhile, I had plenty of other parental figures in my life, including conservative religious figures, who loved me for who I was, who welcomed by boyfriend into their homes. They didn’t “celebrate” my homosexuality– a misnomer of there ever was one– they accepted it. My own parents eventually faded, and then, lost out entirely.

    Their loss. not mine.