Thursday, December 17, 2009

Okay, I guess I am going there (Bright)

Yesterday I mentioned how Bright has tendencies towards femininity. I want to make it very clear that I am *not* making judgements about Bright and think it's way too early to be worrying about whether or not Bright is transgendered or homos*xual. But I do want to say a few things. First, I appreciate all of you who left (supportive) comments on the last post. Next, I want to share my experience with this sort of thing.

In college my best friend was a guy. A really good Christian guy. In fact, he acted as music director at his church. I know he had a love for Jesus and was (is) as Christian as I am. I believe I will spend eternity with him. When I was a junior my friend "came out." I was just about the last to know. I didn't see anything "different" in my friend, and I was one of those he was most concerned about coming out to. It didn't change how I felt about my friend or my feelings about his true relationship with Jesus Christ. But I suppose because of his lifestyle thereafter we did sort of drift apart. He'll always be very special to me.

Growing up in the Southern Baptist Church I was certainly taught it was wrong to be homos*xual. Maybe it wasn't taught in exact words, but certainly the message got across! And of course you see the people on the TV who say Gay people will go to hell. I think it's really easy to believe that until you know and love a gay person who is also a believer.

There are some things in this life that I know I will never know. I know there are what appear to be very clear teachings in the Bible that being gay is wrong. But there are also other interpretations that see it differently. I personally believe, at this point in my life, that homose*xuality is a sin. Like lying is a sin. Like having s*x before marriage is a sin. Like stealing is a sin. Like overeating is a sin. And I believe all sin is equal in the eyes of God. I believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ forgives us of sin.

I believe it's good to ask for forgiveness for each sin you commit...but also impossible. Some people believe you must be cleansed of all sin you haven't asked forgiveness for before you die. I don't. I believe that if I am killed in the middle of a sinful act, I will still go to heaven because of my relationship with Jesus. I believe once saved, always saved (unless you TELL Jesus you no longer want a relationship with him and purposely throw him out of your life).

People say that there is a difference in sinning and "living in sin." I believe that too. Living in sin would be things together out of wedlock....being in a same sex relationship...chronic overeating (hmm...that one's personal for me). There IS a difference when you are living in sin. But I don't believe that living in sin negates your relationship with Christ. I don't believe living in sin means you will go to hell. So therefore, I don't believe gay people go to hell! I believe that the way they have s*x is between them and God. Only God determines sin. So to sum it up, I could care less whether you are gay. I love you anyway. *IF* being gay is a sin and means you are "living in sin," join the club. I'm living in sin too (that overeating thing). I'm not proud of it, but it's not something I've been able to overcome yet.

One more thing about the "gay" part. I do believe that people who are gay have been predetermined to be that way, at least to a certain extent. If you are a teacher I'm sure you will identify with my experiences. There were certain children, even at young elementary age, that I could just tell were different. I'm old enough now that my first students are young adults. And I see them in the grocery stores and such. And I've run into a few of my students who were very effeminate then, and now very much openly gay. I believe that we are all born with certain tendencies towards certain sins. Some define these things as "generational curses." Maybe so. I know that I come from a long line of addicts. My grandfather. My dad. My sister. Me. All different addictions, but addictions none the less. It is in the makeup of my being that I am more prone to addiction than some other people. For me, it's the more socially acceptable addiction to food. For my sis, it's smoking. I think that people who grow up to be gay are more prone to it from the beginning. I don't think having a Godly father and great big brother in the house will make any difference if Bright turns out to be gay. Anymore than I think that having non-addicts in my family helped me to stay addiction-free. I don't pretend to know whether you can really stop being gay. Some people say you can. I would tend to believe that you could stop PRACTICING homos*xuality, but is that the same? You can stop PRACTICING your addiction too-but the addition is still there.

To me, being transgendered is a TOTALLY different thing. Whether it's a mixed up signal in the brain, or some other physical or psychological difference, I don't care. I don't think anybody is just going to choose to be the gender that doesn't match their sex! It is too much trouble!!! So those that really feel like they are in the wrong bodies, I ache for them. It must be horrible. *IF* Bright grows up and really feels like he is a girl stuck in a boy's body, I will support him in whatever steps he has to take to correct that. I don't believe God makes mistakes. But I believe we live in a fallen world, and sometimes bad things happen within the body. I don't think there is any sin in being transgendered. Not any more than there is sin in being Down Syndrome, or blind.

If you are reading this and are a conservative Christian who believes you know without a doubt exactly how God views these issues, please forgive me for offending you. If you are on the GLTB spectrum and believes you know exactly how all of this works, please forgive me for offending you as well. I am someone who is still exploring these issues. And like I said, I think there are some issues that I don't ever believe I will have a good handle on. The bottom line is I SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW. Therefore, if my son (or anybody in my life for that matter) struggles with these issues, I will ask myself "What Would Jesus Do." I don't know what Jesus would SAY, but I know that He would ACT in love. I know how to do that. I do that pretty darn well.

Whew...okay...trying to get up the guts to hit send...hoping that my Ghanaian friends reading this won't disown me...hoping I don't cause any hurt to anybody...

P.S. I really don't want to discourage comments. Comment away. But please don't leave links or verses for me to research on one end of this or another. That turns nasty and personal really quick. I'm just sharing where *I* am at with these issues.


Amy 11:28 PM  

Anita, I thank you for creating a post with such a loving, caring, non-judgmental, accepting viewpoint at the heart of it. I feel very much the same and appreciate you sharing. Love you oodles and hope you have a great Christmas my friend!


Kristin Jag 12:21 AM  

Ditto Amy!

Jen 12:53 AM  

As a super-left leaning atheist, can I just say how awesome I think it is that you have this stance and are willing to share it in a corner of the internet where a lot of people will probably disagree? Cuz seriously, awesome, that is true love. Bright is a lucky boy, no matter what.

Candy 1:28 AM  

How weird to read your blog & to know you but b
not really know you when I lived there and thru reading see how many views that we share... Does that make sence?

I have been wanting to blog about this very subject or get my opinion out there but could not get the words down... & here u go summing my shared opinion up!

My god daughter that I raised for many years is 16 & gay... So is her birth mom... And she has always leaned that way and looks like a boy but I love her just the same!

Thanks for this post

candy Murnan

Jena 7:08 AM  

Hi Anita-
I haven't commented in a while, but I just want you to know that I appreciate this post and the spirit in which is was posted.

Jen 7:44 AM  

Anita, you are a rare wonderful woman, and I don't think you even realize how much.
I am so happy that your four unique beautiful children have you as their mama. They will always be loved and accepted. What more can a child need?
I how of a wonderful young writer and poet who was internationally adopted and is openly gay. She was rejected by her adoptive family and cast out. I just can't even imagine that level of pain that this girl must feel - to lose her first family, and not be "right" enough for her adoptive family and lose them, too.

No matter what Bright's future holds, he has found a safe haven with his mother :-)

Kait 8:14 AM  

I agree so very much with you and I think it's awesome that you're putting this out there. Regardless of who Bright (or any of your kids) ends up being, he'll know that you loved him no matter what. That's the important thing.

Stephanie 8:23 AM  

Great post Anita. Thanks for sharing your heart in such a loving and thoughtful way.

Cat and Mark 8:39 AM  

Very well said. Thanks for sharing - I know it couldn't have been easy.

Cora 11:57 AM  

I don't have much to say except: I think your great. I love reading what you write and hearing about all your wonderful kids. I am really glad that we have this forum to get to know wonderful people we would never be able to meet in person.

Merry Christmas, Cora

Beckie Sibley 12:37 PM  

Anita, thank you for posting this. I sooo agree with you.

Carrie 4:35 PM  

Anita, I love the way you love your children. I think it is a beautiful reflection of the way God loves us: joyfully unrelenting; without condition; completely. God bless you and your husband as you raise your precious children!

Heather A. 5:26 PM  

AMEN!!! Beautifully written. You spoke my heart and my truth sister. Whatever path Bright chooses, he's blessed to have you as his mother. Perhaps that's why God has chosen you to parent him.

Global Girl 6:56 PM  

I appreciate the post as well.

Bright will always be your son;
all you can do is support him;

Momto14 12:26 AM  

Lovely post. And your lovely and I love you! :)

Emily B. 4:49 PM  

I'm sorry upfront if I step on any toes here but I just don't really get the whole issue.

God tells us to LOVE one another. 1. Not to judge one another (only He can do that).
2. Not to outcast one another because of actions or beliefs (um- hello! Jesus loved EVERYONE; prostitutes, cheaters, thieves, lepers (sp?) etc.)

Too often I think *Christians* confuse acting "Christ like" (see number 2 above) with trying to BE God (see number 1 above).

I admire your beliefs and open heart to love all of your children for whomever God makes them. Because ultimately that's our role as parents; to love, nurture, and to allow their unique (God given) qualities shine.


Rachel 6:59 PM  

Great post and I agree completely.

Jess 1:31 AM  

I go to a Christian college of about 1200. There are a lot of boys (and some of my very close friends) who are more "feminine" than usual and they are straight. Maybe some of them "struggle" with attraction to other men but they are seeking the Lord above all.

I appreciate your unconditional love for your kids and I think that is quite unfair how we Christians choose to put sins on a scale (as if we have so many less "issues"). This issue is black and white yet very gray at the same time.

Luke 6:37-42
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Yana 3:54 PM  

Anita, I've never commented before, but I want to say that this post was lovely...I am not a Christian, I am Jewish, but I think this is a beautiful expression of what I understand being a Christian is!