Boys; Men; Bright Futures

“A home is not a mere transient shelter; its essence lies in
 its permanence; in its quality of representing, in all its 
details, the personalities of the people who live in it.”
H. L. Mencken

He was, by any conceivable objective measure, destined to be a happy and successful man. Brilliant; kind; funny; a good friend to all.  Strikingly handsome. When we were in Middle School the girls at the High School, who ordinarily treated us as if we had the plague, would go out of their way to be friendly to us if he were around.

His family would have been royalty had they raised him in his mother’s homeland. Both parents and all uncles and aunts were respected professionals.  Our teachers knew who he was before he ever set foot in their classrooms.  He did well in school and set off for college full of hope and promise.

Something went wrong. I lost track of him after a while, so what I tell you is all second- and third-hand accounts. During college he told his father that he was gay. Remember: this was fifty years ago.  All hell broke loose. He was coerced into going to see a psychiatrist. When he decided that there was no point in this, he was banished from his home. All financial support ended.  

He dropped out. He had always been fascinated by engines. He learned how to run and fix very specialized machinery. He moved to the States. He was never out of work, but he was content to be behind the scenes. Probably made a lot less than he could have had he started his own business. But he seemed to be doing well. Once again, he reached out to his family. The response was spite and neglect.

Then he disappeared from the face of the earth.

His father died, maybe after he had second thoughts about what he had done. Hard to tell. Other family members expended significant resources to try to find him, with no luck.

He could have been the victim of a hate crime. He may have changed his name. Maybe he is thousands of miles away and happy; maybe he is alone as only a broken person can be.

We will never know. A life full of promise. Instead of stability, he was forced to accept that there was no permanence to his home; to his family; to his country.

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them (from the Old Testament).”

The Old Testament calls homosexuality an abomination.  It demands that gay people should be executed.  

The essence of a home lies in its permanence.  

A brilliant; kind; generous man loses it all because of who he is.

A doting father and loving family break with any semblance of rational behavior because of words that were written by people who thought that the world was flat. In those days nobody could be sure, as he or she went to sleep, that food and shelter would be available the next day. The threat of war, famine, and eternal serfdom was constant. Clearly not the best environment to encourage tolerance.

The essence of a home lies in its permanence.

Yet the attacks continue. Who is listening? Our political leaders make friends with countries that make the persecution of homosexuals a matter of policy. They actually hold hands with and eat at the same table that these evil leaders do. We are told that we need their natural resources, or their strategic location. What is more important than a healthy home atmosphere?

The essence of a home lies in its permanence.

We continue to worship our Holy Book. Most of us make uneasy pacts with ourselves. We pick and choose the paragraphs that we want to adhere to. The Ten Commandments are OK; keeping kosher not so much. We look at the paragraph on homosexuality and we direct our gaze elsewhere. But it will not go away.

Is it time that the leaders of all religions get together to discuss this subject? Maybe if they made it crystal-clear that it is not now nor has it ever been God’s will to murder all homosexuals, people may listen. Maybe they can join in condemning killing as a legitimate way to follow a divine mandate. It is, after all, a commandment.

Maybe if they made it clear that “honor thy parents” also means love your children, without boundaries, no matter what.

The essence of a home lies in its permanence.  

All of us are entitled to that warmth and security.  No matter who we are or what religion we practice.

I firmly believe that this is God’s will.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. rtiepelman

    I believe God is Love, and that Jesus is God’s criterion for what Love really is. If anyone derives anger or hatred from Christ then they belong to this world, not to Christ.
    I think that God cares little for the things of His that we horde, collect, and claim during our life. What does matter, is how we treat Gods’ Creations.

    It is possible to live in peace with homosexuals who understand Love; it is not feasible to live in peace with people who want to exterminate an opposing group of people.
    Our lives will be judged by God. Instead of focusing on who to get rid of to save God some energy, we should focus on the people that God has put in front of us who are suffering the hardships of this world.

    Where there is Love, there is God.
    Spread Love, not intolerance.

  2. Carol

    As a parent of a gay adult it is not that I love him any less but the fear of how he will be looked upon by the prejudice of others that is heart wrenching also scared for them as a whole . This is not what they have chosen for their life it is what they were born with and it cannot be changed even though they would like very much to be as one would put it NORMAL.

    1. Nobody’s normal. People get discriminated against and made fun of because they are overweight, or short, or have red hair. I understand your concern for your child’s welfare. My point is that we need our leaders to emphatically condemn any hate speech or action, no matter what the source of its venom.

  3. Russ Eaves

    Like most Old Testament laws, they were to show us that ALL of us cannot keep them and ALL of us deserve death. God does not elevate any one sin above another, though we often do. “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God”. But that is the reason for the New Testament and the grace given us through Jesus. Though man can persecute homosexuals (or anyone else), Jesus quickly forgave prostitutes, adulterers, and those of other sexual sins, but was hard on the proud religious people (Pharisees) of the day who think they had no sin.
    “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Gal 2:16
    ‭‭
    “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:24-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    1. Thanks for the scholarly comment. I also agree that we are all sinners. I would strongly disagree with anyone who considered homosexuality a sin. This is my problem with the OT; it perpetuates a hurtful and inaccurate notion.

  4. nmedearis

    The Old Testament is not the end of the story. We have the New Testament. Jesus died for our sins. We are not to judge others but to love them. None of us is without sin and no sin is considered the greater among them. Look at Jesus and the people He was with…prostitutes, murderers and sinners. We are to love others, not judge them. And as for Leaders in our world, they need to do the same, not persecute.

    1. Maybe best if, since none of us is perfect, we just try to be nice and inclusive to everyone.

  5. Cathy

    I’m very fearful about what is to become of our nation, our world when so much hate prevails. We must try our best to be kind & loving & teach that to others.

    1. The Romans used to enslave people. In their culture it was OK to take your newborn child to the dung pile and leave him/her there to die. We’ve come a long way, but there are days that, I agree, the world seems frightening and lost.

  6. Lois Allen

    Thank you Russ Eaves, for a succinct explanation from Scripture.
    The New Testament gives us Jesus, who is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law. God has always set boundaries for our protection. The 10 Commandments (not the 10 suggestions) were for the good of God’s people. As families, parents, we set boundaries for the safety of our homes and children. When they reach a certain age they are free to make their own choices in life. If they are in disagreement with their parents they’re free to leave. I believe there is a difference in allowing any behavior from our children in our homes and providing unconditional love.
    I have listened to many friends and family over the years who have struggled with the behavior of their children. Whether it is stealing, violence against siblings, drug abuse or promiscuity, I have seen heroic measures taken to help their children. There comes a point when boundaries must be set however.
    I believe that God’s love is unconditional. God’s blessings are not unconditional however. I think it is the same with parents. No matter how much we love our children we sometimes have to set limits.
    I guess i’m a believer in boundaries. People who push boundaries tend to make us uncomfortable. I don’t think it should prevent us from doing as Jesus did and accepting them as people. I think he was all about stepping outside our comfort zone in the name of Love.

    1. Nothing wrong with limits or setting rules for your home. This is healthy. Too many kids take advantage of and abuse their parents. My friend did nothing wrong; he should have never been punished.

  7. Lois Allen

    I had a really strange memory this morning. I don’t know why it didn’t come to mind before. I guess it’s because it’s so long ago now. Both my mother’s brother and her cousin were gay men. It was even before the generation you spoke of. Things weren’t spoken of publicly like they are now. As children we weren’t told anything. It was just something we came to understand as we grew older. Both men were always part of family gatherings. They were accepted and loved. It had to be difficult. My grandfather was a fundamentalist preacher with his Doctorate in theology. I never heard him say a word against his adopted son.
    in later years both men had significant others that we also knew. When my uncle was dying of cancer his “friend” Harry was with him to the end. When my mother’s cousin died of heart failure, leaving his mother alone, it was his partner who took care of her until she also died. While my family never believed in or condoned their lifestyle it never prevented them from accepting them as loved family members. It is a balance i have rarely seen. At the root of it was the love of Christ.
    The verse that comes to mind is in I John 4:20 “If anyone says he loves God yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, who he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

    1. A wonderful and by no means unusual story. Your exemplary relatives were not “different” from the other family members; not any more than anyone who was left handed or had blue eyes. The problem is that many people feel that a homosexual’s person life is a lifestyle, as when people choose to buy an expensive car or associate with artists. It not a choice for them.
      Thanks for sharing.

      1. Betty Townsend

        Wow! I’m reading this just after the massacre in Orlando. Why are we so fearful? Anyone who follows a religion of Hate that was preached in the Old Testament, hasn’t read the New Testament to find that some of the old rules could apply but LOVE if God and neighbor is what God is all about. Family is the place of love and acceptance and guidance.