Failing as a Parent

I never really got “the talk” from my parents. But there was one particular conversation I had with my father from when I was about 15 that stands out in my mind. Dad talked abit about growing up in a different era and how sex and dating were different now. He talked, briefly, about homosexuality.

In hindsight, I realize that dad was dropping hints that if I wanted to come out of the closet, that he was fine with that. Which is, on one hand, wonderful. On the other hand it tells you what my social life was like. Regardless, it’s the kind of thing I expect from my parents, who are both very broad minded.

Growing up with that, it’s probably not surprising that I can’t wrap my brain around this:

This came from RegBarc on reddit and was picked up on by Gawker. The letter is from RegBarc‘s father shortly after Reg came out of the closet.

The text:

“James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations With me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice though Wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted. Goodbye, Dad.”

Why? There are 800 some odd commandments, rules and codes in the Old Testament, the vast majority of which we ignore. In the New Testament, all of the missional verses (“Let the dead bury their dead … take up your cross”), the poverty verses (“give everything you own to charity”), the celibacy (“it is good for a man not to touch a woman”) are all apparently optional. Yet a couple of verses in passing from Paul is enough to destroy a family. Why?

Natural law? Is some warmed-over Aristotelianism really cause to separate from your son? American Catholics are frequently willing to be flexible on issue like war, the death penalty and certain kinds of fertility treatments. The seamless garment has some loose threads. But not this one. Why?

The only answer I can come up with comes from RegBarc himself, “It’s important to know just what this zealotry from Bryan Fisher, Maggie Gallagher, Dan Cathy, et al., does to everyday people. ”

This has become such a culture war issue that it has now gone beyond all sanity. It’s not just family anymore. It’s a battle between Christianity and the forces of darkness, and some sacrifices have to be made. But how in the hell has it come to this?

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