Grandfather stands up for his gay grandson.

I came across a story today that left me a little perplexed on how to feel.  The story starts with a familiar tragedy: a son tells his mother he’s gay and the mother boots him out of the house.  The twist comes when the boy’s grandfather penned a letter to the mother disowning her for her cruelty.  Here’s that letter:

"He was born this way and didn't choose it more than he being left-handed. You, however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So while we are in the business of disowning children, I think I'll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gay put it) grandson to raise..."

Anti-gay prejudice, as confirmed by polling, is much stronger in older people.  So I’m happy to see this exception to trend.

But I’m sad to see hate, as infused by a supposed religion of love, tearing families apart.  This is what faith has given us.  So I celebrate the grandfather not being consumed by the same love-destroying influences as his daughter.  Even so, I still lament the whole situation.  This is what I will think about every time a Christian implies or asserts that Christianity has the monopoly on family values.  Absolutely wrong.  This is what Christianity can do to families and somehow still manage to call it “love”.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • gimpi1

    I’m so glad this young man had a decent grandfather he could turn to, instead of winding up in the street. And I’m heartbroken that his mother is so cruel and obsessive about her politics that she loves her beliefs more than she loves her son. And she no doubt calls this “morality.”

    • Gehennah

      I couldn’t agree more. I’m glad he has a family to still take care of him.

      Maybe his mother will come around one day, and I hope when she does its not too late for the family to forgive her

  • baal

    Any religion that tells you to not care for your children is a broken way of life.

  • Lao T’zu Animal

    Why is the lack of compassion for one person less disturbing than the lack of compassion for another?

    • Havok

      What do you mean?

      • DavidMHart

        The grandson didn’t choose the set of prior influence that caused him to be gay. But neither did the mother of the grandson choose the set of prior influences that caused her to be an anti-gay bigot. We don’t really get to choose what our life influences will be (even if it sometimes feels like we do, when you actually try to pick apart what you mean, it proves impossible to actually support the idea that the ‘you’ that is consciously experiencing your life is the ultimate cause of your state of mind).

        That said, it is a lot easier, on average, to exert outside leverage on someone’s social attitudes than someone’s sexual orientation – and a lot easier to make the case that anti-gay social attitudes cause harm than that being gay does (there is no case to be made there unless you’re going to argue that being gay harms bigots who’d rather gay people didn’t exist, which is not the sort of ‘right’ we want to be recognising), so I cannot condemn the grandfather for deciding that he’d rather focus his time and energy on his gay grandson than his bigot daughter. But I can point out that being subjected to the kind of influences that lead you to become an anti-gay bigot is no more something you choose than being subjected to the kind of influences that lead you to be gay, so to that extent I think he’s overplaying the role of choice here. The mother is, in a sense, a victim of the set of circumstances that led her father to disown her, just as the grandson is a victim of the set of circumstances that led his mother to disown him. But the grandfather is in a far better position to improve the world a bit by showing intolerance for homophobia, and offering an olive branch if the mother is prepared to drop the homophobia.

        That has been quite convoluted and wordy, but I hope I’ve explained my point (and that it roughly rhymes with what Lao T’zu Animal was on about).

        • unbound55

          That explanation doesn’t sit right with me. My father was a racist; yet I’m not. My father is a staunch republican (probably tea party, but he won’t admit everything to me); yet I’m firmly independent.

          I’m an adult with an ability and willingness to learn to be better with how I handle myself and interact with the world around me. The daughter / mother has that ability as well, but clearly not the willingness to learn how to handler herself and the world around her. She chose the easy way out. She chose hatred of a fictional sin over loving and caring for her child. She chose to actually kick her son out of the house over her instincts to be a mother.

          But most importantly, the mother chose to renege on her responsibilities. There is no aspect of influence that I’m aware of in the world that overrides parental responsibilities. She may have chosen to fight with the kid until he grew to adulthood. She may have chosen to “educate” the kid in the “correct” ways. But she would have at least continued her responsibilities as an adult parent.

          I will never have compassion for anyone that actively embraces hate and demonstrates no compassion or empathy for others of this world.

    • Gehennah

      The son was being punished for something outside of his control, while the grandfather was reacting to the mother’s immoral choice.

      So I’m going to have to side with the grandfather on this one.

      • Lao T’zu Animal

        (“…the grandfather is in a far better position to improve the world a bit
        by showing intolerance for homophobia, and offering an olive branch if
        the mother is prepared to drop the homophobia.” — David)
        That essentially expresses my sentiment. The letter just seemed to be a round condemnation, where there might have been an opportunity to present the daughter with an epiphany.

      • Alice

        And even though both actions are very painful for all involved, kicking a minor out of the house is very different from disowning an independent adult daughter.

  • Lurker111

    Yowza. I’ve written a couple of letters in my time where the edges browned before delivery, but nothing quite to the level of this zinger. This letter will live on the interwebs in perpetuity.

    • Alice

      From the Facebook post, it sounds like the grandson Chad sent it to FCKH8. I’m not sure how he would have gotten it though.

      • Lurker111

        Yeah, I can see the daughter receiving this letter and either immediately crumpling it up, tearing it to bits or even burning it.

        For that matter, the image of the letter doesn’t appear to show _any_ imperfections, bends or folds on the paper. That’s suspicious, too. When I scan a document, there are always wavies where people have handled the item. Hmmm.

        Edit: Not to mention dust specks.