“Sadomasochism, child abuse, human trafficking, rape, murder, genocide, greed, corruption… and homosexuality.” What does it feel like to be included in that list simply because you love someone of the same gender? In one of Susan’s recent posts we had a reader make a comment that included homosexuality in a list like this. Ignorance? Yes. Bigotry? Probably. Hate? Maybe.
This is Rob Cottrell, Susan’s husband. That comment was made to another reader here on FreedHearts and the reader responded. His response was honest, direct, poignant, loving, and unapologetic – and I wanted to share it with you today.
I have struggled with this comment in an effort to resolve the anger which arose as a result of it. I’m not sure if I have succeeded, but I think my reply will at least be more articulate than acidic.
My love for a person of the same sex is not holding other humans in bondage against their will. My love is an expression of freedom. I uphold consent as a necessity for a proper relationship of any kind.
My love for a person of the same sex is not inflicting suffering upon a child in any capacity. My love one day includes the desire to bring a child into our family, to be loved and sheltered and raised in the enlightenment I hope to pass on to all future generations.
My love for a person of the same sex is not the trafficking of human chattel slaves in even the most remote definition. As someone who has been a victim of oppression for most of my life, I have no desire to ever become an oppressor.
My love for a person of the same sex is not an act of rape, although there are those, sadly, who do not understand or value consent in the manner which I do. These people appear on all sides of the sexual orientation spectrum and I do not endorse or condone positions which contradict my values of consent.
My love for a person of the same sex does not willingly shed the blood of any person. I am more likely to be the victim of murder than a perpetrator. I have taken an oath of pacifism with few exception clauses for means of defense, either of myself or others, and these exceptions require that I use the least harmful method of disabling an aggressor.
My love for a person of the same sex is not discriminatory, although it is often accused of such by my failure to tolerate intolerance directed toward me or others. I am as likely to be found defending Christians as I am to be on the receiving end of Christian abuse. It is to be noted that I am not Christian myself, and yet the two blogs I frequent are both Christian blogs in which I am, to my knowledge, a member in good standing. I do not tolerate discrimination toward Christians, much less to racial minorities, and part of what has estranged me from my parents is their virulent racism. I live in an integrated neighborhood of many ethnicities, and I enjoy the company of each and every one of them as equal brethren united by our common needs and desires.My love for a person of the same sex is not genocidal. I do not countenance the killing of any group, no matter how extreme their views. I endeavor to have no more negative view than “pity” for any group, although I am prone to anger when their actions cause harm to me or others. There are those with whom I emphatically disagree and those to whom I am prejudiced against because of their history of harm to others — when this prejudice threatens to distort my efforts to remain objective, I am grateful for reminders of my own subjectivity, ignorance, and failings.
My love for a person of the same sex is not religious in nature, much less extremism. I do not condone religion of any stripe when it aims to dictate various areas of the social sphere, including education, politics, and some social interactions. I am prone to agreeing with religious sentiments when I like their intent or goals, even when I do not agree with the same logic or theological origin, and sometimes this does lead to favoring one religion above another, even if it is not a religion I share. Under no circumstances do I agree with extremism which willfully causes harm to others, and I have found myself pondering religious conundrums in which aspects of a religion I enjoy are threatened with loss of membership and visibility by their refusal to violate their own religious tenets.
My love for a person of the same sex is not unusually greedy in any manner differentiated from the love of people. Each person’s story is their own and I try not to apply negative labels to them without first hearing it in context. I also reject any claim that my love for a person of the same sex is inherently greedy because it is desiring of something forbidden on the grounds that it is not for others to forbid, having no demonstrable stake or right to dictate consensual relationships others might partake in.
My love for a person of the same sex is not hypocritical. While there are those I do judge as engaging in inappropriate lusts, I can indicate quantifiable harm, violation of consent, etc. which arise as a result of their intentions.
And finally, my love for a person of the same sex is not dishonest. Endeavoring to force me—by social stigma, mandatory conversion therapy, economic sanctions, or otherwise—to falsely recant my attractions and orientation would be dishonest.
— In light of this, you may understand why I object to my love for a person of the same sex being compared to various acts of extreme harm and violation of the rights of other people.
I am not prejudiced against you, racially or otherwise.
I do not have the intent to harm you, much less enslave you or kill you individually or as a group.
I will never cheat you.
I will endeavor to never lie to you in any capacity.
Love is none of these things.
So don’t compare them together.