Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Since I ran my caveman post, I've had emails from all over the planet. Slight exaggeration but not much. Most very supportive. Two members of the church wrote me and expressed their opinions. One of 'em was having trouble posting this to the Comments section so I'll post part of it here:

Oh Jennifer. What a sad thing to have happen. I apologize for the situation you found yourself in at my church this afternoon. You'll notice that I was not at the service. And I do not think of you as a "Caveman", lesbian, or any other label, but simply as my friend Jennifer, the writer. How sad that some would consider homosexuality as a "tragedy." You'd think in this day and time, with all we have learned from science, (that people do not "chose" their sexual identities, but are born with them), that we'd cease being closeminded. A child is a child of God, and that's that in my book. And a gay or a lesbian is no less in the sight of our Lord as is a Downe's Syndrome child.

However, not enough of us are willing to keep an open mind and remember that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Because I'm "old" I realize that there will always be those who cling to long-held beliefs and I know I can't change them. Rather, I pray that God will soften their hearts while those whom they offend can find forgiveness in their hearts. It's truly a dicey situation and one I fear will always be with us. I just hope we can learn to live with grace and love and leave the rest up to God.

Jen adds: In the Mormon Church, Downs Syndrome kids are considered especially close to God and therefore to be cherished. Interesting, huh? When I found the First Church of Hemingway I'm thinking we should reserve a special place of honor for lesbians. No particular reason, except cats tend to like them and Hemingway liked cats so it kind of follows. Oh, and Sally, you are not old. :)

Jackie, who invited me to the service to hear her sing and who was utterly mortified about all this, filled me in later on the purpose of the healing service; that it was to look at things that affected your family, not just your immediate family but your parents and grandparents and so on. Being gay most certainly impacts a family and not always in good ways. And, yes, the way it was presented did sort of make it sound like being gay/Buddhist/Muslim/three-toed sloth was the same thing as being a rapist/murderer/child abuser/etc, but that wasn't the intent.

I did know that, actually. I just hope anybody there who had a gay/lesbian/Buddhist/Muslim/three-toed sloth family member also knew that and didn't start feeling worse instead of better. At least for many years, the worst part about having a family member who was somehow different was that somebody might find out. Retarded kids got hidden in back rooms. Unwed mothers were sent away. Gay and lesbian kids were disowned and told not to darken this doorstep again. I think changing religions was pretty much a declaration of war and probably still is in a lot of places. Not because parents didn't love their kids but because somebody might find out. Hopefully the healing service made it obvious that everybody has some dark family secret or another, but we all have friends, and Jesus is always there. And if somebody finds out it's okay. The world won't end.

My stupid example is Harry Potter's aunt, whose name I always forget. She spent most of the first five books horrified by the idea that someone might find out she had a sister who was a witch. The fact that she also had a nephew destined to save the world (says Jen, who has not read the last two books yet and is just taking a wild guess) didn't even enter her head. Which is sad. But they're sad books.

Meantime, I'm still wondering, why me? Why that service? Why that church? Why that day? Divine intervention? Divine comedy? Or is it as Depeche Mode once said; "I think that God has a sick sense of humor"?

In short, it's been a very interesting several days. But I seem to have a lot of friends who do not care how many toes I have, or that I'm lazy.

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