I guess I’m pro-choice. On how to let my child live.

I spent the first 8 years of my life living on 50 acres of woods, hills and streams in Southern Indiana. We lived right next to a limestone quarry, and could sometimes feel the explosions. There was a pond on our property, where we would try to catch frogs and tadpoles. It was a pretty gross, mucky pond, but we would occasionally swim in it anyway. I know I was usually barefoot. I think I wore shoes when there was snow on the ground, and skipped it the rest of the time. There were trees we would climb, every day. Most of our friends also had several acres, and everywhere we went all our time was spent outside; playing, climbing, hiding, catching small animals, eating various plants, getting scratched and bruised and bumped. And our parents were always inside. When I was nine we moved to a neighborhood in northern Indiana. We still played outside; there were lots of kids in the neighborhood. We weren’t supposed to leave the sub-division, but we could go pretty much anywhere within. We would walk or bike. We played with the neighbors. Again, I remember spending a lot of time outside. I don’t remember adults being around.
I’m 30 years old. My childhood was not that long ago! I think that most of the kids in my generation got to play outside about the same way. I’m the oldest of 6, and all my siblings had about the same freedom. I recently saw this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XDVDyDJ3s0

The title of the article is, “So Incredibly Sad”. Yes, it is. What makes it even more sad, is that the government and nosy busybodies have pushed this onto our children.
I blame the government. Not for everyone, but definitely for my children. I have five, beautiful, happy, healthy, smart children. My sons love Minecraft and would probably say that Minecraft is their favorite thing to do. My oldest daughter loves princess movies. The youngest two aren’t old enough to talk, but the 2 year old picks up my phone every time I set it down, and plays with the iPad every time she finds it on. If she can’t get past the locked screen, she takes hundreds of photos. (Which is wreaking havoc on my iCloud storage, by the way.) If, for some reason, I tell my children they can’t have screen time for a day, they scream like they’ve had a leg cut off.
And I blame the government. Why, you say? Because over the past three years I’ve been investigated by CPS and harassed by police no less than 6 times. Six! I want to send my kids outside to play. We live in a nice neighborhood now, and there is a lovely greenbelt in walking distance. There’s a tree house and a stream (when it rains, which is not often in Texas). There are fields and trees. I want my boys, and eventually my girls, to be able to go play outside. I want them to explore, catch animals, bring home flowers, eat lemongrass, follow the stream and collect dead bugs. But they can’t. They literally can’t. If my children go outside alone and someone calls CPS, I could lose them. I could lose my children for letting them play outside. Is anyone listening? That is wrong Where are the rational people? I played outside as a kid. My parents played outside. Their parents played outside. For the last 10,000 or 10,000,000 years, human children have played outside. And now, suddenly, they can’t. So, yeah, what am I supposed to do with them? I had a cop say that if I couldn’t handle my chores and my children I should hire a babysitter. I can ‘handle’ my children and my chores. I just want to handle my children the way children have always been handled, and that’s suddenly illegal. People think I’m doing something wrong if I want to send my kids outside. That it’s negligent. No, I intentionally choose to send my children outside because I want them to be outside. I want them to be learning and playing naturally, not on the TV/iPad/phone all the time. But TV/iPad/phone it is, because I’m more afraid of the cops stealing my children than I am of their screen time addiction.

Why can’t our kids play outside? That’s how most of human history and most of the world currently live. Why can’t I send my children outside without the fear that my government will take them away from me? The government! The government is in the business of kidnapping kids and claiming that they’re in the right! People are terrified of their children being stolen, not by strangers or pedophiles, but by policemen who will pick up children they see without parents around, then accuse the parents of neglect. Children in their own back yards, children walking home from the playground, even children on the far side of the playground from their parents. When did this happen? How did this happen? How did the government get this kind of power?

When I was younger I broke my wrist. I ran over a ball while riding my bike, the bike tumbled over, and I had to wear a cast for several weeks. My parents weren’t around, I was a few blocks from home. But another adult heard me scream, called my parents, and they came and got me quickly. I still have several scars on my arm from breaking through a plate-glass door. And I might still have a scar on my stomach from catching on a branch while falling out of a tree, but I can’t see it under all the stretch marks. The broken wrist got me a trip to the doctor, the scar inducing cuts got me some gauze and fancy band-aids. You know what those injuries will get you today? A CPS investigation. Accusations of negligent parenting. Where were the parents when this happened! Why didn’t they stop it!

A woman my husband works with just had a CPS investigation against them closed. They were taking their son to some kind of therapy. You know, taking good care of their child, providing him with the extra speech training or whatever that the schools probably said he needed. The therapist reported them to CPS because he had bruises on his legs. A seven year old boy, with bruises on his legs. And the government launched an abuse investigation.

What is wrong with everyone?! In my opinion you’re doing something wrong as a parent if your 7-year-old son doesn’t have bruises on his legs. For heaven’s sake! I am so sick of these adults walking around thinking that they have some kind of duty to report bruises. I know they hide behind laws; they’re required to report bruises because they could be indicative of abuse. Therapists, teachers, coaches, everyone who interacts with your children when you aren’t around. The government mandates that they report back to the government on your children. Without checking with you first. Without asking the child. Without exercising a modicum of common sense and thinking, “Hm, are bruises on a 7 year old boy’s legs normal?” before subjecting the entire family to intrusive, stressful, accusatory, inconvenient proceedings. When we were going through our most recent CPS investigation (which was closed) I contacted our mayor, governor and district representative. They all responded that CPS wasn’t under their jurisdiction. That’s fine, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do anything. Someone makes the laws governing how reports have to be handled and what is required to be reported. Having a kid with bruises doesn’t mean the government has the right to interview your kids outside of your presence and inspect your house and write down the food they see in your refrigerator. Having a child that hurts themselves badly enough to go to the hospital doesn’t mean you are automatically suspicious. It usually means you’re a good parent, because you care enough to take your kid to the hospital. But, no, the hospital has CPS on speed dial.

I’m going to go ahead and say it. Kids get hurt sometimes, and I don’t care. Yeah, my kids come home with bruises, and I DON’T CARE. My kids need band-aids, and I put them on and don’t think about it again. I don’t think, “OH NO! A cut! I should have been watching my child more carefully! I should have taught him to play more safely!” Other, more ‘concerned’ parents say things like, “Your child could fall!” “Your daughter could get hurt.” And I try to respond politely while in my mind I’m thinking, “So WHAT?!” I got hurt as a kid. You got hurt as a kid. Everyone from the dawn of civilization grew up getting bruised and cut and occasionally breaking a bone, and it’s not a big deal! My daughter cracked her skull. Yeah, that sounds scary, but she was fine. It was a broken bone like any other broken bone, it didn’t even need a cast. They just said, “Be really careful not to bump her head for the next few weeks,” took her temperature every few hours, and charged me $23,000. Sometimes kids fall, sometimes kids cut themselves, sometimes kids get bitten by bugs, sometimes kids step on a cactus, sometimes they fall bump their head, and then they heal. Having a kid with bruises doesn’t make you a bad parent. It probably means you’re a parent with kids who play outside instead of spending 30 hours a week on screens.

Guess what. You can love your child with all your heart, and not care that they get scratched and bruised. I wholeheartedly believe that. It’s not callous, it’s freaking common sense. Bruises just aren’t that big a deal. A little blood just isn’t that big a deal. It’s called life. A cracked skull is… kind of a big deal, but like most broken bones it will heal and we’ll all move on. It’s also life. If my kid falls off the playground equipment they learn from it. They learn to play. They learn risk analysis. They learn what it feels like to get hurt. They learn their limits. I think that is a good thing, even though it may involve them getting hurt.

I don’t know how to say this with the intensity that I want to convey. Sometimes kids get hurt and it doesn’t matter. Being a good parent doesn’t mean you never let your child get hurt. Having a hurt child does not mean the government should be able to launch an investigation against you. Parents, not the government, should be able to choose when their children are responsible enough to walk home alone, or escort their younger sibling to the playground, or stay home alone and for how long. The parents.

If a child is home alone and someone calls the cops, the cop’s question for the parents should be, “Are you okay with this?” And if the parents say, “Yes,” then that should be the end of it. CPS should say, “Okay, you’re in the best position to judge the capabilities and maturity and responsibility of your child.” First off, because it’s the truth. And secondly, because anything else gives the government an unholy amount of control over our lives. If the parents aren’t in the best position to judge the capabilities and level of responsibility of their children, then the only other choice is the government. Do people really think the government knows better than I do when my son is old enough to be home alone? Is that right? Think about it! Is it RIGHT that the government can take away your child because you leave them alone for an hour? Is it RIGHT that the government can take away a child over bruises? When did anyone start thinking that the answer to that question is “Yes”?

Is child abuse horrible? Of course it is. Never said it wasn’t. Is negligence horrible? It depends on how you define negligence. It would be horrible if the definition was going days without feeding your children. But if the definition is leaving your children unattended for any amount of time in any circumstances, then no, that isn’t horrible. I don’t think that children should be attended to, stimulated by, guided and taught by adults every waking moment of their lives. I know some people disagree. Some of those people pay nice day care centers and baby sitters and nannies a lot of money to make sure their children are stimulated, guided and protected at all times. Then they think I’m negligent because I don’t want those same things for my children. I should be watching all five of my children every moment of every day, and I’m doing something wrong if I don’t have eyes on them. I should have less kids if I can’t ‘take care of them all’ or if I don’t want to pay the money to have someone else ‘take care of them’ for me. Because I want to let my kids explore. Maybe it’s in the grocery store, where they want to explore the aisle next to the one I’m in. Maybe it’s at the park, where they want to explore behind the clump of bushes where I can’t see them. Maybe it’s our neighborhood, while I’m doing the dishes inside my house. Don’t I get to choose what’s best for my kids? Can we just assume that I care about my kids, I don’t want them to die or get kidnapped, and I’m actually making all my decisions with those things in mind? Maybe I’m not choosing to let my kids play outside because I’m lazy, but I’m choosing to let them play outside because I’ve done the risk analysis and I think that the benefits they will accrue from the freedom I give them outweigh the astronomically small chance that they get kidnapped.

As their mom, I want to be the one to make that choice.

Who cares more about my children? Me, or the Government?

3 weeks ago today my 7 month old daughter woke up from her afternoon nap with a large portion of her head swollen. It was… mushy, not like anything I had felt before, on any of my previous four children. So I immediately called my husband and asked his advice. He said I should try calling our doctor. I hung up and called my mom, a nurse of 30+ years, and described it to her. She also recommended having it looked at. I called my pediatrician, but he was out for the day, so I took her to the emergency room.
A couple of hours and a cat scan later, I was told she had a skull fracture. My husband picked up our four oldest children, and I was transferred with my daughter to the nearest children’s hospital.
(She was, blessedly, fine. No injury to the brain, no side effects. A small crack in the temporal bone that will heal up naturally. We still don’t know how it happened, but the doctors said that with a skull injury the swelling may not occur for several days. We can remember one incident of her falling from a beanbag chair onto tile four days earlier, and can think of nothing else that could have caused such an injury.)

Naturally, because it was a severe injury on a small child, CPS was called. My daughter had to stay overnight in the hospital for observation, but I found out later that the hospital was also waiting for the go ahead from CPS to release me; the hospital would not release us until CPS declared that our home was safe enough for her to return to. Never mind that we’re paying for all that time in the hospital. Never mind that they found the injury to be consistent with an accident and found no other injuries or bruises anywhere on her. While I was in the hospital I received many visits from people trying to determine if my home was safe, the most notable was from a detective and a CPS Special Investigator (separate from the standard CPS investigator who spoke to me). The Detective began his interview by claiming that he was there to determine how the injury had occurred in order to help the doctors best know how to treat my daughter. This is an obvious lie. The medical staff are in the best position to know how to treat my daughter, and they aren’t seeking or taking advice from a detective. He was there to investigate a possible danger to my children, and I can’t express the irony in having him come in and immediately lie to me, while expecting me to be open and honest in return. He also told me he didn’t want me calling my husband (which I did anyway). He requested the phone to speak to my husband and made comments like, “I don’t know if your wife thinks she needs your permission to speak to me,” (because in this world it is inconceivable that a husband and wife would simply be unified and work together against anything that may be threatening their family). The detective also requested that I sign medical release forms for the rest of my children, which I refused to do without talking to my husband, to which he responded, “I can easily get a subpoena for the records.” I don’t know if this is true or not, since medical records are supposed to be confidential and getting a subpoena isn’t supposed to be ‘easy’.
*This conversation was recorded, so the officer’s lie is on record. Not that they would release a copy to me, but I know it exists.

We were told that our big ‘mistake’ was bringing her to the hospital with a head injury and saying we had no idea what caused it. Well, we didn’t have any idea what caused it. She woke up from her nap with swelling on her head and I immediately responded. I had gone through the entire day in my mind, and the previous day, and could think of nothing that had occurred that could have cracked her skull. The doctors didn’t tell us until the following day that swelling from a head injury may not appear for several days. That changes things, right? That makes it a little more reasonable that I might come in and say I don’t know what caused the injury if it could have happened up to a week earlier? It seems like such a statement (we don’t know how it happened) might make sense, instead of being grounds for suspicion.

The following week I was told I had to bring my children into a third party group, “The Center for Child Protection”, where my three verbal children would be interviewed by child psychiatrists, while a detective and CPS agent watched through a one way window. This is in addition to the interviews the CPS agent conducted in our home while I was still at the hospital. My husband was not allowed to attend those interviews either. Upon arrival at the center I was almost immediately separated from my children and kept in a separate room, and not returned to their presence until all the interviews were completed. When I arrived I asked to observe the interviews, and was told no. I said if I couldn’t watch I wanted copies of the interviews afterward, and was told that the recordings would go to the detective, and I could not receive copies unless legal action was taken against us. I insisted on receiving copies, saying that they are my children, it is my responsibility to observe and protect them. When I said I would prefer to not have my children interviewed outside of my purview, the CPS agent responded that if I refused they would get a court order to force the interviews. I tried withholding my signatures on the medical release forms, saying that I would sign the forms once I received copies of the interviews, but she told me that would be viewed as uncooperative and they would go to court to have the medical records released. She kept emphasizing how ‘bad’ it would look for me to be ‘uncooperative’. She also kept saying it was out of her hands. If she told her supervisor that I wasn’t cooperating, her supervisor would be the one to push for legal action and she wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. That’s a bit of telling information there, isn’t it? The woman who interacted with my family, who actually saw my house and spoke with my children, has less control over the situation than the faceless bureaucrat who will push for legal action if they don’t get their way. And I’m supposed to believe that they have my children’s best interests as the motivating factor?

We’re still in the midst of this. My oldest son has to return to the center for his interview this Monday, because they elected to not perform his scheduled interview when I brought all the children in last time. My husband says we need to simply cooperate now, then fight when we’re in a more secure position (once the case is closed). I am sick over the fact that they continue to extract whatever they want from us (signatures, interviews with our children, inspections of our home) by saying they will take us to court any time I indicate any kind of hesitancy. We can lie down and take it, and then they will just do it again to the next person.
I hopeschool, so I also have the added suspicion of how I can possibly deal with being with five children at all times. My case worker seems appalled that I simply take them with me everywhere I go, and keeps asking what I do when I ‘need a break’. Well, my mom did it. Her parents did it. Or maybe not, since 50 years ago people weren’t arrested for leaving children home alone. As my husband put it, this is the result of the feminist perspective that we can’t possibly consider motherhood and childcare a job. My husband works long hours. He doesn’t just decide he ‘needs a break’ and leave work for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. Raising my children is what I do. Which means taking them with me everywhere I go and being with them all day. It would probably be easier to ‘take a break’ if I could send my children outside to play, but I think we know what happens to children found outside alone.

Think on this. What do you think I would do if tomorrow my daughter accidentally fell from her high chair and hit her head? Would I be able to take her to the hospital if I felt the injury merited medical care? Having been threatened with legal action several times due to the severity of this injury, what do you think I would expect to happen should one of my children break a bone or need an emergency room visit in the near future? As their mother I have to protect them from all threats, which means I would need to weigh the possibility of a severe injury against the almost certain possibility of having them taken away from us. So, is all this scrutiny from CPS and the detectives making my children safer?
This is, of course, purely hypthetical. For the record and in writing, of course I would instantly take my child to the best medical care available under any circumstances and irrespective of any other threat. This paragraph is simply something to consider, no government employee should read this and interpret it to mean I would actually make the choice to forgo professional medical care in the face of having my children taken away from their home.

In the end, we’re living in a police state. I thought America, and especially Texas, were free. Instead I find out that taking my child to the hospital with an accidental injury will result in the government deciding it is now up to them to determine if we, the parents, should be allowed to keep our children. The fact is, I care about my children more than CPS does. Weird, right? I love my children, would do anything for them, sacrifice for them on a daily basis, and I think that CPS really doesn’t. When my daughter woke up with an unfamiliar injury I acted immediately. Following the incident my husband and I bought a rug to cover a large portion of the tile in our living room. Huge rugs are expensive. Before we had wanted one for aesthetic reasons, and it wasn’t a priority. After our daughter, presuably, hit her head on the tile, we invested in a rug to minimize the risk of it happening again. We’ve had several talks with our four year old daughter who, understandably, loves her adorable little sister and wants to touch and hold and carry and play with her all the time. We have become much more strict in not allowing her to touch her sister. We’ve discussed other ideas for increasing safety in our home. Because our daughter hurt her head and we really don’t want it to happen again.

And you know what? None of that is the government’s business. It’s not. It just isn’t.

But they think it is. When I mentioned the rug to the CPS agent she got excited, requested a picture (as much as someone who repeatedly threatens legal action ‘requests’ anything), and told me to tell her about any other steps we’re taking because it looks good for our case. So they can determine if the steps we’re taking are good enough. So they can determine if our house is safe enough. So they can determine if our children should be allowed to stay with us. Never mind the fact that abuse rates in the foster care system are about 30%. Or the emotional trauma of being forcibly separated from your parents at all. Of course, I think my case worker would be appalled and say of course they have no intention of taking the children away. They just have to be involved to make sure that we’re improving as parents. (And we have to cooperate, because if we don’t then obviously we have something to hide and then they’ll resort to legal action.) To which I return to, “It’s none of your $@#%& business.” I try every day to be a better parent than I was yesterday, and it’s for me and my children, not to impress some government agency. They are my children. Mine. Mine. (And my husband’s, of course.) And if they are mine, then I should be able to take them to the hospital when they are injured, have the doctors say everything is fine, and move on with my life however I see fit.

I’m writing this because I can’t do nothing. I can’t sit back while they extract cooperation by threatening to ruin our lives if we don’t sign every document and attend every interview they want. I’m writing this because I want a written record stating that I have only complied to these infringements on our privacy due to coercion and threats. The laws need to change. I don’t want others to go through this, and I don’t want to live in fear of what will happen the next time my children are found outside alone or fall and hurt themselves.  Parental rights are paramount. Every infringement on parental rights transfers those rights to the government instead.

The shoe on the other foot

I recently had an experience with discrimination.  I wanted to share it to demonstrate how descrimination should be handled.  To show that conservatives are consistent in our beliefs in freedom.  To give an example where the shoe is on the other foot, and I acted exactly as I think ‘victimized’ homosexuals should act when someone declines to offer them service,

In some ways it seems a fairly silly thing to even write about.  But that’s how I felt about a lot of topics ten years ago, before the world turned upside down and the only value left in America was ‘tolerance’.  I went to a business, requested their services, and they turned me away because of my religious beliefs.  My feelings were hurt.  The end.

Wait a minute!  They descriminated against you and you didn’t sue them?  Your feelings were hurt!  Don’t you know that means you’re entitled to put them out of business and collect a huge payday?

Yes, I know that’s what liberals believe, but as a conservative, I think that businesses have the right to choose who they do or don’t serve.  That’s what freedom means.  Even if I disagree with their reasoning.  Even if I was very hurt by the way they attacked the choices I make and the way I live my life.  Even though I think they’re being intolerant.  Even though I think they’ve made a poor choice, I respect their freedom to make that choice.

Why can’t we all live this way? We’re constantly being told to be respectful and tolerant of others beliefs, and that’s what I’m actually doing.  Why can’t the homosexual lobby?

My story won’t be national news.  I’m sure my feelings were just as hurt as the couple that was asked to find another photographer, or the couple that was asked to find another bakery, or the couple that was asked to find another wedding venue.  And unlike them, I can’t just walk down the street and find another business that would love to take my money.  I’m trying to find a classical homeschooling coop for my children; most classical homeschooling coops are run by evangelical Christians, and most evangelical Christians don’t like Mormons.  They’re few and far between, and after being turned away from three different campuses it looks like I may just have to forgo joining a classical coop at all.  That will mean big changes for my schooling plans for my children.  It will make the next 18 years of my life more difficult.  The couple who had to (horror of horrors) find another wedding cake got a $150,000 payday, got to put the people who hurt their feelings out of business, and they still had a cake at their wedding!

So there it is, the solution to having hurt feelings along with a real life example.  If someone doesn’t want to serve you; get over it.  That’s what I’m doing.  Things didn’t go the way I wanted, and I’m acting like an adult and moving on.

Don’t tell me it’s different.  My lifestyle was attacked.  A trait I was born with and value highly as an intrinsic part of myself (and explicitly protected by the constitution) was described as wrong.  They told me that if I was accepted I would have to change my behavior.  They said I would have to hide the knowledge of our family’s beliefs from the other students on campus to protect them from getting confused.  Then they rejected me anyway.  Christians think active homosexuals are sinning; evangelical Christians think that Mormons are sinning.  Instead of jumping on the victimization bandwagon and crying ‘hate!’ I’m moving on with the assurance that I think they’re wrong and that they’re simply lacking understanding.  Try it sometime.

I know it doesn’t pay as well as a lawsuit, but it’s the right thing to do.

My coming out post

I’ve decided it’s time for me to come out.  I know, I probably look like I’m just jumping on the bandwagon, since coming out is all the rage these days.  But it’s actually a very personal decision to share these things with everyone.  And I want everyone to know how proud I am of myself for finally deciding to embrace this aspect of my personality, instead of trying to change and bury it as I have for so many years.

I want to start by saying that yes, I was born this way.  I know many will claim that I wasn’t born this way, it was a product of my upbringing or a choice, but I can assure you that I don’t choose to be this way.  I don’t choose to have these feelings and desires.  They are as natural as your desire to sleep or eat.  And I feel them daily.

Some of my family may not be surprised to hear this.  I’m sure some of them knew or suspected as I was growing up, because they spent so much time with me and could see some of the behaviors that indicate I was born with these traits.  I hope they don’t judge me too much.  I know they will still love me.  The fact is, this doesn’t change who I am at all.  I’m the same person I’ve always been.  I have the same feelings and urges.  I’ve just finally decided to stop suppressing them.  I shouldn’t have to change who I am to please anyone else.  I’m glad I’ve come to the realization that I can be who I was born to be, without worrying about being judged or looked down on for something I can’t control.

I also want to address those who would ask if I can just choose not to be who I am.  Really?  Have you ever tried not to be who you are?  It’s easy for you to judge when you’ve never struggled with something on a daily, hourly basis.  The fact is, I have tried to change.  For years I was taught that these natural urges were wrong.  I prayed for help to change.  I prayed for the desires to go away.  I set goals for myself to get through the day without these feelings surfacing.  I tried for years, and yet they were still there.  No matter what I did.  And it was hard!  Every single day I would try, and at the end of the day I would feel like a horrible person because I still wanted to act in a way that everyone around me said was wrong.  But not anymore!  Society has taught me that I should never try to change to please others.  I was born this way, and I’m going to live this way.  I should never have felt bad about myself.  I should never have expended all that effort trying to change who I am.  I am an amazing, bright, vibrant, happy person and I shouldn’t have to spend another minute of my life feeling guilt for just wanting to be myself.

I know this is right.  I’ve prayed for ‘help’ for so long, when all I was really praying for was for God to change who I am.  I’ve finally realized that God made me this way.  Why would He make me this way if He wanted me to be different?  He wouldn’t make people this way if it weren’t a beautiful, wonderful thing.  I feel so much closer to God now knowing that I’ve embraced myself the way He created me.  He loves me, and He will love me more for being true to myself instead of trying to please others who don’t understand.  I’m so much more at peace now, knowing I don’t have to suffer or work every day to try to please society, or my family, or God, by constantly acting in a way contrary to my nature.  

It has taken me almost twenty years to finally accept myself the way I should have always been.  I’m done trying to change.  I’m done trying to please others.  I’m done working every day to suppress my natural desires.  I’m glad I live in a world that has advanced so much toward protecting those who were born expressing themselves ‘differently’ than ‘normal’.  I’m glad I can be protected at my job, that I can be true to myself while interacting with co-workers and customers without any fear of punishment.  I may still be judged for my choices, for a while, but eventually the bigots and fear mongers will be silenced for good.

So I guess I should just come out already.  I am an impatient person.  I get angry quickly, I want to yell at idiots, I want to slap my kids, and I want to tell people when they are being dumb.  I have always been this way, I have always had these urges, and I’m tired of trying to hide it and act in a way that is ‘acceptable’ to old fashioned society.  

I am so Proud I can finally accept myself the way I was born and to finally live in a world that also accepts me!  Thank you for being a part of this.

It’s love, not hate

Let us agree that the following five points are true:

1. Christians believe that engaging in sex with a member of the same sex is sinful.

2. Christians believe that righteousness (following commandments) brings happiness.

3. Christians believe that sin brings misery.

4. If you love someone you want them to be happy.

5. If you hate someone you want them to be miserable.

So, how does one justify the claim that Christians hate homosexuals?  Christians with gay children often want them to change.  They support therapy to help individuals overcome unwanted same sex attraction.  They encourage laws that discourage homosexual behavior.  They fight school curriculum that teach homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality.

That is not hate.  It’s love.

They believe that happiness comes from being righteous, and that unhappiness comes from sinning.  So, any time they try to discourage others to ‘sin,’ it is because they want more happiness in their lives.

Whether or not they are right isn’t what is being debated here.  Homosexuals, of course, think that their lifestyle brings them happiness and that changing will not.  So they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of hate.  But where is the logic in claiming that a group that wants them to change is doing it because they hate them?

When has it ever been accepted that anyone who wants you to change hates you?

I have children.  I LOVE them.  I love them so much I can’t even begin to describe how I feel about them.  All I want for them is for them to be happy.

And yet… I limit their screen time.  I make my 6 year old do math and reading worksheets.  I make them bathe at least three times a week.  I don’t let them eat candy instead of dinner.  I don’t let my youngest children play in the woods alone.  I punish my sons when they scream or hurt their siblings.  I make them pick up their room, and I take away toys when they don’t.  I don’t let them do a ton of things that they want to do.  Things that would make them temporarily happy.  Things that they would definitely enjoy doing.  And I make them do other things that they hate doing.  Things that make them absolutely miserable.

And I’m trying to change them.  I’m trying to change them from selfish, irrational, hyper, loud, violent little creatures into young men and women that will speak kindly to everyone around them, think things through, put others before themselves, never lash out in anger and conduct themselves respectfully.

Why?  Because I love them.

They were born selfish.  Does that mean I should celebrate every selfish act they commit?  They were born with the desire to hit when someone makes them angry.  Should I encourage that behavior?  They were born screaming, and spent the next few years screaming every time they wanted something.  Should I teach them that is the natural way to get what they want?

The idea that loving someone means you should encourage and celebrate every choice they make is absurd.  It isn’t that way in any facet of our lives.  Why would I celebrate something I believe will lead someone to unhappiness?  If one of my children came to me and said they were going to live a gay lifestyle, I would be sad.  I would encourage them to try therapy.  I would ask if they were sure.  Because in my experience and exposure, the choice to live a gay lifestyle will not bring long term happiness.  I’ve seen the STD rates among homosexuals.  I’ve seen the divorce rates among homosexuals.  I’ve seen the frequency of substance abuse and sexual addiction among homosexuals.  And I’ve seen the happiness that comes from making different choices.  I would still love them with every ounce of myself, but I would hope they would make a different choice.  Because I want them to be happy. 

Now, in the world, as Christians conduct business and interact with people around them, they have the freedom to live their religious beliefs.  Those beliefs, whether or not you agree with them is irrelevant, usually include the Biblical belief that homosexual behavior is sinful, and that sin leads to unhappiness.  Some Christians, sure, are more ‘accepting’ and ‘loving.’  They would never dream of telling homosexuals that they are sinning.  I don’t understand why.  That seems like a much less loving position to take.  After all, telling someone that sinning is just fine as long as it is natural and makes them feel good, will simply lead to more sin.  And, therefore, more unhappiness.  (There are also people who claim to be Christian who say things like, “God Hates Fags.”  If a ‘Christian’ says something that is completely contradictory to everything in the Bible, can you do actual Christians a favor and not put them in the same category?)  Christians who express the belief that homosexual behavior is a sin are doing so to warn of what they believe are the natural consequences of sin.  If you were unknowingly driving toward a cliff, would you want someone to tell you to turn?  Who loves you more?  The person who says you should change, or the person who cheers you on in your path?

In every instance I’ve seen where people are accused of bigotry and hate, then sued for their intolerance, they have declined to celebrate a union they find sinful.  They have served homosexuals in the past.  They probably have gay friends or family, as I do.  They simply wanted to not be involved in a ceremony that celebrated and encouraged sin, or didn’t want to be a part of encouraging sinful behavior.  Because they hate gay people?  If they hated the gay people, don’t you think they would be celebrating their sinful behavior?  Don’t you think it would make them happy to see them solemnizing a relationship that would bring them misery?  That’s what hate means, after all.  You hate someone, you want them to be miserable.  You are going to encourage them to do something that you think will make them miserable.  If you love them, you would say something like, “I hope you can find someone else, but I just can’t be a part of this celebration.”

Which is what Christians do.  And the ones that fight against children being taught about homosexuality outside of the home are doing it because they love the children and don’t want them presented with sin as a viable, healthy, natural option.  Because they want them to be presented, instead, with choices that will make them happy.

If you love someone, you want them to be happy.

If you hate someone, you want them to be miserable.

Christians discourage homosexual behavior, and try to avoid involvement in any celebration of or encouragement of said behavior.

Christians do not hate homosexuals.

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