We’re told that a couple years back a guy used to come to my wife’s church who was gay. Until they ran him off. They didn’t really run him out on a rail. More like they just implemented a program of systematically ignoring him until he got the message and stopped coming. They’re quite proud that they managed to get rid of him “without having said anything rude to him, or anything.”
During the time that “that man” was coming, one family that had been sending their children to Sunday School at the church stopped sending them. That’s one of the “reasons” given for needing to make that man go away. “Families won’t send their kids to a church where there are gay people, because they might turn the children gay.”
One of those kids is now the same age as our kid (8- and 9-year olds). He’s a total little shit. This morning, after worship, they were running around downstairs. The other kid does some hip gyrations and bends over with his lips puckered up and says, “What’s this?” My kid along with the others shouts, “It’s a gay guy kissing another guy.”
I pulled my kid aside and told him that what he was doing was totally inappropriate and to get ready to go. When we got home, I asked him who had taught him to make fun of gay people. “I don’t know,” my kid said. “Tim was saying all that.”
“Well Tim needs to get his head out of his ass,” I told my kid. “That’s just plain mean and you’re never, ever to say things like that. That’s not even a little bit funny, and if Tim starts talking like that again, you tell him it’s not and he’d better cut it out.” I think my kid got the message. I’m just hoping it sticks.
I’m not sure that I’m ready to take my kid back to Sunday School there. It may be time to start visiting different churches on Sundays – or doing Sunday School at home. My wife says she’ll have a talk with Tim next week about his gay-bashing. I’m glad she’s volunteered to do it. It certainly needs done, and she’ll do it in a more helpful way than I probably would. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stopped coming after that talk, though, which would open a whole other can of worms. Whether we go back is still in the air for me, though.
Of course, our kid is going to pick up these things sooner or later. I wouldn’t doubt that he’s probably seen it in school already. We’d have to be dealing with it one way or another. I’m just saying, he shouldn’t be learning it in church.
Photo credit: Kate Hiscock