A blast from the past: Jarred suggests taking a stand

Due to online conversations I’ve had over the past week, I was reminded of an entry I wrote on another diary site. I decided to find it and repost it to this blog. As I recall, the topic created quite a stir back in 2004, though most people seemed to applaud my outlook on the matter. And even those who didn’t applaud it tended to have mixed feelings than being completely against my point.

Searching through the Stand To Reason website, (don’t ask why I was there) I found a recommended letter for one to send to gay people who might be visiting your home. I’ve posted the letter below:

Dear ,

I need to let you know that although we love you and look forward to seeing you, we don’t want you to bring your friend with you. We have nothing against him personally. If he were visiting as an individual under other circumstances, that would be another matter. I don’t believe in ostracizing others whose behavior I disagree with.

This situation is different, though. In so far as the two of you are in the relationship you’re in, welcoming you both as a couple would be treating as good and normal a relationship which is neither.

Our concerns may cause you to cancel your visit. I hope not. We’d like to see you. However, in good conscience we must insist on this principle in our home.

I wish I could say that I’m shocked that anyone would even suggest such a letter. Unfortunately, I’m not even mildly surprised. Unfortunately, the extremely conservative Christian elements have a history of these sorts of things. But rather than ranting about it, I decided to simply post my suggested response. It’s the basic response that I would send if anyone was ever foolish enough to send me such a letter.

Dear ,

I am writing to inform you that, as you suspected, i will be canceling my visit to your home. My boyfriend and I are working hard to build a life together, and it is our policy to refuse all invitations where we are not welcome as a couple. This is a principal of our relationship, and we are unwilling to compromise it.

We do not require that people approve of our relationship. We do not require that people like our relationship. However, we do require that people come to terms with our relationship and treat it as an important part of our lives. Your request that I leave my boyfriend at home when I come to visit you makes it clear that you would rather ignore an important part of my life, and I will not accept that. As such, I also wish to inform you that at this time, I find it appropriate to end our friendship.

I’m sure that this decision will shock you, and suspect that you will even think it’s an overreaction to your request. However, I would ask that you consider what you are asking of me and try to put yourself in my shoes. There are many people who disapprove of various relationships for various reasons. Some disapprove of divorcees who remarry. Some disapprove of relationships between people who feel they “married too young” or “got together for the wrong reasons.” The list of reasons that people disapprove of others’ relationships is virtually endless. Now, suppose that someone disapproved of your own marriage for one reason or another. How would you react if that person informed you that you were not welcome in their home as a couple?

You have chosen to put me in that very position. I will not abide by that. As such, I feel it is best to wish you the best in life and part ways.


8 thoughts on “A blast from the past: Jarred suggests taking a stand”

  1. What a great letter. It makes perfect sense to me. I know not all my fellow Christians will agree with me, but I do accept homosexual relationships. I could lie and say I don’t just to avoid arguments with those who disagree (like I used to) but I’ve kinda got over caring what people think, honesty feels way better.

    BTW, One couple I know was together for 55 years, until one of them died. Few hetero marriages last that long. How can that be wrong?

    Anyhow, I agree with you.

  2. Actually, your comment went through just fine, Barbara. My comments script keeps timing out on people, but the comments always get posted. It’s a “known issue.” Unfortunately, everything I’ve tried so far has failed to fix it. I think I need to change hosting providers, but I’m locked in to my current one for another year.

    Thanks for the comments, though!

  3. I am appalled at the suggestion of even sending this kind of letter to ANYONE! How about this: I don’t approve of the color of your wife’s hair, so could you please leave her at home, it just disgusts me!

    Fuc$#ng ridiculous! Ohhh, when will people just let others BE THEMSELVES? Sorry, I’m ranting, but this really pisses me off. I do love your response to this though, better than I would of done!

    Side note: Would you allow me to post this on my Multiply site? I would give you credit for it and post your link in my blog.

  4. Ugh… To the original letter, I mean.

    It would be very hard for me to answer as softly as your reply does–it would be very hard for me to forgive and even try to labor with someone so pig-headedly, self-righteously, benightedly–OK, I’m running out of adverbs here, so it must be time for the adjective–RUDE as that letter is.

    Of course, it’s precisely because there are people willing to stay in dialog with those who are otherwise lost in a fog of self-righteous blindness that opinions, even among evangelical Christians, are changing and shifting. Too slowly, of course, but at least they are changing.

    Case in point: I work in a small rural school. A year or two before I was hired, there was a huge conflict over a grant to buy books for the library that supported tolerance towards GLBTQ students. As might be guessed, the local evangelicals were up in arms.

    As might not be guessed, my school now hosts _both_ an active Gay-Straight Alliance club for students, _and_ a Bible Club.

    And as really might not be guessed, there is overlapping membership. The kids get it. There’s hope! Some days, I have to work to remember that, but it helps me when I do.

    BTW–my favorite advice ever to straight people on the etiquette of dealing with same sex couples comes from Miss Manners herself, Judith Martin, from 20 years ago, when a reader wrote her to ask whatever he should say when introduced to a *gasp* same sex couple?

    Miss Manners replied: “How do you do? How do you do?”

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