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26 April 2009

Homophobia Kills

Our children are killing themselves because they believe that they are better off dead than living in the world we have created.

They would rather be anything - including dead at their own hands - than to have one more person call them by a gay slur.

They know that their parents will hate them, that God will hate them and they already hate themselves.

It doesn't and shouldn't matter that they are not gay or straight or even aware of their God-given sexual orientation.

They are children.

And so are their tormentors.

Their tormentors are other children who have been steeped in the homophobia - no homohatred - some say misanthropy that pervades our society, homes and congregations.

These children have been taught to hate as agents of our society.

They are our enforcers.

Children are flexible.

They can be retrained, retaught.

Children can be taught to love themselves and other people.

But they must be taught by people who love themselves and other people.

Perhaps the most difficult task of all is reaching a child who is not yours, whose parents, family, culture and congregation present a united front of hate and spiritual violence, sanctioning physical violence.

Train your children in the right way,

and when they are old, they will not stray.

Train your children in homophobia and hatred,

and when they are old, their hatred will become greater.

Train your children in loving-kindness, and when they are old,

they will love others and perform acts of kindness.

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