I have been reading posts and listening to the funeral sermon for Lee Davonport. I never had the pleasure of visiting his blog. First I read about him at Culture Choc then at Franiam. Fran led me to My Manner of Life where I read the following comment from Lee.
"For many years, I have dealt with feelings of self-loathing, primarily because I never lived up to my parents' rigid standards and, more recently, because I committed the ultimate betrayal, coming out to them as what Dad calls a "queer" in an effort to shame and hurt. But his words don't shame and hurt. He's not my judge, and neither are the people who would deny me the right to be exactly the person God created me to be."
At the same time I have been reading comments on Preludium, Madpriest and Thinking Anglicans about whether Liberals can be as nasty as Conservatives.
A particular commenter has been Obadiah Slope who I know to be from the Diocese of Sydney. I do tend to see red when the so called Anglican Diocese of Sydney is mentioned.
Much of it comes from my anger at the damage evangelical teaching has done to so many young gay people.
While Lee seemed to have a lot of problems, the condemnation of his parents was certainly one of them.
In the film 'The Bible Tells Me So' I was most moved by one lady who is now working for gay acceptance in the church but only after her daughter committed suicide. The mother had rejected her daughter.
Similarly the book 'Prayers for Bobby', recently made into a TV documentary not yet shown in Australia, tells the story of a mother who, guided by her church, condemned her son and only came to realise how wrong it was after he committed suicide.
One of my closest friends has a gay son who only came out to his family later in life because he expected condemnation from his church going parents and siblings. Fortunately he was wrong and today his father is very active in working for gay acceptance in his church but laments the fact that his son (unlike his other children) has left the church. When we were together at university, the father had been liberal in his religious views and I had worried about the state of his soul, how ironic.
I have a number of friends from my evangelical days at Sydney University who, I now know, were struggling like me with the conflict between their sexuality and their religion. One committed suicide, most of the others rejected the church.
I do not blame the parents who have learnt so tragically. I do blame and will continue to react in anger to those who continue to preach their dogmatic views.
Thankfully when I was in great conflict over my sexuality, I had the complete love and support of my Mother (I never told my Father). Many times, when I thought death would be the easy way out, the thought of what it would do to Mum held me back.
My Mother never understood and preferred not to talk about it but I know she had a long talk about me with my sister a few days before she died. She was so concerned I would be alone in the world. Her love for me overrode any teachings she heard from the church. Sadly other parents do not see things that clearly.
My prayers for Lee and his children and for all young gay people who do not receive the support of their parents.
Church Times on See of Llandaff
1 hour ago