Some Christian Parents Do Harm To Their LGBT Children

When the daughter of a well know conservative Christian learns she is attracted to same sex, what happens? There are, of course, many different reactions. The sad fact is suicide rates among gay children whose parents reject them is among the highest of all groups.

A book just published was written by such a woman who made it through to a happy other side. Today she lives with her wife. But, she has no contact with her family including siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. They have decided their religious views are more important than their love for her. This is the kind of rejection that  often ends in suicide.

I’ve know many gay men and women whose parents have rejected them. I’ve had email and personal conversations with parents who have rejected their children. Without exception, they are proud they rejected them and are annoyed when I tell them they will one day regret this.

In the Orthodox Jewish sect rejection of children who leave or marry outside the faith is part of the faith’s rules. It is really hard to hear about it in Protestantism.

A theme common in these rejections is the parents’ concern about how their circle of friends and business associates will treat them. It is not about how the gay adult children are treated.

The only positive thing is that society moves ahead, even if some stubborn parts don’t. Rejected children find others to support them and go on with successful lives.

31 Responses

  1. Jay

    Can’t you write anything without bashing Christian’s in some way? Every time I look on the forum online you are writing about what Christians do wrong. Like no other religion does anything wrong including your beloved Atheists religion.

    1. Jay 9:07 Hi and thanks for commenting.

      Take a look at Area Voices’ category, “Religion” or “Faith” and you will find a dozen or two bloggers extolling the virtues of Christianity. There is but one, mine, expressing skepticism. If you want to read good things about Christianity it is available.

      1. Rob

        Still waiting for that first blog entry extolling the virtues of atheism…
        None of those other bloggers spend any time ripping on atheism using anecdotal evidence and small minority examples to make broad based points.
        So again, let’s hear some uplifting stories of atheism instead of just religion bashing.

        1. Jay

          Agreed!!! I guess Jon doesn’t get it based on his reply. All he is doing is turning people off to what he believes. I guess that is what Atheism is about – BASHING other religions. I mean if that is all it is about, then I say leave it alone because there is enough negativity in the world. And I guess all Atheist are negative. That is what I take away from his column.

          1. Jay, the vast majority of Christians have left this blog because of the constant put-down by Jon and his cohorts. There is little to no rationality in his arguments or demeanor. For example, he is for abortion at any time in the baby’s development. His argument always boils down to (1) only religion defines life as from conception, and (2) two cells are not a human being. He ignores science and the scientific definition of life. He ignores the fact that a human being is probably only 2 cells for a second before it becomes 4, 8, 16, etc. He ignores pre-natal pain. Then add on homosexuality, marriage, sin, God, Jesus, etc. and he runs the table of topics and then starts over. Never a word of the virtue of atheism (there is none) or the scandals of the secular world. I would advise not arguing with Jon. It is pointless.

          2. Matt 9:59 He ignores the fact that a human being is probably only 2 cells for a second before it becomes 4, 8, 16, etc.

            You present such a devastating argument. Because of it, I’m considering dropping my reference to ridiculous arguments pro life nut cases use that one fertilized cell is a human being. Would you be happier if I would point out the obvious that claiming 16 cells is a human being is ridiculous.

            On reflection, the claim that 16 cells is a human being is just as ridiculous as claiming one fertilized cell is a human being. I guess I stick with one cell because its easier to write.

      2. Jay

        Jon – the issue is they are not ripping into other religions. Why don’t you try to describe what Atheism does well or how it benefits the community? I would think you should be able to tell the community that. Because right now I would say the vast majority of people in the community and elsewhere would turn away from Atheism when all they hear is the bashing of another religion as you do.

        1. Jay 7:30 Because right now I would say the vast majority of people in the community and elsewhere would turn away from Atheism when all they hear is the bashing of another religion as you do.

          I agree the vast majority of people would answer yes if asked, “Are you religious?” and no if asked, “Are you an atheist?” Babies are born into a society which is Christian and the majority, after persuasion, come to agree with the majority.

          The percentage who say they are affiliated with no organized religion is growing rapidly. It is about the same, 20 some percent, as the percentage who attend church regularly. The percentage of atheists is growing slowly and the percentage who call themselves Christian is falling.

          This blog is not here to extol the virtues of atheism, it is here to present evidence. Humans, without the help of religions, are able to organize and go forward successfully. There is no evidence of a god or gods. There is no evidence a god helped write the Bible. One can see in the Bible it was written by wealthy men wanting to control others at that time.

          I hope you continue to comment here.

          1. Jay

            Jon at 9:40 – “This blog is not here to extol the virtues of atheism, it is here to present evidence” As you say. But there is no evidence in the entire blog post about the harm children have done to them. Sounds like you confirmed my early point. The slowness of people accepting Atheism is probably due to the fact that all the people of that belief (or non-belief) can only bash others for their beliefs.

          2. Jay 9:46 The slowness of people accepting Atheism is probably due to the fact that all the people of that belief (or non-belief) can only bash others for their beliefs.

            You might be right, but it’s not an issue that interests me. What is interesting to me is that the percentage of Christians in the U.S. and Europe is falling. Why is this happening? Maybe you could fill us in? Following your logic the reason is that atheism has been bashed from pulpits for 2,000 years and in the modern news media. Why do preachers spend time bashing atheists instead of preaching about their no-evidence message you never have to die?

          3. Jay

            Jon 9:56 – A person that assumes something like the comment –> following my logic Atheist been bashing for 2000 year is totally off subject and not logical. How you came to that conclusion does not validate your point. It was never said or even hinted towards that I said this has been going on for any length of time. In fact in history there has been may uprising in the Christian faith where people increased the following of Christ, instead of decreasing. Think of the Crusades. It typically happens when you are persecuted but happens in other times.

            And again when you say there is no evidence for preacher to show me, again shows that Atheism with no evidence is no better. Where is there the evidence that there is no God or the Bible was written by Wealthy men? You haven’t advised it one time in the blogs that I have seen your evidence. Not one irrefutable fact that is unarguably correct – not opinions or hearsay.

            You know I have been listening to preachers for well over 15 years or more, and not once have I heard them bash another religion let alone an Atheist or their beliefs. Maybe you listen to Youtube where there are extreme preachers or what not, but the local ones I listen to here in the FM community and also others I listen to, typically from larger churches in the US, and I have yet to hear it. They talk about sin and people that live in sin, but they don’t tie it the person belief whatever it may be. Maybe you are confusing the two.

            And I hope you don’t honestly think humans are without fault and are absolutely perfect. So for preachers to talk about these things to remind you of the human state is acceptable.

            And you really have to get off the high horse of people controlling others argument. If you want to seriously address that issue you start with the government, not religion. Because as you state if religion is falling to the wayside, then really how much control does religion establishment have? They certainly don’t have control like they did in Paul’s day.

            You still haven’t offered one bit of evidence for the blog post as I mentioned earlier. You can keep trying to change the subject but I think anyone reading the blog and comments will come to the same conclusion – there is no evidence. Not even an excerpt from the book you noted. Please enlighten us followers of the Christian faith, with some evidence. It is only fair since that is what you want preachers to show you about the evidence of God. I would think your task is much simpler – evidence of Christian parents harming their children when they are of the gay community.

          4. Jay 10:41 I pointed out to you the atheist argument in my most recent reply. Humans have shown they can organize successful societies without religion. One kind of evidence is that their are thousands of religions. That is, Christianity is one of thousands of religions. These religions have nothing in common except followers think there is some kind of superior being that is invisible. Religions that worship actual living deities often die when the deity dies or attribute living and super natural qualities to deity after it dies. The deities are so different they cancel each other out. Another modern bit of evidence is Europe where religion is now polling minority. Europe is doing fine.

            But, Christianity, and other religions, will not leave society alone. It insists on putting it myths into laws. We have laws about the religious belief in fetuses. We have attempts at laws about religious beliefs about gays. Some places laws are that they should be killed. The point is religion is not a necessity. It wastes money and time that could be used to make lives better.

            Now, if individuals want to spend their time and money on religion, I don’t object. It is when they want my time and money spent on their religion I object. The point of this blog is not to convince you that you should become an atheist. It is to convince you your religious views are fine for you but they should not be in laws nonbelievers are forced to follow.

            I think that ends our conversation.

          5. Juan Ruiz

            “not once have I heard them bash another religion ”

            They don’t have to; the criticism is implicit and explicit in their doctrines.

            Take the concept of authority. The Catholics have Apostolic Succession; only they have their god’s imprimatur dating back to Peter. Then read Luther, Calvin, and the other early Protestants on the matter. The Mormons have the Great Apostasy, which is why you have to be re-baptized to join them; the first time did not carry their god’s agreement.

            So it’s not necessary to bash. Non-Catholics can’t take Communion in a Catholic church. Missouri Synod Lutherans can’t even commune with other Lutherans. But this lack of ecumenicism dates back to the beginning, with Paulines, Aryans, Docetists, and many other Christian sects.

    2. Jay

      @Juan Ruiz 11:40AM.

      Let’s first take Explicit as you said – which means “stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt” That clearly says that it should come out of ones mouth for this to be applied. Again I have not heard a preacher say it thus you can’t assume like you are that is bashing Atheism (bashing – means a public criticism). Thus explicit does not apply as they would have to publicly criticize Athesim.

      Now on to Implicit meaning ‘with no qualification question’; ‘absolute or implied though not plainly expressed’. So now you are giving a bunch of example that contradict this meaning. The items you mentioned are written down so that wouldn’t fall into the implied though not plainly expressed. I would think if it was written down and there is an actual process one must follow as you mentioned – re-baptized for one, the concept of authority to have authority and so on, then that seems to me very plain and verbose in what is needed and is not implied.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        As I said, the bashing does not have to be overt when the congregation is already aware of the opinion one denomination/religion has toward another. They have grown up with it from Sunday School. Whether it be transubstantiation, papal infallibility, the Word of Wisdom, predestination…whatever. Interior support or disdain are already there.

        1. Jay

          So now your saying they are bashing Atheism (or anything other belief/non belief) because of their own religious practices like transubstantiation. Doesn’t that go against Atheism? After all, from what I hear especially from freethinkers, is people should be allowed to do what they want. Now you are trying to say that these religious people, like Catholics can’t do something among themselves without your approval, or at least without you saying they are bashing you. Maybe you shouldn’t worry about a preacher bashing the religion (or your non belief in one) and highlight the good things about your beliefs (or non beliefs), which goes back to my very first point in this entire blog post….

        2. Jay

          Furthermore, if you get hung up on so called bashing because of someone else’s opinion I would question your own belief system first rather than someone else’s.

          1. Juan Ruiz

            I do not believe I have mentioned atheism. I have simply talked about how Christians treat each other. Which has not been particularly cordial. Deal with that, before you talk about atheists.

        3. Jay

          So what you are saying is that Christians should be this perfect example to each other. Well that premise fails automatically because no faith can make you treat each other cordially. You are asking the impossible. Everyone has an opinion and various cultures add to the problems. The original post I made was because of the constant barrage of garbage from the blog owner where he should focus on a more positive tone.

  2. Catcher

    I can’t help but think “some” non-Christian and “some” atheist parents may be just as harmful to their LGBT children. Not necessarily for the same reasons, but just as harmful.

    1. entech

      It is true that any parents can be harmful to their children simply by rejection.
      I don’t belong to any freethinker/atheist groups but I can imagine “some” atheists being as awful to their children that decide to take up a religious vocation.

      It seems apparent to me that in many cases it involves some kind of reciprocity, that the parent rejects the child that rejects their values is apparent – thinking along the lines; I hate homosexuals and because you embrace them means that in turn you hate me: you are only homosexual because you hate me, it is so wrong that there ca be no other reason.
      Rather like Jay, because you don’t praise Christians means whatever.

      A theme common in these rejections is the parents’ concern about how their circle of friends and business associates will treat them. It is not about how the gay adult children are treated. You have hit it on the head here Jon. The Beatles in one of their songs had it right – “how could she do this to us”.

  3. Juan Ruiz

    A central characteristic of many religions is their desire to control individuals, from their theological beliefs to what they do in the bedroom. One means of this is through the threat of cutting them off from the faith…and their family and friends. Sometimes it’s called excommunication, others disfellowship, still others sitting shiva. The result is official shunning. It’s seen in the JWs, the Amish, LDS, and other groups. My great-aunt went through it when she converted from Lutheranism to marry a Catholic in the 1860s. My great-grandmother had to see her in secret, as her parents had disowned her.

    1. Catcher

      Juan @ 9;10; From the time of the Reformation, ie the Book of Concord, there is no dogma stating or demanding shunning for leaving the faith, or otherwise. But some families or cultures may have practiced pietistic excess of their own invention.. However prudence would suggest men stay away from whore houses.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        You do not deny shunning has been a strategy of certain religions, because you cannot. And those religions continue to practice it. From JWs to Amish to Mormons, and on.

        1. Catcher

          @ 4;48; “deny”? Of course not. You introduced your Great Aunt. I was referring to your family problem. of the 1860’s See my 4;36

  4. Henry

    Jon:“The sad fact is suicide rates among gay children whose parents reject them is among the highest of all groups.”

    The situation isn’t as black-and-white as you present. Mental illness is very high within the homosexual population. What is first, the chicken or the egg? Is homosexuality a byproduct of the mental illness or vice-versa due to society being “bad” to homosexuals? I would say the former. The latter is not realistic. Reparative therapy or any other kind of therapy is risky with that specific population. Treat them with kid gloves. Gently…gently. Everyone must do their part.

      1. Chuck Z

        “I have two businesses that are failing! Please give me $50k so that I may keep them failing!”

        And then the first thing he does with money that he’s received is pays somebody’s water bill?

        I’m going to go out on a limb here……You’re failing businesses aren’t due to “bad luck”. They are due to poor money management, and the fact that you seem to know nothing about running a business.

        1. Chuck Z 6:07 You’re failing businesses aren’t due to “bad luck.”

          I thought that story was peculiar too. He said he was having trouble keeping on business afloat so he thought opening a restaurant would “stabilize” his situation. I can’t think of a more risky business than a restaurant.
          President Nixon used a phrase I’ve always liked, “woolly thinking.”

  5. Wolfy32

    Christianity obviously has varying degrees of control through fear mongering. Whether it’s if you come out as Gay we’ll shun you (or take you in as a priest and authority on God.) However, even greater is the rule through fear by some groups. Take pentecostals and evangelical Christians (how I was raised). At the forefront was the rapture. As a kid, every Sunday I was told how one day in the blink of an eye as much as half the world could be taken to the sky to meet God. Doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing could just be snatched up. Parents, friends, family, etc.

    Of course as a child, one assumes they wouldn’t be included in this or “good enough” (after being told 3 times on Sunday and on Wednesday nights of how evil people are and horrible they are in God’s eyes) one has no reason but to assume they would be left behind to deal with the end of the world. How frightening and traumatizing to a 5, 6, 7, 8 year old to be told every week that their parents could just vanish. Where would a child go, and if that wasn’t bad enough. Those left behind would be left to deal with torture and beheading, etc.

    I asked the question of where would I go, if I got a response it was “To the clouds” where would we be? who would we be with: with “God” “in the clouds or the sky.”

    Umm, that doesn’t make me feel better. I’m terrified of heights so standing on a cloud would be terrifying.

    There were no good options other than to question the religion itself… Otherwise, being snatched out of life and taken to stand on the clouds is terrifying in every way. Being left here to deal with being tortured and eventually beheaded was equally as terrifying.

    Some religions force people out by their extreme thinking, whether it’s through rejecting their children or through telling their children they could be abandoned at some point and that point could happen day and any time of day. IMagine the fear of a 9, 10 year old walking home from School and waiting from 3:00 to 4:30 not knowing if either of their parents would come home from work or not every single day? The anxiety and turmoil that would create in a child. I don’t ask myself why I’m anxious, but how would anyone not have anxiety growing up in that constant fear.

    I think the constant fear of rejection because of one’s sexuality would be no different. So, yes, there would be mental issues higher in the LGBT community simply from living in fear for so long.

Comments are closed.