Prayers for Bobby

Has there not been enough sorrow, throughout the history of the world, that has been spread about in the sacred name of our Heavenly Father?  Has there not been enough of the Crusades?  Has there not been enough of the Inquisition?  Is there no balm in Gilead which may be applied liberally to those wounds already existing and not only caused to remain open but oft times even exacerbated by the bigotry and prejudice of the world?  How many more words will be uttered in hatred and anger, in the very name of the Prince of Peace?

I just watched the movie Prayers for Bobby, which I recommend to everyone.  It is a touching tale of a young man who is made to feel sinful and unworthy of the love of God due to circumstances out of his control.  His mother, upon discovering that Bobby is oriented homosexually, incessantly reminds her son of the evil nature of homosexuality, posting scriptures all over the house in the attempt to cure him of his sickness.  She takes him to see a psychologist to the same end.  After so much pressure from his family, and being convinced that God does not love him for who he is, Bobby decides that it would be better for him to take his own life.  This is a very touching movie, which I commend to anyone who has not yet seen it.

Now, I appeal to the good heart in each of you.  A vast majority of people reading this will be Christian, and so I appeal to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  The first and great commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor.  All of the teachings of Christianity can be summed up in these two commandments.  Who is my neighbor?  I believe that every soul is my neighbor, but most importantly those who, like the poor man in the parable of the good Samaritan, have been trodden under foot of men, have ben tormented or abused by society.  I feel that it is my duty to defend them from the lashings they so undeservingly receive.

How many times have I ridiculed a person, or a group of people, by saying bigoted, prejudiced, thoughtless, and unkind words?  How many innocent souls have I offended, caused to feel unworthy, and dejected most coldly?  How many times have I stood idly by while allowing others to do a similar thing?  Why did I lack the courage to stand up and say what I felt in my heart?  Why do I so often allow the hurt and pain of the world to perpetuate itself?

I will not let my conscience rest until I can say without any hesitation that there will be no more Bobbies on my account.  I resolve to take a stand for those who are beleaguered by the words and acts of others.  I will not judge one of my dear brothers or sisters for any reason--I will not discriminate against those who are different for any reason.  Those who are of a different color, race, or sexual orientation, those who believe differently than I do, they all have a place here in this world and I mean to do my best to protect any one of them whose place is threatened by the cruel and unfeeling in this world.

I ask each one of you to search your own hearts and ask yourselves how many of the things you say to other people are hurtful.  How much more hurt does there need to be in the world before you turn to the teaching of love and kindness?  How many more innocent young people need to kill themselves before you are willing to see them as your brothers and sisters?  If for no other reason, then for the love of God, please allow other people to be who they really are, without making them feel unworthy of your love or of the love of their Heavenly Father.

I respect the right of every person to hold their own views--on religion, politics, and any other matter--I allow each person the room to believe as they choose and I would not presume to have the authority to dictate to another person what he or she should believe.  If you feel very strongly that you must consider something a sin, then by all means believe it in your own heart.  But, I beg of you, do not cause another soul to hate himself or fall into despair by condemning them.  When Christ was ministering upon the Earth, he spent so much of his time with the sinners--the publicans and harlots--comforting them and forgiving them of their sins.  The harshest words he ever spoke were to those who were self-righteous, who went about condemning other people and informing them of how evil they were for not obeying the commandments.

I do not mean to point the finger of blame at anyone.  I merely mean to state that I will refrain from judging other people, and I ask each of you to do the same.  Of nothing am I more strongly convinced than that God loves each of us and wants us to love one another.