If you vigorously disagree with me
If you vigorously disagree with anything written in this website, do not be surprised at this. Take comfort that there are millions of others who are locked into a “total war against the homosexual minority” [302,000 Google hits]. But a sustained war can be debilitating, and there is a sane wisdom in the admonition of Jesus to “love your enemies” (Matt 5:44, Did. 1-3). So, while you are thinking of the kind of refutation that you’d like to prepare, give a thought also to the kinds of experiences that you might want to gain for yourself by visiting a support group and finding out first-hand what gays and lesbians really think about themselves.
Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium: “Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God” (§272). The pope further reminds us that “A Church which goes forth is a Church whose doors are open. Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others [who are already close at hand].” (§46).
Preparing yourself for visiting a support group
Consider doing an online search using the search phrases “lesbian support group” or “gay support group.” Pick out a “group” that fits into your comfort zone. When I did my online search using Google, I adding the word “*Cincinnati” so as to insure that my initial hits were local. I received 728 hits for lesbian groups and 6200 hits for gay support groups. I chose to introduce myself as “a straight interested in better understanding the lives of gays and lesbians.” You might want to do something like this for yourself so as to avoid setting up any false pretenses.
Bring a friend to the first meeting if the thought of being the sole interloper makes you uneasy. My hunch is that you will be amazed. I myself received a warm welcome, and I didn’t have to pretend that I had any homosexual leanings to earn that welcome.
After your second meeting, I invite you to write a reflection on your experience and send it to me at Aaron@Jesus4Lesbians.com with the words “second meeting” in the subject line. I will be glad to hear from you, to learn from your experiences, and to give you a reply.
If you are a parent and are very much troubled by the experience of Gloria and Tony that I narrated above, then you most definitely will want to find yourself a “Parent Support Group” like the one advertised above.
God wants to return you and your beloved child to a place of peace and love. Be prudent and realistic. Priests and pastors are sometimes very poorly equipped to be of help in this matter. Confide in your priest or pastor if you must, but don’t make the mistake of implementing any of their advice before having tested it out within your Parent Support Group first. Your child is too precious to risk by making repeated mistakes. In the end, you will find little consolation in the fact that the pope is infallible if you get trapped into being excessively rigid or excessively lax when it comes time for loving your child with the same unconditional love that you have received from your heavenly Father. God is love.