I was watching Glee today, you know the "Grilled Cheesus" episode. At first i couldn't wait for the ensuing ridiculous comedy then it took a serious note, a turn that forced me to think. The recent tragic suicides of six teenage boys struggling to find hope as the world mocked them day after day, is despicable. It breaks my heart to think that life for them is so horrendous and that their vision of the future is so bleak that the best option for them was death. It speaks volumes to the dilemma that our nation is currently facing, a dilemma that unfortunately we are exporting to the rest of the world.
I don't care how religious you are. I don't care if you're Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Buddhist. I don't care if you're not religious, Agnostic or Atheist. The death of a young person is a loss to our society as a whole. The death of a young person filled with innocence and youth is an accounting of our nation's failures. The death of a young person because of hate and intolerance is not just unfortunate but avoidable. The death of a young person shows us all that we have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Kurt, the character in Glee said, "The God that made me this way also tells his believers that being gay is a sin and that I chose to be like this. Who on earth would choose to be mocked every single day of their life?" I have asked that question my entire life. I have struggled with my own inner dragons since some of my earliest memories. These young boys that took their lives were 11, 13, 13, 15, 16, and 18; how on earth does a child choose to be hated? How is it that mere teenagers had the time to elect a life of pain, contemplate its consequences, accept the ridicule and seek an escape, then plot their own death? Why would a capable, fully functioning, happy, well adjusted child choose a life of hardship, isolation, and ridicule? What is so unnatural, evil, and wrong about the inborn characteristics of a tiny child? I have a very difficult time understanding this logic that some leaders and influential individuals use to manipulate their followers as they mandate the destructive and abhorrent policies that have filtered through religion and government.
These men and women that declare that, "homosexuality is a sin" are neither experts nor authorities. They cite research that has been refuted as ill-gotten or out-dated. They cite obscure, singular passages of scripture that are thousands of years old and attract little more than questions and confusion. Their new, western, minority opinion, of centuries ago, has overtaken the philosophies and faith of nearly every other civilization on this planet. The Native Americans embraced homosexuals as healers and seers. Southeast Asian cultures revere their homosexuals as spirits of their ancestors, a doorway to heavens. African cultures looked to their homosexuals as wise men and women rich with insight, counsel, and heeling. Why then does western society insist on vilifying and demonizing those that nearly every other culture considers to be a link to the higher power? Why does Western/Christian society insist on preaching of the inappropriate and unnatural affections of men and women that for all we really know God made this way? Do these men and women declare then that God made a mistake?
I say to you that God made no mistake. God did not err when he put that spark of life within their soul and whispered upon them a blessing of eternal proportions. These young men, whom I have never met, bear the mark and the traits of the meekest among us. And yet our society hates them. God did not permit for temptation to cross their path simply as a trial. He made these young boys as he would have them be. He blessed them with patience, compassion, love and empathy. He blessed them with talent and insight. He endowed them with the heart of a lion and the charity of a dove. These young men were precious. They were loved. They were children of God. Yet men of God call them sinners, abominations, bearing unnatural affection. They call them everything that is wicked and neglect to see the reflection of their creator in their eyes. God made no mistake.
I do not believe that being gay is but a temptation to be overcome. I refuse to believe that being gay is a choice. I do not believe that being gay is an affliction, a condition, a urge, a challenge, or a struggle. I believe that God made men that they might bring praise to Him. I believe that God made men that they might find joy in this life. I believe that God made men that they might aid their brothers to progress towards greatness. God does not make mistakes. I believe that in our modern world God continues to make His most precious souls as men and women that can touch the lives of those around them in the most magnificent manner. I believe that God has made and will continue to make some of his children gay that they might change the world and God does not make mistakes.
I believe that the greatest challenge of this age is overcoming our blindness and our ignorance and acting beyond allegiance and unfounded faith and instead follow the greater good and live life according to the Golden Rule that is so often and so boldly declared as the mantra of Christianity, yet so frequently trampled by those that carry its banner. I believe our greatest challenge is to find humility, withhold judgment, and act with charity in all things. I believe that our modern Western society is failing miserably at being Christian. I believe that our faith has been so perverted by blindness that we neglect the reality of our words and actions. I believe that we are actively and systematically demolishing the lives of men and women that seek only to love and find fairness and equality. I believe that this nation has become so lost in the dogma of the few that we are ready to sacrifice some of our most inestimable lives, even the lives of children, to advance the insane professions of old and foolish men.
God does not make mistakes. He challenges us. He uplifts us. He guides us. This past week six young boys took their lives because they were told even God hated them. God does not make mistakes. These young boys were placed on this earth to make us hear, to make us listen, to make us see, to make us speak out. These young men should not die in vain. They were choice spirits and their memory should not be defiled by the continuation and perpetuation of this nightmare. We cannot continue this pattern, we cannot. God does not make mistakes. He made us all to become our best selves, why then are these young people, and old that are willing to step up and be honest with their families, their peers, their schoolmates, their clergy, their God... why do we desert them and send them out to slaughter? Why do we deny them their equality? Why do we insist on treating them with malice, and ugly judgment? How can this be right? They claim that it is to preserve the family. Every gay man and woman is the son or daughter, brother or sister, aunt or uncle to someone. If that be true, which it is, then what family is being protected by destroying the lives of these individuals?
As I finished the episode of Glee, Sue Sylvester sat with her older sister, who also lives with downs syndrome. They were playing checkers. When Sue asked her sister if she believed in God she replied, "Yes, do you?" Sue frowned, "No." "Why, Sue?" the sister asked, "Why don't you believe in God?" "Because when we were young I idolized you and saw nothing wrong with you, but others didn't see it that way and when I prayed for you to get better, no matter how much I prayed nothing changed and people only became more cruel. So that's why I don't believe in God." Sue's sister looked at her and smiled "God does not make mistakes."
To all those young people, or old that struggle to find peace with themselves, that are disillusioned, and have lost faith in the goodness of humanity; to them I say HOLD ON. You are not evil. Your heart is good. Your soul is precious. You are loved. You are no mistake. You are beautiful. You are talented. You have potential beyond measure. Do not despair. It will get better. I tell you this because I KNOW. I tell you this because i know that God does not make mistakes.