This is a tough subject for me to bring up because I fear I will ostracize some friends from church. It's been the one consistent place that my children and I have felt safe and loved. In a word, it has been our family. Bobby Griffith found safety and love in his family... until he came out as gay.
In the Lifetime movie, Prayers for Bobby, we watch as the loving relationship of a mother and son deteriorate because Bobby's mother Mary thought she could change him through her prayers and chastisement. The phrase "Love the sinner, not the sin" was repeated by all family members whenever conversations would turn to Bobby's lifestyle. Unfortunately, without any compassion or understanding from his family, he lost the place of safety and love in a time when he most needed it.
This week, I had the opportunity to speak with the star of Prayers for Bobby, Sigourney Weaver. I asked her to comment on parents who profess to love their gay children, yet still condemn the "lifestyle."
"You can’t say 'I don’t like the life choices.' It’s not really up to the parent to accept. As a parent, if we insist on our own point of view, without listening, without hearing, and we think our judgment is more important than our love, things can happen that we really don’t want to have happen.
Mary loved Bobby. But she was so frightened by how different their life was going to be. We as parents have to have the courage to send our children off into this world and to trust them and to respect them and their life decisions."
Homosexuality is a tough subject that Christians tend to either yell and argue about or ignore. Some of us, however, accept that this is all part of nature, and as we used to say when we were kids, "God doesn't make mistakes." Others don't stop there, but actually minister to gay youth and visit AIDS hospices. When I see people turn away from our gay brothers and sisters, I'm always reminded of a line from a favorite worship song: "If we are the body, why are our hands not healing?"
As Prayers for Bobby unfolds, Mary gets to know a pastor that ministers to the gay community and introduces her to PFLAG where she begins to see that she had been wrong about her son all that time. It's a heart wrenching story, but one that needs to be told if there is to be more compassion and understanding.
Prayers for Bobby was just released on DVD and available for purchase as of December 14th. On our call, Ms. Weaver was passionate about getting this movie out to as many people as possible, especially now with the uptick in cyber-bullying and teen suicides of gay youth. I believe that if enough moms watched this movie with their families, the tide might turn away from hate and ignorance and towards healing and compassion.
GIVEAWAY: I have five copies of Prayers for Bobby to give away. Just leave me a comment below and you're in for the running. Winners will be chosen Sunday, December 19.
PS: Haters will be deleted and blocked. It's my blog. I make the rules here.