Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prayers For Bobby

Last night I watched the movie Prayers For Bobby. It was a Lifetime movie and as you can probably guess it was pretty sentimental. I related a lot to the movie, not so much with my parents but with just the general attitude of people about gays and lesbians and I definitely related to Bobby and his feelings. One part of the movie really got to me - that was when Mary made a speech to the Walnut City Council. Below is a video of the speech from the movie and the transcript.

" 'Homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuals are doomed to spend eternity in hell. If they wanted to change, they could be healed of their evil ways. If they would turn away from temptation, they could be normal again. If only they would try and try harder if it doesn't work. '

These are all of the things I said to my son Bobby when I found out he was gay. When he told me he was homosexual, my world fell apart. I did everything I could to cure him of his sickness.

Eight months ago, my son jumped off a bridge and killed himself. I deeply regret my lack of knowledge of gay and lesbian people. I see that everything that I was taught and told was bigotry and dehumanizing slander. If I had investigated beyond what I was told, if I had just listened to my son when he poured his heart out to me, I would not be standing here today with you filled with regret.

I believe that God was pleased with Bobby's kind and loving spirit. In God's eyes, kindness and love is what's it's all about. I didn't know that each time that I echoed eternal damnation for gay people, each time I referred to Bobby as sick and perverted and a danger to our children, his self-esteem and his sense of worth were being destroyed. Finally, his spirit broke beyond repair.

It was not God's will that Bobby climbed over the side of a freeway overpass and jumped directly into the path of an 18 wheel truck which killed him instantly. Bobby's death was the direct result of his parents ignorance and fear of the word gay.

He wanted to be a writer. His hopes and dreams should not have been taken from him but they were. There are children like Bobby sitting in your congregations.

Unknown to you, they will be listening as you echo 'Amen' and that will soon silence their prayers. Their prayers to God for understanding and acceptance and for your love. But your hatred and fear and ignorance of the word 'gay' will silence those prayers.

So, before you echo 'Amen' in your home and place of worship, think. Think and remember that a child is listening."

Mary Griffiths

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