My father posted this on Facebook a few days ago. I was deeply touched by his words and wanted to share them here.
This post is FYI to give you a little bit of insight on how I feel and why I avoid strong opinions on some issues..this is a subject I am very touchy on so if you chose to read on you might keep that in mind..I will ask God’s forgiveness in advance if these words are out of line..some of you know but many of you don’t..my Son, Brian, is gay..I was 18 when Brian was born..he was my baby boy..his mother and I had a rocky relationship and I was too young and immature to be a good husband or father..I didn’t spend as much time at home with my little family as I should have..I detected he was different early on and I would sometimes try to toughen him up and try to force him to be manly..to be honest..at that age I didn’t really know what it really meant or involved to be gay..(I actually didn’t but I found out soon enough to became the typical homophobe)..but I thought daddys were supposed to teach their sons to be manly and that is what I tried to do as years passed..this caused some distance to come between us as he was growing up..he was treated differently by some..a few students and adults along the way were a bit hard on him at times because of his “difference”..Brian was sweet, smart and fun..his friends loved him dearly..they still do..he’d scream like a girl if startled..he can dance like all get out and will do so with complete abandon at the drop of a hat.. and he has a voice as pure and sweet as any you will find on stage..he loves people young and old..he loves God..he loves deeply and completely..he cannot stand to see anyone mistreated..his word is pure gold and if I had a trunk full of gold I would trust him with it..I never could nor can I now detect any speck of dishonesty in his make up..one Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1994 (he was 18) I spoke harshly to him..He and my son-in-law had ridden up to the neighbor’s to look at some livestock and the old man had mistakenly thought he was a girl..he told me about it and for some reason I reacted harshly..much too harshly..some of you will say “some times tough love is required”..(we do not have the qualifications to exercise tough love..that is God’s business)..later on that evening he overdosed on some of his mom’s prescription meds..we were able to get him to the ER in time to save him..he was required to attend counseling and was able to find the courage to tell us a couple months later about his sexuality..I was deeply impacted..changed forever..if you have similar experience you know..if not then you don’t..if you don’t then you need to either choose your words carefully or keep them to yourself..I love Brian..I respect him as no other human..he is now 2 years older than I was when I found out he was gay..38..I never caught him in a lie..I never doubted his word..I never had a reason..I look up to him..he has taught me more than anyone..now just ponder this a moment..you say it is a choice..he says it is not..whom am I going to believe?..he is gay..you are not..and if you insist that it is a choice then you must tell me when you made your choice..and how did it go?..did you look at the menu and think..hmmm..same sex?..opposite sex?..tough choice..if you are truly honest and truly believe it is by choice then you must have had to make one yourself..hopefully that is all I will have to say on this subject..
This is really moving. He points out how many Christians say “love the sinner, hate the sin” while Jesus said to love the sinner and hate your own sin.
The new tower at Ground Zero might be the tallest in New York City, but due to a recent decision to eliminate the cladding from the antenna, its future as the tallest in the United States is in doubt. The top of the building was recently redesigned in order to shave several million off of the final price tag and make the structure easier to maintain.
The changes have riled many skyscraper enthusiasts who find the new design far from aesthetically-pleasing. While I initially agreed with the negative remarks, I was also never very enthused about the design of the original spire. Downgrading it to a simple antenna makes the building more reminiscent of the North World Trade Center tower that was lost on 9/11. I will reserve judgment on the building’s appearance until it is completed.
The main downside to the redesign is the building may not be able to include the antenna in its overall height. The skyscraper was originally intended to have a spire topping out at a symbolic 1776 feet, but while the height of spires are included because they are considered a permanent part of a structure, antennas are not.
UPDATE: In a press release dated November 12, 2013, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced they would include the unclad spire in the final architectural height of 1WTC, thereby officially making it the tallest building in the United States.
I’m angry because straight people get to vote on whether or not gay people can get married.
I’m angry because discrimination against the LGBT community is acceptable in our society.
I’m angry because young gay people commit suicide after being bullied by their peers.
I’m angry because I can’t marry my partner of seven years.
I’m angry because so many people are so happy to go down on the wrong side of history.
I’m angry because Obama won’t speak up for what he believes in out of fear he won’t win re-election.
I’m angry because religion creates more conflicts than converts.
I’m angry because for every step forward, we have to take two steps backward.
I’m angry because I work hard, pay taxes, and abide by the law, but I’m treated as a second-class citizen by my government.
I’m angry because it’s 20-freaking-12 and I still have so much to be angry about.
Love is action. Love is tolerance. Love is learning your partner’s love language and then expressing love in a way that he can receive. Love is giving. Love is receiving. Love is plodding through the slow eddies of a relationship without jumping ship into another’s churning rapids. Love is recognizing that it’s not your partner’s job to make you feel alive, fulfilled, or complete; that’s your job. And it’s only when you learn to become the source of your own aliveness and are living your life connected to the spark of genius that is everyone’s birthright can you fully love another.
Sheryl Paul, ‘What Is Love’
Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.
By stating that it is when a couple falls out of love that they may begin to really love I am also implying that real love does not have its roots in a feeling of love. To the contrary, real love often occurs in a context in which the feeling of love is lacking, when we act lovingly despite the fact that we don’t feel loving.
M. Scott Peck, ‘The Road Less Traveled’
Being gay or lesbian is not a choice. The choice is in living an authentic life that gives witness to the love of God in and through all our relationships. Marriage is the highest of those relationships.
Rev. Dr. Robert Apgar-Taylor