To be sure, religious conviction has accomplished some wonderful things for people. But boy oh boy, has it also messed up a lot of lives and relationships.
A thread on Reddit features a long history of parental abuse directed toward a gay son, and it is some really difficult reading. The thread appeared on the r/exmormon subreddit, and never before was there a clearer portrait of how harmful, cruel, and downright weird religion can be.
“I am happy and living my big, gay life, but some wounds never go away,” the OP writes. Clearly those wounds have lingered, if he’s keeping a running list of his families abuses. Here are some highlights:
- “There’s no such thing as being gay. Men only become gay when they go to prison. Or sometimes in the Navy.”
- “You can’t expect us to want you around us. I mean, we have grandchildren!”
- “It is the very worst sin. It would be better for you to be dead than to be gay. This is the very worst thing you could do to your brothers and sisters. Honestly, it would be better for you to kill them than for you to be gay.”
- “You won’t be with us in the Celestial Kingdom, so why should we spend any time together now?”
- “We know this is a choice. It’s in the scriptures. The prophet teaches it. Do you really think you’re smarter than the prophet?”
A response to that last point might be, “yes, and I am also smarter than the Trix bunny, because they are both fictional characters.”
At any rate, there was an outpouring of compassion and support from other redditors — you know, the values that religion is supposed to instill — and the happy ending to all this is that the OP is happily gay-married and has more or less accepted his family’s flaws even if they haven’t accepted him.
The true problem here, of course, is the harm of organized religion — though this fellow may have forgiven his family, there are a lot of other kids out there being abused by Mormon (and other) parents because a religious structure has told them it’s ok to do so.