Recently I had a chat with a friend who has issues with her family. Namely, her family accepting certain choices she’s made that they shouldn’t raise an issue about, but do anyway. It got me thinking…
Having come from families, one biological, the other adoptive, that are extremely “““““““traditional”””””” in their beliefs and values (and by traditional I mean religious ultra right-wing), I can understand the feeling of not being accepted by family. I became someone who doesn’t listen to Fox News and talk radio, and likes to check my facts every once in a while. When this happened 7 years ago, it resulted in many of my friends walking out of my life and my adoptive parents saying I can’t live with them anymore. You know, just like what Jesus would do.
Evolutionarily speaking, but more importantly, morally speaking, family should never do this. Ever. Unless your child actually becomes evil and deserves to be locked up for the rest of their lives, of course. Family ought to be the one thing you never lose. The one thing. My friend didn’t lose her family, per se, but many people all around the world do, simply because they turned out to be ‘different’. I hear it happening most of all (Sharia Law countries aside) in the families of gay people. Another friend of mine, who is gay, avoids her family because they’re almost identical to mine in that way.
This isn’t me bashing religion again, though I’d never apologize for doing so. No, this is a simple statement about taking care of your kin. People are people, and sometimes they believe things, or are into things, that aren’t conventional. I think to at least some degree, everyone has a characteristic or two that they hide from the world to avoid being rejected by society, or their family. I’m glad gay people are now widely accepted, and their place in society is far less of a problem now. But it doesn’t matter how different someone is. We all need family. We all need people who don’t throw us away no matter what. Of course that isn’t the same as enabling bad behavior, if the issue is some variety of bad behavior. It’s just very simply understanding that we’re all different.
What do parents like these think? That their child needs to wind up being an exact replica of them? Do they really think so highly of themselves to think their children have to become just like them?
If my kid turned out to be gay, or underwent a sex change, or even became devoutly religious, I still wouldn’t even come close to rejecting them. They’d be my kid. My baby. What would disowning them, distancing myself from them, or harassing them about their lifestyle accomplish?
Nothing, that’s what. So why do it? To these people who treat their family this way for reasons less than criminal, I have to ask: Does family matter to you or not?
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