**NOTE**: This OP is only something of a “preamble” to the true story that will follow in the main body of the thread. Spoiler alert: Some of you regulars on here have already heard about this in previous posts from several months ago. However, due to our most recent visitor who seems to feel she is the judge, jury, and executioner of those persons of alternative lifestyles, I feel this story is worth repeating. Because it has become increasingly apparent that Joy somehow genuinely believes her condescending treatment of those individuals is being done “for the greater good of society.” Even worse, however, it would seem she sincerely thinks her words/actions toward them cause no ill effect. Therefore, I share this story in order to demonstrate exactly how devastatingly toxic her words and attitude can be to those who cause no harm, and who simply want to be accepted for who they are. First, I will assign the names of relevant individuals with some background on each. Then I will give a brief commentary at the end. Please bear with me…
Cathy: My cousin. A couple of years older than me. STRONGLY devout Christian. Church of God faith. Grew up on a farm in a very isolated rural area. Removed from school at age 15 or 16 due to failing grades. Raised by her highly devout Christian mother and a misogynistic and abusive stepfather. To this day has very little self-confidence or self-esteem.
Alex: Late husband of Cathy after thirty(+) years of marriage. History of cancer and other serious medical conditions. Passed away back in 2018 under HORRIBLE conditions. (More on that in the story.) Incredibly devout and faithful Church of Christ member. Intelligent guy. Hard worker. Very well thought of and highly respected in the community. A truly genuine good man. I never heard a cross word out of his mouth, and he was always smiling and willing to help anybody he could. Even I liked him and had a considerable amount of respect for him. (And I do not say that about many people.) He was a prime example of what a father and husband should be.
Nancy/Eric: Adopted daughter of Cathy and Alex. Adopted at birth and named Nancy. Currently 16 years old. She is a self-proclaimed lesbian who prefers to be called Eric, and feels more comfortable being addressed and treated as a male. Good kid. Smart kid. Creative. Artistic. Great imagination. Not a trouble maker. However, considerable psychological issues caused by the death of Alex and by the treatment of the ultra-religious family members of Alex.
Sandy: Older sister of Alex. Ultra-religious member of same church.
Donny: Husband of Sandy. Same religious beliefs and equal devotion to it.
Important to note: There are more family members, but they do not factor into this in any significant way. Also, the entire family on Alex’s side is almost like a clan. They all live in a somewhat secluded area with their respective houses all on shared property, with some of them within easy eyesight of each other. Cathy’s two older sisters (and their husbands) live many miles away in different parts of the state. Cathy and Eric currently live only a few minutes from me, so I am the closest dependable family member she has within easy access.
As I said, the story that follows is true. I wish it wasn’t, though. Sadly, Joy and those who share her mindset will likely use all manner of mental gymnastics and contortionist rationale to desperately maintain their pernicious grasp on their insidious belief system. In other words, I have very little doubt they will attempt to put the blame on the child and/or claim the adult family members are “not correctly following the word of god” and are - therefore - not “true Christians”. Nevertheless, there is an untold number of “lurker” members here, some of who may be “on the fence” concerning their faith. This story will be primarily for them. But here is the important thing that Joy and others of her ilk simply cannot seem to get through their bigoted, self-righteous, judgmental brains: You are free to think and believe anything you like. I DON’T CARE, AND IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS. But when you start believing you have the right to force your beliefs on others, or to treat others as being “flawed” or “deserving of contempt” simply because their lifestyle or their gender preference or their sexual preferences do not conform to your own pious and bigoted views of how people “should be”, then I DO care and it DOES become my business. I spent seventeen years in the military with three different combat deployments helping to defend the rights that allow people to live a peaceful life as they see fit without fear of persecution or discrimination. Just because I am no longer in the military does not mean I have stopped defending those rights. Story to follow….
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