Bad religion makes for bad parenting

2 May


I kind of love that we live in an era where anyone who says anything in any kind of public forum has a good chance of having his or her words disseminated all over the place thanks to our friend, the world wide web. Or the cloud. Or whatever we’re calling the internet these days.

In North Carolina, the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment will appear on the statewide ballot on May 8. This amendment to the state constitution would define marriage in NC as between one man and one woman. The amendment would also ban any other types of  “domestic legal union” such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.

So, it is fair to say, there is a lot of discussion about this amendment going on in the “public square”–not an actual square, just a metaphor–in the state of NC and beyond.

Sean Harris, senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayettesville,  gave a strong pro-amendment 1, anti-gay marriage sermon this past Sunday. That isn’t all the surprising coming from a conservative preacher. What is getting more than a little bit of attention, however, is the good reverend’s advice to parents who might notice their children exhibiting any behavior that could be construed as gay.

I’ll let Pastor Harris speak for himself:

“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, ‘Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,’ you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.”

I have to interject here–“go outside and dig a ditch because that’s what boys do?” Really?

As a child, I never dressed up in girl’s clothes. I somehow missed the “drag gene,” but if someone had given me the option of getting all dolled up or digging a ditch, I’d have surely broken out the gowns and the make-up.  Digging a ditch. Is that what little boys are supposed to do for fun in North Carolina?

Pastor Harris goes on:

“Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.”

“Crack that wrist”? Is the good reverend on crack? I have no medical evidence to prove this, but I am nearly certain that a father who purposely breaks his child’s wrist and then punches him has no guarantee that he is making  his son into a heterosexual, but he will surely succeed in making his son hate his father’s guts.

The reverend also has advice for dealing with budding young lesbians:

“And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in. And you say, ‘Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'”

I can’t help notice that when it comes to potentially gay boys, Pastor Harris has parents smacking and cracking bones. But when it comes to young lesbians, he is recommending a good talking to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–these people are scared to mess with the lesbians.  And they should be.

I jest, because I’m angry.

But really, I am just weary.

And angry.

Not so much for myself, but for all the little Berean Baptist children who are going to be smacked, yelled at and humiliated in the name of Jesus.  What if your son would rather read a book than play football? What if your daughter isn’t interested in dolls, but loves science? Are those kids going to be gay? Maybe they’re going to be brilliant scholars who will make their parents proud one day. Brilliant scholars who may or may not be gay, but who cares–they’re your brilliant children!

“Son, put down that book and go dig a ditch! You, girl–enough with the science experiments! Now go upstairs and be attractive!”

What is it about this man’s religious faith that tells him he is doing God’s work when he recommends hurting and harming your own children?

As the young people say in their “text messages”:  SMH.

I will now be heading out to work. I will be riding my bicycle, as I often do. I know a lot of gay men who ride bikes.

It is fair to say, the gays like bikes.

Please don’t tell Pastor Harris. He’ll be taking all the little boy’s bikes away. Then they’ll all have to dig ditches, which is hard to do when you dad has cracked your wrist.

Someone needs to give the good reverend a smack upside the head. We should send the lesbians after him. That will scare the hell out of him.

Happy Wednesday.

2 Responses to “Bad religion makes for bad parenting”

  1. Mary Atwood May 2, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I really do need to try to catch the news more often. Hadn’t heard anything about this at all. Perhaps we need to start testing the mental abilities of those who hold positions of power in religious institutions, as this guy would likely fail the test. To instruct people to beat children is wrong under any and all circumstances.

    On a side note, I am with you about the choice between digging ditches and getting dolled up. I am willing to bet that children of both genders dislike digging ditches. Isn’t that what they used to make members of chain gangs do back in the day? Odd that this guy thinks boys are meant to and/or should like to do it.

  2. Pamela N Red May 2, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    These are the kids who will commit suicide and then their parents will wonder why. Breaking a boy’s wrist and punching him is child abuse and this man shouldn’t be allowed to speak publicly.

    Baptist don’t want intellectual children because they might question their beliefs, the bible and foremost this preachers sanity.

    I’m glad this is in the spotlight and hopefully he will lose his credibility.

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