I was raised in a religious family. They are ultra-conservative fundamentalists who believe “God hates fags” even if they don’t stand in public spaces holding the signs. I remained single, celibate, and closeted until my early 30s, because coming out meant my family would shun me. In December 2012, I decided to write a coming out letter to my family using language they would understand. (I have posted a copy of that letter here. I also included a copy of my Spiritual Autobiography, which I have posted here.)
I didn’t hear from my family immediately. In August 2013, after having sent my father a birthday present and card, I received the following letter back from him. With that letter, he returned in one box all the Christmas presents, all the birthday presents, and all the cards I had sent to my family in Florida from Christmas until his birthday in August. He references these in his letter, below.
I haven’t posted this correspondence exchange before now, hoping my parents might over time begin to open their hearts, listen to my story, and find a way past their religious dogma to restoring relationship with me, their oldest son. I’m posting it now, two years later, as proof that religious fundamentalism is cult-like. It separates families. I causes needless pain. It teaches hate in the name of religion. It violates the spirit of the teaching of Jesus. And it is just wrong.
Pray for God to open hearts.
August 12, 2013
I am returning your gifts because we cannot accept them. We cannot participate in any exchanges with you that could be construed as approval of your chosen lifestyle.
We have known about your abominable sin of homosexuality for some time. This is sin and you know it! I stand by, as I always have what the whole Word of God says and this sin is an abomination that will damn your soul. Always has been and always will be. (Gen. 19, Lev. 20:13, Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9-21, Gal. 5:19-21, Heb. 13:4, Rev. 21:8)
You can and evidently have sought out people who will tell you that you are okay. The laws of the land may permit it and say it’s okay and make it legal, denominational doctrines may accept it, people may write books okaying it, but they cannot succeed in circumventing what God’s Word says. The Truth is Truth; always has been, always will be. (Ps. 119:160, Prov. 23:23, 1 Cor. 4:17, Gal. 1:8-12, 1 Tim. 6:3-5)
These sins have separated you from your family (at least this part) and whether you admit it or not, you are separated from God. You need to repent before it is everlastingly too late! (Isa. 59:1-2, Matt. 10:34-39, Rom. 12:1-2, Eph. 5:1-14)
You may regard me as a bigot, sexist or whatever and perhaps say I am hateful if you want, but the fact remains that I stand by what God has said on this subject and on proper worship. (Heb. 4:12-13; 10:24-27; 12:5-6)
Just like the father of the prodigal son, I have not moved nor changed position. You are the one who left us and the Lord. Hopefully, like the prodigal son you will eventually decide to get out of the pig sty and repent of your sins. Just as the father was watching and waiting with open arms to receive him back, we will be there for you. However until such a time as that we will have no familial or social contact with you. (Lk. 15:11-32, 2 Pet. 2:20-22, 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:14)
We love you and are concerned for your soul.
Dad and Mom
P.S. If you decide to reply, use some scripture to support your argument. I’d like to know what they are.