LONSBERRY: To The Parents Of Emily Scheck

This is for Emily Scheck’s parents.

Supposedly, they live in Webster, New York. And supposedly, they have disowned their college-student daughter and cut her off financially, supposedly because she has a girlfriend.

That’s a lot of supposedlys, but nothing is certain about this story.

A woman claiming to be Emily’s friend opened a go-fund me account asserting that Emily was gay and that her parents had cut her off. None of that has been confirmed, by either Emily or her parents, and Emily has repeatedly refused to speak to reporters.

Which makes sense.

Because the story, true or not, is private. One’s sex life and one’s relationship with one’s parents or child are private matters that are none of anybody else’s business.

But tens of thousands of dollars have now been raised, and every gay activist has been called and sounded off. This week, 19-year-old Emily Scheck is the poster child for gay victimization.

And maybe she is and maybe she isn’t.

But, if the story is true, I wanted to say something to her parents. Or to any parents who abandon a child who turns out gay. Or, actually, to any parents who would abandon any child.

First, I am sorry for your grief and disappointment. Your feelings are natural. You have envisioned a future for your child that now seems to be threatened. You have probably embraced a faith system or set of values that, like the Bible, calls homosexual sex a sin. 

Of course you are disappointed. 

But you should recognize that that disappointment is a temptation that may very easily lead you yourself into sin. 

Your upset with the apparent sin of your child may lead you, by turning cold to them in your heart, to commit an even greater sin. It’s like Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, sometimes our focus on the speck in our brother’s – or daugher’s – eye can blind us to the beam in our own eye.

Yes, traditional Christianity teaches that homosexual sex is a sin. But it also teaches that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” And the Sermon on the Mount further teaches that the judgment we impose upon others for their sins will be the judgment God imposes upon us for our sins.

If we have harshness and condemnation, we will receive harshness and condemnation. If we have understanding and mercy, we will receive understanding and mercy.

If the actions of a child lead us to distance ourselves from that child, are we not breaking the commandment to love that child? Are we falling into the trap of believing that two wrongs make a right?

Jesus gave two commandments on love – to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to love one another as he loved us.

Certainly, our children are our neighbors, and certainly we would want to be loved, no matter what. I think we should then love no matter what. The higher command, to love one another as Jesus loved us, calls to mind the Savior’s continual loving association with the vilest of sinners, his forgiveness of the men who put him on the cross, and the loving sacrifice of his own life for every sin and every sinner – to include ourselves and our children.

If Jesus loves and died for your daughter – and he did – then are you justified in denying her your love and association?

Jesus taught us that God is, “our Father, which art in heaven,” and that he is a loving father of all. We are wise when we pattern our parenting after his, and his love for his children is universal. He never abandons us. David, a murderer and adulterer, wrote, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

If God was with David, you should be with your daughter.

If God was with David, and you are to follow God, you must be with your daughter.

In Deuteronomy, the Bible promises that God “will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

If your daughter’s heavenly Father makes that promise, so must her earthly father and mother. He will not forsake her, and neither should you.

God gave you that girl to love and raise, and he has not released you from that responsibility. Nor will he ever.

And neither will you ever find happiness or peace with a part of your heart cut out. Because, no matter what, that is your daughter, and she is your heart.

Every visiting day the parents of murderers line up at the prison gate to see the children they love. You should follow their example of parental faithfulness.

This isn’t about your daughter’s situation, or what your feel or your faith teaches about homosexuality.

It is about your duty to your daughter, to love her no matter what.

I hope that you will reopen your heart and your home to your daughter. That is what God wants you to do. It is what will bring all involved the most happiness. It is obedient to the commandment to love.

And to do otherwise is a sin.

*Photo courtesy GoGriffs.com


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