an ethical dilemma

Several years ago, my mother converted to fundamental Christianity. She was raised Baptist, many years ago, but was not a practicing Christian of any variety for most of my life. But for whatever unknown reasons, she has joined an evangelical church and has become a full-blown Bible thumper.

It makes me sick. Truly, physically nauseous. When I went to her church the first (and hopefully only) time, the pastor told us that pagan teenagers that worship the devil will go to hell, and encouraged his congregation to be as dedicated as Muslim suicide bombers to their cause. These are the people my mother spends three nights a week with. I don’t know for sure that they hate The Gay, but based on what I know of them, it’s a pretty safe assumption.*  And although her behavior towards me and K. hasn’t changed at all in that respect, I just can’t support her decision to give her time (and money) to their causes.

Now, I won’t go into the details of the history of our relationship, but I will say that it’s been rocky–since I was about 10 years old. It’s really only been in the last couple of years that we’ve been getting along better. We have real conversations now, and she invites K. and I over for dinner on a regular basis–we don’t always go, but I appreciate the gesture. I’m trying, really really trying, to maintain the stability of our relationship.

So when she asked me if I could do a little sewing for her church’s Easter banner, I made up some dithering excuse about how I’m really busy with work right now and I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it, but can I get back to her on that? It hurt me to say it. I’m a very honest person, I always speak my mind. I’ve been looking for a reason to tell her why I can’t support this–and I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. And the worst part is, I think that was the right decision.

*edit: I didn’t know for sure because I wasn’t willing to do the research. having done it, I know for sure. hate the sin but not the sinner…

2 Responses to an ethical dilemma

  1. backlist says:

    while my mother is more earthy and less fundy, I think I might have made the same decision. I think it’s similar to donating time or money to an anti gay organization. time to sew, and someone has purchased the fabric. can’t someone else support the hate?

  2. linaria says:

    backlist: you know, I don’t think it was the decision not to do it that bothered me. that part was easy. it was that I wasn’t able to tell her *why* I wouldn’t do it.

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