Many thanks to reporter Susana Carey Wey for her fine article about the powerful anti-bullying program, “From Hate to Hope,” presented Jan. 29 at Federated Church. However, in an otherwise exemplary story, Ms. Wey uses some incorrect terminology that may perpetuate misunderstandings.
Matt Boger had not “admitted his alternative lifestyle to his mother.”
Sexual orientation is not a lifestyle. Boger’s lifestyle was a student living with his family. Believing that his mother’s love was unconditional, when Boger realized he was gay, he was confident that he could be honest about his sexual orientation with those who love him. He was wrong, and was expelled from the family and sent to the streets at the age of 13, because of his sexual orientation.
Ms. Wey also asserts that “the courage of [Federated Church] is to extend the welcome to lifestyles not readily accepted in evangelistic circles.”
Federated Church welcomes people, not lifestyles. In its welcoming statement (“I Am New,” eldoradofederatedchurch.org) , Federated Church states in part, “We invite you to participate in a community that welcomes everyone, regardless of age, gender identity, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”
Many people at Federated would regard that not as courage, but as faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I am grateful to the Mountain Democrat for providing coverage to this important event. I hope it has awakened in many people the importance of striving to understand each other.