When Linda Robertson’s son revealed to her that he was gay, she and her husband told their son “he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality.”
“We forced him to make a choice between God and being a sexual person,” she wrote in a Huffington Post commentary last July. “Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. He would never have the chance to fall in love, have his first kiss, hold hands, share intimacy and companionship or experience romance.”
Her son turned to drugs and became an addict and while the family reconciled, he died in 2009 after shooting up.
“I grieve for what could have been, had we been walking by faith instead of by fear. Now, whenever Rob and I join our gay friends for an evening, I think about how much I would love to be visiting with Ryan and his partner over dinner. But instead, we visit Ryan’s gravestone,” she wrote.
It was a terribly sad confession, the reaction to which as been nearly as awful she writes in a new commentary on HuffPo.
You have called us ‘f-king murderers,’ child abusers, people who should never have been parents, and self-obsessed narcissists who demanded apologies from our son without ever realizing that we were the ones who had wronged him.
You’ve told us that we might as well have shot our son point-blank before he came out, because that would have been more merciful than what we did. We’ve read how idiotic and stupid we were to not learn basic parenting truths until our son was on the streets, killing himself with narcotics.
You’ve called us some pretty horrible names, some that have been posted online, some not. I’ve only read a small fraction of these kinds of comments, but from those I have read, I hear your message loud and clear.
By telling her story, she writes, she’s trying “to do something right.”
By exposing our own grave errors, we pray that others will learn from us and treat their own children differently. We pray that it won’t take them six long years and losing their child to drugs and the streets in order to wake them up to the truth that every parent must love their children without any condition.
Our children learn to love themselves through the love that we have for them. And a child who is told “I love you, but I do not love your sin” does not hear love. He does not learn to love himself or that God loves him. Ryan did not.
None of the thousands of gay children who have written to me has heard love through those words. None.
“So even if you hate us, can we please agree on this one thing? If we each do our part to stop the oppression and start saving the lives of LGBTQ kids, maybe we can actually be a world with fewer haters and a lot more lovers,” she writes.
Related: Catholic bishops scrap landmark welcome to gays in sign of split (Fox News).