GCB at This Gay Christian's Blog writes about his Beau and the phone call he recently received from his parents:
And among it all comes the proclamation that, among the church gossip and woe-is-me’s about their so-called wayward son, his mother is praying that the Beau and I would have unsettled lives.A commenter on the above entry related the following:
This is in line, though more blunt, with my own mother’s proclamation that “God will never bless me.”
I know the feeling. My mother sent me a letter saying that she used to (before I came out) pray that I’d find the right woman to marry, but after I came out, she prayed that I would never fall in love (with another man)...So, I remember well the ‘punched in the guts’ feeling of knowing your mother is/was praying against you.
Stephen Bennett (ex-gay superman who claims to be completely heterosexual) recently had as a guest on his podcast the mother of a lesbian. She read this from a letter she sent her daughter:
I pray that your spiritual eyes will be opened and that you will see God's truth. I'm grieving because you are missing all the blessings God has in store for you. He can't bless you. You will never have real joy, happiness, contentment and peace as you continue to live in this gay lifestyle. You may think that you are happy right now, but that will not last. Real joy and happiness only comes when you walk in God's truth.
I'm sure that not only does she believe that God can't bless her daughter, she is actively praying for this as well. And no, this is not my mother (although it easily could be; I've heard my parents pray similar prayers and I've no doubt they are praying these prayers for me right now).
Some prayers or messages gays receive go way beyond the "I hope your life is hell because you are a sinner" type of prayers, though.
(Rev.) John Smid, Director of Tennessee's Love In Action has been quoted in the past as saying, "I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery." (You can read more about the validity of this quote with comments from LIA survivors here).
One early LIA (California) participant, Jack McIntyre, successfully commmitted suicide. His note states, in part,
I must confess that there were things in my life that I could not gain control, no matter how much I prayed and tried to avoid the temptation, I continually failed.[the entire letter can be found in the comments section of this XGW post and additional references can be found here and here.]
It is this constant failure that has made me make the decision to terminate my life here on earth.
If I remain it could possibly allow the devil the opportunity to lead me away from the Lord. I love life, but my love for the Lord is so much greater, the choice is simple.
When talking to Soulforce Equality Riders who had just been to BYU, they related that one sentiment they'd heard frequently in Mormon circles was that it was better to be dead than be gay.
I really do agree with Soulforce on this issue. This kind of language and these kinds of prayers (especially when related to the child/person in question) do constitute spiritual violence/abuse. There's no other way around it that I can see.
People who pray for God to take out their kids, make their kids lives miserable, and then proceed to tell them about these prayers, are committing a form of abuse, and in my opinion, it's the worst kind. Judy Shepherd has been quoted as saying that "Church hurt is the worst kind of hurt." And parents invoking God against you is one step above that, in my opinion. That, and the implicit lack of unconditional love leaves a wound that may never be healed.
Mary Lou Wallner, whose daughter committed suicide in 1997, has said, "I committed a hate crime. I didn't love my daughter unconditionally."