or Ruth being an insufferable fundie. Or is it fundy? No matter.
In Ruth’s former life her ex-husband, Charles, had a cousin. Jessica is a beautiful girl with long, curly, brunette hair, olive colored skin, and an athletic build. She also has the voice of an angel. She’s got some fancy name for the type of soprano she specializes in which isn’t coming to recollection at the moment, but she’s trained operatically, and has performed internationally. A catch, you might say.
Now you know how devoutly Christian Charles’ entire family is. Old School Christian mafia – Southern Baptist style. So when Jessica brought her best friend to Thanksgiving no one thought anything of it. Ruth did. They sat awfully close together and the way they looked at each other, well, they were more than just friends. Ruth said something to Charles about it and he just dismissed it, thought the idea was insane. Nobody in this family would ever be…gay. And they certainly wouldn’t bring their lover to Thanksgiving! Not around the grandparents. So Ruth dropped it.
After a while, though, jaws started flapping. Jessica was bringing KrisAnne to everything. Christmas, New Year’s, Sunday dinners. They were pretty much joined at the hip. So everybody started speculating. This went on for quite a while and you can imagine the
concern gossiping going on.
The next Thanksgiving Charles’ grandparents got an idea. They’d go to Gatlinburg for the holiday and they wanted the whole family to join them. Everybody, to a person, made the trip. Including KrisAnne. Charles decided it would be a good idea to find out the truth about the situation. Didn’t sound like a bad idea so Ruth and Charles invited Jessica and KrisAnne out for dinner.
Small talk dominated the conversation over dinner, but after the plates were cleared and the coffee ordered Charles made his move. “I’m just going to ask you what everybody else is speculating about,” he said to Jessica. “Are you two in a relationship? Are you…lesbians?” Not sure how he could have gone about it, but there’s subtlety for you. “I knew these questions were eventually coming. I figured you’d all work this out for yourselves. Yeah, we are. We’re in a relationship just the same as you and Ruth. We’ve prayed about it and know that this is right for us.”
This is where Ruth piped up. “Jessica, I wouldn’t say this to you if I didn’t love you. But I have to tell you we don’t agree with this. You know what the Bible has to say about this. It doesn’t make me love you any less, but this isn’t what God would want for you and I think you’re misguided if you think God has blessed this in any way.”
Jessica didn’t hesitate. “I’ve read the Bible and Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. It’s not a sin.”
“Maybe not, but Paul had a lot to say about it. And Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. The law says that it is a sin,” Ruth asserted.
“Well, Paul was a woman hater. Look, I’m a Christian, and I go by the red letters.”
They spent the car ride back with Jessica and KrisAnne justifying how scripture didn’t condemn them. Amazingly Jessica and KrisAnne are still Christians. Even more Amazingly Jessica and KrisAnne didn’t hold that conversation against Ruth or Charles. In fact they became pretty good friends and they never really talked about it again.
Ruth was convinced that she’d done the right thing. Ruth was smug and self-satisfied in her pious piety full of pietousness. She’d told them, in love, the truth. What she believed was the truth anyway. Now she knows better. It was none of Ruth’s business. She was really just self-righteous and arrogant.
There was more to the conversation. This was Ruth’s first encounter with someone in the LBGT community. While she’d never say so, over the years of watching Jessica and KrisAnne together she changed a lot of her views about homosexuality even if she did still think they were probably going to hell. They put a face on what it even meant to be homosexual. Up until that time it had been so demonized from the pulpit that Ruth thought it was perverted. That homosexuality meant promiscuity, orgies, pedophilia, and deviance.
Here sat these two people who were in a faithful, exclusive, loving relationship. It was…normal. Ruth may never get to speak to Jessica and KrisAnne again, but if she did she’d tell them how wrong she’d been. She’d tell them she was sorry for being an insufferable fundie. She’d ask their forgiveness for being so judgemental. She’d tell them she knows they aren’t going to hell.