More Tragic Confessions of a True Homophile

In the 80’s Helen and I had two children attending a local public primary school. With unbridled excitement our daughter came home one day and told us that she had been chosen for a minor part (what more could a Year 3 student expect) in the end-of-year play. As details emerged we learnt that the play, entitled ‘Crooks’, was, in part, about Robin Hood and his ‘gay’ men. 

Robin Hood spoke with an effeminate voice and his gay men were to wear, stereotypically, pink costumes. They were to act with limp wrists. When they spoke they were to spittle all over the stage. Robin Hood’s girlfriend was named Maid Marijuana and our daughter was cast in the role of one of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s men. She was to be undressed seductively by the sheriff to the tune of The Stripper but, she told us reassuringly, that she would only be stripped down to her leotard.

I know what you’re thinking. We couldn’t believe it at first, either. 

I hot-footed it down to the school and asked for a script of the play. I wanted to be measured and careful in my response. 

The Principal asked me what I intended to do? My initial response was to spend the evening to quietly study the script. We spent the night poring over play’s dialogue. The details were as I described. 

The next day, in discussion with the school executive, I said that, not only as a Christian, but also as a parent of children at the school and as a community leader, the play was unacceptable. It violated the values that people in the community would expect of their local school. 

I contacted the district schools inspector promptly after the meeting. Further meetings followed. I was offered a compromise. Maid Marijuana would become Maid Moron (barely an improvement!). Robin Hood’s men would be merry men again and other minor changes. 

With costumes made, lines learned, expectations high and the dress rehearsal (a matinee before the Kindergarten to Year 2 children) only a day away, I was hardly appeased but the show went on and battle lines were drawn for the future.

It was an era, even though it’s hard to believe, when gay-bashing, and, it seems, or seemed to some liberal progressive lefties, when making a mockery of people with speech impediments was fair game. Where people treat drugs and dehumanising name-calling a joke.

Many of the school staff were angry that I had intervened, questioned the ‘morality’ of their play and spoilt their fun. Many ignored me whenever I was at the school.

However, one teacher took me aside in the corridor and quietly thanked me for the stand I had taken. This teacher had been opposed in the staff room when she registered her disapproval. 

Another teacher rang me privately, after hours, to encourage me in my stand and told me that she feared her protest may have damaged her prospects for promotion in the school. 

I appealed to a number of parents, who I thought may share our concerns, but nobody wanted to rock the boat.

And yet, here was a play that used, and therefore abused, children who didn’t understand why adults were laughing at what they said and how they were choreographed to say it. And why? Innocent children were used to titillate the hideous sense of humour of supposedly liberal progressive educators. 

Helen and I were outraged. We had same-sex-attracted friends. We had friends who were in homosexual relationships. I had the adult child of a friend die from HIV AIDS. Life was serious for these people. Their sexual orientation was being caricatured in the most demeaning and offensive ways.

We had friends with disabilities, who were living heroic lives in the face of enormous difficulties and challenges. We had friends whose lives had been turned into a nightmare by drugs and alcohol.

We had children. We were responsible for our and others’ children. They had no idea why adults were laughing at the grotesque things they were innocently manipulated to say and do. They were being exploited to satisfy adult lust for inappropriate humour.

Helen and I took no credit, nor wanted any affirmation, for the stand we took against the flow of public opinion back then. Nor do we want any now. 

We were, then, and continue to be now, guided by God’s word on the relational framework within which sexuality is to be expressed.

We were then, as now, guided by that same word on how we are to respect, protect and care for others, especially those most at risk of the selfishness, indifference and exploitation of others. 

For starters, the principles of Genesis One and Two, and Jesus confirmation of them could not be clearer.

But in recent years politically correctness, popular culture and personal choice have blown a gale in a different direction and it seems easier to be blown along than to take a stand.

How is it that a tiny sliver of the world’s population in an even smaller sliver of the history of human civilization can assume some sort of superior moral ground on issues that God’s words clearly teaches? Surely God’s framework for the gift of sex is the same as it was in the 80’s, as it was in the 1800’s as it was in the 8th century AD and BC.

Thank God for those who will continue to hold the biblical ground on human sexuality despite the hurricane of changing popular thought that howls from Hollywood to the Huon Valley. 

Thank God for people who are prepared to stand up for the right of every child to be lovingly nurtured by a mother and a father.

Thank God for people who will defend and protect those who are vilified by abusive and intolerant people, whether they be unthoughtful Christians or intolerant progressives.

Thank God for people in the current debate in favour of ‘same-sex marriage’ who don’t vilify or demean those who are not in favour of it.

Thank God for the grace to pray, “Lord have mercy upon me, and incline my heart to keep this law,” to every manner of failure of the seventh, as well as every other commandment.

Thank God for the gift of his One and Only Son, whose death in our place, makes such a prayer possible, powerful and urgent.

Thank God that I live in a society that, at least for now, allows me freedom of conscience, speech and to vote no to same-sex marriage, despite the unreasonable raging of some.

Thank God for Jesus who shows us a better way.

See David's original article Tragic Confessions of a True Homophile