She’s the secretary at First Christian Church in Sullivan, Indiana. And she’s my mom.
The Sullivan First Christian Church made national headlines recently due to being the meeting place of a small group of people getting together to discuss plans to host an alternative “traditional prom” where gay students will not be allowed. Unfortunately, the media made it seem as if the church was behind the meeting and supported it. And this is simply false. All the church did was open its doors for the community members to meet.
Let me take a minute to tell you about my mom, Debbie Brewer. She is the mother of five (yes, FIVE!) children. (All five births were all natural, no pain meds.) That alone makes her superwoman.
She is also madly in love with my father. I am one of the fortunate ones in my generation – My parents are still married and happy together. They are the epitome of love and how a marriage should be, and they have always been admired as such.
Another thing you need to know about my mom is that she radiates with love and kindness. She is a constant demonstration of true agape love, and I have always admired her for that. Her kind and gentle soul taught me to love deeply. I’m proud to say that so much of my love comes from her.
And lastly, she had nothing to do with Diana Medley and the group of people who met at the church. Diana Medley doesn’t even attend the church. All my mother did was unlock the doors so they could meet.
After all this gay-banning news went viral, Dan Savage (founder of the It Gets Better campaign) got a hold of the information and posted a blog about it. (He wasn’t that friendly, but I can’t say I don’t agree with the majority of what he said.) In his expose, he posted the contact information of the church (MY church), assuming the church was in favor with the group.
I was stunned when I saw the numbers: (812)268-4348. The number I know so well.
My mom’s voice is on the other end of that number.
And so, as feared, she was faced with a barrage of phone calls all day long. Everything from the condescending quandaries of “how many doves have you released this month?” to the more affirming interviewers who truly want to know the church’s side of the story.
Along with the phone calls came many other, terrible things. The fax machine was printing a constant flow of gay pornography, to the point where they decided just to turn it off. The staff’s inboxes were flooded with thousands of pornographic images and messages.
My sweet, kind, gentle mother. Exposed to these unneeded obscenities.
Diana Medley didn’t have to deal with these images and messages and calls all day long. Neither did any of those students who were so “appalled” at gays that they couldn’t stand to see them at their proms. Nor the narrow-minded parents.
My mother is the one who had to deal with that whole mess all day. And she didn’t even have anything to do with it all.
Now there’s all this national attention and everyone has an opinion and wants to get in their say. Blind assumptions made in haste often lead to lashing out in hate and anger at those who are simply innocent bystanders. Those people calling my mom don’t know anything about her. They don’t know about her five kids and how much she loves her husband. They also don’t know that she had a brother who was gay. He died of AIDS in the late eighties. I wonder how differently some people who called might have treated her had they known that.
The people who are sending these messages are not doing so in support of the cause. The cause is LOVE and ACCEPTANCE! Not hate! The cause is to END hate!
All these messages and terrible things sent to my mom and her coworkers are doing nothing but perpetuating the sick-cycle of hate! As my older (and wiser) brother Mike said, “You can’t stop hate with hate!”
My mom received a lot of undeserved hate yesterday. So much that she was in tears the majority of the day. And inconsolable after she got home from work. That makes my heart really, really, really sad. She is one of the most kind and loving women you’ll ever meet. And she didn’t deserve all that hate.
So, I’m asking you to take a minute and send my momma some love today! Message her on Facebook, leave a comment below, or even call her up at the church! Let her here some friendliness and love in between the other calls! If you have access to a fax machine, fax her images of the most adorable things you can find. (Have you ever seen a baby hedgehog?? Google it. Now.)
Let’s send her a barrage of love. A plethora of pleasantness. Something to help her (and me) start believing in humanity again.
And Dan Savage, if you ever read this, would you mind taking down the church’s contact info from the article on your blog? Or at least edit it showing that the church is in no way supporting this group? Or maybe leave the info up but just tell your readers to send my momma some love! She’s the one facing the ramifications of all this mess, and it’s just not fair.
You can’t stop hate with hate! You can only stop hate with love. In all things, LOVE!
I love you, Momma!!!