I have often described my younger daughter as someone who was born in the wrong decade, she is a true flower child, but I have to be totally honest - I am quite a hippie myself, so I know where she got it from. Our version of a mother-daughter bonding moment can be very unique.
This past weekend, my husband, my daughter and I went to a protest rally. I had heard on the news about a local 'pastor' (and I use the term loosely) who had given a sermon advocating for killing all 'the gays." He went on to state that if we killed all the 'homos' there would be no more AIDS by Christmas. This type of inflammatory hate speech is completely wrong. Using reason and logic with someone like this is futile - despite facts like more heterosexuals have AIDS than homosexuals, his words are meant to demean, injure and possibly even incite violence against anyone in the LBGTQ community. There is nothing Christian about spewing venomous hate speech.
I saw online that a protest rally was planned, and knowing that human rights are a big priority for my daughter, I texted and asked if she wanted to attend the rally. An almost instantaneous text response of YES!!! displayed on my phone, so we made plans to meet at the rally.
I brought the 5 foot tall rainbow peace sign belonging to my daughter (doesn't everyone have one of these?) and met her at the rally. I was impressed by the diverse crowd of folks; gay and straight, christians and jews and yes probably even some atheists, all standing there with signs of love and peace and support, to show this pastor and his very misguided congregation that hate speech is NOT okay.
This pastor tries to pretend his ideas are from the bible, but perhaps he should have read Matthew 7,1-5 about not judging others or James 4, 11 reminding us not to speak evil of one another or any of a number of relevant verses from the bible. Standing there with the other protestors, we listened as a local rabbi, a local minister and a few local politicians all spoke about the need to love and support our community.
It was not earth shattering, and despite my attendance at this rally I am pretty sure that this awful man will continue to spread his hate filled rhetoric that makes all 'real' christians look bad, but I felt good about doing my part to stand up to this bully. If I want my daughter to be the kind of person that stands up for others and does the right thing - then I have to be willing to lead by example.
I even managed to get my photo in a newspaper story about the event and we have another fun mother-daughter memory of hippie moments that we share.