It's amazing to me how clearly I'm seeing people for who and what they are now. And how blinded I've been in the past. Last week, I took B out of town for a mother/daughter road trip. We had a great time and I hated that it had to end. It was just B and me and we made the most out of the quality time.
On our way home, I thought it might be a good opportunity to pick her brain a little bit about life in general. I like to guage how she's doing with the divorce and the presence of new people in her parents' lives. So, I brought Her up and asked B what she thought. B and I have been living with Her for about 4 months now and it's gone really, really well. B seems very happy and adjusted to the new surroundings.
When I started to try to explain that She is my Girlfriend (weirdest conversation ever), B interrupted me and said, "Mommy, don't get married". I was nowhere near the M-word in my conversation. It hadn't even entered my stream of conscious thought at that point. I was very surprised and wondered where that came from, so I asked B. B answered that The Ex's judgemental "Good Christian" younger sister, who I'll call Aunt Judgy, had told her that "Jesus doesn't like when girls marry girls and boys marry boys".
Now, up until this point, I understood that The Ex's family was never going to be okay with my lifestyle and I had accepted that. There was going to be no changing their opinion and I have never been interested in trying. I was perfectly happy with live and let live, agree to disagree. This, however, was over the line for me. I felt like Aunt Judgy was trying to sabatoge my relationship with my child and brainwash her into believing the same hateful bullshit the whole family buys into. This is the same family who, two years ago Thanksgiving, was having a family discussion after Thanksgiving dinner about why "the ni**ers can't govern themselves because they're too stupid". Seriously. I wondered when the white hoods were going to be brought out.
The same family who adamantly believe that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. Now, I'm no Obama fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I figure that if Hitler wasn't the anti-Christ, then certainly Obama isn't either. But no, they say that it's in the Chapter of Revelations. Really? Obama is in the Bible? Wow, the dude really gets around.
This is the same Aunt who told B that "Jesus hates tattoos" (I have 4 and The Ex has 1 that he hides from his family) and has taught my kid the difference in skin color - B suddenly started remarking about how some people are "dark skinned" and we have "blush-colored" skin. Again, when I asked who told her about that, it was Aunt Judgy.
None of this is okay with me. I'm not what anyone, including myself, would consider a devout anything. My religious beliefs are conflicted at best. I don't really know what I believe as far as an afterlife and a greater being are concerned. What I do know is this: I was raised to treat everyone equally and with respect, no matter who or what they are, until they personally give you a reason not to.
I was raised Lutheran and was given a thorough Christian education from childhood through high school. I understand the core concepts and the beliefs many Christians hold. I also understand the Bible and find it very difficult to accept when "true believers" such as Aunt Judgy pick and choose which portions they are going to apply literally and which parts they're going to pretend don't exist. For example (my favorite example), the chapter dealing with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis Chapter 19). There is much discussion about WHY Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. I'm not going to get into that, I'm no biblical scholar.
What I do find interesting are two things that happen after the cities are destroyed. First, Lot's wife is told by the Angels not to look back at the cities burning as they fled. She did anyway and was turned into a pillar of salt for it. Hmmm....
Second, after fleeing the city, Lot and his two daughters hide in the mountains. The daughters wanted to "preserve" Lot's seed, so they got Lot drunk on two nights and each daughter had sex with him, thereby impregnating themselves. Both bore sons by their father.
It is interesting to me that "Good Christians" like to use this chapter to point out where "God" says gay is bad. But they tend to ignore the rest of it where "He" says it's okay to punish your wife for not obeying your commands and for daughters to be impregnated by their father. Just another example of the "Good Christian" hypocrisy that turned me off to church a long time ago.
Anyway, I've digressed. My apologies. Back to the point:
I tried to explain my views to B as best as I could without saying anything bad about Aunt Judgy. Not easy but I think I got through a little. After getting home, I felt I had to have a discussion with The Ex about this. I told him what was said and asked him to talk to his sister about it, since I wasn't going to be able to be civil about it and would only cause more issues.
The Ex actually told me that he can't control what his sister says to our daughter. (Really?!) So I had to educate him in how I would approach it if it were my sister planting bad seeds in B's head about him (Back off, Bitch. If you want to brainwash a kid, have one of your own).
Apparently, The Ex later talked to his mommy about it and mommy claimed the discussion happened as a result of a question posed by B. Okay.... I'm not sure how a 1st grader just pops out with "what does Jesus think about gay marriage"... but, whatever. Knowing the discussions that go on (see: white hoods, Jesus hates tattoos, etc) I wouldn't be surprised if they'd been discussing the evils of gay marriage where B could hear them, piquing her curiousity, and prompting a question. Regardless, even IF B had spontaneously asked that question, "Jesus doesn't like it when a girl marries a girl" as a reply to a kid whose mother is gay is never the right answer.
Later that night, I call The Ex's mommy's house to talk to B, who is up there for a week for vacation bible school (yeah, you read that right. Even though I don't agree, I won't keep her from her family). Usually when I call, his mommmy answers the phone and we chat for just a second. I ask how B is, usually using the term "rugrat" which is a term of endearment where I come from. Apparently, mommy finds this insulting and now refuses to speak to me, instead just hands the phone to B to talk. Not that I'm complaining >:-) When I asked The Ex how he responded to his mommy when she complained, he said he told her he'd talk to me about it. REALLY!!? You're going to "talk to me" about a nickname I call my daughter? The same nickname my mother called me? How about growing a backbone and telling mommy to chill the fuck out?
So now I'm in a position where I've got to try to keep from saying anything negative in front of B (same shit, different day), and fight the brainwashing attempts from them, AND deal with The Ex, who is pretty much a jelly fish when it comes to his parents.
I have a feeling this could get very, very interesting.