This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, please leave.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyrighted © 2016 by Steven Wells.
I love to hear any feedback you have, be it positive or negative. Send me an email with any comments or questions at MaWriterBoy@yahoo.com.
This chapter has some very pointed positions which I hold steadfastly. Read between the lines. Then, look into your minds and decide what you might need to do if this country turns into an enclave of Congressman Franklin. I will be taking Jeffery's position. I hope you can, too.
Jeffery Comes Home
"I appreciate your time this afternoon," I said. I hoped my eyes didn't bulge as I looked at the hunk of a math teacher standing in front of me. "My son Trevor and some of his swim team friends are concerned about the team. I thought you might shed some light on their concern."
"I can't get too deeply into the matter because there are a group of teachers who want to file a grievance with the principal," Mr. Willis replied. "But, we don't believe it will go further than the principal's desk. We are concerned he might feel a grievance would fuel some reprisal."
"In other words, the person who would be named in the grievance could be trouble," I added.
"Yes," Mr. Willis replied. "I would suspect from what some of the other teachers and I have witnessed, it is extremely probable someone could get hurt or smeared through the mud."
"What if some of the parents of the boys on the team were to approach the principal?" I asked. "Or confront the coach?"
"I believe the principal would still not make any decisions about the coach," Mr. Willis replied. "However, if your son and his friends can provide solid evidence about the coach's adverse behavior, we might stand a chance with the principal."
"I just had a thought about a possible resolution to our problem," I replied. "If you and your husband would like to attend our service at the UCC on Sunday, we would be pleased to have you as our guest."
"Are wheels really turning in your head?" Mr. Willis asked. "You look as though you were the cat who ate the canary!"
"Tune in Sunday morning and you will understand my newly hatched plot to rid this town of yet another racist bigot, religious zealot, dangerous homophobe, and stupid misogynist," I said with a smile. "Those were not my words, but the words of someone who has personal knowledge of the man."
"I can't wait to hear your talk," Mr. Willis replied.
We said goodbye. I watched as Mr. Willis walk to the door. `Nice butt!' I thought to myself.
Chapter 19: The Religious Left
"What did you mean by your comment `you can't say that'?" I asked.
"It's as if you are inciting a riot," my mother replied.
"I'm not inciting a riot, Mother," I replied. "I am merely calling for an opposition action. An action to spotlight the bigoted behavior in our community!"
"You will have some very, very angry people coming to get your head, Jeffery," my mother cautioned.
"I'm surprised at you, Mother!" I replied. "Running from a wrong doesn't suit your normal behavior mode."
"I've lived in this town too long to assume this won't be a nightmare situation," my mother replied. "And, you will be in the middle of it! Why take the chance?"
"Because we need to take a stand," I replied. "This is not about bigots, racists, or homophobes. This is about standing up to people who are bigots, racists, and homophobes. We, in this community, need to let these people know we will not tolerate this kind of behavior. You can sweep it under the rug if you want to mother. I, on the other hand, will not sweep this under the rug. It is not in my nature. Until I moved back to this town, I never thought of myself as a person who could be discriminated against. But, I do now. I am an openly gay man living with my three sons and husband in a small Southern Illinois town. It is time we kick some butt here, mother, or we will still be in this time warp 100 years from now. I personally don't want to live in fear of offending someone. This shit needs to end! And I will be in the middle of trying to end it. If you don't want to go along with this, then you can sit this one out."
"What if I tell you I will not allow you to say this from the pulpit of this church?" my mother asked.
"From what I understand about my employment contract, it is not in your authority to do so. I will go to the board and seek their guidance if necessary" I replied. "I am fairly certain the Williamson clan will be behind me. If not, they can fire me."
"It's your life, Jeffery," my mother said as she turned and walked out the door.
I sat down at my desk. I was pissed. I needed to calm down. I needed Philip. I picked up my phone and called him.
"Good to hear from you so unexpectedly!" Philip responded.
"Do you have time to meet me for lunch, Philip?" I asked. "I need some advice."
"Sounds serious," Philip replied.
"We just might be embarking upon one of the last civil rights fights left in this world," I said calmly.
"I'll meet you at Mel's in 15 minutes," Philip replied. "Don't explode until I get there. Promise?"
"I promise I will not explode," I replied. "See you in 15."
I hung up the phone, grabbed my jacket, keys, and laptop and hurried to my car. I was still steaming.
When I walked into Mel's coffee shop, I let out a sigh of relief. The restaurant was quiet.
"Hello, Jeffery!" Mel effused. "You look... angry. What's up?"
"Is it so obvious?" I asked. "When I talked to Philip, he told me not to explode! I am trying to remain calm, but it is not easy under the circumstances."
"What circumstances?" Mel asked.
"If you want to join me and Philip, I will be happy to explain," I responded.
"I'm not yet into the lunch rush, so I'd be happy to at least start," Mel replied. "Does this have anything to do with the swim team?"
"Yes" I replied. "Why?"
"The rumor mill has been churning," Mel replied. "Here's your hubby."
Once we were seated with coffee in front of us, I began to explain the situation. "This Sunday, I will be giving the talk. I have decided—much to my mother's chagrin—I will announce my intention to lead a protest to rid this community once and for all of the fucking bigots, racists, and homophobes. I am looking at it as the last frontier of civil rights protests left in this area."
"I'm in," Mel replied.
"Me, too," Philip replied. "I assume you have a plan."
"Sort of," I replied. "I haven't the foggiest idea of how to do this, but I am absolutely certain I will find a way."
"We are behind you, Jeffery," Mel replied. "Why don't we start with a walk of solidarity from your church after the services to the high school? Down Main Street."
"How am I supposed to organize a walk right after I give my talk?" I asked.
"Planning," Philip replied. "Janet Lopez. Brandon Martin. Sam and Chris Williamson. The entire Williamson clan. The farm workers on our farm. The swim team and all their friends. Mabel. The teachers at the college. Teachers at the high school. Everyone except the bigots."
"Let me just get through my talk," I suggested to the group of two. "Something will come to me. Perhaps it could be divine intervention. Perhaps it will be a conversation with Mabel. What would Mabel do? I just found the title of my talk. `What would Mabel do?'"
"The place is packed, Jeffery," my mother said after she surveyed the sanctuary. "Something is in the air. I hope it is a good something."
"It will be better than standing still and letting the world revolve without this town going with it," I replied. "And just for your information, I cleared my talk today with the executive committee of the board."
"Since they are all related to Sam Williamson, I am certain they heartily encouraged you," my mother said with a smirk on her face.
"Sam and Chris, along with a few of their friends, are here," I explained. "Janet Lopez invited several people from the college staff. Brandon invited several staff members from the hospital. Mr. Willis invited some teachers and a lot of students from the high school."
"Oh dear God!" my mother exclaimed. "I hope you have legal representation!"
"Oh! I forgot!" I added. "Devon Wright is also here. He's the attorney who is on retainer for the Lost Sheep center."
The organ began shaking the church as the procession music began.
"Martha must really want to give a show today!" my mother said. "She's usually not this energetic when she plays the organ."
"It's not Martha," I told my mother. "Chris invited a professor from the College of Music to play for us today. Aphelia Winslow. She's one of the top organists in the country."
"What haven't you done to make today unforgettable?" my mother asked.
"I didn't invite the Obamas because Mrs. Obama is campaigning in the northeast," I replied. I couldn't help but smirk.
"You'd better have one hell of a good talk this morning. Otherwise, a lot of people will be disappointed," my mother whispered to me as we headed up the aisle. We stepped in sync with the lively processional played by Dr. Winslow.
"Good morning!" my mother said to the congregation. "Welcome to everyone, and especially those who are attending our service for the first time..."
Finally, it was my turn to handle the service. "Good morning! I am happy to see several familiar faces as well as new ones. I also want to thank Dr. Aphelia Winslow, who is our organist this morning. I also want to welcome others who are very close to all of us here in Olney: Chris Williamson, David Marsh, Leo Stien, and Terry Sanchez who are part of the group `You and I Together.' They have graciously agreed to perform one of my favorite songs, `Lead with Your Heart.' It also has significance for my talk to follow. So, please pay attention. We will have a test immediately following the service."
At least they laughed.
Chris, David, Leo, and Terry took their place front and center. The organ came to life as did the piano and two violins.
I lost myself in the song. It made perfect sense to me—absolutely perfect sense. When they finished, I wiped away a tear and headed to the pulpit.
"Thank you, gentlemen," I began. "It is always a pleasure to hear the four of you sing together. And, I am taking this one moment to remind all of you about a very important event which will take place at the high school theater for an amazing performance by `You and I Together' at the opening of their cross-country tour to benefit homeless programs in the cities in which they will perform. This community will also directly benefit. So, check our website about the details and how to purchase a ticket."
I picked up the power point control and clicked the first slide. It was a photo of Mabel and me on the farm.
"Many of you are familiar with Mabel. She is a cow. A real cow. She is a wise cow who has lived many years. We have shared a lot of laughs, concerns, sadness, and happiness over the course of our friendship. I hit writer's block when I was writing my talk for the day. I didn't know which way to go. Do I zig? Do I zag? I was only successful when I finally said to myself, `What would Mabel do?'"
"The song you heard a few moments ago has a special meaning to me. The first part of the song reminds me of the time I first started to work with young men and women in the heart of the Castro in San Francisco. I was idealistic at the time. I thought I could do great things. I thought I could help troubled people. I thought I would make a difference."
I continued, "The first words of the song made me focus on the real world around me:"
"In this world, It's hard to tell
the shadows from the light
What is real can find a way to hide behind the lies
Don't be fooled or ruled by voices all around you
`Cause your road will always be revealed"
"I spent the first year of my time in San Francisco figuring out what was wrong in the world. I kept asking myself why are so many young gay men and women on the streets to deal with drugs, homelessness, hunger, depression, sickness, and death. This was my `real' hiding behind the lies. Eventually, I figured out it was the voices around me—trying to fool me."
"It was difficult for me when I realized something very important to me could become such a danger to the men and women I encountered in my work every day. The difficulty stemmed from my being a white, religious, educated, loved individual. I watched some of the lies of the world surround the men and women I grew to love. The lies of religion gone bad, unfailing hatred for my flock from their parents, from their friends, from their environment. Some were gay. Some were addicted to various drugs. Some were shoved shamelessly into depression because of the erroneous norms people had projected upon them."
"One night, I stepped into a gay bar in Castro as I often did while working with my flock. Unfortunately, I witnessed something which shook me to my core. I witnessed a hostage taker shoot six unarmed men in a gay bar on Castro for no reason. I tried to stop the shooting. I froze. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. I just stood and watched as the shooter took each person down with one shot to the head. He pointed the gun at me. I thought would shoot me. Instead, he turned the gun on himself. Seven people shot dead, and I couldn't do anything about it."
"I returned here to Olney, where I grew up, partly because I needed a break from the stress of working in the Castro. The other part, I didn't know this at the time, is for me to right the wrongs people in this community endure. I told my mother recently about my thoughts on being discriminated against while living here. Of course, some of you are saying, `Jeffery, you're a white boy! Why would you feel discriminated against?' Easy! I am a 28-year-old white man. I live with my three sons and my husband. Get the picture. This town still has lessons to learn."
"I look around this sanctuary and see things many of you don't. Sometimes hate is hard to spot. Sometimes bigotry hides behind the lies. Sometimes people who are supposed to be role models for our young men and women in this community go astray. We, as citizens of this community and members of this United Church of Christ, cannot sit still and hope this goes away. If we don't fight to end the bigotry, hate, and fearmongering, it will continue to haunt us."
"Taking another cue from the song you heard a few moments ago, I want to explain what might seem like rambling."
"It takes the beautiful unknown,
that somehow makes you feel
You're home again, finally home again
And there is no longer any doubt what the mystery's about for you
Or what should you do?
Lead, lead with your heart
It's the one thing you can trust
To always come from Love...
It's the one thing you can trust,
to always come from love
And it will shine, right through the dark
Like a northern star to show you what is true
You will never lose... if only you...
Will lead with your heart."
"So, I came home. Finally, home again. A few days ago, I saw my northern star. I knew what is true."
"This world, even in 2016, is filled with dark. We have among us in this community people who are racist bigots, religious zealots, dangerous homophobes, and imprudent misogynists. And, as a gay man who is in a loving relationship with my husband, I need to stop the misguided hatred which still fills this community with darkness."
"My son and his friends came to me a few days ago. The boys told me of a certain man in their high school. He is a man of hate. He is a man of darkness. He torments his students with his racist and homophobic actions. This man is my son's and his friends' darkness. This man has racist and homophobic supporters living among us. We need to stop them in their tracks before we find ourselves facing down a hostage taker and taking lives of the young men who came to me. We can't let this pass. Not anymore. We need to take a stand. I hope you will join me in this fight. It will get nasty before it is over. But, we owe this to our young people in this community to stop the hatred. To stop the bigotry. To stop the homophobia."
"I don't want this situation to be another time I couldn't do anything to prevent something from happening. I have dealt with angry people before, but this is different. I know the kids. One is our son. I am pleading with you to join my efforts. This is what Mabel would do!"
I paused and looked out at the congregations. I saw Janet Lopez and Brandon Martin stand.
"We're in," Janet exclaimed to me and the congregation. One by one. People began to stand and pledge to support us to reclaim our community. I watched as every person in the room joined our effort. I shed tears.
"Thank you everyone," I said to the group.
"How did you pull off this reception without me knowing about it?" I asked as Philip and I settled into the sofa in the living room.
"Mel and the Williamson family," Philip replied. "They did a stealth setup last night. I think it went well."
"Yes, it did go well," I replied as I gave my hubby a kiss. "I hope the rest of this whole nightmare goes as well as the reception."
"The Tuesday evening school board meeting should be exciting," Philip replied. "Even if half of the people at church today show up, it will give the board something to think about. And I want you to know, I am very, very proud of you for taking a stand against this man and his viewpoints."
"Thank you, sweetie," I replied as I scooted closer to Philip and put my head on his chest. Philip put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer to him. "I'm feeling good about the possibilities we have in this community if we all work together. On the other hand, I am somewhat concerned something might blow up and this meeting could turn ugly."
"We will get through this, Jeffery," Philp replied. "You will go down in history as the most stubborn youth minister this town has ever had."
"Stubborn!" I said softly as I put my hand on Philip's crotch. "You think I am stubborn! I'm not stubborn, Philip. Just ask Mabel!"
"If you keep what you are doing, Jeffery," Philip hissed. "I will need to take you into the bedroom and fondle your body."
"Really!" I hissed back. "Do you think you are man enough?"
"Yes," Philip replied as he started to play with my nipples through the fabric of my shirt. "What about you? Do you think I am man enough?"
"Yes," I replied. "From what I remember, you have just the right tools for the job."
Philip led me to our bedroom. He closed AND locked the door.
"Here we go," I said to Philip and Trevor. We left Sam and Tim with my mother. "This will be a lesson in civil rights activism."
"Just don't get us arrested," Trevor added. "It won't look good in my college entrance essay."
"We can only hope for the best," I replied. When we walked into the meeting room, I was shocked at the number of people already packing the room. "Holy cow! This is a huge crowd!"
"Dad!" Trevor admonished me. "Don't say `huge' anything! You will be mistaken for a certain billionaire."
"I will take your suggestion under advisement," I added. "We should have invited him and the Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr. They would feel right at home."
We found seats in the second row of the meeting room. Others were standing in the back. Once the meeting commenced, there was only room for a few more in the back of the room.
When the council members took their seats at the front of the room, they all looked nervous because of the crowds.
"Reverend LeBlanc," Don Brighton who is president of the school board. "I see you have successfully energized your base. Let's hope we can get through this evening without skirmishes."
I stood up, "Thank you, Mr. Brighton. I am, however, Reverend Harris-LeBlanc. Reverend LeBlanc is my mother."
"Oh yes!" Mr. Brighton responded. "I had forgotten you and your husband had tied the knot."
The meeting went smoothly through the regular business of the board. However, when it came time for me to read the `Statement of Concern,' the board members became visibly more tense.
"Reverend Jeffery Leblanc... Sorry, Reverend Jeffery Harris-LeBlanc has a statement of concern he would like to put forward to the board into our official minutes. Reverend?"
I squeezed Philip's hand before I took my position in front of the room. I was supposed to be delivering the statement of concern to the board members, but I decided the rest of the room would be a more receptive audience. I faced the crowd of on-lookers first, and then turned to face the board members so that they could hear the words directly from me.
"Thank you for allowing me to speak before the board," I began.
"Our community is quickly becoming a canvas which looks very much like many of the communities throughout this country. We are becoming more diverse. We are becoming more accepting. We are becoming less hateful and fearful of new ideas and cultures. This country is moving from isolated communities into a globally connected world. We are sharing our values, our culture, our religion, our difference, and our similarities to the world."
"Some people in this community apparently don't want to join the rest of us in this century. Rather, they prefer to live in the past. Where power is king. Where values are dictated. Where religion is foisted upon those who believe."
"Among the many people who have helped this community to progress from the past into the present, we have leaders who have taken this fight internationally. Sam Williamson was named International Spokesperson for Green Star Peace Initiative, a non-profit organization whose mission is to strike civil rights violations against the LGBTQ community of the world. So, please follow in Sam's footsteps and help us provide a peaceful, healthy, diverse, and friendly place to raise our children. Not in foreign countries, but in this community."
"I have a petition here signed by 5,000 people who live here. We are asking the school board to take positive action to provide the security of our kids as they attend school. We are asking the board to approve and enact a zero-tolerance position in the school system for any racist, homophobic, religion-centered attacks on the moral fiber of this community. It doesn't matter if we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist. It doesn't matter if we are straight, gay, or transgendered. It doesn't matter if we are white, black, brown, yellow, or green. We are all people trying to exist in the modern world. Thank you for your time and consideration."
As I sat between Philip and Trevor, the audience applauded. When the applause died down, another person in the room made his presence known.
"Mr. President," the voice interrupted.
"Yes, Congressman Franklin," Mr. Brighton replied. "Would you like to say something to the board?"
"Yes," the ex-Congressmen began. "I am appalled at the lack of respect this so-called minister is foisting on this community. We are not living in sin as do the people of San Francisco where the so-called minister was radicalized. We cannot allow this man to dictate to this faith-based community his perverse thoughts and ideas. Jason Donovan is a credit to this community. He is teaching our children to respect the values which have made this community great. You cannot fault him for his yearning to keep this community great. And, if any of you believe you have the right to legislate our values, I will work tirelessly to make certain you are not capable of leading our children into the world of sin. Thank you. I trust you will heed my viewpoints on this subject."
"Thank you Congressmen Franklin," Mr. Brighton replied. "I was not aware Reverend Harris-LeBlanc had made any specific accusations regarding any member of the staff."
"Sir," I heard as I realized Trevor had stood.
"Yes, son," Mr. Brighton said.
"If I may, I would like to point out this man in no longer a Congressman. He doesn't deserve to be honored with a title," Trevor began. "My ex-father, the ex-Congressman of this district, serves as one of this community's leading racist, homophobic, bigoted hatemonger. He is not an honorable person. He nearly killed me, his gay son, in a drunken stupor because I am gay. He should have no voice in this community. Thank you for allowing me to speak."
Trevor sat down. He was shaking. I put my arm around his shoulders.
"Thank you, son," Mr. Brighton said to Trevor. "Thank you Reverend Harris-LeBlanc. The board will take your recommendations and determine our course of action."
"Excuse me, Mr. Brighton," Janet Lopez interrupted as she stood a few seats to our left.
"Yes, Dr. Lopez," Mr. Brighton acknowledged.
"I want to add an exclamation point to the comments Jeffery and Trevor made," Janet said to the board. "As an educator myself, I cannot emphasize enough we need to make positive steps to assure our children are not harmed by the people you have hired. Racism, bigotry, homophobia are sicknesses. We have seen instances of PSTD-like symptoms of harassed students in both high school and college. So, I do not believe you have the leisure of undertaking a prolonged discussion of your options. Also, there is legal precedent of charging non-tolerant employees with hate crimes. The school who employs these people is also the target of legal action. So, I would urge you to make a very simple decision. No tolerance guidelines. Simple. Fast. Easy to implement."
"Surely, Dr. Lopez," Mr. Brighton added. "You can't be serious about the school district suffering legal damages from an employee's actions."
"Excuse me, Mr. Brighton," Devon said as he stood. "I am Devon Wright, an attorney with Billingsley, Gifford, and Washington in Chicago. I represent the Lost Sheep Center in any legal situations. And, I will be happy to reference several decisions in the courts where the employers of offending staff members can be, and have been, part of the legal action. Thank you."
"We will decide on our course of action in the next few weeks," Mr. Brighton replied. "Thank you for bringing this to our attention."
My phone rang on Wednesday morning after the school board meeting. "This is Jeffery."
"Dad!" Trevor exclaimed. "It looks like we might have won! Mr. Donovan has been placed on paid leave until further notice."
"Really?" I replied. "Terrific! One down. How many more do we have before we will be finished?"
"I have no idea," Trevor replied. "I need to get to my next class, but I thought you would want to know about Mr. Donovan."
"Thank you, Trevor," I said into the phone. "You've made my day!"
As I hung up the telephone, I began to worry Mr. Donovan might react in a malicious manner. `Nonsense!' I thought to myself. `He wouldn't hurt someone.'
I continued working on a piece I was working on for the church website. Suddenly, I looked up and noticed a city police officer standing in my doorway.
"How may I help you, officer?" I asked.
"I am Officer Mills. You are Jeffery Harris-LeBlanc, correct?" the officer asked.
"Yes," I said. "Why?"
"The principal of the high school called our office," the Officer Mills began. "He has reason to believe Jason Donovan might attempt to attack you or your family. The principal placed Mr. Donovan on administrative paid leave until further notice."
"Oh!" I said. "What happens now?"
"You son, along with some of his swim team, has been removed from the high school building and they are in a secure place," Officer Mills explained. "We would like to move them to your home along with your other family, including your husband Philip Harris-LeBlanc. He is on his way home with a State Police escort. Where are your other two sons?"
"They are home with the sitter," I replied. "Are they safe?"
"A police unit is stationed on the street near your house," Officer Mills continued. "We need to get you to your house. You will be under police protection until further notice."
"Oh!" I replied. "I think I need to get home then."
"I will follow you," Officer Mills replied.
Once I arrive home with Officer Mills, I collected Sam and Tim. We awaited arrival of the others. When Philip arrived, I immediately felt more relaxed.
"This is scary, Philip," I said as I stood. "Maybe I shouldn't have said what I did at the school board meeting."
"Nonsense, Jeffery," Philip said as he pulled me in for a hug. "You put yourself on the line to help others in this community."
"But, I have put our family in danger," I replied. "I should have thought this through before I jumped at the opportunity to speak to the board."
"Jeffery!" Philip said as he held me tighter. "Keep focused. We did this for our son and his friends on the swim team. We can't stand in the corner and let someone else take on the evil in this world. We have come too far to be shoved back into the closet by a psycho."
Trevor and his friends flew through the front door. "Is everyone alright?" Trevor asked excitedly.
"Yes," I replied. "We are all here. The officers will be on hand to get us through this mess. Everything will be fine, Trevor."
"Yes, Jeffery," Philip added. "Everything will be fine just like you said a few moments ago."
"I didn't...," I began. "Oh! Yes! I did. Thank you for reminding me Philip."
"So, Reverend LeBlanc," the reporter began with the interview. "What is your reaction to the arrest of Jason Donovan and Congressman Franklin for plotting to commit a hate crime?"
"I am Reverend Harris-LeBlanc. Mr. Donovan and ex-Congressman's arrest is for the betterment of the community," I replied. "I have said this before. We all must live together peacefully and compassionately. We have no room for bigotry, homophobia, racism, or misogyny in this community. We are moving our globally connected community into this century. We have no option but to fight the hatemongers in this community. We can't sit back and let our kids be tricked into believing the lies and myths surrounding those in our community who want to stay living in the past. Hate is unhealthy. It is unethical. It is despicable."
"How do you view your role in driving out the hate in this community?" the reporter asked.
"It has become my mission to rid this community, this state, this country, and this world of hate," I said. "Lofty goals? Yes. Impossible? No. If we don't get the hate in this community out of our way, we will be living in fear forever."
"Why are you so adamant about being involved in this cause?" the reporter asked. "You and your family have been threatened. Don't you believe the safety of your family is more important than an effort to banish fear in the community? It doesn't seem very practical or advisable."
"I am adamant about his cause because I don't believe hate trumps love," I replied. "My son and his friends have been victimized by a dangerous man. I am a 28-year-old white guy from a very conservative community. I am also a gay man who has had the good fortune to marry the man of my dreams and to adopt three of the most delightful sons you will ever meet. I am doing this for my three boys. They need to grow up in an environment filled with love and not with hate. They need to grow up in an environment filled with positive energy and not the negativity surrounding the lives of the haters. They need to grow up to be fully functioning adults with no hate in their vocabulary or mind."
"You have mentioned in some of your statements the phrase, `The lies of religion gone bad... How do you reconcile your views of `religion gone bad' with those of the church you attend?"
"It is a nonissue," I relied. I could feel my blood beginning to boil.
"I don't understand," the reporter replied.
"It is a nonissue," I said again. "The United Church of Christ is an affirming and accepting denomination. We don't distinguish between black, white, brown, yellow or even green skinned human beings. We don't distinguish between straight, gay, or transgendered people. We don't condone hate. We preach and live without hate. We preach and live with love. Everyone is equal. Everyone should have an opportunity to live their lives without the fear someone will cause them harm because of their color, religion, sexual identity, or viewpoints. I believe if we conduct our lives in an open, caring, and loving way, we are living the way God would want us to live. So, it is a nonissue."
"Congressman Franklin made statements to the press following the school board meeting detailing his views on his son's remarks at the school board meeting. He said, `My son has been brainwashed by the two homosexual men he now lives with.' How do you respond to his comment?" the reporter finally asked.
"I don't," I replied. "I will not respond to his statement out of respect for my son, Trevor Harris-LeBlanc. Now, I believe this interview is over. Thank you for your time. I will show you out."
I returned to the living room after I closed the door on the reporter. Philip, Trevor, Sam, and Tim stood in the middle of the room.
"Jeffery," Philip said. "I am so proud of you. You are a light in the sea of darkness surrounding the world today. You should be a politician and take your fight to Washington. We will all be right behind you."
"A politician," I repeated. "Hmm. Where should I start? The state legislature? Congress? Senate? Or President?"
"If a billionaire can win the Presidency, why can't a gay minister from a mainline Christian church?" Trevor added.
"I will take your suggestions under advisement," I replied as we all gathered for a group hug.
To be continued...
I am starting a new e-mail list because the previous one contains several incorrect e-mail addresses. If you would like to be on the NEW announcement list for "Jeffery Comes Home," please send an e-mail by clicking here.
I would enjoy hearing your comments about this story. You can write to me at MaWriterBoy@yahoo.com.
This is my 18th posting of my fourth story on Nifty.org.
I also have three other stories on Nifty:
Sam and Chris in the `College' section
John's Journey Forward in the `Beginnings' section
Life With Tom in the authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)
Please if you can, contribute and keep NIFTY going strong as ever. They need our support so stories like this and so many others can continue to be published for many hours of reading enjoyment.