It's quite possible I am not completely using the term "internet troll" correctly, but oh well.
Here it goes.
In the past, I've been told that not everyone understands my views and ideas about homosexuality, and so my strong defense on the side of homosexuals is confusing and generates some upset. Today, I lost friends over it. It wouldn't have happened if I kept my mouth shut. But my mouth seems to hate me. My fingertips hate me the most. Before I can even find a shred of common sense, they've both rallied to a cause that makes me feel it's okay to be a troll sometimes (though it is probably not).
Keeping my mouth shut is hard. And there's a reason it's so hard.
Roger has been in church ministry for ten years now. Obviously this means that almost 98.9% of all our friends are Christian. Over the years, this has made life with my controversial views a little more than difficult. I've spent a good deal of time awake in bed at night, unable to get people's words out of my head, soaking my pillow with tears, asking God if I have it all wrong, and begging Him to show mercy...
You would assume I have lots of gay friends, right?
Not at all. I don't even know very many gay people.
I only know my baby brother.
I love my brother so much, guys. He looks like me...he makes me laugh...he giggles...he let's me borrow his sneakers and sweats when I am at home (my mom's home, actually) and don't want to wear church clothes anymore. He watches scary movies with me. He has cried with me. We've been scared together, messed up together, watched our mama cry...tried to fix all the wrongs in the world, gotten angry at each other, gotten angry for each other, and punched each other...
He. Is. Amazing.
So when the awesomeness (pffft) of social media sometimes appears to mock my very real struggle of how to figure out how Jesus and my gay brother can coincide in love, I get angry and my mouth (or rather, fingers) shoot off.
Over the years, I've had people tell me that if I truly loved my brother, I would tell him the truth of what Jesus says about homosexuality in order to save him from eternal damnation...
Come on, folks. Let's be honest. That's the dumbest thing you could ever say to me. I'm a hot-tempered woman. You question how much I love my flesh and blood, and Imma loose my head.
That person deleted me from facebook. Or, I deleted them. I don't remember.
And then a few days later, another well meaning Christian friend posted something about homosexuality. Their anger and disgust was trying to be stealthy but looked more like a raging bull in a china shop...
When these things happen, my anger gets more place in my heart than love and grace. I totally morph into this ugly internet troll...bravely defending my brother's honor. I do it all wrong. I say all the wrong things. My emotions are clearly all over my sleeve AND the comments section. It's messy.
Because, you see my friend, this struggle isn't yours. Not even a little. You have no idea what you're saying...
And you have no idea how you just wounded my heart.
As fast as you click "post", I want to tackle you to the ground and force you to know all the amazing things about my brother: how awesome he is, how emphatic, compassionate, and caring...
But you don't know. You won't know. And you're quick little status update, or article share, or youngcons blib on equal marriage--Matt Walsh's latest golden words on angry gays--theblaze you shared just crushed me. But you don't know. You have no idea. Because my struggle isn't yours.
And then an evening like tonight's happened. I was sitting by my brother in the living room. I could tell he was having a hard day right when he walked in. He started talking about how angry he was that a particular store he favored was piping in ultra conservative Christian hymns. I realized that he no longer associated me so much with the a-typical Christian because he knows I love him, he knows that I champion him, he knows that I want him to be treated equal to any other American human being in ALL ways. But...I also felt protective for Christians. It got awkward. Real awkward...
And now here I am...
Up too late in the night...
Feeling like the freaking world is rotting away with hate, anger, intolerance of the word tolerance, and ebola.
Things get heavy, friends. They do. And I really have no idea how to balance them out.
So I ended up acting like a typical internet troll. The first social network friend that posted your run-of-the-mill God vs The Gays statement got my smarmy response (recently, Roger explained to me that it is 'smarmy', as I was putting 'swarmy', but when it comes to me and my reactions, it's one and the same).
I'm sorry for that, by the way. Really, I am.
If you knew my craziness, you would have understood that I was fighting through this massive struggle I've had for years where I pick up this imaginary sword of mine and defend my brother...The Awesome Gay Dude...and try in the stupidest of ways to let the religious world know how foolish they are. I mean, REALLY foolish. Because none of their well-meaning tips and shares and verses and "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin" slogans are helping anyone. Most especially me (because we've gathered that this entire post is all about me--and my baby brother--right? Man I suck). It hurts. All of it. It hurts. Because this struggle isn't yours. It's mine. It's his (unless you have a Super Awesome Gay Loved One, too, and then it's your struggle as well). And in all this nonsense, I am left standing in this super awkward place between the gays and my church friends (which is pretty much everyone but my brother). And you know what guys? It's a really uncomfortable place to be. No one likes standing alone. It makes you feel like the ultimate of losers.
I am sorry that I become an internet troll. If I've ever virtually punched you for saying something about gay people and Jesus, I am sorry. Sorta (I said I was being honest, remember?).
But now you know why.
It's my struggle.
And I love my brother. Massively. Even though I once pinned him down and spit in his face. I love my brother.
So does Jesus.
He even hung on a cross for Him.
No questions asked.