“Daphne’s” Mom Refuses To Bend

Jim Burroway

February 7th, 2011

Remember the mom who let her five-year-old son dress as the Scooby-Doo character Daphne for Halloween? The mother, identified only as “Sarah”, got a lot of flack over it from other moms at her son’s school. That was three months ago and the controversy still hasn’t died down. This time it’s Sarah’s church getting into the act, accusing her of “libel and slander” — even though Sarah only named the other moms as mother’s A, B, and C.  ABC News has this update:

(On January 26), Sarah said she was called in for another meeting, in which the pastor told her she needed to apologize to the mothers whose comments she had mentioned in “My Son Is Gay.” She said the pastor also accused Sarah of “libel and slander, and told her that she “had taken offense [from the women] where none was intended.”

The pastor offered Sarah four steps to restore her relationships with the mothers, including writing an apology, taking down the blog post and perhaps taking down the entire blog. “I was told not to take Communion and that I may have my membership revoked if I didn’t reconcile,” Sarah said.

After Sarah complained to church elders, her pastor called back and said that he would reconsider the withholding of communion. Sarah, who says she has no idea whether her son will grow up to be gay or not (I mean, really, all of this over a Halloween costume!), responded to her church on Monday:

I cannot tell you the betrayal I feel.  The church, or at the very least Pastor is trying to bully me into shutting up, and I find that so disheartening. I am floored by the fact that they’ve gone to so much trouble regarding a post that discusses love and tolerance that was posted 3 months ago.  I am shocked that they do not see the hypocrisy of what they are saying to me. I am in complete disbelief that this has been handled in the way it has. I have never felt less welcome in a church.

This is not the church that I grew up in. This is not the God that I know.

And again I say to you that bullying is not okay, even if you wrap it in a bow and call it ‘spiritual care.’

Kathy

February 7th, 2011

It amazes me that people stay in churches that treat them so miserably. Why stay?

Sarah

February 7th, 2011

Congratulations to her! Libel and slander here is completely ridiculous! She is permitted to quote others in her blog (as far as I know), and she did not use these women’s names. Regardless of whether or not offense is intended, clearly she was upset by their comments and they are the ones who need to apologize. As has been discussed in other forums: causing offense is like stepping on someone’s toes. You might not have meant to do it, but if you do, apologize and move on. Don’t stand around and dicker about how you didn’t mean to, or how it can’t have hurt THAT bad! It floors me how people who have wronged others seem to think that it is the other person’s problem if they’re upset. And the fact that the church intervened here and told her that she had to kiss and make up, when the other women clearly upset her by saying rude things about her CHILD? Unacceptable.

Andrew

February 7th, 2011

It it awesome that in her fight against bullying she is now being bullied. Those women and that church need to take some time looking at themselves instead of blaming others.

Tony P

February 7th, 2011

Good for Sarah! Fight, fight, fight!

Kelly

February 7th, 2011

It’s crazy. What an un-Christlike church.

Rob San Diego

February 7th, 2011

I wasn’t aware that pastors can call us into their offices like they are some principal at a school and we are to obey what they say.

I agree with Kathy, the thought that most people are still associating with church’s amazes me. What, they just can’t stay at home and read the bible? Do they really have to go somewhere and be told what to say, what to do, what to think.

It seems to me that the only time we are welcome in the church is when are wallets are open to them.

cedlitz

February 7th, 2011

You tell ’em! And go for communion. Make him refuse you in the open.

beachewtoy75

February 7th, 2011

What I don’t understand is why she is staying at this school anyway?

If they are going to harass her like that, why would she stay? Is it that good?

justsearching

February 8th, 2011

The mother says that the church brought up Mathew 18 against her. I’ve heard that chapter brought up far too often when a Christian organization/church etc. doesn’t like when bad publicity comes out about them. They harp on about the need to, when in a conflict, to approach the brother in question, then bring about along a few witnesses, and then bring it up to the rest of a church.

That’s all well and good when dealing with 1-1 conflicts that have a good chance to be solved. But this was different. And the mother didn’t single out these mothers. If anyone knows who those mothers are, ABC probably have themselves to blame.

Mortanius

February 8th, 2011

My work with the Christian Church is done here.

-Satan

BlackDog

February 8th, 2011

I’ve always heard the End Times prophecy type Christians talking about how in the End Times, Christians will be persecuted and the rest of the people will think it is the moral thing to do.

Well, when there is so much bad behavior on the part of Christians, and the Christians work so hard to try and deprive others of their liberty and rights or bully them over things like a little kid’s halloween costume…WHAT ELSE CAN THEY EXPECT? Like I learned in science class (At Christian schools) and from my mom…every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

There will come a time when the word “Christian” will be a dirty word and the Christians will have no one but themselves to blame for this.

Cocoa Vann

February 8th, 2011

She should visit her local Unitarian church. I bet she will find that the congregation there will love her and her son, not in spite of who they are, but because of it

TampaZeke

February 8th, 2011

Mama Sarah, if you’re not COMPLETELY fed up with Christianity by now (and why wouldn’t you be?) you should see if you have a local United Church of Christ. You and your son will be loved and accepted just as you are there. I should know, I got fed up with Christianity and left the faith over a year ago. When I told the congregation of my UCC, where I am Moderator (lay leader) they said “COOL, you’re still gonna be Moderator aren’t you?” I’m still a member and I’m still Moderator. Our church is made up of Gs and Ls and Bs and Ts and Blacks and Whites and Asians and Hispanics and Mixed Race and Christians and Jews and Pagans and Buddhists and Atheists and Agnostics and Liberals and Conservatives (I think we have one or two) and Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY!

The UCC is the ONLY reason that I have ANYTHING to do with the Christian faith. They seem to be the only Church, on a nation-wide basis, that even remotely resembles the Christ/Buddha and his teachings.

Things that most progressive churches are “struggling” with today the UCC dealt with DECADES ago. Even support for marriage equality. The UCC passed support for that last decade.

Emelye Waldherr

February 8th, 2011

Hell has no fury like a cis gender police action.

DN

February 8th, 2011

I hope they do sue her for libel or slander. Well actually I don’t want her to have to deal with it, but it’ll be entertaining to watch them get their asses handed to them.

In order to win a libel case, you have to prove that lies or misrepresentations caused injury to a person’s reputation, and (and this is a big “and”) the impact of that harm to the victim’s reputation has made him/her lose money.

So right now, Mrs. A, Mrs. B, and Mrs. C are protected by their anonymity. But by suing, they’ll have to reveal their identity in the public record. Doesn’t seem like the smart thing to do when you’re trying to protect your reputation, now, does it?

I’m glad Sarah is standing up to her bully priest, and I hope she welcomes any legal action brought against her.

Aconite

February 8th, 2011

A brief primer on libel and slander:

1.) In the U.S, if something is true, it is not and cannot be libel or slander. Period. The very first criterion for something to be libel/slander is that it must be a deliberate lie.

2.) Yes, even if you thought it was really mean of somebody to repeat it and make you look bad to a lot of people.

3.) Yes, even if lots and lots of people–more than you thought would ever, ever hear about it–not only heard about what you said, but disagreed with you.

4.) Yes, even if some of those people you never thought would hear about it called you dumbasses for your ignorant, small minded bullying attempts. Dumbasses.

Jamie

February 9th, 2011

This makes me so sad. I am a lesbian and grew up in the church. I enjoyed it and thought God loved me. Until I told my youth pastor that I thought I was gay. He promised he wouldn’t tell anyone but that night we conviently had a sermon by another pastor about how homosexuals will not make it to Heaven. Friends found out and distanced themselves away and I later found out that people I considered family would sit around and talk about me and my path to Hell. Unfortunately this is a common occurence within the gay community. We face more hurt and prejudice from the church than any other group out there. They cause more damage than they will ever realize. I no longer believe in the church. I no longer believe God loves me or has a place for me. It’s hard to believe he does when his “children” tell me I’m not good enough or loved enough to make it in. I’m sorry they have betrayed you and have hurt you. Know that my community loves you and supports you whether or not your son is gay. You are a strong, beautiful example of what God was supposed to be. Accepting, open and loving. Thank you for telling your story and good luck.

Shana Segat

February 9th, 2011

This is just beyond ridiculous. Sarah did nothing wrong. She doesn’t owe anyone an apology and if her church doesn’t accept her & her son, then it is time to move on to a better church. I feel so bad that she is having to deal with all of this for no other reason than being a great mother. Shame on those other mothers and shame on that pastor.

Shana Segat
Your Avon Lady
http://www.youravon.com/ssegat

Bene D

February 10th, 2011

ABC News did an interview with Sarah over her latest post.

She and her husband have decided it is the best interests of their son and his classmates if they find Boo another pre-school.

Good for them. Feet. Dust. Shake off.

Regan DuCasse

February 10th, 2011

Every time I see this picture of her little boy. I just smile. It’s not just that he’s happy. He can make others happy as long as HE is.

He’s so CUTE. What’s not to love?!
Children can cross dress, get totally dirty with mud, eat bugs, spill and dance with no inhibitions and do any number of things that us adults are shy of, but children are too guileless to care, nor should they have to be.

That’s what children like this teach us. To LIGHTEN UP.
He’s demonstrating that he’s a sweet and interesting child.
He didn’t set a house on fire, he wore a fuschia pink skirt.

Moms A,B and C are making a federal case out of a little boy’s choice of Halloween costume he wore ONCE.

They don’t care about him, they just want to have their say. And say it again, even if it creates precisely the stupid irony they are threatening to litigate over.
Stupid is as stupid does.

Is there NO bottom to the victim mentality of people who don’t want to share the world with gay folks?

Timothy Kincaid

February 17th, 2011

BlackDog

There will come a time when the word “Christian” will be a dirty word and the Christians will have no one but themselves to blame for this.

I’d say that they are more than halfway there.

There was a time when “that’s real Christian of you” meant that you’d done an act of kindness. Or when “well, she’s a Christian woman” meant that she was forgiving even when it wasn’t called for.

When is the last time you heard the adjective “Christian” used to describe someone selfless or generous or – frankly – anything other than self-righteous and hateful?

I’ve found that I now rarely describe myself as “Christian” anymore without having to add a disclaimer about what I mean by the term.

Timothy Kincaid

February 17th, 2011

As for her pastor… well this adds new meaning to the term “bully pulpit”

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1969: New York Dailies Take Their First Stab At Stonewall

Born On This Day, 1892: Henry Gerber

Social Conservatives In Morelos Mobilize To Block Marriage Equality

Federal Court Re-opens Marriage Equality Case Over Mississippi's "Religious Freedom" Law

Morelos On the Cusp Of Enacting Marriage Equality

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1969: Stonewall

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.