Today my spouse and I went to her grandmother's funeral. Her grandmother had lived a long, full life loving her family, quilting, and gardening. She was a faith filled woman, who struggled with her granddaughter's choices to move away from small-town Missouri and live with another woman. After 30 years she had at least accepted that I wasn't going away. I went with Natalie, as her spouse, to be her support and comfort as she has been for me as I struggled with my own losses.
Most funerals are sad and this one was no exception. However, shortly after the first hymnal the preacher lauded the family for their traditional family values. He asked that everyone help him pray for those traditional marriage values that are currently under attack by the government. Our heads snapped up and we knew we were no longer welcomed as many of the attendees started nodding their heads in agreement. The same heads that share DNA with my beloved. It hurt me to see so much hate around me. It was appalling to know in the room there were young people being taught to hate those that are different, and in some cases hate themselves. The cutting remarks were even sadder than the reason we were there.
We did not leave, but stayed for the rest of the service. The small minded preacher went on to talk about the importance of love, Jesus is love, he felt surrounded by love, and love of the Lord is the highest form of love. He concluded by inviting all of us to share in a dinner prepared for all of us with love at his church. We decided to skip the dinner.
Natalie said to me on the ride home, "After that there was nothing else he said that I wanted to hear."
Love may have won last month, but hate still exists and flourishes in small-towns and small minds.