From Mrs Christine Holt
Sir, - It is impossible to imagine the depths of despair that
the 14- year-old Lizzie Lowe suffered, practically alone, before
taking her life after battling "to reconcile her faith with her
emerging sexuality" (
News, 9 January).
Lizzie is not the first, nor will she be the last, to kill
herself in such circumstances. What, or who, caused her to believe
that her sexuality was incompatible with her Christian faith?
Could it be that, like my son, she absorbed the negativity
towards same-sex attraction and love which is still prevalent
within some church circles today?
Young people such as Lizzie, in their anxiety, can turn to
truancy, drink, drugs, and self-harming - so damaging to their
future prospects and quality of life. Tragically, Lizzie chose to
end her life.
I shall always thank God that our son, also nurtured within the
Church, just about managed to survive his many years of anxiety and
self-hatred before "coming out" to us at the age of 32. We learned,
from him, that, throughout, he had feared that we, as Christian
parents, would disown him.
So, what message is the Church sending to all young people
within its pews, schools, and colleges? Is it that same-sex love is
so sinful and unworthy that it is of less value than opposite-sex
love, and should therefore be condemned? If so, it is little wonder
that young people who are homosexual frequently become victims of
homophobic bullying. Is it that the whole subject is just too
distasteful to be talked about sensibly and openly in church?
It is too late for hand-wringing when a lovely and talented
child cannot face her future and hangs herself; and when many
people who are homosexual, like our son - christened and confirmed
within the Church - choose to leave because of the judgement that
they face about the quality and worthiness of their lives.
For decades, church leaders have discussed and debated the issue
of homosexuality, although Christ himself seems to have had nothing
to say on the subject. It is time to stop making an issue out of a
non-issue before any more young lives are either seriously damaged
by depression, loneliness, and self-loathing, or lost to us for
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