The Great Divide

“Sharon it is good to see you!  I’m so glad you came. Boy, do we have a lot to catch up on.  Sit.  Do you want a drink?” Debbie greeted her lost long friend into her home.

“Debbie, thanks a coffee will do.  I’m so glad I got 2 hours to spend with just you.” Sharon felt at home almost immediately.

“Can you believe the elections?” Debbie handed Sharon her cup that she basically prepared just the way she remembered Sharon liked it.  “More than anything I can’t believe that the Democrats are still out and protesting.  If Trump had lost, they would never understand if he complained of the vote.  Yet they are acting like… Sharon?  What is the matter?” Debbie is looking at Sharon.

“Debbie, did I just get you.  You voted for Trump. I don’t understand.  I thought your kind of people were smart and valued women, minorities and ..and .. and the land.  Are you serious?  Why would you have voted for Trump?”

“Why was Clinton a paragon of justice and all that was right?  Besides the fact, she set up a fund where they basically allowed themselves to be bribed for any diplomat who wanted something from the Whitehouse. And Clinton would have been just another Obama.” Debbie felt she scored with that last point.

“What was wrong with Obama? I think he was the most approachable, humorous, caring President this country has seen in a long time. They brought back to America the value of family and taking care of each other.  Setting up the medical care has been the best thing especially for someone like my sister who could not afford her own insurance.  He saved America!” Sharon triumphantly announces practically getting out of her chair to march across the room with a flag.

“Sharon?” Debbie is almost whispering in pain,  “ Obama almost destroyed Israel.  He did everything in his power to cause damage to Israel and bow so low to the Syrians and all the other murderers. Who has allowed ISIs to become as powerful as they have?  He couldn’t make a red line and keep it.  To his enemies, he gave everything and to his only friend he spits in their face time and again.  How could we vote for another Obama? Besides, I could never forgive Clinton and her immobility and irresponsibility for Benghazi!”

“But Debbie, Trump is a bigot.  He mistreats women.  He hates Mexicans.  He makes fun of the handicap. How could you of all people hold him?”

“At least you know what you are getting.  With her, she could be stealing lying and selling everyone out with that deceiving smile on her face.  Besides, Bill misused women much worse than Trump ever did.”

“Right it was Bill. Not Hillary.  Not only she had to be embarrassed by him she also has to be accused of his crimes?” Sharon mumbled.

They are staring at each other from the opposite sides of the couch.

Sharon looks as she might start crying and whispers; “Debbie, I’m so afraid. How could this next administration affect every part of our lives? “

Debbie is confused.  “Why do you say that?”

Whispering Sharon confides, “Daniel just told me he is gay. How is my son who is gay going to live in a Trump world, where everything is black and white?  Did he just become non-grata?”

Debbie takes a deep breath and tries to find the right words, the words that won’t throw any more daggers, show respect but also careful to watch for  the pitfalls are. “Sharon, if the new world becomes a little bit less politically correct, it still won’t mean that there will be attacks.  But how do you feel about it?” Debbie sits down a bit closer to Sharon on the couch.

“We told him, we will support him.  He should feel comfortable in our home with whoever his friends are. He should not have to hide anywhere. If he wants ‘friends’ to sleepover, it is fine with us.”

“Sharon, you didn’t answer my question.  How do you feel now that your 16 year-old-son says he is gay?”

“I just told you.”

“No, you told me how the modern mother is supposed to act in the new politically correct world we have come to.  You didn’t tell me how YOU feel about your son declaring he loves a man.  What if he said he wants to have a relationship with even a girl at 16, wouldn’t you talk to him about being careful, maybe it is too early to get into a serious relationship, why is it different now that he is calling himself gay?”

“No, if he had a girlfriend, I would do the same.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why?  I should kick my child out.  I should let him have a relationship in a car or some other strange place.  Better he should be home.”

“Does this mean whatever he does, is condoned, as long as he tells you? And you don’t have any feelings other than his protection?  The feelings of a 16-year-old are supposed to be taken so seriously?  I remember in our day, girls would have crushes on girls, because that is what 16-year-old kids do.  They have this hormone flying through their system and anyone of any gender who they admire they don’t really get their feelings.  It is the age one starts understanding emotions.  To let a child label himself one way or another is crazy!  Why jump on the bandwagon.  Let him know that these are just feelings you have now, he shouldn’t lock himself in.”

“Is this all coming from your attention to the Bible?  It says there homosexuality is abominable.  You want me to think that?”

“You are right it does say that.  If the Torah comes to tell us something is forbidden it is because it is something that a person would think could be permissible.  It doesn’t say a person can’t sleep with his child because everyone recognizes the truth.  The very fact that it forbids it, is informing us that have homosexual feelings is a reality, but one is not allowed to act upon it.  You know there are people who have an urge to steal, to lie, to do all sorts of things that are forbidden by the Torah (and general thinking.) But we don’t let these people go around and ‘expressing their needs and desires’ letting them hang out as the wayG-d created them. Nor let them walk around in a parade totally undressed and acting sensational.”

“How can you compare someone who has a beautiful sensitive love for another human being in the same breath with a kleptomaniac or even an infectious parent?!  Just because the Bible says, just proves how outdated the book is and the more reason we don’t need to follow it like you do.”

“Why? In Rome, there weren’t gays? In Greece, there were no homosexuals?  What makes our modern world so different? And he is only 16! How does he know what he is?  Why encourage it?  It seems the more outrageous the request, the more the ‘modern’ parent needs to be ‘with it’ and accepting.  That is the only action the new parent needs to do – accept.  No setting standards, no saying this is not how a Jew acts, no trying to pass down what we know is really right from wrong.  You want your hair green okay.  You want to put tattoos all over your body, okay.  You want to put Frankenstein pins in your nose okay.  And then when this new ugly creature goes for a job interview and gets refused; protests, intolerance, the great need of creativity and expression is being downtrodden – is this the way of the modern world?  Where does it end?” Debbie is now letting it all out.

“That is what is wrong with you people and the Trump haters, they think there is only one way of looking at the world.  Why can’t people walk around with green hair and pretty pictures on their arms? I wouldn’t do it, but who am I to say what is beautiful?  You think you are the end of the definition of what is beautiful and what is acceptable.  Yes, we allow our children to express their different creativity, to go out to the world and find what is meaningful to them and make it part of their expression.  If it means my son is gay, then I must accept him for what he values.”

“Oh, my gosh.  What ridiculous values you have accepted upon yourself. And in twenty years from now, are you going to be happy with his choices? Is he the incredible mature 16-year-old going to be happy with his choices? Is there no set barometer, moral code that anyone of this generation is supposed to follow?  Listen, Sharon, I can’t say everything in my life is rosy and perfect.  I don’t like the way the schools add more authoritative decrees on my daughter; not too long, not too short, no bicycles, and etc, but the choices my kids are choosing from is from a positive place a growing place.”

“Really?  Your daughter can’t sing in front of a group. You can’t relax and just wear pants. You wouldn’t send your kids to a regular college to get a normal education.  You can’t sit with your family at shul. You can’t go comfortably to see a show on Broadway. You can’t even go to an art gallery with your husband because heaven forbid there might be a nude. How is that positive?”

“That is just what I’m saying.  There are things that are difficult; for you and me. (Not that those things that you think are difficult really bother me. Now.) But I can’t imagine having to choose to have a relationship with my kids’ means I have to allow them to basically destroy their bodies, their minds, and their spiritual side and let them do anything they can think of to get a little attention and be different. Do you think your kids are happier? Growing to be a mentsch? Or are they learning that one must strive to be different as possible to move the envelope as far as they can for the sake of change?  I already have children married with grandchildren. Do you think you will ever have that gift the greatest gift one can have?”

“I can’t force my children to be something for my own pleasures.”

“Not, my pleasure. HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s pleasure, as well.”

“Why now you know how G-d thinks?”

“We have His book.”

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