'He's Bringing Great Sadness
to Our Home'
Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry talks about his gay son.
BY: Interview by Paul O'Donnell
Behaviors are a choice. I do not contend that they ask for the feelings anymore than any of us ask for feelings. Feelings are sometimes out of our control. Behavior has to do with choices.
Have your views shifted at all since you found out Jamiel is gay?
No. There are three options when you find out a family member is homosexual. One is accept them and their lifestyle as if it's normal. Two is to reject them and sever your relationship. Three is to love them unconditionally, but to tell them you do not accept their behavior as normal, and to tell them the truth. If I love my son, I can't say to him, "Hey, you're committing suicide on the installment plan. This is a great lifestyle." I have to be honest with him. Take out the word homosexuality and put in alcoholism or put in drug addiction. Would you tell a drug addict, "I accept you. This is your choice, this is your life and I will stand by you"? The average death age of a male homosexual is 42 years old because of disease, because of suicide, because of alcoholism, because of drugs, because of violence. It's just not a good world. It's a self-abusive, self-destructive sexual addiction.
You say in your piece you've offered to get him treatment for it.
I have to believe that people can change, otherwise I deny the Gospel, and I will not do that.
|"I'm proud of him in a number of ways. Right now he's bringing great sadness to our home and embarrassment to our family."|
Your son says that he'd be living a lie even if he went through treatment to correct his behavior, that the feelings wouldn't go away. He said he had asked you whether you wanted him to live that way.
I don't remember that, but what I would say to him or to anyone is that you might feel like stealing a Porsche, but as long as you don't act out on it, you're not going to get in trouble. I think a lot of us have feelings from time to time that are rather dark. But it's our behavior that we can modify. So if you're asking me, would I prefer my son live a celibate life? Then the answer is yes.
Why are some people given to homosexual feelings while others aren't?
I think most of it is behavioral. A crisis occurred in their youth. I've heard that 90 percent of lesbians were assaulted in their youth. It's not quite as high for males. But I believe that a traumatic event happened for most of them in their youth, whether it involved sexual molestation or abuse or viewing pornography, an absent father, or a sexual contact in the pubescent years. God did not design the human being to have these things happen and then to function as if everything was fine.
Do you think it's his homosexuality that has produced the litany at the end of your piece--the DWI, the bad checks, the dropping out of school?
I don't know.
How do you go about continuing contact with him--the third course you mentioned. Would you mention this every time you see your son?
I don't know, I have to think it through. We're taking it one day at a time.
But you've had two years...
I did not mention it every time. But I want to keep conversations between my son and I private. I talked to him about it many times.