Q. I am a 19-year-old college student. Though not politically correct, I disapprove of homosexuality. Most people don’t know I feel this way. I have no problem with gay people. I have a few close friends and many more acquaintances who are gay, and I support gay adoption, gays in the military, hate crime legislation, etc. But in all honesty I do think it is wrong. I am religious, and I disapprove, but I keep my beliefs quiet. I know my views are irrational, but pretty much all religious faith is irrational.
Recently, I offered to help another student, with whom I’m friendly, with an assignment on a political issue facing America. She chose homosexuality. More specifically, she wrote that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, and those who believe otherwise are small-minded bigots.
She wanted to engage me in a discussion about how my religion influenced my views on homosexuality. I tried to be brief, but she kept digging. When I told her she responded “people like you’’ are ruining America and Christianity is just an excuse to be hateful, etc. She also told our mutual friends that I am a bigot who hates gays. Was I in the wrong here?
A. This is interesting because it is somewhat convoluted. You say your views are irrational, that religion is, as well, and you don’t make a habit of being vocal about your views. You have gay friends and acquaintances, so you are not a practicing bigot. The fellow student you were trying to help asked your views and then went nuts when you obliged her. Because you knew where she was coming from, you could have fudged, but instead you were intellectually honest and, given the situation, courageous.
I think your defense with your friends is to point out that your instinctive friendships have trumped your religious views, and to remind them that you have never chosen to discuss this. I find the young woman immature and confrontational, and I also get the idea that, in time, you will lose the views you have now because you know there is something wrong with them.
Q. A co-worker and I had a long-distance three-year relationship - he was in London, and I was in the United States. It was awesome because he would be here for a week each month. I could focus on my career and family, and yet we had a wonderful time. In 2005, we both decided, for family reasons, he needed to stay in London, and I in Virginia. So I took care of my mom, who had Alzheimer’s, he took care of his family, and we stayed in touch as friends - but intermittently.
He is not a great communicator, but he has now expressed the desire to regroup. I will be honest: I have missed him, but I have no desire to rekindle something that has him in London and me here. I plan to be upfront with him when he arrives, but don’t know if I should insist he stay in a hotel until we sort things out.
NEED YOUR THOUGHTS SOON!
A. You are both adults, and I detect a great deal of feeling on both sides. Bag the hotel. If you two cannot arrive at a plan to bridge the distances to your mutual satisfaction, I think the rekindling interlude would still be a definite plus. And I have the idea that his wish to “regroup’’ suggests he may have a plan. I hope so.
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