Dear Gentlemen from B3,
Firstly, I commend you for figuring out my tattoo. I figured I'd start on a positive note. However...
I just wanted to know that I used to be like you. I used to not believe, but know that I was on the right path. I willingly participated in church activities, traveled around the country on mission trips, spreading the "Good Word." I even volunteered as a teacher for Vacation Bible School, despite having to watch Vegie Tales' "Shack, Rack and Benny" five times in a week. And it made me feel great!
But I had questions...
You see, I grew up in a very conservative town. And for most of my youth, I was OK with it. But I realized I had a brain, and it could, indeed, be used to create my own thoughts. So I used those thoughts to ask questions. But no one had answers. At least, no one had answers that made sense. My eyes opened to a world of hypocracy, hatred, and judgement. Why was is it our job to make sure everyone embraced this philosophy? That couldn't be right!
But my hometown wouldn't hear it. And it nearly killed me. You needn't know exactly how.
I learned that this one-book dogma wasn't the only way. I found a way that embraced peace and equality. Everyone had a right to find their own bliss, so long as "Ye Harm None." And by everyone, it meant literally everyone; gay, straight, Democrat, Republican, Christian or "other". This path has brought me peace, and introduced me to a community that loves me for me, including my husband. I agree that we should "do unto others", not kill, not steal and so on. I agree that children should obey their parents. However, we parents aren't always perfect. Heck, I even waited until after marriage to have a child. And I am dedicated to said marriage. Just. Like. You.
So, you came in today. I find it ironic that you came in on a Sunday. You won't cook or clean today, but it's OK for us heathens to do the work for you. But I digress. I observed you saying grace, and I waited to bring out your last pizza. I heard you speak of the church, and I kept quiet, continuing to serve your table with a genuine smile. When I complimented your children's behavior, I did so because as a parent, I appreciate a little pat on the back for a job well done. I figured I'd pass one on to you. I wished to share a moment as a fellow parent, not to open the door for a lecture. I tried to give credit to parents who have the time and patience to raise well-behaved children, but you had already set sights on your primary objective. I tried to tell you that I, too, have amazing children, but you wouldn't so much as let me finish that sentance.
While you said Grace and spoke of your church, I granted you the respect all people deserve. I did not inturrupt your prayer nor declare my feelings against the church. All I request in return is for the respect to be handed back, not a fake "Million Dollar" bill. Instead, I was judged, and reminded a time that gave me great pain. You have the right to worship as you choose, but you do NOT have the right to dig up painful memories. You do NOT have the right to create discomfort in my workplace. And you do NOT have the right to look at four words permanantly inked on my forearm and assume what kind of person I am. It took me a decade to find solid footing, and I will NOT let it quake because of the likes of you!
By the way, that $12 tip you gave was spent at a coffee shop owned by a lesbian couple, one of which is Pagan.
To my Christian friends who may have been upset by anything written above, just know that this is not directed at you. If we be friends, then we have accepted each others differences and coexist in peace, which is all I have ever asked of the world. It's a shame that the Christians I associate myself with get misrepresented by the men I wrote to in this letter. Blessings to you all.