July 16th December
Following the Christmas break from school, Jeremy noticed a difference in Cody. He was more withdrawn and somewhat saddened. Cody still came to work out with Jeremy, but their lovemaking was sporadic. He seemed to have less interest in choir than in the past. He began to bring Scott with him to work out on the gym equipment in Jeremy’s barn. Jeremy liked Scott, but wanted some private time with Cody.
Cody begged Jeremy to attend church with him, and Jeremy finally agreed. Jeremy hated the church that Cody’s family attended, but agreed to go just to spend some time with Cody. After going two times Jeremy refused to go back. “All the preacher preaches about is how sinful I am for being gay,” Jeremy said. “I don’t feel sinful. I know that I didn’t chose to be gay, but that God made me this way. God must have had a reason for making me gay.”
“But the Bible says…,” Cody began.
“Fuck what the Bible says,” Jeremy argued. “You have to read the entire Bible, if you’re going to following every part of the Bible. For instance, you won’t eat bacon for breakfast and you’d worship God on Saturday rather than Sunday. You go to your church and listen to the hate and guilt that comes from the pulpit, but I’m not going back.”
“Our pastor says that it’s a sin for a man to lay with another man,” Cody said. “My dad said that if one of his sons turned out being gay that he would disown them.”
Jeremy took Cody’s hand and said, “That Bible that they claim to live by also says, ‘Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.’ Babe, I didn’t decide one day to be gay, and neither did you.”
“They seem sure when they quote the Bible claiming that homosexuality is a sin.”
Jeremy went to his desk and took a printed sheet of paper out of the desk drawer. He handed the sheet of paper to Cody and said, “After I went to your church I began to look for answers because I spite of what your preacher said, I felt no guilt because God made me gay. I found this on the internet and I think you should read it.”
An engineering professor is treating her husband, a loan officer, to dinner for finally giving in to her pleas to shave off the scraggly beard he grew on vacation. His favorite restaurant is a casual place where they both feel comfortable in slacks and cotton/polyester-blend golf shirts. But, as always, she wears the gold and pearl pendant he gave her the day her divorce decree was final. They're laughing over their menus because they know he always ends up diving into a giant plate of ribs but she won't be talked into anything more fattening than shrimp.
Quiz: How many biblical prohibitions are they violating? Well, wives are supposed to be 'submissive' to their husbands (I Peter 3:1). And all women are forbidden to teach men (I Timothy 2:12), wear gold or pearls (I Timothy 2:9) or dress in clothing that 'pertains to a man' (Deuteronomy 22:5). Shellfish and pork are definitely out (Leviticus 11:7, 10) as are usury (Deuteronomy 23:19), shaving (Leviticus 19:27) and clothes of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19). And since the Bible rarely recognizes divorce, they're committing adultery, which carries the rather harsh penalty of death by stoning (Deuteronomy 22:22).
So why are they having such a good time? Probably because they wouldn't think of worrying about rules that seem absurd, anachronistic or - at best - unrealistic. Yet this same modern-day couple could easily be among the millions of Americans who never hesitate to lean on the Bible to justify their own anti-gay attitudes. ~Deb Price, And Say Hi To Joyce
“But, this all was taken from the Old Testament,” Cody said. “Reverend Langley said that we are now living under the New Testament.”
“Then why does he preach hate about homosexuals and quotes verses from the Old Testament?”
“Forget it, I’m going home.”
“You know I’m right,” Jeremy yelled as Cody made a quick exit to go home.
“What was that all about?” Allen asked as he came from the kitchen where he and Nancy were preparing dinner.
“Cody’s dad and preacher have him all fucked up with the hate that they both have against gays,” Jeremy said.
“Jeremy! Watch your language,” Nancy called from the kitchen.
“Sorry Mom,” Jeremy said. “But, I get so pissed off at what they are doing to him.”
“Wash up for dinner,” Nancy. “I don’t see that there is anything you can do about it anyway.”
“Jeremy, I think you’re going to be hurt if you continue with Cody as your boyfriend,” Allen said as he passed the dinner rolls to Jeremy. “He’ll never be comfortable being out like you are. His dad has complete control of him and even his mind.”
“Honey, he’s confused by what his preacher and Mitchell tells him,” Nancy said. “I know that he cares for you, but the things they tell him in his church cause him to feel guilty about that.”
“I know that, Mom,” Jeremy said. “But, I hate the way they brainwash him.”
“That’s the way those types of churches operate, Son,” Allen said. “We would never tell you what church you can or cannot attend. Frankly I was worried when you went to church with Cody those few times. I really didn’t want you to become brainwashed by that bullshit they preach. However, we would never have told you that you couldn’t go.”
“You don’t have to worry about me going back to that church again,” Jeremy confessed. “I only went because Cody begged me to go with him.”
Cody continued to the workout routine he and Jeremy had established, but he continued to bring Scott with him. Winter began to give way to spring and the daffodils were beginning their early spring bloom. Cody and Scott came by for a workout one warm Saturday afternoon when Jeremy suggested, “Let’s skip the workout and go horseback riding.”
“We can’t stay that long,” Cody said. “Dad said we needed to be home early.”
“He did not,” Scott said. “I’ll go riding with you Scott said. Cody can go home and kiss Dad’s ass.”
“Cody stormed out of the workout room and out if the barn. “Do you still want to ride?” Scott asked.
“Sure, let’s saddle up,” Jeremy said as he saw Cody peddling his bike toward his house.
The two rode in silence when Scott finally said, “You know that Dad and the church have him all fucked up, don’t you.”
“Yeah, I kind of figured that out. Why aren’t you fucked up too?”
“Because I’m not gay.”
Jeremy stopped Smoky and said, “What did you say?”
“I said that I’m not gay,” Scott softly said.
“What are you talking about?”
“Look, I know that you and Cody have a thing going. That doesn’t bother me though. He’s my brother and I still love him. Dad drags us off to that church full of hypocrites and all we here is how bad people like you and Cody are just because you’re gay.”
“How did you know that we’re gay?” Jeremy asked in disbelief. “We never showed any affection in public.”
“No, but you couldn’t keep your eyes off of each other. I also saw the expression on Cody’s face when people at church started in on how gays were going to burn in hell.”
“You don’t believe that way?”
“Hell no, I don’t. When I turn eighteen I’m never going back to that church. I just tune out what they’re saying.”
“Does Cody believe that way?”
“Cody wants Dad approval and he will do what it takes to get that. But you what, Dad will never give Cody what he wants. He’s my dad, but he’s a sorry son-of-a-bitch. He treats Mom like she was his squaw. That’s not the Cherokee way.”
“Why doesn’t Cody see that?”
“Cody doesn’t see things the way you and I see them. He’s going out for football just because Dad wants him to play football. He loves choirs, but Dad says that he is a sissy for being in the choirs.”
“That’s fucked up.”
“Yeah, it is fucked up. That’s why you should just concentrate on being Cody’s friend and not his boyfriend. You’ll end up hating each other if you continue being boyfriends.”
“Things aren’t like they used to be. That’s for sure. How could a little shit like you be so wise?”
“I don’t listen to that crap in church. I tune everything out and let my mind wander. Cody really needs you as a friend. I hope you can be his friend and try to understand what a guilt trip that church as put on him. Right now he’s convinced himself that he isn’t really gay.”
“I can wait for him.”
“That would be a long wait. He will still be trying to get Dad’s approval when he’s forty, but neither of us will ever get Dad’s approval. The difference in us is that I don’t give a shit. If you love Cody let him go. He isn’t strong enough to fight Dad and keep a relationship with you.”
“I’ll let Cody decide when he’s ready for a relationship with me.”
“Don’t wait forever. If you do have a relationship with Cody, be ready to always sneak around and see him on his conditions. He will probably even get married just to please Dad.”
“He wouldn’t do that. He would be miserable if he did.”
“You don’t understand the power that Dad has over him. He would marry and be miserable as long as he thought he was pleasing Dad.”
School ended as spring began to give way to summer. Cody continued his workouts with Jeremy and Scott; however he seemed to be pushing himself to the extreme. “I’m just bulking up for football,” he would say.
Scott was becoming Jeremy’s best friend as Jeremy and Cody began to drift apart. Jeremy knew that Scott was straight and there would never be anything sexual between them. They did enjoy each other’s company. They would often go for long horseback rides and spent time visiting Annie.
“What has happened between you and Cody?” Annie asked one day. “He never comes around with you anymore.” She continued the task of rolling the dough for an apple pie.
“He’s trying to be straight to please his dad,” Jeremy said. “We are friends for now.”
“Mitchell Downing is an asshole,” Annie said. “If Cody could walk on water he still wouldn’t please Mitchell.”
Jeremy looked at Annie in surprise. This wise old Cherokee woman seemed to see things with very wise, but youthful eyes. “Be Cody’s friend, even if he can’t be your boyfriend. His character isn’t a strong one and he needs friends who understand him.”
“That is more or less what Scott said. He said that Cody would still be trying to please his dad when he’s forty.”
“How do you really feel about Cody?” Annie asked as she rolled the dough for the crust of a second apple pie.
“What do you mean?” Jeremy stalled for time to think about Annie’s question. He thought he loved Cody, but now he wasn’t sure if it was puppy love or true love.
“Are you in love with him, or is what you feel is love for a friend?”