Tales from the Bible Belt

Some of you have heard about my aggravating, bigoted coworker before, but I’m getting so many stories, I’m thinking about making them a semi-regular feature on my blog.

Yesterday’s fiasco took the cake.

So, a little background first. I work at a small private school for kids with emotional problems. I have one coworker who has professed, loud and long, that the ‘only reason these kids are messed up is because they have homosexuals for parents’. We have three sets of same gender parents in the school, and they are among the most involved with their kids. We have numerous other families who are either single parent (which he also has a problem with), blended families or traditional families. Guess which group tends to have the least involvement with the kids. Right. The traditional families. Not saying that all the other parents are involved, but of the very small sampling I have to go by, I see NOTHING to support his claim that the gender of the parents has anything to do with how ‘messed up’ the kid is. But, he makes it his personal crusade to rag on same sex couples whenever possible.

And not just the parents of our students.

Yesterday was the last day of summer school, so we took the kids to a nearby lake to swim. While we were there, two ladies came and sat down on one of the benches. They were holding hands. I held my breath. Surely he’d behave himself in a public place in front of the kids.

Apparently I gave him too much credit.

He actually went over to the women and told them,

“We have a group of children here who do not need to see such inappropriate behavior.”

Now, he was talking about HOLDING HANDS. That’s all they were doing. And the hands were in publically appropriate places. No one was touching private areas. They weren’t even sitting all that close.

One of the ladies told him that they were doing nothing wrong and it was a public place, and if he didn’t like what he saw, they wouldn’t be offended if he looked elsewhere.

His response, “Well, I’m a Christian, and my own kids are here too, and I have the right to take them out in public without fear of them witnessing depravity.”

Depravity! Holding hands!

That same woman stood up and looked like she was going to get into his face. The other lady stood up beside her, grabbed her around the waist and laid her head on her partner’s shoulder, smiling sweetly toward my coworker. (You’ve gotta love passive aggressive behavior sometimes). I thought my coworker was going to have a stroke.

This had all the earmarks of a disaster in the making, and I didn’t really want the kids to witness that. I went over to the three of them (I had started over as soon as I realized where he was headed) and asked the coworker to go start the grill for us, since it was nearing lunchtime. He argued with me, again, in front of the kids, but he finally did leave to go get the grill ready.

I apologized profusely to the two ladies, who didn’t hold it against me at all, but I was in charge of the group, so I felt responsible. Oh, and did I mention that the coworker was wearing a tee-shirt with the name of the school on it? The women asked about that…is that school religious based, etc. I told them no and explained the school’s mission. We actually had a good conversation and they didn’t hold the actions of one man against the school in general.

None of the kids had a problem with the women, who sat back down now and were once more just holding hands. Most of the kids didn’t even notice them. They were having too much fun in the water or around the edges, catching frogs. You know, things that matter more to kids that whether or not two women are holding hands.

The coworker came down a little later and said that lunch was ready. He once more glared at the ladies but he didn’t say anything else.

I have SO had it with this guy.