Religion can tear families apart

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The majority of teens never chose their religion. From the moment children are born, parents make it their duty to assimilate their child into their religion. The child, unable to make a decision on whether or not they want to be part of that religion, grows up recognizing a religion because that is all they know. But this sometimes becomes a major issue during teenage years when they learn about themselves and who they are the most.

The majority of teens never chose their religion. From the moment children are born, parents make it their duty to assimilate their child into their religion. The child, unable to make a decision on whether or not they want to be part of that religion, grows up recognizing a religion because that is all they know. But this sometimes becomes a major issue during teenage years when they learn about themselves and who they are the most.

The LGBTQ community has always been discriminated against. The U.S., for example, has made progress in equality for women, equality for people of color, and yet we still struggle with equality for the LGBTQ community. And this is mostly due to the negative view Christianity and other dominant religions in the nation have on anyone who is not heterosexual.

A huge issue with the current generation is coming out as non-heterosexual to Christian family members.

According to the Williams Institute, roughly 40 percent of youth going through homeless agencies are LGBTQ. The top reasons for them being homeless consists of running away from home because of family rejection of their sexual orientation and identity, forced out by parents because of sexual orientation and identity, and physical, mental, or sexual abuse at home. And when combining all the homeless agencies’ LGBTQ youth, 68 percent we rejected by their family and more than half have experienced abuse from their family.

And parents that have rejected their own blood for this reason are wrong in every way.

Sexual orientation is not a choice you make some day, but rather discovery people make about themselves. Although science has yet to be able to pinpoint exactly what determines sexual orientation and identity, it has been shown to develop during a child’s early years. Many scientists have theorized that it is a trait in our DNA at birth. Additionally, a teen being gay does not affect anybody’s life, except their own.

Some parents claim they are only trying to protect their children from the horrible illness and sin of their sexual orientation. Yet countless studies, such as one done by the University of Warwick, show that those who embrace their sexuality and identity live happier lives as opposed to constantly hiding their true self or live in fear of scrutiny. 

Other parents claim it is “just a phase,” and their child will get over it eventually. Some even send their children to expensive “conversion therapy” camps which uses dangerous methods to try to change a person’s sexuality and identity.

The Human Rights Campaign has found these camps increase the chance of attendees of attempted suicide by eight times, high levels of depression six times, drug abuse three times, and contacting STD’s three times.

Teens live in fear for these reasons. Having to live a false life every day because if their family found out, they might not have a home to live in or family to go to. It’s time to put aside our personal beliefs and put forth more value in family and blood. If we want our teens to be safe and happy, parents must be tolerant of whom their teen is no matter what sexuality or identity they are.