A Gay Dad Sounds Off About the Anti-gay Easter Dad

ImageMy ten year old son Jesse had big plans Easter morning.  He had set his alarm for 6 am.  His desire to rise early was not to go searching for the Easter basket the mystical bunny was likely to have left him, it was to make French toast as a surprise for me, his dad.

That special pleasing Dad bond is an important one for many young boys.  Jesse was not alone in that objective.

Three thousand miles away, another boy, Nolan Cranford was preparing to please his dad.  Unlike my son, Nolan’ endeavors did not involve syrup and buttery niceness.  The way to his dad’ heart was to shout at exiting Church goers from North Carolina’s Green Street United Methodist Church and condemn them to hell.

“The Bible talks about that the homosexuals are worthy of death.  Not only them that do it, but them that approve of it. They are worthy of death!” he shouted as his dad Brian “BibleBrian” Cranford held a video camera.  The video has since made its way across Facebook.  I don’t know what sickens me more about it—the hate that a child has been taught, the aggression he has been inspired to show his neighbors or the danger he himself has been placed in exposed tauntingly to an uncertain world.

In California, Jesse and his brother prepared to go to church where we would be meeting up with my in laws, their grandparents.

This was not Nolan’s first performance yelling at innocent strangers on the street.  In a previous performance outside a courthouse he actively invited them to disobey secular law.

The website Official Street Preacher Blogspot gives insight into the Cranford family.  According to the site, “Nolan has been watching preach clips from youtube like children playing videos or watching cartoons”.

When my son Jesse was four, I introduced him to pre-school so he could learn social skills.  I remember arriving to pick him up.  He yelled “Dadddddddy” as he charged excitedly across the room and then took me around and proudly and politely introduced me to each and every child and teacher.

When Nolan was four, he was started on the streets yelling at passersby.  The Cranfords are the anti-gay’s acceptable “traditional” family:  one man, one woman.  Nolan and his younger siblings were home schooled by his mom, while he was encouraged in his public disturbance vocation by the cohorts of his father.  One reported, “We all stayed at the Cranford’s home and we celebrated their sons birthday on our last day of preaching, Nolan was to turn 8 later that month but we celebrated it that evening.  He has been inspired by his father and the many youtube clips of open air preachers nationwide, as most kids his age would watch cartoons or play on the computer, he watched preaching videos…  after dinner we had a birthday cake and placed Noland on the hot seat.  From there a few street preachers questioned him and if he gave the correct answer, he got $20.00 an answer … He made a few bucks that night.”

My son is motivated by my actions in my life, and he has seen me work with people in need.  My life had a dramatic change thirty one years ago when I hit my personal bottom with alcohol and started a new and unwavering recovery and spiritual path.

Brian Cranford hit a bottom of his own.  He states, “My life before all of this was a wreck! I hardly ever go into details with all of those things because I do not care to remember those days as I laid in a hospital bed having my heart stop 26 times in one night and almost walking off into eternity because of suicide!”  He turned instead to evangelism as an escape, first by distributing fliers and then abortion clinic demonstrations, and eventually gay friendly churches.

So as millions celebrated resurrection and renewal, the Cranfords attacked. “May I give you a hug?”  asked a kind lady.  “Back up, Nolan, back up,” snarled a voice, presumably Brian’s, behind the camera.

A woman commented behind them, “God Bless you.”

“Shame on you, shame on you, you wicked old wretch,” Brian snarled.

“I said ‘God Bless You’!” the woman replied in surprise.

“Shame on you, shame on you.” he repeated.

“You love your sin, you love your sin and you hate God,” Nolan continued to shout.

We, meanwhile, were celebrating with kind ladies in a little church on the Pacific.  No one was snarling and all hugs were gratefully accepted.

Last week, families like mine were being highly discussed at the public level.  People were pulling out studies and statistics.  We were called social experiments and compared to cell phone usage.  There seem to be concern whether or not our kids will be well adjusted and positive contributors to society.  I am not afraid of the scrutiny gay families receive.

My only question is this:   who is studying the adjustment s and contributions of the anti-gay families?  It seems to me that those are the ones the American public should be worrying about.

My son and Brian Cranford’s sons are bright, articulate dynamic boys.  I cannot wait to see the man that my son grows up to be.  I wish I could say the same for Nolan Cranford.  I hope the Cranford family wakes up before it is too late.

Listen here for the podcast show that plays audio of Nolan and discussed this issue with the blog author:  http://outinsantacruz.com/raising-nolan-to-hate/

Please like the evoL= Facebook page here.

Follow us on Twitter @ JandJDad

 

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About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
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34 Responses to A Gay Dad Sounds Off About the Anti-gay Easter Dad

  1. Pingback: A Religion Education Teacher Sounds Off : Stop Using the Book of Romans in the Bible to Gay Bash! | evoL =

  2. kzottarelli says:

    Nolan Cranford should be taken away from his parents for child abuse!

  3. geezybone says:

    Reblogged this on geezybone and commented:
    imagine

  4. Wintersong says:

    Reblogged this on BarkingShaman.com and commented:
    The LGBT media was understandably outraged at the recent video of young Nolan Cranford’s hateful Easter day protest outside an LGBT-friendly church. Robw77′s enlightening post about the boy’s situation can hopefully temper some of our outrage with compassion towards him.

  5. Pingback: Briefs: “Finding Dory,” Chris Colfer’s “Enchantress,” and The Ten Hottest … – AfterElton.com | The Fanatics

  6. Love trumps hate every time. Keep up the work with your sweet little boy.

  7. Be at peace fellow Beings of Nature. Nothing good will come if we keep bashing with our beliefs. Just show Love and only Love. they will run out of bashing judgments and all they will have in the end is themselves to deal with. And us to support, care, and Love. Show them what we are about. Don’t flaunt like they do, we are better than this drama game.

  8. after every bash, say I love you. After every judgment, say I care about you. Show them the very thing that will sustain everyones good nature instead of the bad nature. I Love You… so very much everyone. Your choice to say the same to those who bash. I challenge you to be the peace and not the fight.

  9. Tyler St. Mark says:

    Sorry, I cannot agree. Faith-bashing is as wrong as gay-bashing. Nobody has the right to judge another human being by virtue of their sexual orientation and nobody has the right to come between someone and their Faith. A person’s relationship with their Higher Power is deeply personal and as profoundly important as the desire and right that gay people have to marriage equality. It is not Faith that is damaging to our society–it is what people DO with their Faith that does the hurt and harm. When we make generalizations about religion it is the same as making generalizations about gay people or Jewish people, or Black people. I am well over a half century in age, and my personal Faith has sustained me through several wars, numerous economic declines, a deadly epidemic, and countless tragedies. Never once during this time have I felt inclined to push my Faith upon another person or to judge them in any way simply because they did not believe as I did. I have countless friends of one religious Faith or another who feel exactly the same way as I do. Their Faith sustains them as mine does me and, most important, compels and reminds us all to always strive to be the loving, caring, considerate, and nonjudgmental people our respective faiths instruct each of us to be. In my opinion, our country and our world could do with more earnest and loving Faith and less ugly, hateful, cruel, and wholly unnecessary manipulation and corruption of religious dogma by desperate, evil people who have never truly met or known their Higher Power.

    • So what exactly are you disagreeing with? This man did not say anything against faith or religion. He has only commented on the hate a young child is spewing because of what he has been taught by his parents under the guise of religion.

    • Leslie Claire says:

      There is no way that I or anyone else can come between you and your faith. Only you can do that.

      Let’s examine what constitutes “bashing.” My marriage isn’t recognized in my home state. I can’t be on my spouse’s insurance because, in spite of 21 years together, I don’t count, according to her employer—who, incidentally, can legally fire her for being gay. Not only can we be legally discriminated against, plenty of LGBT people have been quite literally “bashed”—beaten, raped, or killed.

      And the only reason we’re ever given for this treatment is that the “faith” of people like the Cranstons doesn’t approve of how we live our lives, never mind that we live our lives pretty much the same way everyone else does (if you don’t count the discrimination).

      If your faith sustains you on a personal level, then I am happy for you. If someone uses religion as a reason to deny civil rights and equality to people their faith “disagrees with,” as they’re fond of saying, then it is no longer merely a personal matter to them, but one that has a negative effect on LGBT people and their families.

      That this treatment makes LGBT people angry and hurt and frustrated, and at times results in accusations and harsh words toward, or even just a bad opinion of, their oppressors, does not rise to the level of bashing—especially since it is in response to bashing, not the origin of it. Too many people have got.this whole thing backwards.

      And, in short, if the shoe fits, wear it. Otherwise, you’ll know it’s not directed at you.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I beg to differ, my religion teaches you that everyone has there own path to follow, and it is there own only. While i believe in my religion, my religion embraces others beliefs, mine is not the one true and only religion. i believe people can believe in something and not let it get in the way of your morals. that is an ongoing battle for every individual. while i understand that religion in this case is being used for violence. but how many times has this religion been used for doing good? if you do research and do pro’s and con’s more good is being done then bad. I believe education is the key to erase this ignorance.

  11. Here in Canada, this little boy’s father would have been charged with a fine for hate speech/ disturbing the peace and the little boy would be placed in foster care. We kept the WBC from coming and protesting a funeral because of our laws against speech that could cause violence. This child is obviously in need of prayers because his parents aren’t giving him the living well rounded environment a child needs and deserves.

  12. karenmcfly says:

    “Nolan has been watching preach clips from youtube like children playing videos or watching cartoons”. He has been inspired by his father and the many youtube clips of open air preachers nationwide, as most kids his age would watch cartoons or play on the computer, he watched preaching videos… after dinner we had a birthday cake and placed Noland on the hot seat. From there a few street preachers questioned him and if he gave the correct answer, he got $20.00 an answer … He made a few bucks that night.” ——-> OMG, this sounds like the Western version of the Taliban, who make young uneducated men for hours on end watch videos of white men raping Muslim women. I read about this incident yesterday but had no idea that this child has been systematically brainwashed. I am shocked beyond words. Instrumentalising children really is the worst crime. This boy is damaged for the rest of his life.

  13. Another wonderful and thoughtful post. Jesse is a lucky boy.

  14. agayoldlife says:

    This was an amazing read. Thank you very much.

  15. David – the homophobes say the same thing about homosexuality. You are operating on the same moral level as homophobes, including this child.

    • Susan says:

      The only difference is that David has facts on his side, & they don’t.

    • karenmcfly says:

      Darr Sandberg, I really don’t know what makes you think so. Here is a man who uses his son in no other way than dictators do child soldiers or the Taliban with young uneducated men, he has damaged this boy forever, I can’t believe an eight year old full of hate, shouting at peaceful people, having his father shout ‘back up’ at him when a kind elderly lady offers him a hug, … – and then a man who teaches his son through every day behaviour to treat other people with respect, love and kindness.
      I really don’t know what same level you are talking about.

    • Curtis says:

      Well, perhaps. But as David says, the homophobes are analyzing gay families to death, and coming up empty as they realize that children of gay families are just as healthy as anyone else. Who paying similar attention to the children of homophobes? Those are the children truly in need of our prayers and our hugs.

    • Chris OE says:

      One child has a normal, happy childhood, the other is being groomed as a soldier, meeting friendliness with anger and shouting. They are not moral equivalences. Child soldiers are a form of abuse.

  16. The sooner we do away with religion the better off we will all be.

    • It’s not religion. Not all believers are so full of hate. If we take away religion, the bigots will find some other standard to rally behind. It’s up to us to teach the next generation so that they are able to stand up to the bigots and do what is right.

      • It IS religion. Every religion, by default, claims to be the only true way. It is this “my way or the highway” attitude that creates hate and war. EVERY religion, without exception, is guilty of it.

    • cwgmpls says:

      No religion is not a choice. Humans, because of their self-consciousness, need religion. If there were no religion, humans would just create a new one. Even if the religion is secularism, atheism, materialism, rationalism, consumerism or whatever, humans need religion. The question is not whether or not to have religion; religion is unavoidable. The question is honest religion versus dangerous, false religions that BibleBrian teaches.

    • Rebecca says:

      I beg to differ, my religion teaches you that everyone has there own path to follow, and it is there own only. While i believe in my religion, my religion embraces others beliefs, mine is not the one true and only religion. i believe people can believe in something and not let it get in the way of your morals. that is an ongoing battle for every individual. while i understand that religion in this case is being used for violence. but how many times has this religion been used for doing good? if you do research and do pro’s and con’s more good is being done then bad. I believe education is the key to erase this ignorance.

    • Keith Mears says:

      You are correct. It is “religion” that is the heart of the problem. The idea that a baseless “belief” can be allowed to trump evidence, science and morality is anathema to a free or fair society. “Faith” is, almost by definition, irrational, as it precludes the altering of a conclusion based on evidence, it is almost opposed to evidence. If there was evidence to back up “belief”, there would be no need for faith. Thus anything one decides or convinces others to believe becomes law – despite society or sense. The fact that not some religions are not presently actively pursuing an anti social agenda does not mean anything. Religion wields that power, and simply needs a charismatic leader or disenfranchised membership to become the next KKK or Nazi Party.

    • Hannah says:

      I am a Christian Lesbian. I believe in a God that loves and a God that taught us to love others, the way it should be. I, for a very long time, questioned what I truly believed in and I explored various faiths and religions.

      I do not use my religion, faith or beliefs to judge others, just as a way to understand myself. Any person that I hate, I hate them based on the way that I have been treated by them first hand. I do not condemn others based on my, or their, faith.

      Since the beginning of mankind people have used the idea of God or Gods to explain why things happen in the universe. Sometimes people have managed to do INCREDIBLE things because of these beliefs; helped others, reached out to those in need, given up anything they could. Sadly what we mostly hear about are the times that people have used these beliefs in hateful ways, such as holy wars, killing innocent people, or teaching a child to hate the world.

      It is not religion that is the problem, it is the individuals who take someone’s faith and twist it in order to make it into a weapon. Faith and belief should give a person peace, not hatred, in their hearts.

      I’m sorry that the only religion that you have come across is the hateful kind, but there are those out there, and there are a lot more of them than you realise, who believe in one religion or another, and they are not hateful, spiteful, bitter people at all.

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