Wow...the blog entry has over 4000 comments now...some of them are really good:
I'm middle-aged, Catholic, morally conservative... and I think this is the best, most heart-felt thing I have read in a very long time. It resonates with so much of what I've come to believe in the past few years, and other parts are leaving me with some terrific food for thought, and with a lot of gratitude that you took the risk to share this, Dan.
I used to be judgmental of gays, people of other religions, even races for a while, I'm so very ashamed to say. I allowed other people in my life to influence me and tell me what to think, and I paid dearly by alienating really good people.
By the way I have multiple "invisible" disabilities that affect me emotionally and socially, and I've struggled with weight issues on both ends of the scale, so I have been the target of those who send the unspoken message of "I'm a Christian unless you're different." It's also made me one hell of a hypocrite for passing that on to others.
I've worked hard to turn that around and I found the more I have opened my heart to the possibility of putting my arm around others who are different, the more I've had amazing people enter my life... and the less room I've had for the haters, the bullies, and other toxic people. I've had to cut a lot of traditional relationships loose as a result, which was hard to do, but in turn I've gained a fantastic family of choice.
I hope Jacob has read your essay by now, and the comments, and that he can see that even though we've never met him, he IS loved. I broke down and sobbed reading his heart-breaking disclosure to you... God made Jacob and loves him too. Regardless of what someone believes about homosexuality, body size, piercings and tats, abilities or disabilities, individual beliefs, or anything else that is or isn't a moral issue, at the core we're all still fearfully and wonderfully made... and that's a beautiful thing no matter how you slice it.