Erica Moore, a suburban mom from Fort Worth, was checking on her kids when she noticed that her 15-year-old son’s bedroom door was closed. (We know this mom is old school because old-school moms don’t tolerate closed doors.)
Moore walked in and found her son engaged in oral sex with her 18-year-old male cousin. She lost it and commenced to beating her son with an electrical cord.
In an interview with AllChristianNews.com, Moore explained her reaction: “When I walked in I saw my son, it was just disgusting to me, the way he was looking and my cousin was looking, and my cousin immediately ran out the door.”
Moore said she was “disgusted” by what she saw.
“They were committing a homosexual act in my house, and we are totally against that,” she said.
Moore, in her own words, was more repulsed by the idea of having a gay son than she was by the fact that her son was having sex and disrespecting her home.
I had a similar experience in my youth. I was playing fort with a cousin -- I don’t remember what we were actually doing – when my mom raised up the quilt and yanked me out of the fort. She slapped me across the face and told me not to ever do that again. I distinctly remember it was not so much disgust I saw in her eyes but absolute fear.
Years later, when I finally came out to my mother, we had another talk. My mother shared that, since the day I was born, she knew how to prepare me for a world that was not always so fair to black men. But later, she said, her suspicions about my sexuality gave rise to new concerns about how to prepare me for the world as a gay man, since she had no point of reference.
My mom said she loved me unconditionally but worried that people would judge and even harm me due to my sexuality.
But back to our other Texas mom: Moore, because she whipped her son, could be facing jail time. Several Christian groups are supporting her actions.
The president of the Texas Southern Christian Leadership Conference (TSCLC), the Rev. Kyev Tatum, wants the district attorney to drop all charges against Moore.
“I have known Sister Erica for many years, and she did what we teach every good God-fearing mother should do when their children disobey their rules, values and standards,” he said in a statement. “Texas Penal Code 9.61 gives her the legal rights and the Holy Bible gives her the religious rights to discipline her child the best way she knows how.”
On one hand, I agree that families should have latitude to discipline and raise their children, but is it fair to beat a child for being who he is?
There were bigger issues the mother should have focused on. First, this appears to be a case of incest between relatives. Second, her son -- who was a minor -- technically was engaging in a sex act with an adult.
What doesn't sit well with me is that this child was beaten because he was gay. Would Moore have displayed the same outrage had it been a girl-boy act?
As for those supporting her actions, when will the majority faith community realize that, whether they like it or not, gay folks are members of your congregations, families and communities.
The phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child,” although used in faith environments, is not an actually Bible verse. Moore may have been guided by the proverb, but in reaching for the rod she also may have done more harm than good. The “disgust” she displayed toward her gay son may now become his primary frame of reference.
I understand Moore’s fear, but I hope for her son’s sake that they will have another discussion and she will accept and love him unconditionally.