“This is the single best Ask Amy response I’ve ever read.”

Via elephant journal
on May 10, 2014
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Bonus: see True Christianity, below.


“We’re all very active churchgoers, while she only sporadically attends services.”

A reader comment: “Jesus hung out with lepers, but God forbid she hang out with her sister who ‘doesn’t fit in.

sad sister

“She’s Amy Dickinson and in addition to her post she is also a regular panel member on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me. Nicely available on podcasts if you’re like me and enjoy listening to humorous banter on the train.”


This is true Christianity:

Relephant reads:

Why Jesus was…Liberal?
> Poet Slams Religion but Preaches Jesus.
In Seach of a New Church Home: Unitarian Universalism.
Waylon Lewis interviews Sister Helen Prejean, woman behind Dead Man Walking, at Naropa.
Real Christians.


Another classic: Source.

DEAR AMY: I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual. We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.

He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years — I have a busy work schedule.

Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you. — Feeling Betrayed

DEAR BETRAYED: You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality to show him how easy it is. Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice — to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.

I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.

When you “forget” a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.

Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong. If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.

A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is Pflag.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.

Relephant reading:

>Judeo-Christianity & Islam on how to handle Aggression.
The New Reformation!
Misrepresented Jesus.
What Crucifixion Means.
Bible forbids Homosexuality?
Do you believe the Bible is literally true?


Three Bible passages that may blow your mind (in a good way).

18 Life Lessons I Want My Daughters to Hear.

A Christianity about love and compassion:

Walk the Talk Show: Sister Helen Prejean from Alex King on Vimeo.


About elephant journal

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149 Responses to ““This is the single best Ask Amy response I’ve ever read.””

  1. Erica Bee says:

    This put a much needed smile on my face. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. joe says:

    Really a true passive-aggressive reaction to someone with whom she does not agree.

  3. Fran says:

    Great response…I am still smiling…I would love to know what Sad Sister’s answer to that is or was…

  4. larry dague says:

    I wonder if Sad Sister is the same ***** who wrote the letter about the one year old’s birthday party….a list of four things they wanted and then a demand that anyone not buying those for things include a receipt because they were losing an average of $80 dollars on returns without receipts. There are some real shitty, self centered people in this world….Sad Sister is one of them….sociopath

  5. Amy Gazin says:

    My name is Amy (ironically) and something very similar happened to me which involved my half sister and even my identical twin sister. Yes, you read that coorectly. The two grown women planned a girl’s trip to Paris and never asked me to join them. When they first planned the trip I was bed bound recovering from a broken leg. The trip was supposed to take place 7 months from the time I had broken my leg which meant not only could I go on the trip it would have been a great motivator for me in terms of keeping up with physical therapy, etc. When I did confront these two grown women they gave me a lame excuse that ‘I would not be able to keep up on the trip.’ They were defensive and kept deflecting their accountability. It was so hurtful. Several of my close girlfriends caught on to what was happening and they were just dismayed at the insensitivity and selfishness of these two sisters of mine. Eventually, my half sister went on the trip and my twin didn’t go because she could not afford it. I think she only accepted so she could ‘trump’ me in the sister department. However, I have learned the art of forgiveness with these two because it is better for me in the long run. But, I now have a better understanding of their ‘true colors’ and have really lowered my expectations when it comes to them, that way I am not hurt as easily as before. Honestly, some people in this world have kind and giving hearts while others simply do not and probably never will. You can’t change family but you do not have to be continually hurt by them either. What has worked for me is keeping my distance and keeping my expectations low when it comes to them. Wow, thank you for letting me vent. I didn’t nit know this kind of behavior happened with others sisters…

  6. the excluded one says:

    Not real? Trust me, this goes on all the time and I have lived the exclusion. Interesting that they would include cousins and even a sister-in-law, but not a sister?! And to mention that their religious beliefs make them similar? Pew warming doesn't full anyone other than the ones warming. Intolerance is alive and well with this crew. The one intentionally excluded was actually given a gift with that exclusion. Doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt, because it does.

  7. No pat answers says:

    I have 4 sisters and I have different relationships with each of them. I am especially close to the one farthest in age from me as I doted on her since she was born. Her children are like my grandchildren. Am I required to invite all my sisters whenever we do something? I don't expect my sisters to invite me to everything- and I know they haven't. One sister in particular is very difficult- has always had trouble with bosses, coworkers, and people in general, with very little insight into her behaviors that cause this. I invite her to things I know she would enjoy, and sometimes she says she'll come, then doesn't show up and my kids wonder why. She gets hurt if she's not invited to everything but many times her behavior spoils other's enjoyment. It's a tough situation, certainly not one that has a pat answer of "she's your sister so you must put up with her bad behavior because you claim to be a Christian".

    • Jessica_J says:

      I have three sisters and I am the "Wendy" of the bunch and I have been since we were very young. We are all 1-2 years apart in age. I used to think it was all my fault, and I cried and cried. I really thought it was my fault because I too, always ended up treated badly by others the way my sisters treated me. My mom always sided with them against me, too. I could see if my sisters were forced to give an explanation, they would have cited my "bad behaviour" as I was not supposed to show any reaction to their abuse and exclusion at all.

      I married the most wonderful man in the world but when were not as financially successful as the rest of them and the exclusion got even worse. Then my husband got an offer of promotion but we had to move to another town two provinces away and we moved. They were all so upset that we were moving and I thought – why? They never seemed to like me and left me out a lot. When we had a new start, things changed. I went to therapy because I was so homesick but at the same time, I was so relieved to be away from them. My therapist straight away focused on my very poor self esteem and worked hard to build me up. She said there was a root to the family issues and the way our family was structured was likely due to my father's alcoholism-it was covert-and my mother was a factor too as a co-dependent in denial. After working on my self-esteem, my whole life got better. I made true friends, I was more successful at my jobs, I no longer gravitated to the role I had been assigned in youth, the role of a scapegoat. I walked taller and straighter and no longer had the appearance of a victim or a target. Whether or not Wendy can see it at this juncture, she has been given a marvelous gift, the gift of freedom. Now it has been ten years. I go home once a year. They're all nicer to me, but I don't trust any of them. I noticed the sister who is nicest to me is now the one they complain about to me behind her back, but I refuse to discuss her "problems" with them. I know the dynamic now. I also know if I were to move back this sister would scramble behind the scenes to move me back to the low woman on the totem pole role. None of this is because any of them are evil. It is because the family system is sick. After a visit, I look forward to going back to my real home, where I have my own family and good friends who love me.

  8. no sugar coating says:

    Amy's response is spot on. All she is saying is SAD sister does not have to invite Wendy, that is her choice BUT that Wendy has a right to be upset which she does. She's family after all, it sucks to be the black sheep..period. And why SAD sister brings in the church thing just makes her look bad which is why Amy throws that back at her. You can make your butt as flat as you want to sitting in that pew, but it doesn't make you any more of a Christian.

  9. Jan Meyrick says:

    I can only imagine the pain that the excluded sister is feeling. However, in the long run, she is far better off without them. I have experienced people like that, unfortunately, mostly in Christian prayer groups and women’s societies etc. I firmly believe that you reap what you sow and at some point in their mean narrow minded lives they will experience the same pain. I also believe that there are lessons that God wants us to learn and whether we learn them the easy way or the hard way is up to us. I hope and pray that Wendy finds friends that will fill the void that her bitchy sisters and cousins have carved out for her.

  10. alicia hirschhorn says:

    The Mighty Queen of Freeville lives up the street from me and I am inordinately grateful for her wisdom

  11. Dustin says:

    Interesting that this same article was written to Dear Abby with the same response earlier this year.

  12. logoof88 says:

    still reading this article again and again http://whatsappstatus.org.in/

  13. @PrinceMohan says:

    Wendy did the right thing by distancing herself from her sisters and cousins. In order to avoid going into depression she must tell some people she trusts. She must ventilate her feelings or else she would become sadder. No body is right and no body is wrong . It is an individual's own judgement. If she thinks they are horrible, it's fine.
    Wendy should take a break from this negative thinking process. Start doing some meditation and give peace to her senses. In the meditation she should forgive the sad sister. Her own body language will change. Your outer world is the reflection of your inner self. Become strong from within and have a re-look at your relationship after few weeks and surely you will find the answers and the way . It is not that the church going people are better than those don't go. God is Divine light energy and it is within you every moment. Accept this and you will never ever find yourself alone. Wendy get into meditation just now. All past, present and future is simultaneously in this present moment now. Go to my articles on this site it self,create wealth and celebrate life now. You have limitless powers within you. Life is a book with many chapters. Many great chapters are waiting for you to read and experience a much greater life.
    With Best wishes, Prince Mohan

  14. imo for pc says:

    The answer should not have been so shocking to anyone

  15. Thank you very much for posting and sharing this great information…

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