What is love? Father, don’t hurt me.

Yesterday, my father joined a chorus of voices from across the nation to tell me that I cannot have access to healthcare, who of my friends may marry, and who I may welcome into my house. Even though I have moved 1600 miles to be free of his influence, he still reaches me here. He tells me to stay in the closet. He tells me to stay away from brown people. He gives me so many mandates.

All of this is an expression of his love. Much has been said about what is wrong in America that we could end up being where we are on this day. At the core of it, though, is that we misunderstand love. My father is a Christian. Like so many people, he takes his guidance from a man behind a pulpit who tells him what God’s love is. Tells him how to express it. Tells him that love is a thing which forbids, binds, and belittles. Love is law, obeyed to the letter.

America, you are sick. In your fever, you have forgotten what love is. Now, love is telling the sick to die. Telling the hungry to starve. Telling the fearful to run and hide.

Father, you have a cancer in you, and I fear it has consumed you whole.