So many times when parents discover that their child has a same-sex attraction, they panic and cannot cope with this information. They do not know how to react or talk with their child about this subject. Parents are often totally ignorant in their knowledge of homosexuality. The child with the same-sex attraction has multiple fears and questions as well. Both sides, the child and the parent, do not know how to react to one another.
In the book, Prayers for Johnathan, Bridget Night addresses many of these issues. As a Christian mother, she is terrified when she discovers her son has a same-sex attraction. Her first reactions are shock, denial, and fear. She wonders how this could have happened to her son. Why didn’t he come to us and share what he was going through? Where does homosexuality stem from? Then the fear of her son actually experiencing gay sex haunts her. What if I have to watch my son die of AIDS or get some other sexually transmitted disease? When her son rejects God, Jesus Christ, and her religious faith, all her hopes and dreams about him becoming a missionary and serving the Lord, are lost. She notices dramatic changes in him that literally tear her apart. Her husband, too, is devastated.
Johnathan, like many other teenagers, does not understand what is happening when he becomes aware of a sexual attraction for another boy. At first, he too panics and is in denial. The idea that he might be gay (a fag) freaks him out. He has so many questions and he doesn’t know where to turn. Having been raised a Christian, he becomes terrified that he is going to hell. He prays and asks God to take these feelings away, but no answers come. He becomes angry and hurt that God has abandoned him. Since his college major is computer programming, he turns to the Internet to help him find answers to his many questions. He logs into gay youth web sites and connects with a twenty-year-old gay young man from Denmark. This young man has experienced many of the fears and trials Johnathan is going through. He tries to answer all of Johnathan’s questions. His name is Soren Jensen, and he recognizes the messed up feelings many young boys like Johnathan have. Soren identifies himself as an atheist and views things from a pro-gay stand point. He feels that part of his mission on earth is to help homosexual youth accept themselves for who they are and cope with the many problems and biases they will encounter from the straight world.
Ultimately, Bridget, who has little knowledge of computers, begins correspondence with Soren through e-mail. Bridget’s husband, Cole, a research scientist, helps Bridget learn computer skills and supports her efforts to communicate with Soren. This book presents the e-mail exchange between Bridget and Soren over a one-year period. Bridget shares her Christian reparative therapy views and Soren shares his pro-gay views. Each side is well represented. Both the Christian parent and the homosexual atheist, present their case. This book demonstrates that sincerity exists in both groups and that mutual respect can be accomplished.