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Will God bar gay son from heaven?

Dear Abby: My son came out of the closet last year. My first reaction was to tell him it was OK. (I had already suspected that he was.) I love him dearly and we're a close family. His brothers and sisters also accept and love him.

My husband and I are now struggling because we're not sure how God really views gays and lesbians. To listen to some religious people, my son will go to hell. I can't believe that God would create a person to be this way, then turn His back on him.

I tried reading the Bible, but the wording was hard to understand. I don't want to talk to my pastor about it because, even though I have accepted my son for who he is, I still have trouble talking to people about it because I'm not sure how they'll react. Do you believe a gay person will go to heaven?

-- Somewhere in the U.S.A.

Dear Somewhere: I believe that entrance to heaven is based upon a person's character, not his or her sexual orientation. Today, because of modern scientific studies, we know more about homosexuality than was known when the Bible was written, and that sexual orientation is not "a choice."

> Oscar's rants distract

Dear Abby: My co-worker "Oscar" is a grouchy, bitter man. His cubicle is close to mine, so I can hear everything he says. He constantly talks about other employees and even about the owners of the company. Oscar's general bitterness and poor attitude constantly bring me down. I don't like being subjected to this daily, but I don't know what I can do about it. Please help.

-- Needs Positivity in Lexington, KY.

Dear Needs Positivity: The first thing you should do is tell Oscar that you can hear every word he's saying because he may not know that he's being overheard. Tell him his conversations are distracting and ask him to stop. If he does not comply, complain to a supervisor. And if your complaint is not acted upon, bring headphones, if it's allowed, so you won't be subjected to the negativity.