Thursday, October 21, 2010

Christians and Bullying: Standing with Gays and Lesbians

The following is excerpted from an article by Jim Wallis of Sojourners. I was writing about this issue, and JW said it better than I.

My mother used to give us kids two instructions:

1. If there is a kid on the playground that nobody else is playing with -- you play with them.
2. If there is a bully picking on other kids -- you be the one to stand up to him or her.

Those two principles have served me well .

On Wednesday, I wore purple. I was speaking at North Park University, an evangelical Christian college, with Tim King, my colleague and a former student there. I was pleased to see them passing out purple ribbons and announcing why just before chapel. So I joined thousands of others across the country who believe that bullying should never be tolerated at any time, at any place, or for any reason.

I wore purple... in memory of the many young people who have taken their own lives as a result of harassment and bullying inflicted on them because they are gay. I wore purple because I am a follower of Christ. A bully is a person who habitually intimidates, harasses, or commits violence against those who are smaller, weaker, or more vulnerable because of their "outsider" status. A bully stands in opposition to all of what Christ taught and lived...the stories of young kids being so bullied that they take their own lives has been heartbreaking to hear...

Most bullies don't know that they are bullies. A bully might think that his or her words don't matter that much or affect others that greatly. A bully might think that he or she is being funny or just kidding around. A bully might think that he or she is just saying what everyone is thinking or speaking out about what everyone thinks.

There is disagreement within the Christian community when it comes to issues of human sexuality. But, there should be a united front against all who would disrespect, disparage, or denigrate anyone created in the image of God.

I hope you will join me in prayer for the family and friends of every young person who has taken their own lives. I hope you will join me in a message of hope for any person who has been teased, harassed, or bullied by another because of his or her sexual orientation. More than that, no matter what your views of homosexuality are, I hope you will join with me in standing in the way between bullies and their victims.


Diane M. Roth said...


Ivy said...

You are very courageous to take this stand. So many of us that are more conservative theologically, take such a negative view of an LGBT lifestyle, that this would be considered a stand only "liberals" would take.


Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Yes, I know. I did consider not posting this. And that is sad. Wrong is wrong. Bullying for ANY reason just makes my blood boil. Imagine the pain of being a young person who may or may not be gay, or perhaps is wondering about themselves...and then the added pain of bullying, which I can say from experience can turn a kid's or young teenager's life into hell. So sad.

Ivy said...

Agreed. I was not bullied as a child and teenager, but was made fun of plenty of times. It's very painful. And considering the nature of the issue they're being bullied about, it's that much worse. That time of life is so full of insecurities and trying to find oneself anyway. It was gutsy on your part Singing Owl. You are the woman.