anti-gay bullying is wrong {christians, stand up}

The strong torment the weak and ostracize the different. Mocking taunts and humiliation inflict deep wounds that time may not heal. Scars tell stories of loneliness, depression, and fear.

Or scars don't speak at all, and a suicide note pens the final chapter of a story too painful to live.

It may fall on a spectrum of hurtful to hateful and horrifying, but there is no "kids will be kids:" bullying is always wrong.

Anti-gay bullying made headlines nationally last year when story after story emerged of suicides prompted by vicious bullying of kids and teens due to sexual orientation, same-sex attraction, and gender expression. One hardly has to join a gay pride parade to become a target: being quiet, quirky, skinny, slow, sensitive, artistic, awkward, or otherwise different is generally enough to earn one the label of queer, fag, or homo in school hallways across America.

Kids can be cruel. So can adults, even within the Church.

We can do so much better. We need to.


The first time I saw an It Gets Better video, my eyes welled. Hope for hurting kids, YES. There is life after high school humiliation, so stand tall. You are not alone.

It's not explicitly the hope of Jesus, but how can we as a Church not affirm a message that says, Your life is valuable beyond measure and worth living. Please, don't kill yourself.

But the only feedback I've heard from Christians about the campaign has been negative--Twitter rants, Facebook posts and blog comments about the gay agenda, liberal media, and Where is the outrage over Christians and "regular" kids who get bullied, huh?

Why can't evangelicals can't find the words to say:  I see your pain, and it grieves me, too. You should never have to endure that kind of hatred, because it is wrong.

The Church is so worried about staying on-message about homosexuality that it fails to stand up for vulnerable kids who are being sinned against. Who, all too often, we have sinned againstThe way Christians talk about homosexuality misrepresents the gospel, and we come across on the side of bullies.   

We need to tell and to live a better story.

Let us shout from the rooftops about a Love that is deeper than the cultural tolerance that the Church so loves to malign. Let's admit that all bullying is wrong and that Jesus rarely sided with the powerful or the [self-] righteous but with the vulnerable, broken, and hurting. Let's repent of pretending to "love the sinner, hate the sin" while failing to demonstrate practical, tangible love for our gay brothers and sisters inside and outside our church walls. We've withheld protection and even simple compassion, and the Church has been complicit in anti-gay bullying by our silence.

I pray that it does get better, especially for LGBTQ kids. Middle and high school can be truly wretched places, and I can only imagine the extra degree of difficulty faced by gay and gender non-conforming kids. I'm sorry for how we Christians have not loved well, for the cowardly silence and self-righteous judgment we offered in place of kindness and a listening ear. You are made in the image of God and are precious.

And I pray that as Christians we do better at representing the hope, humility, and love of Christ to everyone in our communities. We have a long way to go.

{image by rbbaird}

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