Christians? Maybe not so much. (Source)
Last week, with the story of Dan Savage calling a bunch of Christian kids "pansy assed" being spread around the interwebs, a couple of my favorite bloggers wrote about Christians and Gays.
More specifically, Matt of The Church of No People wrote about how many Christians don't want to be part of the au courant anti-bullying campaign because they believe it to be a flimsy smokescreen for the pro-gay movement. Which in turn has many Christians seemingly supporting bullying (!). He writes:
The anti-bullying crusade has been picking up steam for few years, but I think it has finally reached critical mass. It started several years ago when schools enacted “zero tolerance” policies...
Then you had the “It Gets Better” campaign on YouTube more recently. Lots of celebrities got on board with that one, including Ellen Degeneras, Anne Hathaway, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Last month saw the release of the “Bully” movie. The ‘Biebs has been a vocal advocate of the film...
What I want to know is where the hell are the Christians?
If you’re wondering why people think the church is irrelevant, this is a case in point.
... it’s seen as a gay cause. The bullied kids being showcased are almost always suspected of being gay. The LGBT community owns this thing.
And the evangelical church can’t be seen as standing up for gays. God forbid we stand up for the queer kids, or partner with the LGBTs. (Even though this isn’t just a gay issue. It’s a “fat” issue, and a “dorky” issue” and a “special needs” issue.) We’d rather be silent. If we’re silent, we might as well be pro-bullying.
Ashley wrote, "As Christians, we don’t need to get together with other Christians and form groups to champion these causes. We can join these preexisting groups and serve right along non-believers. I think this could change others’ view of the church and Christians as irrelevant and may lead to other opportunities to minister. And now that I have come to this realization, I will be more active in helping the human cause!"
But not everyone is on board. John wrote, "My problem is two-fold. First, bullying is entirely subjective. What can be considered simple, playful, harmless teasing in one circumstance gets labeled bullying in another. There is no universally acceptable definition of bullying that applies to all people in all circumstances, so to advocate for a one-size-fits-all solution of “no bullying” seems absurd to me... Second, even if some universally agreed upon standard was created, how would such a thing possibly be enforced? If bullying is a no-no, some kids will do it just because it’s “forbidden”. It’s the same principle as telling a kid not to touch a hot stove – it only drives the idea further into their brain."
John raised very good points. In fact, I would like to know how anti-bullying standards can fairly be enforced. Last week, my ten year old nephew was suspended for two days after a bully picked a fight and he defended himself. Because of zero-tolerance policies in place, he was punished, too.
Jillian wrote: "The only time that bullying makes the news is if it’s an issue with homosexuality. I assure you, plenty of other kids are at this very moment being bullied, but they aren’t getting news coverage or web-sites or celebrity endorsements. Their experiences aren’t sexy enough for coverage... as a Christ follower and teacher and mother and human being, I will take a stand against bullying. But I won’t jump on the bandwagon. I will be involved in every situation that comes in my path, but I have different bandwagons to addresss."
Uh... not so much. (Source)
Meanwhile, Catholic blogger Mark Shea ran afoul of A LOT of people when he praised Perry Lorenzo, a Seattle Roman Catholic who passed a few years ago. Oh yeah, and he was gay. I'm not going to pick through the nearly 300 comments on that post or the over 100 on this follow up or the few here or here. I could keep on linking, but I think you get the point. When Christianity- whether Evangelical or Methodist or Anglican or Catholic- and Homosexuality intersect, it's usually a collision.
Now I pose the question- how do we, as the body of Christ, go forward representing both Truth and Love? A trillion more amendments can be passed like in North Carolina and this subject still won't go away.
It's out of the closet.
And in our pews.