A couple weekends ago my younger sister found out a friend of hers had attempted suicide. I will not go into much detail other than to say he followed suit of a 15-year-old girl from the same school who sadly hanged herself in the closet of her bedroom last year. He was taken off life support on Saturday afternoon.
There is something severely wrong in our world when children are trying to end their precious lives far before their time. I can remember how hard high school is. I was the most excited one out of my class on graduation day to finally be done and out of the daily drama. Looking back now I see that my four years of secondary education was a breeze compared to what others have experienced. I wanted to be everyone’s friend, I could sit at most any lunch table and know someone that I could talk to for that hour break. I was able to blend in. I wanted to blend in, because standing out either got you popular and hated, or just hated.
My sister’s friend is gay. He ‘came out’ to his family and friends awhile ago. He has been on the receiving end of much harassment and relentless “teasing” from classmates because of the differences that they find uncomfortable. I had the privilege of taking my sister and this friend out to Denny’s one night after youth group, he is one of the funniest kids I have been around. He is smart, and caring, and clearly at only 15 still discovering who he is as a person. It breaks my heart that instead of feeling loved he has felt hated.
If you would like to read more about his story KATU news did a write-up on him which you can find HERE.
The ripple effect has begun by this tragedy, and the topic of bullying has been placed in the spotlight where I hope it will stay. It is an issue that can no longer be ignored or looked at through rose-colored glasses. Social media has only created a new stage for bullying, one that now humiliates a person in front of hundreds of people at once, and whose spread is vicious and unmerciful. Adults and children alike are prone to spout hideous remarks and comments, derogatory statements, and hateful opinions when they are behind the safety of a screen.
I would like to zero in more though, on the bullying that occurs, everywhere, at every age, toward those who are gay or bi.
This is something that I am pretty passionate about. I see many Christians plastered over the news, documentaries, TV shows, and on the web protesting against homosexuality. They write hateful statements on their picket signs, on websites, Facebook pages, kid’s lockers at school, and even worse, scream it at their faces. They hunt these people down like religious predators, their prey they see as lesser than them. They have taken judgment in their own hands and ridden on the self-righteous power they feel from it. I can barely stand to watch. They have ridden so far away from what God wishes us to do.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
There is no avoiding the point there. Repeated three times, Jesus obviously felt he had some thick skulls to get through.
The remark alone, “That is so gay,” that I hear all too often makes me cringe on the inside. It’s meaning, “That is so stupid,” turns anyone who says they are gay into being stupid as well. Why are we (Christians) out to make homosexuals feel as if they are lacking? To make them feel like they are lesser human beings, that they are to be hated?
I do not agree with being gay. And before I get insulted, or slandered for saying that let me also say I do not hate those who are gay. I would hate myself if I was to ever make someone feel that they were worthless, that they were lesser than me. I know this is such a heated debate, and normally I wouldn’t take such a forward stance on the subject, but because of the nature of what I’m trying to discuss I felt that I should. I am a Christian, and I believe in what the Bible says. In my eyes only God can tell us right from wrong, only He can be the one to judge. He tells me to reflect His love, He commands it. That is my job: show others, to the best of my abilities, the love that God shows me. That love is why I am a Christian, a follower of Christ, a servant of God. That love is the reason I believe what I do. Everyone deserves to feel that love.
I do not agree with bullying others because of their individuality. I do not agree with separating and casting out those who live life differently than me, or my family. Hitler was despised for trying to do that, alienating others. I would like to say it is an extreme example, but really it is not. I mean come on, there are some out there that say we should exterminate those who are homosexual, or bisexual. It is appalling that this is even considered a realistic possibility to those people!
To bring it back to the general picture:
God created each person. That is what I believe. He carefully crafted them together in their mother’s womb precisely how He intended them to be. We need to learn to appreciate the beauty in that, not try to snuff out those we label as abnormal. We are all abnormal!
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
My friends range in eccentricities. My goal is to never stifle those, never judge them, instead I want to draw them out more because who is a person without their anomalies? I know I have wacky ideas, and vastly different outlooks on things than others, my behavior can range from calm and composed to wildly goofy. I am weird. I am peculiar. I am different. I wish I had been more comfortable with that when I was younger because I feel I missed valuable time enjoying the person I was created to be. I admire those who lavish in being weird. When I laugh and say to someone, “You are weird, dear one,” it is one of the highest compliments I can give.
My goal is to pour as much as I can, at any opportunity given, the love and acceptance to those around me, but even more so to the generations after mine. My sister should not have to grow up in a school that is so riddled with closed mindedness that a boy or girl can’t even walk the hallways without feeling judged and being ridiculed. It is unfair for anyone, no matter the age, to feel as if they are not valuable.
Everyone deserves to be loved exactly the way they are.
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa