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Christians and Bullying: Standing with Gays and Lesbians

The fact that bullies target gay and lesbian people should mean that Christians give extra attention to protecting and standing up for them. The fact that any community or group of people is regularly the target of harassment and hate means Christians should be on the front line of defense against any who would attack.

Jim Wallis, God's Politics/Sojourners

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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. And I can almost hear my mother’s voice sometimes … like now.

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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. There is broad opposition within the Christian community to bullying, especially the sort that leads to the deaths we have seen as of late. This sort of harassment is indefensible. And the stories of young kids being so bullied that they take their own lives has been heartbreaking to hear<>.

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Related:

No ‘Christian Compassion’ in Tony Perkins’ Response to Anti-Gay Bullying, Suicides, Andrew Marin, Religion Dispatches

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  • What I am saying is that Tony Perkins is himself a bully because his engagement with this topic consists of getting as many people as he can to support him against someone else’s son, daughter, mother, father, aunt, uncle—all targeted to one specific population of people.
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  • Washington Post Will Doggedly Pursue Both Sides Of 'Should Gay Teenagers Commit Suicide?'
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No ‘Christian Compassion’ in Tony Perkins’ Response to Anti-Gay Bullying, Suicides

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  • What I am saying is that Tony Perkins is himself a bully because his engagement with this topic consists of getting as many people as he can to support him against someone else’s son, daughter, mother, father, aunt, uncle—all targeted to one specific population of people.
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  • Washington Post Will Doggedly Pursue Both Sides Of 'Should Gay Teenagers Commit Suicide?'
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Andrew Marin, Religion Dispatches

In a recent guest post in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” section, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins railed against what he describes as the opportunistic evils of the gay agenda. He did so under the auspices of addressing the recent epidemic of gay teens who have committed suicide. I find it awfully clichéd that the post’s title began with the phrase “Christian Compassion,” but let me be blunt: There was no Christian compassion in that post. There was, however, a whole lot of political maneuvering.


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I am a straight, white, male, evangelical Christian, just like Tony Perkins. Mr. Perkins, you don’t speak for me or a number of conservative evangelicals who are worn out and sickened by the same old battle cry you believe we should join. Many ask today, why should we join one side and fight against the other? Each time it’s the same banal response: For no other reason than that we should just fall in line against what extreme public figures deem a societal evil worthy to be fought against. That answer is just not good enough.

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Related:

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Washington Post Will Doggedly Pursue Both Sides Of 'Should Gay Teenagers Commit Suicide?' Debate, Jason Linkins, Huffington Post

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  • You did know that there are two completely rational sides to the debate over teens committing suicide because of homophobic bullying, didn't you?
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  • Special Report | Making Schools Safer for Gay Students
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'A Prayer When I Feel Hated': Helping Prevent Gay Teen Suicide

Be with me when people make fun of me,
and help me to respond how you would want me to,
in a love that respects other, but also respects me.
Help me find friends who love me for who I am.
Help me, most of all, to be a loving person.

Rev. James Martin, S.J., Huffington Post

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The recent rash of suicides among young gay youths cannot fail to move the Christian heart, or indeed any heart capable of compassion. While any suicide is a terrible tragedy, the suicide of a young person who feels that his or her life will never change, and who moves towards despair as a result of constant bullying and harassment, is especially poignant.

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Many of the gays and lesbians, young and old, who have spoken about this in the last few days have pointed to how wounded they have felt by their churches and by other religious organizations. The Christian community must find a way to reach out more compassionately to gay and lesbian youths, help them feel welcome and valued, and help them know that they are beloved by God -- and by us. We must lead, as we do with any group, and as Jesus did, first with welcome, not condemnation. For my part, here is a prayer I composed for all who feel excluded, rejected, marginalized, shamed or made fun of, in any way or in any place, religious or otherwise: "A Prayer When I Feel Hated"

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The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion ~ Symon Hill

Symon Hill's No-Nonsense Guide to Religion tries to explain what religion means, how we relate to it, how it was created and how it affects us culturally, politically and spiritually today.

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Reviewed in New Internationalist

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A balanced guide to religion, which analyses the cultural, social and political implications of religion globally. Religion is a term which is often used in the media and public life without any clarification.

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However, it is a word that encompasses hundreds of different beliefs. It is a loaded word that has a different meaning for each person. Religion can be seen as a source of war and peace, love and hate, dialogue and narrow-mindedness.

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Drawing on a wide range of sources, the No-Nonsense Guide to Religion does not just concentrate on the popular and well-established traditions, which normally over-emphasize powerful figures. It focuses too on the diversity within religions as well as the similarities between them.

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