Saturday, October 16, 2010


There has been a lot of press about bullying lately. Children in school are bullied to the point of despair - especially gay children. We have all read the stories. A local high school has had four suicides recently. Children and teenagers don't have enough perspective on life to realize that it can ever get better, or that life will go on after high school.

Where do children learn to hate those who are different? If you watch very young children at play they rarely even notice differences in each other. It is learned somewhere. There are churches that profess to be Christian - which means they follow the teachings of Jesus - who preach that gay people are evil, sinful, unworthy. Jesus certainly never taught that, but if there are children in that church, what message have they received? We all know that Jesus taught us to love each other, and our enemies. In Matthew 22:5 he says, "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subjected to judgment."

If those children hear political discussions at home against gay marriage they have received the message that there are people out there who are less valuable than they are - otherwise why would they not be deserving of the same rights?

Dan Savage is a popular writer, columnist and blogger. He is gay and has started a campaign called, "It gets better". Many Hollywood stars have come on board with messages to gay teens that life does get better. His column this week (you can read it in Scene magazine) included a letter from a professing Christian who disagreed with Dan's previous thoughts on how many Christians encourage bullying by their beliefs.

He wrote,"The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged and disordered and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack at the ballot box, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.

Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not "sinners". Gay and lesbian children."

A final point: What do you call politians who waste millions of dollars of advertising by name-calling, mud-slinging, outright lies and half-truths against their opponents. I call them BULLIES. When will we reject this type of advertising? Why is anyone sponsoring it? Personally I am insulted every time I see one because these ads assume that we are gullible and stupid if they think we would blindly accept their ridiculous accusations. I am in favor of outlawing ads that mention the opposing candidates and only refer to what that person intends to do if elected. But, of course, that will never happen, because this is America and we love free speech. I don't believe ANY of them anymore. But children are looking and listening. These so-called public servants are teaching them how to be bullies.


Jan said...

I, too, am posting about Dan Savage--but am waiting until Oct. 20, which is called Gay Teen Suicide Awareness Day. Thanks for writing.

Rob-bear said...

Growing up is tough enough without the huge added stress of bullying.

And, for politicians, bullying works. So why should they stop, when it gets them votes? Fairness is insignificant to them.

Lena said...

Great post, Diane. Such an important message.

Susan said...

Well put Dianne. Things are out of control. While yes bullying is a problem, media is a bigger problem. I don't know what to believe anymore. When I go to vote I honestly hope I'm voting for the people who should be voted for, but because they're so busy with name calling I'll never know until it's to late.