October 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET
My Take: A Christian response to anti-gay bullying
Editor's Note: Warren Throckmorton, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College. Along with Michael Frey, he leads the Golden Rule Pledge and blogs at warrenthrockmorton.com. Don't miss an "AC360°" special report in collaboration with PEOPLE Magazine, "Bullying: No Escape," all this week at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
By Warren Throckmorton, Special to CNN
The nation is mourning the recent suicides of three young teens, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown and Seth Walsh. Although each situation was a little different, a common denominator was that a central feature of the harassment the boys experienced was anti-gay name-calling.
Sadly, these boys join a string of other suicide victims who'd been subjected to anti-gay bias.
The tragedies have heightened the attention of the public on an already contentious debate about how to prevent anti-gay harassment. While everyone agrees that such bullying is harmful and must be addressed, not all agree about the means to that end.
Gay groups want to enact legislation which specifically includes prohibitions on bullying based on bias toward gays or those perceived to be gay.
Some Christian conservatives believe such laws communicate approval of homosexuality and thus disapproval of traditional Christian teaching on sexuality.
My view is that evangelicals need to put ideological worries aside and become part of the solution.
Addressing anti-gay bias doesn't require anyone to change religious beliefs about sexuality.
Current laws forbid bias on account of religion and yet I do not believe these laws promote my religion or any religion. Since religious bias is sometimes at the root of aggression toward others, laws set the boundaries of behavior in an explicit manner.
In the same way, it seems reasonable for schools to make clear that the boundaries of appropriate behavior exclude name-calling and harassment involving perceptions about sexual orientation.
Addressing such bias strikes me as an application of the Golden Rule - do to others as you would have them do to you.
Christians need not worry about violating their faith when schools insist on fair and respectful treatment for all. Anti-gay name-calling is hurtful to all students. Refusing to name the problem can create the illusion that such name calling is acceptable.
As a traditional evangelical, I may have some differences of opinion with my gay friends. However, such ideological differences don’t matter to a middle school child who is afraid to go to school.
There are many such children who need adults to care more about their well being than about religious differences. Adults need to focus on common values of respect and civility and take the culture war off the school campus.
This year, in my hometown of Grove City, Pennsylvania, local schools are implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention program. The Olweus program has a proven record of success in reducing bullying and is rated highly by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
To help generate support for the program, assistant Grove City Area School District Superintendent Tom Bell reached out to the Grove City Ministerial Association, a non-denominational group of local pastors. Though not a minister, I was asked to co-represent the association in trainings designed to help implement the program.
While we have had to address fears generated by some Christian groups about anti-bullying efforts, there is hope that the partnership can work well for our kids. No one has been asked to change religious beliefs. Instead, core beliefs in the dignity of all people are at the forefront.
Just over three years ago, I started the Golden Rule Pledge to emphasize to straight evangelical students that following your faith means treating your neighbors well. That means all of them - even the gay ones.
At that time, some Christian leaders were recommending that students avoid school on the Day of Silence, a day in April where some gay and lesbian students remain silent during non-class times to dramatize the prevalence of harassment and bullying directed at them.
In my view, boycotting school only makes the situation worse. It seems to me that people of faith should lead the way in providing safe and respectful environments for all. To do this, you have to be there and you have to name the problem to solve it.
As we are seeking to do in Grove City, I believe our children need us to come together, community, church and school. Let’s live the Golden Rule in school.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Warren Throckmorton.
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How about we just have basic respect and compassion for all people? We are all the children of God, we just have to start acting like it. I don't think anti-bullying laws are going to help much. We have to teach our children to have respect for differences.
Oh, and I'd love to hear more about transphobia and how we should fight that. A study not too long ago found that 50% of known transgendered people under the age of 30 either are murdered or commit suicide. But I don't hear people talking about that. Hollywood, where's your big mouth when it comes to this? I don't even hear Chaz Bono talking about this.
Hi Frank..! I agree with your posting. I would add, at least in my opinion, that the 'transgendered' are concerned for and a part of the equation. I think that is why they are included in 'LGBT.'
Hope that you enjoyed your beers the other night.. 🙂
Hi, peace2all. Trans people are represented to a certain extent but there are still a lot of boundaries and in-fighting between the L's, G's, B's and T's. A lot of the time, it seems like we have L's and G's, silent B and a silent T. There's a lot of issues that need to be dealt with within the LGBT community. There's transphobia among gays and lesbians, h0m0phobia among trans people and biphobia amongst them all. That's not unity. Lol.
Really.... Well, how did you become so knowledgeable....? Do you know a lot of LGBT people, and have questioned them...?
I am not 'doubting' you.... but, your assertion was something I was no aware of. I know of some, I will ask myself, and see what they say...
I'm a bis#xual transgender man and most, almost all, of my friends of been of the LGBT persuasion. Surprise, surprise.
And.... You're a 'Catholic'.....? My head is spinning...! Well, I am still learning about my new friend Frank all of the time.
Yes.. what a surprise it is...!
With continuing respect.... I wish you peace...
Yeah. I can understand how it's surprising. I don't really talk about it unless it's brought up, because it's really no one else's business. It's between me, God and no one else. I'm as He made me. There's actually a bunch of qu##rs my age that attend my parish. It's not really a big deal.
I have several gay and lesbian friends, who I care for deeply, and they me.......However, THEY like to give me a lot of grief..being that I am a 'straight' guy.... What the heck do I know... they say...
Anyways... again.. peace..
Lol. I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm also mixed race so I get like that sometimes when white people talk about racism. It all comes down to empathy, really.
Agreed... And I am one.. who has a tremendous amount of 'empathy' for my fellow human's and a respect for all life.
Well, I say cheers to that.
So, being Catholic and a bis-e-x-u-al and transgender man, are the people in your parish open, and accepting to you and your friends....?
I certainly hope so....
My parish is a Cathedral. There's so many people there that most people don't really know each other. I joined through the RCIA and those are the people I know best. They don't really judge. I had an issue with my godmother but she has her own problems to deal with so I don't take it personally. I had another lady who helped me before who congratulated me when I told her about my gender. It just depends on who you talk to you, whether you're talking about church or society in general.
But like I said, it's not really something I talk about so it doesn't really come up. I go to church to worship God, not tell everybody my personal business, especially when it comes to what's in my pants. And if they do want to judge, they really have no right. I know about some 'sins' in their life if they want to go that way.
I think the clergy is more concerned about people showing up for Mass than anything else. The priest there is divorced himself, which is a sin. Lol...
Basically, I know who I am and there's not anything that can change that. I've been through a lot in my life. Too much to let people drag me down over silly things. When it comes to the church people, they have really helped me and my mom out many times. They have been our family when we didn't have anyone else. So I can't complain. Like all families, there are disagreements and such, but you're still family. I know I can count on them.
I do know that there's a parish that performs Masses for LGBT families, but I haven't been there yet. It's on the other side of the city.
Have you seen this video?
It helps to show how the Catholic Church views GLBT persons, those who are especially loved by God.
@Frank and peace2all: Yes, there is a lot of infighting within the LGBT community. If you're bi, you're not gay enough. If your TG, can you technically call it gay? The more rare the minority, the more distrust you have that others will understand where you're coming from too. It's like most communities where people are always looking at the differences instead of the similarities. And labels, while they provide a means of communicating, also help to increase the divide. I find it troubling but not surprising. But I stand by my insistence that if we personally know someone who is different we will have more compassion and understanding than if we do not. I think that's were a lot of the fear and anger come from that christians have about gays. It's a fear of the unknown.
Thanks for the add-on comments. Well said..... They are in-line with Me and Frank, in our discourse.
I agree with all of you. You guys, whether you be Atheist, Christian, Catholic, gay, straight, bi, transgenderal, lesbian, whatever, are very smart. I also just realized that we all have been commenting on this regularly. Here's the truth: God loves all. y'all probably have it already... but email me at email@example.com for comments, questions, and the like. 🙂
False values, cheap sentimentalist display. Weak minds sucking up the souls of the possessed persons around then spit such out in the face of society. That reality.If you don't like it then stay in your barracks and stockpile your weapons. God will get you in the end.
So....... are you (against) ignorant and evil hate-mongering and bullying of anyone who is not like you...i.e..gays (in this article)....?
If so, I am with you. Just was not sure exactly as to your post and to your 'stance' you are taking on this issue...?
Negu, what the hell are you talking about? Are you high? Having a bad trip? Lol.
If straight people do not stop harassing gay people, gay people will eventually turn their violence against straight people
Actually, the violence has historically been much more of a straight thing. The gays will pool all our disposable income (no kids, after all) and put together group of the best lawyers and start fighting for our rights in court...oh wait, I think that has already started to happen...
Thank you for this article. As an activist for the LGBT community, I've been entirely discouraged by the recent suicides, but your view point gives me hope that the Christian community can be a part of the solution, and not the problem. Of course there will always be "Christians" who still preach hate and intolerance for their fellow human being, but I truly believe that the majority of Christians do represent their name, i.e. Christ-like. What Would Jesus Do? I'm pretty sure he would have encouraged love and respect of your fellow human being.
I think our entire society will be better off once we grow up and stop believing in an unprovable, untestable, and unreasonable concept. I think Sam put it best, we would consider it ridiculous if our descendants started killing each other over which version of the Windows OS were inspired by God. Adobe 9 doesn't work with Windows 98 , therefore, Adobe 9 must be evil. Sounds silly but that is the world we live in. Has any of you asked yourself the following, if there is an all powerful God that created us, why are we all born Atheist, we have to be taught to believe in a God, in depends on which society we are born into which God we believe in, it is not inherent in us.
I have to disagree with you there. I think even if one were born in isolation he would wonder about the presence of some sort of greater being than himself. Of course, he would need other people to direct him to the bible if he were to ever consider Christianity but at least the desire for the information is probably inherent for many people.
Possibly.... I think that the desire for an 'understanding' of one's self and the world around them would certainly be there. A desire for 'that' information, I believe is there.
And certainly as we look into our world' history and archaeology and anthropology, we can see a definite connection in 'early' man' beliefs that ... It didn't rain, so therefore, we must have displeased the 'rain gods', etc...
However, as science has and still does continue to show discover and uncover our natural world and it's 'secrets' to not be a god, the 'god of the gaps' is becoming harder and harder to keep that myth going, as science continues.
Believers, in general are having a more difficult time in 'maintaining' their old-out-dated world-views from the bible or the qur'an, etc....
There's no proof that we are born atheist and that the only reason we know about a Higher Power is because someone told us. I don't know where people get that from.
Not so fast my friend. Lets make a distinction here between when one is 'born' vs. as they get older and become aware of the
'concept' of god/higher power, etc...
When a child is born, they have 'no concept' of a god or god's/higher power until they get older and are taught this concept. Much like bigotry.... children left alone of different cultures/races will not engage in bigotry. It is only when taught by their parents, churches, schoolmates, elders, etc... that they become inculcated with the concept of bigotry.
I could probably, if I wanted to take the time find some of the studies I learned about it psychology, but, I do believe there is some validity to this.
I would need to see some proof of this. It seems to just come down to people's opinion. I think people like to project their own feelings onto children. I'll tell you what: me and an atheist will conduct a random survey of children on the street. 😉
O.K..... Let me know on your results..!
Will do. 😉
It's not the RELIGION that's the problem, it's the ACCEPTANCE of religion that is. Christians should be tolerant. I try my best to be. As a matter of fact, not to brag, but I have several atheist, Muslim (yes I know! It's possible), and one friend that combines different religions. Christians are taught to tolerate all, but also to alert other Christians of their sin. You can't judge a flock of sheep by one sheep. That applies very well to religion. And just for the record.... Adobe 9 IS evil.
Seriously? You count 3? In the month of September it was actually 9 suicides.
Billy Lucas (15) September 9, 2010. Indiana
Cody J. Barker (17) September 13, 2010. Wisconsin
Seth Walsh (13) September 19, 2010. California
Tyler Clementi (18) September 22, 2010. New Jersey
Asher Brown (13) September 23, 2010. Texas
Harrison Chase Brown (15) September, 25 2010. Colorado
Raymond Chase (19) September 29, 2010. Rhode Island
Felix Sacco (17) September 29, 2010. Massachusetts
Caleb Nolt (14) September 30, 2010. Indiana
In light of the recent suicides, a friend of mine, Jen Foster, is sharing a song for free. This Is Me. It speaks of love and acceptance. God created us all. I encourage you to check it out. jenfoster.com
I ask that people not say "Christians" without any additional identifiers. I am a Christian and I'm gay. And I have a LOT of friends and family in my Christian community who know the true meaning of what it is to be Christian. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus loved the sinner and criticized the hypocrite. These anti-gay groups do NOT speak for all Christians. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have eternal life." Nowhere does it say, “except for gays”.
As in other religions, it's up to the moderates to reclaim the faith from the extremists, eh?
I hope you will listen to Jen's song if you haven't! God made us all! You are loved!!!
This Is Me
@Sarah: I understand your concern. And I know that there are good, honest, kind people who go by the Christian name. But there are also mean-spirited, dishonest, cold-hearted people who also call themselves Christian. And they are the loudest of the bunch. But on the topic of gays, even the moderate christians, class them as sinners. It is only the progressives who are openly accepting of gays, and they do so by ignoring the majority of christian churches, literature and dogma. I hope that we are at some cusp of change where most of Christianity turns the page and is no longer anti-gay. But unfortunately until that happens, christians like you are in the minority.
The word Bully makes it look like a child's game. If a child was to steal something then we would call him a thief. That has the same meaning for an adult. But bullying is too cute sounding. Let's call it was it is, a criminal act, not a child's game. A criminal abuser could then be identified when young instead of just saying he was just a little bully!
Some jurisdictions want to label it as assault. What does it matter if it's someone you know doing it, or that it just happens to occur in a school?
If only these represented the opinions of the majority of American Christians – however, what I think Mr. Throckmorton fails to address, and possibly to understand, is that these views of bigotry are taught in the home, by adults who should know better. He states that we may "create the illusion" that namecalling is acceptable and this is irresponsible on his part – there is no illusion for many of these kids, it is how they are raised, what they see their parents say and do, and thus it isn't any kind of illusion – it is reality and it is actively taught to some of our children.
Maybe the secret is that American Christians need to sit down with their bible, read it front to back, and then answer a few simple questions:
1) what is the overall theme of the bible
2) would Jesus prefer you were nice to people, or mean to them
3) did Jesus hate?
4 – bonus) Seeing as how greed/selfishness is the sin most addressed in the bible, and in fact the only one that sparked Jesus to open anger, maybe Christians should be examining the depths of their own charity and spend some of their time helping the sick and hungry, like Jesus did, rather than harassing gay people who haven't actually done them any harm.
A lot of them do read the Bible, some of it anyway, but then they scratch their heads in bewilderment and decide to ask their ministers what it means. That's where the problem comes from: People being led to do very unChristian-like things based on what they are being told that the Bible REALLY says.
Like Islam, where reading the Qur'an yourself would also likely lead you to being a rather gentle person, extremists are made when good people follow extremist leaders and believe what they are told to believe.
@JonO: For Christians to do that they would have to know a bit about reading comprehension and literary ana-lysis. Not to mention have a curiosity and critical nature. And maybe that's the real problem. Not with Christians per se, but with Americans on the whole. Our education system and a culture that prefers to villify intellectual pursuits is keeping us from whatever compassion that can be found in our lives by ignorantly holding on to what is told to us, than seeking the answers ourselves. I also think as a group we have a lot of issues with seeing things through our better natures. I don't know if we can blame that on education or spirituality. I mean humanity has never had a problem with being greedy and hateful.
Jesus did not hate. And I can tell you why selfishness is the most often discussed sin: Selfishness is the root of all evil. A man kills someone. Why? Because the person he killed can hurt the killer. They were only thinking of themselves. Robbery: That's too obvious. Take from someone to help YOURSELF. Lie to protect YOURSELF. Kill to protect YOURSELF. Bully to protect YOURSELF from being bullied, and/or to make YOURSELF feel better. Join me in putting others first, and not being so selfish. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I challenge any religious leader who accepts anti-gay bullying to find me a passage in the Bible where Jesus bullies someone.
No kidding. As I recall, there is a passage about the Good Samaritan – I guarantee it says nothing about the Good Samiritan asking the injured man if he was gay or not before helping him.
Why just leaders? Why not the general flock? The flock is guilty of this disgusting behavior too, if they weren't, this big mouths on TV and the like wouldn't be there because they wouldn't have an audience.
These people, when posed with challenges like this, flee in terror because they know that their hate isn't based on any real logical interpretation of the teaching of Christ... they know they can't REALLY prove their stance past Leviticus (which doesn't say anything about how a Christian should harass and bully people, and in fact contains text in the newer versions of the bible that DOES NOT EXIST IN THE ORIGINAL HEBREW AND THUS MAN ADDED IT... ahem...
But this is what I'm talking – a Christian isn't someone who goes to church on Sunday and mindlessly regurgitates single bible passages – a Christian is someone who actively engages themselves in their religion including in deeper understanding by learning its history.
Let's not forget that the Samaritans were the people looked down on at the time, which is why it was such a big deal. All the common folk passed right on by in that parable.
They won't find such a passage...Jesus flocked to the sinner and lothed the church leaders. Can you say Mary Magdeline? Heck all of his Apostles were crooks, poor, and sinned big time!! Christians need to mind their own house and remember the Golden Rule and the actions and words of Christ....they need to stop the hate!!
According to said Bible, though, God doesn't hate gays, He loves people; it's the actions he doesn't like. And yet, as so many other people have said, if He made us in his image (I am a lesbian, and I'm perfectly comfortable with that fact), then how in the world can he hate us? Wouldn't that then mean that he hates himself as well? It just doesn't make any sense. Any, as someone else said, it is God's place to judge people, not mankind's (says so in the Bible, dear Bible Thumpers)!.
I myself have struggle with religion because of it, and eventually ended up as an Episcopalian because of their tolerance for and acceptance the LGBT community based on the fact that the Bible condemns mankind's judgment of one another. Yet, the Episcopalian church is forever being slammed for their LGBT acceptance by other "Christian" churches. Why? The way I see it, they are loving their neighbours, and refusing to be the ones to judge the LGBT community. It makes no sense to me.
Kudos to this guy for speaking out against the injustice for these kids!
@Bridget, I'm glad you have found a faith that accepts you. I don't mean to pry, but are you uncomfortable with the parts of the bible that condemn gays? I am a lay person myself, so I cannot quote you the scriptures. But I just want to know your take on it since you are both gay and a person of faith.
I am just curious, is there any sin named in you ecclesial community?
Yes, Catholic Mom, we do recognize sin, but we also recognize that sitting in judgement of others in above our pay grade. We are open to all who wish to have a relationship with God. We teach from scripture and encourage one another to follow God's word. Above all, we teach that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We would rather demonstrate our Christianity through love than through discrimination and judgement.
If you feel excluded from your church for any reason please visit an Episcopal church near you. You will be welcomed into the love of Christ with open arms.
you ask why??? don't you understand it? Stop and think... you know the answer...
Sounds like to me....you searched and searched until you found an "EASY RELIGION" that said "yeah its okay to be GAY". Make no mistake about it.....YOU WILL GO TO HELL...if you don't repent and change. I glad and support ALL CHURCHES that stand against this TOLERANCE of sin. IT IS A SIN TO BE GAY.....PLEASE...REPENT.....YOU CAN BE CHANGED IF YOU WILL DIE TO SELF...MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE....I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AS I PRAY FOR ALL PEOPLE TO TURN AND CHANGE THEIR WAYS.
Episcopalians I think have the basic concept that all present-day religions attempt to convey. The "Golden Rule" is universally preached as Karma for Hindus and Buddhists, specified in the Quran a few times, and is even alluded to in Hammurabi's code. So score one for the underdog Episcopalians who stand alone on the moral high ground...
The only thing about Episcopalians is that the name is too long, but Im thinking that the proper pronunciation is their way from sieving out the more narrow minded and less educated religious sheep from actual people with faith...
IF YOU ARE NOT A PART OF THE SOLUTION
YOU ARE THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
If you're not part of the solution......
You're part of the precipitate.
first of all god doesnt hate anyne he made them just like he made evry other human on earth an as a true real christian that lives for god is suppost to try an live like him in evry way an all im hearing is the devil which is the whole problem with this world is stupid mean cold hearted ppl like u that wants to go to hell an thats exactly wats gna happen to u if u dnt change how u feel abt "diffrent" ppl. Where would u go if u died rite now? Heaven or Hell? God gave u a choice choose carefuly. Gene's rite its god job to judge no one else! !
Mein gott... I am about to womit.
I think that christians sometimes forget that according to the bible god made man in his image. all mankind, not just christians or straight people. how can god hate his creation if he formed it like him?
God hates what happened to his creation...He hates it that not all can be saved..yet he came anyway to save us..but not all of us will accept him...because accepting him means denying yourself....
Bullies are not born. They are "educated" at home. It is parents who need sensitivity training and current parents of bullies need to be fined or jailed depending on the nature of their offsprings' transgressions.
Here, Here. I would also include the Church in this as well.
@Reality: I agree with the inclusion of parents to a degree. It must be a 360 approach because something fostered the anti-social behaviour of these children.
I totally agree with you. And JohnQuest, the church itself, as in the pastors, shouldn't, and for the most part, don't teach kids to be bullies. The other kids do. When there are clicks, it equals trouble. So if there are clicks and a feeling of superiority at the home, and with kids everywhere, what is that going to teach someone? Bullying. JohnQuest, God gave you a good mind, I can tell, don't waste it!
I like to point out the bib le pass age s that are anti ga y also are anti cotton poly blend, and anti garden. thou shalt not indeed.
The bible isn't "anti cotton-poly blend" or anti garden. The only blend which is forbidden is cotton/wool. All others are OK.
Yes. Thank you for being one of the only sane ones in this conversation.
Christians are not supposed to judge...that is God's job.
They aren't supposed to do a lot of the things they do, and they ARE supposed to do a lot of the things they don't do.
Christianity, for most Americans, doesn't seem to be so much about emulating Christ as it does having an excuse for our own personal biases and opinions.
Yes...we as christians are not perfect....believe me...I fall short every day....but that doesn't mean we aren't to speak the TRUTH. GOD HATES SIN!!!!...PERIOD. We as followers of CHRIST are bound to love and pray for all people. Yes we are to pray that everyone turns from their wicked ways and lives in a Christ like manner. Anyone who is a follower of CHRIST knows that being GAY is a SIN. Being Gay isn't a biological thing...as God makes no mistakes....GAY IS A CHOICE....per THE BIBLE WE ARE TO TURN AWAY FROM SIN "DIE TO SELF"....which means to turn away from OUR OWN DESIRES and follow GOD.
Frogist, I agree, some religions foster intolerance to those they do not agree with. I think we must have moral apathy to have righteous indignation for the suffering of another group. The issue with ga ys is (if God doesn't like them and they are going to he ll for their Sins anyway, they do not deserve to be treated better here and now). I think according to the Bible it would be wrong to treat our Ga y and Les bian Brothers and Sister fairly, God hat es them so those that believe in God must hat e them too.
@JonQuest: I just cannot stand that people who claim such superiority of moral knowledge over atheists and muslims and... well anyone, can be so hypocritical when it comes to another human being. Especially when it comes to violence. The church leaders, who asked that parents keep their kids home from school on a day of silent protest against violence, just kill me. How can you be a church leader but not ask that your followers stand up against violence perpetrated on another human being who has not done anything against you?
I understand your anger, and agree whole-heartedly with your comments.
And, additionally adding on to your post...... I find it very interesting as well, that most of the people posting 'hate' towards
muslims and claim to be christians ... one of their main complaints is that the muslims(peaceful/moderat ones) don't stand up against the hate and terror perpetrated against our country.
Wow.... the irony of christians *not* standing up against the hatred against LGBT people and actually stoking the flames of hatred. Not that is HYPOCRISY at the utmost...!!!
Where is -Marcus...? I hope that he comes around to understand analogy, irony, metaphor...etc...
"God hates them". You are obviously not GOD and you will not decide who goes to heaven or hell. Being gay is not a disease, or a dirty act. It's a lifestyle choice that some people feel comfortable with. If it bothers you, feel free to close your eyes and tell yourself it doesn't exist, but please avoid discriminating because in truth we are all the same and deserved to be treated as such.
Christians, is this what we've come to? Ignore or incite the violence to further anti-gay sentiment? I could not believe it when on AC360 last night AC and guests talked about how certain religious groups are against any anti-bullying efforts because they're afraid it will promote a hom-ose-xual agenda, whatever that means. Have we really sunk this low? Is it now ok to ignore violence as long as it's against those we don't like? Another reason that I can never call myself a Christian – the prevalence of anti-gay sentiment in the christian community. I absolutely believe that some of the ignorance and hatred of gays is fostered by the religious belief that gay people are sinners and therefore lesser human beings for being who they are.
As for the violence and bullying, I know not all religious people are ok with it. It's just really disappointing to see that any of them are ok with it.
"the ignorance and hatred of gays is fostered by the religious belief that gay people are sinners and therefore lesser human beings for being who they are"
Yes I would agree stay away from "Christians" like that and become a Christian that understands that All have fallen short of the glory of God, all have sinned that is why we need Christ as our savior.
Still, it seems that you are still defining being gay as being 'sinful', or somehow 'bad.' Is it all right for people to label you as 'bad' just because you are different? Many of us would equate this as the same as labelling an autistic kid as being 'bad' because his behavior is inappropriate by typical standards. Would that be fair?
Exactly Mike- well said.
Frogist – – -Unfortunately – there are very ignorant Christians, as there would be in any religion or group of people. You should realize that this sample of ignorant Christians is a tiny sample... they were given "air-time" to make good television. You should be smart enough to make your own religious choices with or without the actions of stupid people.
To make the simplest analogy – Just because some people choose to eat too much fast food and therefore become obese... should I let their lack of discipline keep me from indulging once in a while?
Man-Up and be your own person!
I truly have 'no' idea as to your attempt at drawing an analogy.
Please elaborate on your symmetry of point by point comparison. Otherwise, I will be left to point out how your analogy references.
Maybe it is me... I am truly willing to admit that... if so, let me apologize in advance, however, as your analogy stands, it seems to be a terrible analogy.
Again, please.... if you come back to this post, please elucidate and elaborate on your point by point comparison.
Bullying has been around as long as children have. So what's new? Wasn't Judas a bully? What's new is that parents are letting their children run amock! They are either absent; too busy making money to pay attention to their children; or ruled by their children instead of asserting some parenting. When I was a kid we had to figure out our own options to deal with bullies.. Stand up to them and kick their butts; (or at least try) tell our parents; and our parents called their parents; get a big brother or cousin or younger uncle to show up at school; blah, blah blah. So now we need laws to take the place of us teaching our children faith, strength, courage, and resourcefulness. Oh please these kids need to get over themselves. I was called everything from a "half-breed," to a square; and a lot of stuff in-between. The difference is that my parents taught us faith, courage, strength, and resourcefulness. We had to survive because they were working class and had not a lot of time. But they were "present" in our lives. If we see a kid without support; we must teach them the life skills I've mentioned. and parents wake up and get busy! Kudos to you for being concerned with our youth.
And..... A lot of the Parents and Churches-Yes, primarily Christian 'foster' the hatred and ignorant stereotyping of LGBT people.
We, as a society need to become more accepting and tolerant of the so-called others. This is absolutely not acceptable to say it is due only to parents that are letting their children run amok.... or blaming the 'victims' in this case.
Change our American culture to be more accepting and tolerant instead of biblical spewing hate-mongering, and I think we may be on the right path utilizing both methods to help solve this truly sad condition.
@Mike: And what would be the way gay people come to god? Repent of their sinning ways for being who they are and always will be? Never express their love for another person? I still cannot fathom why being gay is a sin. It hurts no one and damages nothing. But even more than that I cannot understand why some christians are ok with violence against gays?
@Marcus: I agree with peace2all, your analogy doesn't make sense. Please elaborate. And also let me know if you think being gay is a sin? And if you think we should address gay-bashing among students in our schools. Also would you keep your child at home on a day of peaceful protest of violence against gays?
@Janet: Judas was a bully? Please elaborate.
If there was a program that eliminated the need those kids had to call you half-breed or beat up on you, would you want that for your child?
THANK YOU, as a gay man I think you are one of the only christians I have heard that understands that the religous right conrtibutes to hate speech about gays. Religon was used against me my whole life at 16 I was told I was the worst kind of pervert on the planet and that God himself would cast me into hell on site. and any friends I have had that were "christians" allways seemed to think they were better than me because "god" loved them more than he did me because I was gay. I just hope this ends soon I hate to think people have to give up faith to accept someone unlike themselves. Sometimes makes it hard for me to keep believing.......but I do again...thank you
Even the in front of the law, we all equal, but we have to keep in mind that the law is created to protected the weak and victims. And those Bullies or the bystanders certainly don't need the protection of the law. The man's job is to create a system that the strong shall not abuse the weak. The majority shall not neglect the minority. By then, the world will be perfect. Casting an umbrella to shade your children from the reality is just another lie. Even the umbrella has drawings of Jesus Christ all over it. When that umbrella is gone, your kids will be crashed by the weight of the reality. And we need to grow a bit more faith to your kids. They are smarter, tougher than you think. They also have feelings and they surely can think for themselves.
I am a Christian. I do believe we are all sinners. to be gay is sinful , but to cheat on you wife or husband is also sinful , to steal is sin , etc, etc,etc...!!!There are many kinds of sin in the world...so I can only say that the first person to be without sin...to pick up the stone !!!
I have a son who is gay!!!I know his struggles ...his extremely difficult road as a child!I love my child...I support my child...will always be proud of my child for all he went through...!!!I do not have all the answers about why and how this came about...but I DO know that my God , my Lord Jesus ..loves my child......That is what Christianity is all about...forgiveness and faith and grace and trust!!!Me ..as a parent ...pray and pray and pray for my child....but I KNOW that GOD knows my son ....so I keep faith and will never judge a person for being gay!!!!!!!I am also a sinner!!!!
It's so sad that these Chrisitian's don't know how to read (the Bible) – what does it take to understand that Jesus was tolerant to everyone, including guys's He was not a republican, he was not a Christian – he was the Son of God. The pope has nothing to say nor have all the preachers out there in cyberland
I don't advocate violence of any kind !I also believe christians should not have their rights violated, because of someone's choice to be gay !religious people are discriminated against everyday! the politically correct media , and the "we want to do anything we want " adults want us to be dominated by their wants and behavior !this is communism! I say "christians be strong, not wishy washy"!We are living in the mist of evil, and a flood of socialist behavior that wants this country to become another Russia!
You have a son that is gay and you still believe "to be gay is sinful"? You are one sick and screwed up christian!
If anything at all, having a gay son should have taught you the absolute stupidy of man-made supernatural tribal myths.
THERE ARE NO GODS – NOT EVEN JUST 1 – NO SATAN EITHER – AND BEING GAY IS NOT SINFUL!
Janet Grey, I love you. I also love your mind. And to you, ROX, I know what it's like to be bullied. You get through it, no matter what the reason. God loves gays too, so you can turn to Him in times of trouble. That helped me a lot in middle school (I'm in high school now). If you, or anyone reading has any questions, debates, comments, disproves, and other things like that, I challenge you, and ask you, to email me at email@example.com
You do realize that Russia screwed up socialism, right? They turned it into communism, a distorted version of socialism. Socialism is where everyone is considered equal and people get lots of health benefits etc. Look it up. There *is* a democratic socialist party of the U.S.