We know that many gay people have been the subject of bullying – especially at school. In a recent article by Duncan Pardon (a NZ Baptist), he says, inter alia .. .. ..
The media has bombarded us with information, statistics, and expert opinion on why bullying is such a problem and I have to say I’m none the wiser. On that basis I did some googling to see if churches and Christian ministries had any startling insights.
What I found was rather depressing. Many of the sites I came across, particularly in the United States, framed bullying in the context of the homosexual debate. There were all sorts of websites and blogs discussing the argument that schools in the United States shouldn’t have anti-bullying programmes because they “push the gay agenda.” As homosexual students are seemingly the ones who often get bullied, then the argument goes that anti-bullying programmes either promote homosexuality by singling out gay people for protection, or conversely paint Christians as bigots.
Clearly the influence of the gay community in the United States is a big issue, particularly in civil rights, education and other key areas, but I like to think that with issues such as bullying Christians would stand up for justice regardless of who is being victimised.
Here in New Zealand, Christian lobby group Family First had some sensible comments on the subject. “Why are we surprised by bullying and violence in our schools when children are fed this material through the media constantly,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Kids are bullying each other, kids are bullying teachers and members of the public, kids are bullying parents. Bullying is not just a school problem – it’s a cultural problem.
The second paragraph is fightening. His last sentence is wise. Hopefully, it all adds to our thinking on how we can contribute to changing such achaic attitudes here.