Can’t Stand By

I’m not really sure how to approach this topic. It’s controversial and I try to avoid those topics, simply because I don’t want to deal with the backlash.

But I feel like I can’t stay silent.

Wednesday was a day to support teens being bullied, especially gay and lesbian students. The recent rise of teen suicides due to bullying has been in the news and I’ve been thrilled to see the national outpouring of support. Many of my Twitter friends stated that they were wearing purple to show support to those going through a hard time that it gets better. I saw many statuses on Facebook showing their support, as well as many celebrities showing that they care and that there are resources for them and people that love them. I especially love the comments about the people that will love them that they haven’t even met yet.

Now, whether you agree with a person’s sexual preference or not, I hope all humans agree that being bullied and feeling like your only option is suicide is a terrible thing and something our youth shouldn’t have to suffer through.

And by chance, I happened across a documentary about the Westb@r@ B@ptist Church. (I don’t need anyone in support of them googling and finding my little corner of the internet.) If you don’t know about them, they got a lot of publicity when they started picketing at funerals of soldiers. Not necessarily gay soldiers, but soldiers because they were happy they died because the U.S. has gay people. See? I can’t even put the logic together. I guess because we have gay soldiers it’s a good thing all soldiers die? They make no sense.

What bothered me even more was the rhetoric being used, and that the children were just as indoctrinated. And while I don’t use this word and it bothers me, these people, these so called Christian people, used the word “fag” more often than I’ve ever heard. They were so mean and judgmental and unlike anything I’ve ever been taught in church. And protesting funerals? It makes my blood boil and the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. I was, however, happy to see that a local motorcycle group placed themselves and their super loud bikes between the protestors and the funeral so that the grieving family didn’t have to hear their hateful words.

And we wonder why kids are having such a hard time these days.

We have this small, but very loud, group of people who are spouting off about how terrible and evil they are. And it’s not just this group. There are, unfortunately, plenty of people who are willing to yell and shout and scream about the sins of gays and that they will go to hell and that they don’t deserve to live. And when a middle schooler keeps hearing this, but they can’t make their feelings change, they might start believing that they don’t have a reason to live.

Katie from the Overflowing Brain, wrote an awesome blog post about this topic, and she wrote it better than I can, so might as well get to read her words. I just came across her blog the other day, and it was the same time that all of these news stories were breaking my heart and I really enjoyed her post and was happy some people are willing to speak out.

I went to school to work with high school kids. I really do love that age group. Yes, they have HUGE attitudes, but I’ve never claimed to not have one myself. And sarcasm doesn’t usually work with 3rd grade kids. Also, high school can be a very rough time for some kids. It wasn’t a cake walk for me and I was pretty average. Some of these kids think that high school is everything and that high school is what the rest of the world is like. Believe me. It’s not. Or I would still be single and with a bad group of friends who made me take the brunt of all their jokes so they could feel better about themselves.

And I know it’s the current slogan, but I hope kids can truly understand that it DOES get better. I would never want to go back to high school, but I am happy now and high school showed me who I didn’t want to be like.

I did my student teaching at a VERY conservative school. Believe me, I wouldn’t have picked that school, especially with some of my viewpoints and the rampant racism that ran through that place. And overall, it wasn’t as bad as I expected, but there were definite problems. And when reading a book that mentioned harassing someone for being gay, my students didn’t see a problem with it. I almost lost it that day in class. We had a very serious talk about attitudes and behaviors and sayings that would not be allowed in my classroom and how they need to grow up and not be so closed minded.

I just don’t understand why this is still such an issue today. If two men or two women want to marry, let them. It doesn’t bother me, and in my opinion, love is love.  It’s not like heterosexual relationships are doing all that great. I know 3 people my age who are already married and divorced. At 23. Why not let people marry who they love?

I don’t know what else to say about this that hasn’t already been said. I just hope everyone can try to be a little more understanding, and even if you don’t agree, there’s no need for the hate. If you want to be a true Christian, love your neighbor and don’t judge. It’s time for everyone to have a little more love in their life.

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4 Comments

Filed under The Others

4 responses to “Can’t Stand By

  1. Great post. I’m sure this will be looked back on as the largest civil rights violation of our time. It makes me so sad that people who just want to be themselves are so often barred from doing so by a society that can be so cruel.

  2. Beautiful post! Those are all the things I have been thinking about too. I just keep thinking that “this too shall pass.” There will be a time when love is just love and people will be able to marry whoever they choose. We are all “earthlings”…all the same!

  3. Clap clap clap
    (standing ovation!)

  4. Thank you for writing this. I’m so glad that this issue is taking center stage in our society now. It needs to come out of the closet, so to speak, and be discussed. It’s wrong for people to put out views like this that can make an innocent teenager kill themselves because of bullying. It’s so sad that a child had to die in order for us to really talk about it, but I’m glad it’s out in the open now. Maybe we can change the next generation with these talks.

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