Thursday, April 24, 2008

Christians--how can we be change agents??

I wish we could find another identifying name for Christians so that everyone didn't have to be lumped into one category.

I received an email yesterday, sent out by some pastors. The email was frantically telling parents that many schools will be observing a "Day of Silence." In the pastors' words, this Day of Silence is to "promote the homosexual lifestyle" and they encouraged parents to keep their kids home from school if their school is promoting it.

Where is our outrage at this ignorance????!!!

First of all, the National Day of Silence does not "promote the homosexual lifestyle." The National Day of Silence exists to "bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools." This year they are honoring the memory of Lawrence King, a California 8th-grader who was shot and killed Feb. 12 by a classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.

I don't understand the rationale of removing ourselves from people in order to punish them for their choice or perhaps their genetics. As Christians, shouldn't we instead be standing with them to demonstrate to others that hate is wrong in any form or fashion??

Of course, I must go back to the distortion of the original email I received. Although I am appalled at their suggestion to pull kids out of school so they won't be exposed to "homosexuals," the pastors didn't even get the message right. The message is to stand with people who are being bullied, harrassed, and even killed simply because of their sexual orientation. The pastors (and many others in our society), stir up fear because of their own hate. Unfortunately, many buy into it.

As Christians, I think we have to fight against the "Christians." We need to speak out and say, "Any kind of hate is wrong!" ...whether it is against skin color, immigration, sexual orientation, poverty, etc. We need to be the stronger voice to stand up with our friends and neighbors who are experiencing injustice. My Bible speaks against injustice.

(If you're interested in learning more, you can watch For the Bible Tells me So, a documentary that addresses the issues of: "Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate?")

I just came across this Bible (The Poverty and Justice Bible) that may be of interest. It sounds like it focuses more on the poor and the injustices against them (which is another important issue in itself), but it is about "poverty and justice"--two important issues that have been consistently overlooked as we live out our Christianity.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Silence. I would encourage you to find out if your child's school is having a National Day of Silence. If they are, encourage your child to participate and take the vow of silence in order to bring attention to the bullying and harrassment that happens to our GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) students. If they are not, talk with your child and their school and begin getting organized for next year. Here is an organizing manual.
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