As a Christian and a parent, I wish to both protect my children from the dangers of the world while at the same time educating them about the problems they will face in life. Sometimes this comes by way of learning experiences when things happen to them, and other times it comes by way of an event they happen to witness. Then there are those teachable moments when something happens outside of their perception, and you actually bring it to the attention of your child so they can see and understand. Such was the case when I read an article yesterday.
I want my children to be aware of bullying, how and why it happens, and to be able to defend both themselves and others from the practice of bullying by others. However, when I read the article yesterday, it kind of set the whole thing of bullying and intolerance in its proper perspective. You can read the article here: "Anti-Bully Speaker Bullies Christians"
When you read the article, what strikes me most is that Dan Savage, the speaker invited to address specifically the topic of bullying, is a known homosexual, yet many Christians still went to hear him speak - not to judge him, hold up signs, heckle or protest, but to listen with an open mind. They certainly didn't go there to be bullied. The audience? Teenagers. Not a group of adults, but kids. What happened next is all too typical of what happens by the same people who call Christians intolerant.
Dan Savage chose this moment to address his personal views about Christianity rather than talk about what he was actually there for. Instead of talking about bullying, he cursed, name called, and generally bullied anyone in the audience who was a Christian. Exactly what he was there to speak against, he began to do. The Christian response? They got up to simply walk away. They did not scream, yell, protest, or anything. They quietly rose up and walked out. Dan Savage's response? He name calls and bullies them even more. Typical.
How does he justify this behavior? He makes a claim leveled by many by saying "there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong." This is wrong on two counts. First, there are not "many people" doing anything even remotely like "gay bullying" and there is not one single account I have heard of where someone specifically used the Bible as their justification for bullying gays. The Bible does say homosexuality is wrong, but as soon as some idiot bully happens to bully someone who is gay, it is people like Savage that assume the context must be the person was using the Bible condemnation of homosexuality as the cause of the gay bullying. Again, typical.
Savage is but the tip of the ice-burg. The situation in that moment all too clear. Christians, when bullied, are expected to remain silent and are expected to take it, while if the same speech had been given anywhere in the nation by any Christian leader, that Christian speaker would have been labeled a "hate-monger" and accused of inciting "hate-crimes" against gays. Savage is a hypocrite, and a bully. Savage is also just one of many who persecute Christianity and Christians in general for no other reason than that they are Christian. They like to lift their own banner of "free speech" while conveniently labeling any dissent "hate-speech not covered under free speech", and seek to remove the freedom of religion.
It is one more example I am going to use to educate my daughters about what they will face as a Christian. It is a lesson about intolerant people claiming Christians are intolerant, bullying by those who claim to help the bullied, and hypocrisy from the same people who point the finger at others claiming they are hypocrites. Dan Savage, as is the case with those who hate and do not understand Christianity, is simply ignorant. My task in educating my children will be to teach them how to deal with that ignorance, intolerance and oppression, simply because they are Christians.