Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More Questions Than Answers

There's a war waging in our country and, to be sure, around the world.

On one side of the battlefield are people with strongly held, if misguided, religious and political beliefs that leads, both directly and indirectly, to casualties.  They are the aggressors.  Their rhetoric creates the environment of hate and intolerance that allows young people to feel it's okay to be hateful, intolerant, mean, and outright (at times) violent to other young people whom they deem to be different.

On the other side is a group of people, a segment of our population, who want nothing more than to be accepted simply for who they are, to be able to love whomever their heart falls in love with, and to an equal opportunity to live their lives to the fullest extent without repudiation.    That doesn't seem to be asking for too much.

Why is it so hard for people to simply tend to their own lives and allow others to live THEIR own lives?

How is it that people who profess to be Christians, that is to say "followers of Christ", can be so full of hatred and intolerance...be so bitter and spiteful?

What does it say about us, as a people, that we continually elect people to "govern" us who are mean-spirited, narrow-minded, or intolerant?

Why is it that NO ONE is ever held accountable for the suicide death of someone who was so severely traumatized by the hatred and intolerance, BULLIED so badly, that they felt no other way to end it than to end their very existence? 

How does a person even BEGIN to blame the victim for feeling such a sense of hopeless- and helplessness that (s)he felt that the only way out was to end their life?

WHAT KIND OF PERSON, let alone a person of power and influence, chooses to protect the one(s) who bully as opposed to the victim(s)?

I could go on and on, ad nauseum.  Why?  Because there are far more questions than answers.  To get to the root of this issue, however, these are just some of the questions that begs to be answered.  Forget about religious beliefs or politics beliefs that are steeped in religion.  The fact of the matter is that people as young as 10-years-old are ending their young lives not only because they are being bullied beyond their threshold of tolerance, they are also getting the sense that no one can or will help them.  In countless comments, replies, and even personal emails, I'm told, by parents or adults who survived the bullying!, of situations where the went through all the proper channels, and no one did anything about it!  How is that possible?  How is it possible that people, from school administrators, to religious leaders, to politicians are letting these young people die without alarm?   

Let me be clear:  I am not referring to all Christians when I say that they, with their hatred and intolerance, have a role to play in this madness.  I am fully aware that there are true Christians, that is to say true followers of Christ, who are as alarmed as anyone to see what's going on with the bullying and teen suicides...and, in particular, the bullying and teen suicides of the LGBT youth.  Incredibly, even Pat Robertson went on record just last week for saying that the bullying of LGBT youth is wrong and should stop, that Christians are supposed to be about love and acceptance, not hatred and intolerance.  Wonder how many of them heard him?
Rev. Pat Robertson could not have been clearer during his 700 Club's question and answer period - bullying gay and lesbian students is wrong.
Roberston was asked by a viewer named Douglas: "What would you say to a school that has gay and LGBT (sic) students being bullied by the Christian kids?"
Robertson actually seems a bit shocked by the question, and answered: "Well I think that's terrible. Christians shouldn't do that... I mean.. lesbian, gay, transgender, blah blah blah, I mean.. Christians shouldn't do that. They ought to act in love."
He continued: "You may disagree, you may think these practices are an abomination, you can think all sorts of things, but you need to love, and reach out to these kids in love." To which his co-host repled: "Absolutely. Bullying is wrong - period."
Which got an "Amen" from Robertson.
Before we can change the culture that's creating the atmosphere of hatemongering, which is leading directly to the suicides of young people around the world at an unbelievable rate (and, statistically, two more teens have committed suicide just since I started writing this article), we have to change the way people think.  And, to change the way people think, we must change what is taught!  God is love.  Period. (1John 4:8) And, NO politicians personal and/or religious beliefs are more important than human life.  Period.