I was bullied in grades 7 and 8. There was one boy, who shared the same last name as a rock singer, who thought he was king of the little pile that we called Sheridan Park Public School. He loved to abuse me, on and near the school grounds. His favourite game was “kick Brian in the tail bone”, which he knew was a good game, because Brian had pacifist parents, who had taught him that the only time you’re allowed to hit someone is when they are your own children. The bully also thought it was great fun to drop his heavy gym bag from the second story walkway in an attempt to hit Brian in the head while he was retrieving his bike. Through all of this, I endured, teachers ignored, and the one time that I tried to do something about it, the crossing guard yelled at ME, the victim. The bullying finally ended when I turned the tables on young Mr. Webster, and kicked his ass – I spent the next several weeks in fear for my life, as I was convinced that the bully would come to school with a knife, but I survived – no thanks to the the school system. Why was I bullied? No idea really, other than that I was pretty solitary and didn’t have any friends – but my tailbone didn’t care why it was getting bruised, and my fear was still real despite my lack of knowledge.
The Ontario government has just passed into law an act aimed at preventing bullying in schools. The law makes very specific mention of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community, largely (in my mind) because this community is often assumed to NOT be covered by any law that deals with fairness among humans. This community is also, very often, the target for life threatening abuse and bullying, and they KNOW that it’s because their sexual or gender expression is NOT part of the majority. Unfortunately, the attempt to explicitly protect a small group of our children from abuse has distracted people from the larger goal of bill 13, which is to protect ALL of our children from abuse and bullying. And the “Christian” community is taking an unfortunate lead in this distraction.
Which I really don’t understand. Why are some very vocal Christians so very homophobic? It certainly can’t be Jesus’ example – he told the harlot that he saved from stoning to “go and sin no more”, he told the rich man that it would be difficult for him to get into heaven, he drove the money changers from the temple, and he constantly harangued the Pharisees, but he never called out a gay man or woman. It can’t be the words of the New Testament – there is no clear reference to homosexuality in the entire book, and all of the book (well, except for the nightmare called Revelations) is focused on love, understanding and forgiveness. It can’t even be the Old Testament, if that’s what slakes your blood lust, as homosexuality, if memory serves correctly, is accorded the same punishment as a woman wearing man’s clothing, or use of false weights and measures – the ones that opposed bill 13 weren’t forcing women out of slacks, and protesting against the abuses of the finance giants.
I’m so tempted to throw in some sarcastic or ironic comments about the likely fears of the worst homophobes, but I’ll restrain myself to the following – very few gays or lesbians will make a pass at you if you’re not making it through their gaydar, and no one can see your mental fantasies, yet.
Why don’t we all work together to protect ALL of our children from ALL forms of bullying and abuse, regardless of whether we think that their sexual orientation or gender identification is in accordance with God’s will for humanity or not. Your own beliefs say that God loves each of us, even the worst sinner, and there is none so lost that they can’t be brought to the kingdom of heaven. How about treating these victims as God’s children?