You want to know what the next big cause is?
No, environmentalism isn’t going away. Though it turns out that those eco-friendly wind farms actually contribute to global warming by stirring up all the hot air floating above us. Water and shoes and war and nutrition aren’t going away as causes either.
But people need a sexy new cause to keep their attention. And the spotlight on bullies has been growing brighter for a while, and I think it’s going to stay that way for a long time. And like most pop-culture causes, it didn’t start with Christians. In fact, I have yet to see any prominent Christians throw their hat in the bullying ring at all.
So I have a question for you, Christians. Are we going to let this be another cause that’s too “liberal,” or “secular” for us, and let it pass us by? Or are we actually going to do something?
The Tables Have Turned
The anti-bullying crusade has been picking up steam for few years, but I think it has finally reached critical mass. It started several years ago when schools enacted “zero tolerance” policies. Though principals were probably kind of heavy-handed with it. A bullied kid could get thrown out of school for physically defending himself.
Then you had the “It Gets Better” campaign on YouTube more recently. Lots of celebrities got on board with that one, including Ellen Degeneras, Anne Hathaway, and Neil Patrick Harris.
If you or your kid is a bully, the tables are turning on you.
Why the Church is Pro-Bullying
What I want to know is where the hell are the Christians?
If you’re wondering why people think the church is irrelevant, this is a case in point.
Nearly every cause that people get passionate about, the church lets pass by. People are still whipped up about environmentalism. They want to stop “global warming.”
Now, I don’t really believe in man-made global warming. But why should that matter? We should have heaped on an even bigger ethical dilemma on people: that we are destroying God’s creation. Christians should have taken their share of control of the environmental movement. We should have been motivating people with God while other people are motivated by fear of cooking to death. (Aren’t we accused on a regular basis of preying on peoples’ fears?) But we let it pass by and the hottest environmental discussions we had were about how old the Earth actually is, and how long it took to be created. A completely irrelevant debate.
Now we’re going to do the same thing with bullying. Why? Because it’s seen as a gay cause. The bullied kids being showcased are almost always suspected of being gay. The LGBT community owns this thing.
And the evangelical church can’t be seen as standing up for gays. God forbid we stand up for the queer kids, or partner with the LGBTs. (Even though this isn’t just a gay issue. It’s a “fat” issue, and a “dorky” issue” and a “special needs” issue.) We’d rather be silent. If we’re silent, we might as well be pro-bullying.
People Get Bullied, Then They Hit Back
I had a bully in middle school.
And I finally got him off my back by cracking him right in the face. I wasn’t much of a fighter. But it was enough to send a message.
Christians think there’s a “war” on Christianity, that we’re being marginalized and bullied and picked on.
The fact is we marginalized ourselves. We made ourselves irrelevant. And to a lot of people, we are the bullies. And when someone feels bullied long enough, eventually, they hit back. That’s what people are doing to Christians.
We ought to be taking control of the bullying conversation, telling people that every child is made in God’s image. But instead, in between barking about how the government is too big, we’re arguing about the laws the government should pass to restrict other peoples’ freedoms.
What do you think? Is bullying the next big thing? Should we jump on board and take the reins. Or is the Christian community going to let this one pass by?