Tell All The Truth…

I didn’t wear purple yesterday.

Normally, this would not necessitate any sort of special disclaimer.  I never wear purple – except for vestments during Lent.  Next to pink, it’s the color I am least likely to ever be seen in.  Other than perhaps yellow.  Or orange.  Anyways, it’s down at the bottom of the pack, to be sure.
But now my color choice needs to be explained further.  We were exhorted as a nation to wear purple on Wednesday 10/20 to celebrate Spirit Day in solidarity with Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) youth who may feel bullied, and to commemorate those who have committed suicide as a result of this bullying.  The day was sponsored by the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).  I hadn’t planned on saying anything on this topic because I didn’t think there was much to say.  But then I read this blog entry by Jim Wallis.  
Years ago I was initially enamored with Wallis’ strong call to social activism and concern by Christians, but I have grown increasingly less enamored with the directions he has taken his considerable influence.  His blog entry  is another de-enamorizing point.  Try saying that a few times quickly.  After margaritas.  
I digress.
I would support a day against bullying.  I do support it.  I know it’s debilitating effects all too well.  And if the media storm right now following the suicide of Tyler Clementi were about bullying, that would be wonderful.  But it’s not.  It’s about advancing the acceptance of LGBT beliefs and practices.  While I have spoken out strongly against the bullying of anyone, it’s frustrating to watch the broad and very real issue of bullying used as a means of shoving the LGBT agenda down people’s throats.  Bullying is wrong.  Period.  And if GLAAD was really concerned about bullying, as opposed to furthering their own agenda, they would have touted Spirit Day as a day of standing with any victim of bullying, regardless of reason.  Instead, they’re simply ‘amplifying’ their own agenda.  To hell with everybody else, effectively.  
Wallis should be smart enough to see this.  Smart enough to tell the difference between a sham publicity stunt and a genuine concern for a very real phenomenon that goes on over computers, in playgrounds, classrooms, offices and homes.  Wallis calls Christians to added attention to LGBT youth who may be at risk for bullying.  But what about all the other people who suffer from bullying?  Do they merit special attention, too?  What about youth with poor self-esteem?  What about youth who are smaller or physically weaker in some way?  What about youth who are different in terms of their intellectual level or their behavioral patterns?  The truth is that bullying happens every day to a depressing number of people for a depressing number of reasons.  Yet we’re only to specially pay attention to the LGBT youth because they have very vocal advocates churning out Spirit Days?
We won’t even go into the monumental uselessness of Spirit Day for accomplishing anything other than pushing people to come closer to terms with something that common sense and thousands of years of human history has rejected as unhealthy and preposterous – the equivocation of any form of sexual union as synonymous with heterosexual marriage.  How does Spirit Day actually help any of these bullied teens?  It doesn’t.  Your school yard bully has no regard for Ellen Degeneres tearful plea on behalf of LGBT youth.  If today’s bullies are anything like the bullies of my day, all this attention might even intensify the bullying.  In all of the hullabaloo, it’s often missed that the bullying of Clementi wasn’t even directed at his sexuality (at least based on available evidence at this point).  The average bully has some severe issues that are likely prompting their bullying, issues that aren’t going to be addressed by a bunch of strangers wearing purple.  Or pink.  Or orange.  Or yellow.
Wallis wields a lot of influence.  I wish that he would use it more discerningly.  The only thing worse than his using it carelessly would be to discover that he is using it discerningly.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s