I was sitting here tonight, after I put the kids to bed thinking that I should write ‘something’. The problem was, I had no idea what to write about. No funny observations, no angry rants, no words of inspiration came to mind. So, I found myself half watching Bones and half dicking around on the inter-web. Then, I watched a story about a news anchor from Wisconsin and it was just the inspiration I needed to start writing.

A news anchor from Lacrosse Wisconsin received an email regarding her weight, how she was a bad role model for her community- especially young girls, and that obesity is a big problem and she should do something about her appearance. I’m obviously paraphrasing, but you get the point. This email was not coming from a good place. This email was coming from a place of hate. The writer of the email is a bully. And, apparently October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MXIk9VJyHy4

We live in a world right now that seems to have a lot of hate. We hate fat people, we hate the other political party, we hate gay people, we hate people with other religions, and we hate ______________ (enter different culture/skin color/race here). I want to spend a couple minutes addressing a couple issues I am having with this bullying and hateful behavior.

First of all, we need to get over this idea that we (as an individual) are better than or more deserving of rights as someone else.

  • Example: I deserve to get married and you don’t because I am straight and you are gay.
  • Example: I am going to heaven and you are going to hell because I am a christian and you are jewish (or gay, or muslim, etc.).
  • Example: I am better than you because I maintain a healthy weight and you struggle with yours.

All of those statements are false! Each one of those examples could be their own individual blog post and I will get to that eventually. Today though I want to talk about bullying.

If you have young children at home, you need to really think about what kind of example you are setting. If you make fun of the ‘fat person on TV’, your child will very likely go to school and make fun of an over weight class mate or teacher. If you spend time ‘preaching’ to your child that being gay is a sin, they are very likely to bully the kid that everyone thinks might be gay at school. And the worst part is, the bully won’t even know it’s wrong because you are telling them it’s a sin to be gay. They could even believe that they are doing god’s work. Show me where in the bible it says that ‘Jesus, knowing he was right, ridiculed those that were different than him.’ I’m pretty sure you won’t find it.

And, I do not want to hear the argument that it’s not hate. I recently heard someone talk about ‘not hating gay people, but believing that they should not be allowed to get married’. In my mind that is saying, “I am better than they are because of my faith and therefore they do not deserve the same rights as me.” That, my friends, sounds pretty hateful. Real quick, let’s swap out the word ‘gay’ for ‘black’: “I don’t hate black people, I just don’t believe they should be able to get married.” Doesn’t that sound so much worse?! What’s the difference? The second statement isn’t using their religion to justify their hate. I will repeat that, the second statement isn’t using religion to justify their hate.

Just like Jesus always wanted: I don’t always hate others, but when I do, I do it in the name of Jesus.

Now, I am not going on a anti-Jesus rant here. As my friend Nate said this weekend, “he was a real cool cat” (no, he’s not from the 50’s). Whether or not Jesus was a god, he got it right. We f-ed it up along the way somewhere.

If you don’t like that example, how about ‘I don’t hate women, I just don’t feel like they deserve as much money for the same amount of work’.

So my main point here is that it doesn’t matter what kind of hate it is, there is too much of it floating around right now and our children are listening. We need to teach them that every person has worth, that they are special in your mind but that they are no better than anyone else, that every human being deserves equal rights. I truly believe that we are at a cross roads here and this bullying/hate/racism/sexism is being down played big time. Listen up because I am only going to say this once: people are dying, kids are killing themselves, kids are abusing each other every day. These same kids are not born with hate, nor do they know the real consequences of their actions. As parents- that is our job! And, right now, we kind of suck at it.