There is no joking around about this one: I’m furious. And my heart is shattered.
6 teens from across the country dead at their own hand. 6 teens dead at their own hand because they were mercilessly bullied. 6 kids bullied, 6 kids dead because they were gay. And those are just the ones we know about.
Today I add my voice to so many others, saying: ENOUGH! The violence against gay people must stop! And our culture which fosters and approves of violence against gays must change. Enough! 6 dead kids is 6 too many. And the Christian church – which I call home, and in which I serve as a pastor – must acknowledge its role in creating a culture that encourages violence against the gay community, must repent of that role, and must change.
I hope to have the video of my sermon from today on this posted here soon. A video that includes a surprise ending, when my congregation did something I’ve never experienced or seen or even heard of it doing before.
Until then, two things:
1) To all young people, wherever you are, who ever you are: I am your ally. And my congregation is with me on this. If you are being bullied, we want you to know that we love you and that you are not alone. And whatever is being said to you, isn’t true. God loves you. And so do we.
If you are a bully, we want you also to know that we love you and that you are not alone. We will help you with whatever it is inside you that is pushing you to hurt other kids. We love you. God loves you. And you are not alone.
And, of course, you don’t have to be a young person. All of this is true for anyone. If you are hurting, suffering, or have been victimized: you are not alone. We love you. God loves you.
2) I’m going to re-post a few thoughts on this from others.
Starting with this from Gareth Higgins…