I have a friend here in Texas whose son attended public school until the middle of the 11th grade. This young man is interested in art and classical music. Some of you already know where this is headed. He is thin and could be described by some as effiminant.
He was getting picked on immensely to the point he was being physically assaulted every day in school. The largest part of the abuse was coming from the football players of the high school he attended.
My friend went up to the school over and over without resolve. Finally he went and talked to the football coach directly and told him unless he told the football players to back off he was going to do all he could to see the football coach was punished. The football coach told my friend that his football players wouldn’t feel the need to pick on his son if my friends son wasn’t such a…….. you guessed it…..faggot.
It was all the boy’s fault. Not the football players. It was the sheep’s fault they were eaten.
He pulled the boy from school immediately and finished high school out by homeschooling him.
I am an introvert. Almost chokingly so. I have a daughter the same way. It’s not a personality disorder. She is quite comfortable the way she is. She loves to read, watch nature shows, science shows, and she loves time with her family. She also loves time with her friends, just less of it than an extrovert would like.
But… she is different than many teenage girls. Not giggly. Not touchy feely. Not huggy. Not boy crazy. Not obsessed with her looks.
While looking at some photos tonight on my wife’s Facebook that some of the teenagers had posted of some of the events of the youth group in our church I came to realize that my daughter isn’t in any of them. In spite of the fact that many of these girls are within her social circle. My daughter isn’t averse to having her picture taken, and in fact will do it willingly. She loves being around other teenagers, she just isn’t the center of attention.
Shy and introverted are two different things. Completely. Although I hear them used interchangeably a lot.
I thought about all of the talk in church about reaching out to the hurting, the lost. I thought about all of the sermons about asking God to open our eyes to His activity around us. I thought about all of the sermons about loving those that are different and fellowshipping with others who we don’t normally fellowship with. I thought of the sermons about showing love to others in spite of their differences.
I expect some in the world to call artists “faggots”. It’s wrong, but the world doesn’t claim allegiance to Christ.
I can’t understand people who call themselves Christians culling out the “week” and the “blemished” from among them while squeeling, jumping, giggling, and forming exclusive cliques. All the while the thoughtful, the serving, the meek hearted and the quiet stand and watch the party.
I understand teenagers aren’t fully developed. I understand the awesome power of peer pressure. I don’t understand an adult claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit of God not discerning this behavior in their young people and teaching and training them otherwise. I don’t understand youth leaders not dealing with this from the pulpit.
It could be they are blinded to it by their own behavior.