Recently, a 14-year-old in a local community that we cover in our newspaper died.
It wasn’t until I Googled the death that I found out that apparently the youth committed suicide after coming out of the closet and being bullied to the point that he couldn’t take it anymore.
We hear about this a lot — a lot compared to what it used to be — in the national media. Here, we don’t really cover stories about suicide. And to be honest, I wouldn’t even know how to go about covering this story. You can get one side — the family and devastated friends of this child. You can’t get the other side though. No one who bullied him is going to step forward in defense of themselves. It would most likely end up being an anger berating of the people who were mean to this kid instead of an unbiased story.
Homosexuality has become a heated topic in today’s culture. I can stand up and say that the Bible does speak out against homosexuality. And with that statement, many people will hate me immediately. However, the Bible also says not to lie, not to have premarital sex, not to get jealous, not to worry. We all struggle with sin, no matter what it is. By saying that God is not OK with homosexuality is not me condemning anyone who is homosexual, because I know people who are, and I try to show them the same love that I show everyone else.
The second issue at play here is the hot topic of bullying. Even documentaries have been made recently about bullying and its damaging effects on people. Whether it’s for having a big nose, being fat or being gay, many people have been bullied.
In elementary school, I still remember when a girl made fun of me for the clamdigger capris I was wearing. I was mean enough that friends and I caused a girl to leave our school. I wouldn’t call it bullying, because we didn’t really make fun of her. We just refused to be friends with her, would tell her to meet us on the playground and then ignore her, things like that. Whatever you call it, it was awful, and I’m thankful I had the chance to apologize to her in later years.
I’m sure the death of this teenager had a lot of factors playing into it. However, it is a good time to step back and think about how we deal with things we aren’t used to or things we disagree with. I hate that this happened and that’s it’s happening in many places right now. These situations are just the evidence of sin in our world, of Satan and his demons running rampant and screwing things up for everyone.
I guess everyone can take something different away from this situation. I just think it bears consideration.