A friend asked the following on Facebook:
Question: I don’t understand why “gay bullying” is any different than any other bullying that has killed young people. Suddenly everybody is up in arms. It’s a tragedy – period. Regardless of who is the victim – or what their sexual orientation is.
Here is my response:
Answer: While any suicide is tragic, what makes the suicide of gay teens different is that it is part of a societal pattern of hostility faced by all people who are gay or lesbian. This hostility makes gay teens who are, like all teens, coming to terms with their identity particularly vulnerable. Teen and early adult years can be particularly vulnerable times for all of us. Imagine, however, that your sexuality is consider aberrant, vile, non-human, and outside of the Imago Dei (Image of God). Often this attitude is even held by the teen’s parents.
It is time that we stop vilifying our own youth. It is time that we stop treating the Image of God in each and every human being as somehow monstrous. The extravagantly loving God created our gay and lesbian children. Hate-rhetoric and an anti-gay, hostile culture is not of God.