Friday, March 28, 2008

Hate Crimes and Silence?

Ellen DeGeneres Discusses The Recent Tragic Death
Well the news today is full of stories of young people being killed because they are gay. Where is the outcry from people who are supposed to be peace-lovers, who are supposed to love our brothers and sisters? Are the members of the GLBT community and the parents, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends of the victims the only ones who are supposed to hurt or cry out for an end to this senseless killing?

In the last 12 months gay youths have been killed for being gay in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and California.

One man was beaten so severely his brain was severed from his brain stem. Another was shot in the back of the head, twice.

Across the nation GLBT communities have held vigils and called for stronger enforcement of Hate Crime laws. Some schools are recognizing April 25th as a National Day of Silence in which GLBTs and allies vow not to talk to emphasize how members of the community do not talk about their orientation out of fear of reprisals.

As people of faith we cannot simply rewrite our doctrine, it is not the act of individual believers. However, there is also the pastoral directive. We are called to love. Who are we called to love? Everybody. Emmaus Ministries in Chicago, an interdenominational ministry is a great example of what can be done. It is a ministry for homeless male prostitutes. The members of the ministry are directed by a gospel of love. They leave the judging to God and they do as Jesus commanded, they love.

We seem to do a very poor job of teaching respect for others and sometimes the consequence of that poor teaching is tragic. This is one of the problems of the world that we actually have in our power to change. We can change how we model to others how Christians are supposed to treat others. People are dying, young people are dying, silence is not an options.

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