And in what universe does Jesus back terrorizing children?
A 12–year-old transgender girl’s school had to be shut down for two days because of violent threats made by grown-ups. She and her family are planning to relocate.
A nine-year-old boy committed suicide after being bullied by classmates when he came out as gay. A nine-year-old…who had classmates who were so mean to him, he didn’t see anyway out but death. Wonder where they learned that level of hate at such an early age?
No doubt, many of the threats and bullying came from people who profess to be Christians. What Bible have they gotten ahold of?
Where the #$%^& does it say in the Bible that it is in any way, shape or form okay to terrorize children?
All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) tell of the time when the disciples were trying to block the children from getting to Jesus and he said, “Knock it off! Let them come to me! The kingdom belongs to people like them, and if you can’t pull off being like them, you’re out of luck.” (paraphrased version)
In Mark and Luke, Jesus embraces a child and tells his disciples, “whoever receives a child receives me.” Wonder what he would say to someone who threatens a child?
This idea that part of being a Christian is banishing, outlawing or outright destroying anyone (including children) who doesn’t adhere to our particular interpretation of scripture is not….well, scriptural. Like, not at all.
The Bible tells us not to conform to this world (however you interpret conformity), but it says nothing about eradicating those who do conform. There is nothing to suggest that your individual salvation is in peril should you just let others live their lives in accordance to their own beliefs.
And for those who are worried about the “bad influence” your own kids might be subject to by merely being in the presence of a gay or transgender child, step up your parenting game, people. My child goes to school with kids whose values are not the same as ours, but I trust that we have done a good enough job of instilling our values (like respect and acceptance and non-violence) that she can withstand any negative outside influences.
Jesus stated pretty definitively that the greatest commandment is to love one another as God has loved us. Can just lean in to that and let the rest of this damaging, dangerous and destructive stuff go?
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.