Tuesday, October 5, 2010
It has been deeply disturbing to read media coverage of the bullying and suicide of at least six gay youths in the past few weeks. A colleague of mine in psychology assures me that this represents only a small percentage of the number of LGBT young people who committed suicide in the same period, not to mention those who attempted to end their lives. In reflection, I wonder whether we are somehow complicit in creating an environment of alienation and despair. In the Church's attempt to assert it's commitment to heterosexual marriage and to maintain that homosexuality is a moral disorder, does it help to create a cultural climate that tacitly legitimizes the stigmatization of gay young people? At the very least, I hope that bishops and pastors will take the opportunity to offer encouragement to young people at risk and to call communities to love rather than to reject. It has also caused me to reconsider the possile benefits of anti-bullying legislation even if it were to serve a largely symbolic function.