The lessons of bullyingDAVID WARREN
As Facebook and other "social media" have reminded us, there are many ways to bully, and technology is improving them every day.
One mentions the self-evident because we have come to a time when it is fading from view. On the subject of bullying alone, I have read recently many statements in the media, "pushing the envelope" for a very political cause, that would not bear up to the slightest scrutiny.
Suddenly bullying in schools, which has been with us for as long as there have been schools, has been elevated to a "crisis." When this happens, people who were not born yesterday look for the agenda. And we find it written in large capital letters, in a scheme to impose "gay-straight alliances" on unwilling Catholic and private Christian schools, and otherwise extend the reach of "LGBT" propaganda into places where it is especially unwelcome.
This political method is itself a ripe example of bullying. Victimhood status is declared on behalf of a favoured group, emotionally-loaded examples of apparent victimizing are publicized, and the "crisis" is declared. Powers are sought by activists on behalf of such victims.
Those who resist their power grab are demonized. This is the way every "progressive" cause is advanced. It works, because no one could want to be publicly tarred.
It takes some courage to stand up to bullying, and there is not much available today, in places like the (now nominally) Catholic separate school system. Indeed, very few people who work in there themselves uphold Christian teaching on sexual morality.
And it is perhaps worth reminding that plain teaching on chastity — specifically, no sex outside marriage — was common to all Protestant denominations, to the Orthodox, the Eastern churches, to all Jewish congregations, to all streams of Islam, and throughout Hindu, Buddhist, and other religious traditions.
What these faithful so long considered to be moral aberrations — to be confidently discouraged among the young, unformed, and potentially confused — is now upheld in law as an identity issue. A "right to choose" one's sexual identity, and the presumptive sexual practices that go with it, is now codified. Which means, the jackboot of coercion is on the other foot: for those who uphold received religious teaching may now be convicted under left wing "hate laws."
Whether certain forms of "moral aberration" should be legally tolerated, even sometimes winked at, is another question. "Toleration" does not mean approval. It means putting up with things one does not approve, where intolerance would lead to worse evils. Unfortunately the word has been appropriated in "Newspeak," and is now used in the opposite of its original sense.
This article reprinted with permission from David Warren.
David Warren, once editor of the Idler Magazine, is widely travelled — especially in the Middle and Far East. He has been writing for the Ottawa Citizen since 1996. His commentaries on international affairs appear Wednesdays & Saturdays; on Sundays he writes a general essay on the editorial page. Read more from David Warren at David Warren Online.
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