Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Paul Raushenbush: Jon Stewart reminded his audience that all of us can lose sight of the imperative to live a sane political life and engage in sane discourse. Similarly, religious people can be too serious and forget to poke fun at ourselves and laugh. Religious people who attend the Rally to Restore Sanity should look at ourselves to make sure that our own behavior fits sane standards of productive engagement with the "other" and represents a profound search of the best wisdom our traditions have to offer.
"To the angry folks: I admit that IGBP doesn't do the impossible. It doesn't solve the problem of anti-gay bullying, everywhere, all at once, forever. The point of the videos is to give despairing kids in impossible situations a little thing called hope. The point is to let them know that things do get better. For some people things get better once they get out of high school, for others things get better while they're still in high school. And some kids, like the kid above, are helping to make things better for other kids who are in still high school. But things do get better and kids who are thinking about suicide need to hear that.
"And to those who insist that all the videos are just oldies speaking from a place of adult privilege: have you watched the videos? There are tons from teenagers, many still in high school, many who are already out of the closet. And there are tons of videos from people who came out while they were still in middle or high school talking about their experiences good and bad and unimaginable.
"Nothing about letting kids know that it gets better excuses or precludes us from pressing for the Student Non-Discrimination Act, demanding anti-bullying programs, confronting the bigots who are making things worse, or supporting the Trevor Project. But we're not going to get legislation passed this instant or get anti-bullying programs into schools in rural areas—particularly private Christian schools—before classes start tomorrow. Doing all of that is going to take years of hard work and dedicated activism. In the meantime, while we work on all of that, we can get these messages of hope in front of kids who are crisis right now." - Dan Savage. Read his entire piece.