The Damage Christians Do

I have a hard time forgiving the Minister of Youth/Music that stole something from me.

Sometimes I don't think about it for weeks at a time. Then, I'll find myself quiet during the service, leaning close to my husband, holding my breath. If I'm very lucky my husband will be singing. So softly you might miss it if your heart beats too loudly.

The irony is that he has the most amazing voice. Sure I'm biased, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

He used to work 911, where the voice is everything. His was so fantastic that callers used to comment on it. In fact, his calls were the ones used for training purposes. There's just something about it ...

Two years ago he surprised me at Christmas by taking me into the city for a huge barbershop quartet performance of several international champions. In the lobby, recruiters overheard him talking and approached him, encouraging him to audition. Little did they know ... it would have been easier to convince him the Earth is flat.

When he was in middle-school he had the horrid experience of participating in the youth choir at his church. The day his voice broke in practice the Minister of Youth/Music screamed at him (and his brother) in front of everyone, critisized and ridiculed them, and threw them out. Neither one ever sang again.

That "christian" stole all the joy a person can get from singing, and the joy that singing can give others around you. Thanks to that freak, my husband gets no joy from singing at all. I get little joy from it (unless I hear it in service when he almost whispers when no one else is near us). My children get no joy from it, since he won't sing them to sleep and can barely bring himself to sing even Happy Birthday!

Unfortunately, that "christian" probably wasn't all that much of a freak. By that I mean that I suspect his behavior is all too common. The more I work in Children's Programs in our church (and in other churches), the more I wonder about people. If someone is really trying to be a good christian, how can they be mean to children? Repeatedly? Perhaps they justify it in their heads by thinking that children aren't people, that children don't have the power to do something about them, that children are automatically inferior to them, that children won't remember and judge them. Basically, they're bullies who happen to call themselves "christian".

I wonder if things would have been different if my husband's parents had made the "christian" apologize in front of the choir and/or in front of the entire congregation. If they had called a spade a spade and forced his resignation, bringing consequences for the action. Proving to my husband (and all the other children the freak abused) that his behavior was unacceptable and wrong. But they reacted the same way my parents would have, hoping the whole thing would blow over, reassuring the child while not rocking the boat, respecting the authority, maintaining decorum. And so their children were damaged, and all the children that witnessed an unjustified attack with no consequences were bound to be a little damaged, and the "christian" went on his merry way to damage other children. Because no one was willing to confront him.

I understand that confrontation is unpleasant. Its far easier to bury your head in the sand, justifying it by saying "oh, its just a little thing". The only problem with that is that its only a little thing to you. To someone else it might be a very big thing indeed.

(Comment from Leni)

Hey Lucy! Comments were nice while they lasted! LOL! Just got the error message again.

Here's what I attemted to post:

What a shame.

One of the sweet ladies on TeachingMom taught me a great phrase, which I've had to teach to many kids and WAY too many adults.

"Apologize as loud as you accuse!"

I was subjected to a teacher like this when I was in 4th grade. The man decided he hated me because he said I couldn't ace his science test. Being the type of person I am, that was a challenge to me, and I aced it. He accused me of cheating (in front of the class.) He then started driling me orally, and I was able to answer every question.

He went on to tell me that he abhored me, then made me get a dictionary and read the definition to the class. He destroyed me that day, and set me up for years of ridicule from my peers.

Of course, he also taught me some very important lessons on how damaging our words can be, so I guess I took something good away from it all.

I'd still like to slap him upside the head, though.


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