Some think bullying is just a rite of passage – nothing is further from the truth. On Monday, Dharun Ravi, was sentenced to a thirty days in jail. He is the ex-Rutgers student who was convicted of spying on, bullying, and intimidating his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who then killed himself by jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge. Ravi may not be hateful by nature, he may be intelligent, and he may actually some day contribute to society by making amends for his behavior. Yet, let it be known, bullying is wrong for any reason. It happens by men and women, girls and boys, young and old who seem to be stuck in a prankish adolescence that many people pass off as almost an endearing funny behavior. It is not. It is wrong at any age. It mostly comes from people who have no insight whatsoever into their own personal misguided and malformed character. They may need help but they don’t realize they do – they think everyone likes them and thinks they are funny. They are “pronoid” – the Urban Dictionary defines this quality as, “someone who, contrary to all available evidence, believes that he/she is well liked or popular.” They have become masters of self-deception and a blight on community.
Do not amuse them if you come in contact with them. Do not laugh at their bigoted jokes, do not chuckle at their stories of bullying, do not prolong their self-decption by listening to them or nodding in agreement even when you think they are a buffoon. Jesus had no tolerance for the self-righteous religious bullies when he said, “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.” Matthew 23:27
Being different is not a reason to bully – being gay is not a reason to bully – being overweight is not a reason to bully – not being among the beautiful or popular is no reason to bully – wait – there is NO reason to bully. It is archaic cave man behavior. Turn and walk away and…