Christians should not play the Stonewall game
A Christian teenager in a British state school could well find themselves on the receiving end of this sort of taunt from one of their peers: "Hey you Bible-basher, I hear you're against gay marriage because you're a Jesus freak. You're so gay!"
In teenage parlance 'gay' is now firmly established as the new 'naff' or 'nerdy'. Teenagers in schools use it indiscriminately as a term of abuse. Ironically, the only instance in which a teenager could get into trouble for calling a peer 'gay' with a sneer would be if the victim had come out as a homosexual.
But the ideological climate in British state schools is such that there is likely to be little comeback if Christian teenagers are called 'gay' for holding Bible-based ethical beliefs against, for example, abortion or same-sex marriage. Such beliefs offend against political correctness, which is now the dominant ideology in our schools.
Reflecting the social attitudes of the tertiary-educated, most teachers now would regard such convictions as highly bigoted. They might tick off a teenager for using the 'gay' word against a Christian as they might if it were used to describe a pupil's new hairstyle but they would surely be unlikely to take action to put it on the student's school record.
So, should we as Christian parents try to raise the profile of 'Christianophobic' bullying in schools? The homosexualist lobby group Stonewall has been very successful in highlighting 'homophobic' bullying. Schools can earn themselves a Stonewall award for tackling it and get a good write-up in the local press.
Clearly, any loving Christian parent is going to be gravely concerned if their teenager is being made miserable at school by any kind of bullying. They will want to ensure the school takes action to protect their child. Genuinely Christian parents will also be concerned to see nasty name-calling generally stamped out in schools.
But being called 'gay' for being a Christian is arguably a taunt our teenagers are going to have to get used to if they are to mature as faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ in our increasingly anti-Christian society. They are going to have to learn to 'get over it', to echo the famous Stonewall slogan.
Furthermore, Christians should surely avoid turning themselves into professional complainants sniffing out 'Christianophobes' whether in schools or in the workplace and sneaking on them. That kind of atmosphere is not good for the gospel, which spreads through relationships based on trust not on fear.
We want to see people coming to know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour to God's eternal glory. Being called 'gay' for being a Bible-believing Christian is surely a small price to pay for a saved soul. So whilst monitoring the situation for our teenagers at school we as Christian parents would ill serve the gospel if we played the Stonewall game and thus created a generation of Christian complainants.