So for those of you who aren’t from Australia, or who don’t know much about it, Safe Schools is a government funded program “aimed at creating safe and supportive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people by reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools.” (Quote: https://www.education.gov.au/safe-schools-coalition-australia)
[Whether you are a supporter or not of Safe Schools, I urge you to please read to the end.]
Initially, when I first heard of it, I was intrigued, yet felt in my heart that it was not what I wanted for my children. I had set in my heart that schools should be a place were my children learn about English, Math, P.E, Arts, Digital IT stuff, History, Science and Geography.
I even heard a politician speak about Safe Schools at our local church and telling us ways to tell our Victorian Premier about how we felt.
So this is basically how I felt. I felt that my Christian faith, my children’s Christian faith, and my entire Family History… was being attacked. The fundamental notion of the Christian Faith is not to judge, far from it. It is to love. It is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. It is to love one another as you love yourself. Yet somewhere along the track, the world has somehow seen Christians as judgmental, bigots and … well, not exhibiting the love that is the basis of our faith. We are partly to blame, yes, for some of us had forgotten the basis of Jesus’ teachings.
So how can my children go to school now, and profess that they are Christian, when there is a consensus that Christians are judging the LGTBI community? Is my child allowed to pray to God during recess? Is he safe from bullying if he does? I had a lot to worry about.
Recently I met a mother. A lovely mother. Let’s call her Karen.
Karen has two children. She has a daughter. Karen also has a son. Let’s call him Peta. I get along with Karen very well. She, like me, adores her children, brings them to activities (aren’t we all just over-scheduled), doctors appointments, has family traditions, the same financial issues, and is a very caring mother.
I had noticed for some time however, that Peta and his sister… look identical. Being about 15 months apart, they are not twins. But you wouldn’t hesitate to guess that they are. You wouldn’t hesitate to guess… that they are twin girls.
It took me about 2 months before I asked the question. “So I noticed that Peta likes to dress like his sister.” There was no judgment. There was no ill intent in the question. And the look of relief on Karen’s face was enough to tell me, that this road she was travelling on was not easy.
She told me about the judgment she received everywhere she goes. She told me the pain she feels for when he will go to school next year and have to wear the boys uniform. She told me the comments and looks she gets when she takes her two children to the toilet, only to have the shocking comments of, “That girl has a penis! She’s a boy!” Her world was fine when she was at home, and surrounded by understanding family. But the world was a cruel place for her little Peta. He just didn’t know it yet.
Tears… ran down my face.
She asked me to try and imagine, telling my Miss 4, that she was a boy. No more tutus, no more dresses, no more long hair, no more barbie dolls or Disney princess lunch boxes. Here is your trousers, your shirt, your blue bag, your Avengers lunch box, and your truck toys. You have to wear these things, and like these things, because the world will judge you if you don’t.
She expressed to me that I was the first mother outside of her family she felt she could trust, and say all these things to. She knew I was a Christian, but never for one moment felt as though I would judge her.
So now I’m calling for a difference. A change in all our perspectives and understandings.
I am a Christian. I am proud of it. I am not in any position to tell someone else how their live should be lived. I am simply here … to love.
There needs to be understanding in our next generation, and our next generation of Christians. We may not necessarily absolutely 100% understand or agree with someone else’s set of rules. We live in a multi-cultural land full of different religions, traditions, cultures and ways of living. How have we been able to embrace all forms of personal preferences and yet have such trouble with this one?
To all LGBTI out there, I am a Christian mother who embraces you. I love you. Jesus is real, and He came to this world to show and be LOVE. He didn’t come to earth to give us a set of rules and tell us Christians to judge and belittle those who do not obey them. He asked all of us Christians to love one another, with understanding, forgiveness and prayer. (Some Christians might get this wrong sometimes, we are human after all, we are not perfect. Please don’t judge Christianity purely on the bad things that happen.)
Your way of life may not be ours, but there are Christians out there, like me, who love you all the same. Do we have to dislike each other? Of course not.
Now this is the key.
If your community doesn’t hate my community, can’t we get along and be friends?
I am all for Safe Schools, if that also means that my Christian child is also safe, to be someone who practices their Christian faith.
Please don’t call us bigots because we still call ourselves Christian. The hurt you have endured is unimaginable, unnecessary and hurtful. The judgement you received (and mostly may have came from the Christian community) was wrong.
But please know that it is our children now, who are not safe. Please let our child be able to hold on to their faith, the faith that has held our family together, brought peace, love and hope to so many… Please let our children be free to pray to God, speak about Jesus… and love like Jesus. I am not going to hide away in an attempt to keep my children ‘safe’. I am bringing them into the world, because I want them to know how to embrace, get along and love everybody.
To any Christians who feel their need to belittle, judge or express hatred, you need to understand that these are people. Actual, real people. We were called to love them. And show them the love of Jesus. Didn’t Jesus love everyone?
To any Safe Schools advocate who feels the need to tear down the fabric of Christianity, please remember… these are my children. My future. Our future. Please make schools safe for them too.
And maybe our next generation will be better than us. More loving. More understanding. More able to show you, how wonderful it is to feel the love of Jesus. And that you just have to be yourself… to know the love he has for all of you.
So yes, lets bring Safe Schools into the schools. But lets also make sure that Christian kids are safe too. Lets teach all our children to love each other, regardless of who we are, what we believe and what we have done.
What a wonderful world it would be. Lets read that again.
Lets teach all our children to love each other, regardless of who we are, what we believe and what we have done. Lets teach other children to love.