“With our youth today. Are we experiencing a decline in moral respect, mutual respect, social responsibility? When you try and figure out why kids hit the street and start shooting one another…” proposed Host Jeff Varner.
“I think that’s really great increase in youth violence and we see that from an African-American youth perspective. That’s the leading cause of death. And that’s unacceptable, a lot of reasons for that. Scripture says in Jeremiah 29:11, the latter part of that verse it said god said I know the plans and thoughts I have for you. It gives you a hope and a future. And so many in a situation like that there is no hope and they see no future. The kids today are good kids, but we just got to channel all that energy in the right direction,” reasoned Pastor James Corbett.
“Give them alternatives… and that’s so important,” interjected Lay Leader Marsha Luhrs.
“Yep, Yep,” affirmed Corbett.
“We at “9 on your side” have done quite a bit with the bully project and bullies in our schools. It’s such a horrible problem. From a faith perspective… what can we do to not only help the victims… but also stop these kids? Judgment begins very young, “Varner inquired.
“But we have to remember, it doesn’t start at the youngest age. Kids aren’t born judgmental. They learn it. It’s about what we teach children. And how do we teach them what diversity is and how its important… and what it looks like,” explained Rev. Mark Sandlin.
“From the Quran God almighty says all you who believe… let not some man deride others who might well be better than them. And let not some women ridicule others who might well be better than they. Do not belittle one another or insult one another with the nicknames,” confided Dr. Saeed Dar.
“As a kid, I didn’t know I was ugly until I went to the school and the children told me. But I didn’t believe them because my mama told me something different. We also have to teach our children to have a little tougher skin. Now I’m totally against bullying. But the only way it works for a bully is if they intimidate you. And so when you know who you are …… and don’t value what your peers say about you as much… then those things don’t bother you quite as much,” Corbett suggested.
“One of the problems is our social media helps bullying. And those who are being bullied, being victimized, don’t turn it off… so they feed their own victimization,” informed Father Bill Quigley.
“ There is such another basic concept in Judaism. Probably one of the most important things. It’s called ‘la shon harrah,’ the evil tongue and it’s gossip, but it’s more than just gossip. And they even equate it with murder. How can gossip and the evil tongue be as bad as murder because in effect, if you harm someone with your words and their self respect is lost and they get embarrassed and they’re humiliated in effect that’s killing their lives,” reckoned Luhrs.
“And it’s like, it’s ok. And with all the student’s who’ve committed suicide we know it’s not ok. And the victimization is actually taking lives and not just the reputations, humiliating them to a point that, you know… life is not worth living,” noted Quigley.
“So pastor McKnight, how do we combat that? How do we fight that?” queried Varner.
“When you mentioned social media it’s so true and kids have more access to more stuff at younger ages than they’re able really to handle and so for mom and dad and for mom and whoever to help guard not take away a thing because they’re being punished, but to guard their little hearts and protect them from being bullied. The whole thing about Jesus Christ is that god came towards those who were in rebellion of him. And so those who are different than him, those who are outsiders, those who are enemies and god moved towards them in love to bring them towards him. And he acted as a reconciler,” explained Pastor Jason McKnight.
“You know a kind word turns away wrath. You know just to build them up and help them feel a little better about themselves is very important,” insisted Corbett.
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