From The Gospel according to Lady Gaga by Richard Beck. Reading the entire post is recommended!
And I ask you, doesn't that sound a whole lot like Jesus?
Gaga calls out to the little monsters. And Jesus eats with tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes.
This is what I think. I think every Christ-following church should start talking to their youth groups, saying unambiguously: We want you to be a wall of protection for kids like Jamey. Seek out and protect--emotionally and socially--every weird, weak, nerdy, lonely, queer kid at your school. We don't care if they are a goth, or a druggy, or a queer. Doesn't matter. Protect these kids. Churches should train their youth groups to be angels of protection, teaching them to find these kids and say, "Hey, I love you. Jesus loves you. So no one's going to bully you. Not on my watch. Come sit with me at lunch." That's what I think. I think every Christ-following church should start Guardian Angel programs like this, teaching their kids to stick up for kids like Jamey. Not with violence. But with welcome and solidarity. Because it's hard to bully a group. So let's welcome these kids into a halo of protection and friendship.
What a difference it would make for today's youth, if churches encouraged and equipped their young people in this way! What a challenge to be outwardly-focused in a way that is concrete and desperately needed.