Christians Are People Too

November 12, 2008
Back when I was in 2nd grade, we used to have this saying posted on top of the class room bulletin board, “Be yourself!” I’m sure you’ve heard it too, from teachers and peers and parents and coaches. Everybody seems to shout out at us that we need to be unique and not judge others for their differences.
I was homeschooled from second through tenth grade. I just started public school this year.
Talk about culture shock.
It wasn’t really that I’ve been sheltered, just that I’d never had the first hand experience. I was innocent, not naïve. But even those long talks with my parents and pastor couldn’t have prepared for the biggest shock.
It is practically impossible to be a true Christian in high school.
I live in a picture perfect little town! Forget Starbucks, you can almost literally find a church on every corner here. There are at least five within walking distance of the high school. If you were to find anywhere in America to be a Christian without opposition it was here, al la middle-of-nowhere Christianville!
But high school isn’t like that. It’s a million of differing opinions each bouncing angrily off one another in a frenzy of misunderstandings. People accept everyone in ways books have led me to believe was impossible. Teachers coo over ultra sound pictures of pregnant teens, some as young as fourteen, and subjects such as sex and alcohol consumption are discussed as freely as if they were the latest movie reviews or complaints about homework assignments.
I’m not trying to judge anyone. I know there are a lot of different kinds of people in this world. Even in my school, there are a lot of different people who are great to be around during lunch or to talk to after school. But I find that my people, the Christians, are now the ones under attack.
As a Christian who is open about her faith, I have been labeled judgmental and condescending because of what I believe.
But I also believe that lying is a sin.
Obviously I don’t think people who lie deserve the same punishment as a murderer. I believe it is not my place to judge. I’m not going to judge you if you are living a lifestyle I don’t approve of. But if you’re going to ask my opinion, don’t write me off just because you don’t like the answer. I am just trying to live my life by the orders of my faith, by the orders of my self. I don’t want to judge you. I’m not trying to change you. I just want to be allowed to live the way I am built to live. Is that so much different from what you want yourselves?

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This article has 98 comments. Post your own now!

juliacoccaro This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm
Honestly, I can't empathize here. Like @Gideon said, I do support the message, and you're brave to write an article on it. But in America, 83% of citizens identify as Christians. I'm an Atheist, and when I told one of my friends about my beliefs (or lack thereof), she went around and told the entire 8th grade. I was bullied, emotionally and verbally, for a long time. I live in south Alabama, which is probably the most conservative and religious part of the country, but nonetheless, it is so much... (more »)
Gideon said...
Nov. 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm
Although this piece has some opinions that I don't agree with, I fully support the overall message: just because you don't like what other people are saying doesn't mean you should be angry at them. Go you! Not many people have the courage to take on religion, an extremely controversial topic!
JesusandHisLawyers said...
May 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm
Sounds like you said something that rightfully pissed some people off and now you've come into the warm arms of internet anonymity to complain about it. People don't have to respect opinions that disrespect other peoples' existences. 
fireandrain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm
This was good! I agree!
SmirkingSkull said...
Jul. 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm
kmeep replied...
Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:21 am
So true! :)
elizabethlong said...
Apr. 21, 2012 at 11:18 am
Awesome job on the story, I do agree that teens are too judgemental. Just don't let it get to you!!!!
Aspiringauhor said...
Dec. 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm
I find it interesting that you say you have been labeled judgmental and condescending because you have been open about your faith, yet give no specific reasons why. Is this because you are afraid that the labels are correct, or because you have not, in truth, been called those things? Or is there another reason?
Suzannahlikespie replied...
Mar. 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm
She does say why her faith.....likely you have been viewed a certain way because of one aspect of yourself despite what you do. Let's face Christians are judged because we're Christian, its been that way since the beginning of the faith. There are meaning reasons why *I* in my faith think it happens, but I think the person being judgmental should ask themselves that question. Unfortunately people are judgmental to many types of people, even though we know (and the Bible says) we should n... (more »)
isabellove said...
Aug. 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm
this is a really great story. im going into 8th grade and even though most people i know are very religios they just deny it to their friends. i dont understand why they would do that becuase its not like its "uncool" to be catholic. thanks for the great story!
ShontelleSymone said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm
There are more Christians than any other religion in the world. And yet, we are too quiet and do not want to stand up for our religion like others do.
Bookworm1998 replied...
Aug. 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm
i hate to admit it, but that's very true
daughterofeve14 replied...
Oct. 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm
I believe Christianity is a relationship with God. Im Christian, and Ill stand my ground for Jesus anyday. He did for us 2000 years ago didnt he? 
BrightBurningCampeador This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Standing up for your religion means different things to different people. I've met and heard of lots of christians standing up for their religion. Sometimes it has a positive effect on the people around them, but sometimes it has a decidedly negative one.
Gideon replied...
Nov. 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm
I think Christianity gets all the attention, while lots of other people have it harder since they practice other religions. For example, I'm Jewish and my friend is Muslim. All the time, people at school call Winter Break 'Christmas Break', thinking that everyone must be Christian, therefore no one minds. Additionally, in writing class recently we had to look at a very 'Christian' song, meaning the song supported the concepts and ideals of Christianity. This would be fine, except the teacher ref... (more »)
Dr.Jones This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Like some other people have said, you don't have to lie.  If you think that your opinion is going to offend someone, just say "I'd rather not share" or something like that.

I'm in a curious spot myself.  I'm a Christian in a Christian high school, but I don't agree with most of the doctrine, so usually when I offer my opinion, I'll get attacked, saying that I'm not a true Christian.

So I feel like some Christians believe it is their duty to convert as many people as po... (more »)

Inkslinger said...
May 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm
I can understand what you're talking about. My school, and town, s like that too.
Madgie said...
Apr. 8, 2011 at 1:22 am
I see your point, but you can't really blame people for being uncomfortable. Religion is a touchy subject, and if you talk about your religion enough people are saying you're shoving it down their throats... Maybe you should try seeing their side of the situation before getting upset.
BlackKittie said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm

unfourtunatly, thats how the world is :(

you can't control how people think, but you can influence it

. said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm
I can't really say that i agree with all of this article, before you tell someone your opinions try to look at all perspectives especially theres, try imagine living in their situation and being raised as they were and then, unless they caused harm or are mean and degrading to someone try to say it in a nice way
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