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Christians Are People Too

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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1/2battery said...
Apr. 2, 2009 at 1:37 am:
I understand exactly where you are coming from on this. I too feel as though I could not be true to myself. Though that was middle school. Since I LACK religon I was frequently told that I was going to hell and that I had to be changed. High school offered some relief for me so remember though ur school may seem like an anti christian enviornment there is always room to be yourself.
 
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Jenna B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm:
You sound like a very strong person, standing up for what you believe. And I think I'm probably just as strong as you, but I am not a Christian. I don't have a faith. I live my life by taking in everything around me and writing my own rules. I dont think I'm well educated in religion, but Christianity just sounds so... cliché to me, I guess. Like love at first sight. I think Christianity is a little judgmental. And you as an insider would disagree. But the Bible is just a book of rules... (more »)
 
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LivingInLiterature said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm:
In many ways, I understand your point of view. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether they provide a more liberal or a more conservative approach. Everyone is also entitled to living their life how they want. As long as you aren't trying to stop people from doing that, I don't see any reason for you to be persecuted. But, with all due respect, I don't think that christians are being persecuted. Yes, they are being stereotyped, but who isn't? I know you are writing from your o... (more »)
 
Carolina This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm :
You really don't think Christians are being persecuted? We have been persecuted forever! That's kind of ridiculous.
 
Sunshineyday replied...
Nov. 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm :
if you feel you religion is persecuted in America, try being a Muslim . we got it bad
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 19, 2009 at 4:47 pm :
look man, you have no idea. try being a JEW!
 
Sunshineyday replied...
Nov. 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm :
yeah. I think I have an idea, after 9-11 every muslim in america was un-officially declared an enemy combatant. even those of us who were 7 years old. not to say you don't get discriminated against either. it's okay though, because we (ALL) shall overcome, right?
 
Kelz1141 replied...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 11:47 am :
See you guys set a perfect example that all religions feel that they are being attacked. So I don't think anyone should just sit there and mope and think everyone is against you. If something in particular bothers you adress it. Don't play your religion as a damsel in distress.
 
JesusIsMySavior777 replied...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm :
..............
 
buzzlikebea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm :
Welcome to high school you guys.  Everyone thinks they're a victim of some kind of trauma.  Most teenagers living in the United States are relatively self-centered.  I'm not going to lie; I have my moments where I whine about stupid little things like everybody else.  And who really flipping cares what religion you are, or who has it worse?  People will judge you no matter what god you worship, how big your house is, or what kind of clothes you where.  It's just hum... (more »)
 
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DancingInTheRaen said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm:
Amen! Thanks for writing. I've always wanted to write something like this, but it never seems to come out right, haha. You'll be rewarded for standing up for our faith. :)
 
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artofthedeath said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm:
In some ways I agree with you. High School is a melting pot of morals and everything else in the world. I go every day. I myself am a Christian, and I have learned to deal with the immaturity of the High School population.
This is well written and full of meaning, but, I think you could have gone into a little more detail. You could have explained some personal events, showing how christians are under attack.
 
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ali323 said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 2:16 am:
You're point of view is interesting, but i don't completely agree. I don't think that Christians are being victimized any more than other people are. As you said, "It’s a million of differing opinions each bouncing angrily off one another...". I do agree with this point. I think that in high-school, as in much of the world, people try to push each-other into conformity. I think that many different people experience this, for many different reasons.
Although I do not agr... (more »)
 
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Vexa_Rave said...
Mar. 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm:
OH MY GOSH, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! i am so SICK of that, too!! i have a bunch of non-Christian friends because i'm very open-minded, and a lot of them think that we're all jsut a bunch of pricks who think everyone who makes a little mistake is going to hell. it drives me insane! i'm not judgemental at all, and you know what? there's not just Christians doing that. EVERY RELIGION has judgemental people and open-minded people in it. so what if i believe in heaven and hell and i pray... (more »)
 
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PK4evr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 31, 2009 at 11:36 am:
I think I agree with you, people these days aren't as pure as they think they are. But when people like us try to voice our opinions, no one listens to us. This was well written and there's slight room for improvement, but I was drawn in by your introduction and it kept me interested to the very end.
Good job! I'm totally with you!
 
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