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Lessons on Bullying from Being the Vulnerable One

In last September’s Spirituality & Health, the “Jesus Solution to Bullying” suggested that “rather than preaching against bullies, Jesus taught people to stop thinking like victims.” The recommendation was to “learn to tolerate aggression” and place “responsibility directly upon the victim’s shoulders, where it should be. Whether or not [the victim] is upset is entirely up to him, not the bully.” In other words, stop reacting to the bully’s “teasing.”I believe there are several things wrong with this approach. First, in the Good Samaritan story and in the story of the woman taken in adultery, Jesus stood with the vulnerable one and made caring for that person of the very highest priority, next to love of God itself. At certain times in our lives, each of us is the vulnerable one. When others take advantage of that, a “Jesus Solution” would clearly be to stand in protection and to administer radical care. Perhaps it would help to stop using the word “victim,” as that implies helplessness and pity, and to use, instead, “vulnerable one.”Another problem with the so-called “Jesus Solution” is the assumpt …

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