Ostracism and bullying

ostracismThe whole town turned against Hester Prynne. She got caught — by the out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

The Puritans forced her to wear a scarlet A on her dress always as a continual stigma of shame. She was violently flung from human friendship and affection. The hardened ladies looked at her with eyes of condemnation. Preachers wanting to exhort congregations or crowds about the dangers of sins pointed out Hester. Newcomers to the town gazed curiously at the letter, wondering what it meant. Kids, unaware of the concept of sin, treated her as an outcast following behind at a distance and making fun of her.

No one should be subjected to ostracism and bullying — no matter what the cause.

Such mistreatment can make a person turn into a sociopath.

Scarlet Letter teaches loveHolding up under psychological pressure for years and years, Hester doesn’t become a monster. The hero of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter becomes a saint, giving to the poor and helping the sick. But she is the exception.

Maybe, just maybe, one of the reasons we see so many massacres, so much mental illness, is because of the way we reject people. And the absolute last place where rejection should be pervasive is Christ’s church.

11 responses to “Ostracism and bullying

  1. I don’t think blaming Christians, intolerant or not, is a good explanation for the wicked behavior of murderers (among them radical Muslims, genocidas or any other hatred crime). It is not rejection what drives them but their own sinful nature, and in the case of the Muslims, it is also the doctrines of hatred they have learned from childhood. Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him… but because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” People hate Christians not because of our behavior, but because in the same way Jesus did, we tell them to get right with God, and they hate to be confronted with their sin. God bless you

  2. mrsmariposa2014

    Rejection has been familiar territory in my life, and as a parent to special needs, I remain ever mindful. Praise God he placed kind people in my path to share His love. I don’t think I’d be here today without them.

  3. Growing up as a Caucasian in Japan, rejection and exclusion have been all too familiar to me all my life. That makes it all the sweeter that I’m “accepted in the Beloved,” and I need to express that acceptance to others as well.

  4. Whatever divides us causes us to stumble. When we reach out with a hand in love, we forge bonds of friendship. 🙂

  5. This is what I absolutely believe, without a doubt. I always say to people, regarding the current crisis we’re dealing with as a world, that no one knows how much hurt even ONE comment can cause in someone’s heart, let a lone a series of them over time. We don’t know how people really feel, because we’re so wrapped up in ourselves. To look into other people’s eyes and try to understand their pain is the first step in growing up as a race and getting over this awful war. That’s what I believe, anyway.

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