Actions speak louder than words

I was made aware for a bill in Texas introduced that would allow “everyday people to sue anybody who hosts or performs in drag where any child is in attendance. Critics say the measure will create a bounty-hunting culture that targets drag queens and transgender people.” (Source).

According to the article, “A winning plaintiff can expect to be paid actual damages, attorney’s fees, and statutory damages of $5,000.”

And forget about parental rights – “this bill strips parents of the right to, for example, take their children to a family-friendly brunch hosted by a drag queen.” Parental right are only conveniently brought up for certain arguments, otherwise, apparently parents don’t know what is best for their children. You weren’t expecting consistency across arguments were you?

Make no mistake about it – the cruelty is the point. And the ends justify the means. And winning is everything. Don’t you feel safer already?

I have never seen any statistic that has shown how mass numbers of children being harmed or killed from a drag show. If there are, someone needs to produce these stats. But I’m doubting they exist at this point, or else I think they would have come out by now. Are there statistics that show incidents of harm, danger, and death for children (or anyone else for that matter) due to drag shows and cross dressers? I don’t know of any. Just thinking this through a bit – I don’t think drag shows would continue on their own if there was some kind of physical threat associated with them for the people who willingly come to them. People generally don’t put themselves in harms way.

Do you know what children have been harmed from in large numbers though? Mass shootings. they continue to go to school because it’s the law. I’m still waiting for these same legislators who are introducing anti-drag show and anti-trans legislation to take action that would do anything that might offer some actual safety to children from mass shootings which have caused harm and death over many years across the country.

Or maybe these legislators could take action on motor vehicle crashes, which are the leading causes of death in the US for children. Drowning, drug overdose, and even fires are more deadly and dangerous than drag queens and cross dressers to children. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s the list of the top 10 leading causes of death for children in the US in 2018, according to the Advisory Board. Sure, it’s a little dated, but I suspect that these stats are pretty consistent year to year.

Let’s be real for a moment. I did a search of variations on child deaths and drag queens. I did find one drag queen in the UK who was responsible for a child’s death in 2022. I also found a story of a Harrisburg, PA drag queen who counseled LGBT youth that was charged with having child pornography on their computer. And a story of a drag queen who lifted her skirt and gyrated next to a child during a drag show in 2022.

I’m wondering how that compares to the amount of sex abuse and child pornography that heterosexuals have committed against children in 2022.

A quick search for some stats, just for Texas, reveals the following, according to Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc.

  • 686 children served by a Texas CAC in 2022 were victims of sex trafficking.
  • Of the 67,558 child victims served at a CAC in Texas in 2022, 98% KNEW their alleged perpetrator.
  • 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday
  • Of the 67,558 child victims served at a CAC in Texas in 2022, 45% were between the ages of 6 and 12.
  • 67,558 children received critical services at a Texas CAC in 2022 35% of these children were male.
  • 67,558 children received critical services at a Texas CAC in 2022 65% of these children were female.
  • During 2022, 67,558 children received critical services at a children’s advocacy center in Texas.

That’s just for Texas. Not the entire nation. 67,558 children were the victims of abuse in 2022. Let that sink in. That’s a real problem that needs to be addressed. And the Texas legislature has the power to address it – a real problem and a real threat to the children of the state of Texas. Instead there are legislators who choose instead to scapegoat people who are not a threat in order to score political points with a partisan base. That’s political malpractice.

Seems to me that there’s a much bigger problem with actual harm being done to children through sex trafficking and sexual abuse in Texas.

But that’s just Texas. The same could be said for all these states passing bans on drag queens and anti-trans legislation. It’s easy to scapegoat people who are seen as an “other” while ignoring the actual problems that exist that are unpleasant. It’s easy to dehumanize and blame people who are different for the problems of society. It’s easy to move to pass legislation quickly to ban actions and ultimately people and force them to hide away. It’s easy to do all these things and tell ourselves that we’re innocent and righteous and holy, while blood is on our hands as we do literally nothing to stop things like mass shootings. It’s easy to act holier than thou, while we hide our own sins from public view hoping that they never come out in the open. It easy to jump from one cause of the moment to the next, not worrying about the damage, pain, and suffering that is caused, because there are political points to score. It’s easy to do all of this when the cruelty is the point.

Let those who have ears hear, and let those who have eyes see. Pay attention. Watch. Listen. Discern what is cruel and what is charity. Cruelty is action with intent to cause pain and suffering. Charity is action with intent to ease pain and suffering. For those who are called to follow Christ, we are called to act with charity. Not to scapegoat. Not to blame. Not ignore plights and reality. Not ignore the pain and suffering, but to walk with and accompany those who are suffering so they are not alone. To speak up, but not in a cruel way, because we are not to become that which we oppose.

Let your actions speak louder than your words. And let your words be words of charity – words that ease pain and suffering, words that advocate for the other, the outsider, the oppressed, those on the margins of society, those that suffer and are in pain. And do not settle. Never settle. Refuse to just allow cruelty to be the norm. It may be common, but it is not normal. Always question it. Always make it answer for itself. Always make it uncomfortable. Always speak up. And do not stop.

The cruelty may be the point for some people. That’s a heavy burden to carry. It must be exhausting.

The charity is the point for followers of Christ. To ease the pain and suffer of those who are oppressed. And to lift the burden of those who are oppressing – so they can stop causing the pain and suffering, put down the heavy burden. This is why we are to love neighbors and enemies alike. And to not stop. Because love is what transforms and changes people, relationships, systems, policies, communities, and more.

The charity is the point.

Let us Pray. Let my actions and my words be in alignment, oh Holy One. And turn me from from my sin. Turn me from the desire for wrath against my enemies so that I do not become that which I hate. Turn me and cleanse me, God. Release me of heavy burdens and use me to be a blessing that helps others to lay down their heavy burdens as well. Amen.

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