Pastor applauds Airdrie mother for speaking up and taking action
Faith & Culture:
“For everything there is a season… a time to be quiet and a time to speak.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7
Having spent most of my professional life toiling in some component of the communications sector, I frequently review the wise words of The Sage as found in the text identified above. Given that we now live in the social media era wherein nuanced matters are ostensibly engaged and resolved with a definitive 140-character Tweet, I find myself compelled even more often to return to wisdom associated with a more reflective and principled day.
Thus do I vigorously applaud Airdrie mother, Christine Claveau, who last week garnered front-page headlines in our metro-region for speaking up by standing up. As most readers are no doubt aware, following an online, drive-by bullying that reportedly contributed to the suicide of a B.C. teen, this young mother from our city contacted the employer of a man who made a derogatory posting on a memorial page dedicated to the late Amanda Todd. Christine’s initiative prompted the Toronto-based firm to terminate the thoughtless poster’s employment.
Well done, Christine! You are Exhibit A for counsel’s argument that speaking up and standing up should go together. Over the years, I’ve had sufficient involvement on both ends of the free-speech debate to lead me to applaud someone who recognizes the vital connection between privilege and responsibility. And, since I’m a preacher, trust me when I suggest that the number of people willing to truly stand up after merely vociferously speaking up is comparatively small.
Last week in this space when addressing the Amanda Todd matter, I stated that I’m interested in promoting an urgently needed conversation about a sinister evil that’s exacting far too great a toll in our purportedly civilized society - bullying. Even as I penned those words I felt the pangs of frustration that accompany not always knowing exactly how to take important conversations such as this one to the next level.
I don’t personally know Ms. Claveau and I have no idea whether or not she read the words I wrote. Nonetheless, what I find gratifying is her demonstration that there are those among us who are committed to taking conversations to the next level by doing rather than just venting.
The rhetoric Canadians have expended on the Amanda Todd tragedy could likely supply enough energy to heat a good-sized manufacturing plant in Nunavut for the duration of the coming winter. Yet, at some point, I maintain, “yakkin’” should invariably lead to “actin’” If, as some suggest, our society is going to hell in a grocery-cart, it most certainly is not for want of talking about our problems or “Dr. Phil-ing” them as a friend calls it.
That’s why I find the actions of Christine Claveau and others like her to be so encouraging. They reflect the essence of the Christian notion of belief. That is, we do not truly believe until we act on what we claim to believe, for belief that abides in the realm of the cognitive alone is really not belief at all.
Thank you, Christine Claveau, for speaking up and standing up! You are both an inspiration and a role model to your daughter, to me, and to our entire community.
Tim Callaway is pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org