Feb 11, 2012
February 20th is a day that I and many others set aside as Tempest Smith Day. All three of my podcasts, this one, the video "Uriel's Gifts" and the other video "Church Back Home" will have special rituals in her honor. In fact, she is going to be given a most special honor at that time. And so, I am taking this time to simply talk about her and what her life and death means to all of us - and what it can come to mean.
Tempest Kayne Smith died on February 20, 2001. She was twelve years old. She died by her own hand as a result of ceaseless bullying, mostly in her school, and primarily because of her religious choice.
As I see it, religious bullying is possibly one of the most dangerous things that anyone can do. Especially from a Christian point of view. It amazes me that Christians might resort to religious bullying, because their own scriptures are full of warnings agains that! And I'll give you some examples of their scripture which give a good reason for accepting and respecting other paths.
By all accounts, Tempest Smith was a brilliant young lady. She played the flute, wrote poetry, and a number of other things that young women of her age sometimes haven't given much thought to, at least not yet. Had she survived, she'd be approaching her mid-20's and my guess is that she would be doing something serious in her life, something meaningful.
The consequences of religious bullying go beyond the victim, and fall on the perpetrator. But do you know what I see within the dire warnings against religious bullying? There's a promise of what can be if we learn what we need to learn and apply the lesson!