But Brigitte - like every other kid - more often has been a witness to bullying than a victim. And she believes there’s no such thing as an innocent bystander: If you’re a spectator, you’re a participant. Still, she knows that helping out is easier said than done.
“I think it’s very hard to be a bystander, because when you’re watching a bully, you’re not sure how or when to intervene. I think people are scared to intervene,’’ says Brigitte, who lives in Dover. “All it takes is one voice and maybe someone else will join in to stop it. I think there’s power in numbers. Bullies don’t like to be put on the spot.’’
Girlfriend, you've got that right.
Bullies are given empowerment in all different kinds of ways. Sitting by and doing nothing is the lowest form - enabling.
One of my pet projects is unleashing weapons of destruction at the bullies inside of the Catholic Church.
Another form of empowerment - and perhaps are more self-centered (and therefore tougher one to endure) is co-dependency.
As faithful Catholics increasingly turn to the internet for the spiritual enlightenment lacking down at their local parishes, there's a new form of co-dependency that is fascinating to watch.
There's a decent example of this co-dependecy here, manifesting itself during the recent outings of the byproducts of corruption at the Archdiocese of Boston under Cardinal O'Malley's watch.
I'll fisk it in more detail later - but, in general, this is how it plays out on the internet. An orthodox site develops. The bullies carry on and on in the comments section attacking commenters. The administrators let them. You let them bully you whilst appeal to them in a rational manner. They continue bullying. The administrators let them. The digits on the comments go up. After it's clear rational and sane thoughts can't penetrate their mind - they're just bullies who are most likely also victimizing at their parish and inside of their homes and places of work, you give them a kick in their pants. The Administrators finally step in. The bullies whine. They drivel on about their hurt feelings and how mean you are. To everyone's amazement, the administrators admonish the victims. (At one site,they've unwittingly banned quite a bit of prominent Catholic leaders while carry on with the bullies.
After two years, the orthodox have moseyed on over to Fr. Z's blog, their commenters are now 90% dissident Catholics and they can't get any momentum going, they're linking to the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal and they've won the respect of pervert and killing enablers like the dissident Henry Karlson. Whistleblowers getting in their way with substantive complaints about the salacious crimes against children in their diocese are thugs talking about their "princes of the church", etc.)
This kind of enabling goes on at Catholic websites to drive up the numbers in their comboxes - which, of course, it does at the outset. As we all know in our parishes when bullying dissenters show up at a ministry, the orthodox complete their baptismal call and defend the truth until it's clear the person in control (the priest usually) either doesn't have the spinal fortitude, has some selfish motive (usually money) or is on the other side of truth and it's time to dust our sandals. The orthodox have to learn how to push back in our apostolates and parishes because bullies just take on new victims. Unsuspecting people, Catholics who aer not seasoned in the the defense of the faith sometimes get traumatized. When logic fails with our we've got to control with money. We've got to appeal to the Legatus and Knights of Malta people to withhold donations. We've got to re-group, pick out a few territories and advance.
As I said above, I'll fisk the behaviors of the bullies in more detail later. I hate plunging into vomit in the middle of my day. Enjoy your Saturday!