Hey @theinconceivable1 !
Wow, this sounds like a situation. I think that probably the best things you can do are (a) keep standing up for Taylor and (b) if things do get bad, tell your teachers/staff/authorities/etc.
I realize that since he’s a couple years younger than you, it might be difficult logistically to make your lives collide. But somehow make them collide – he needs a friend. Even if you disagree about religion, you can still stand up for him, make time for him, and simply be his friend. I know how much of a sacrifice it can be to be friends with a social outcast, as it looks bad on your image and it’s not always fun. But being Taylor’s friend in this time of need is going to be the best witness you could ever be for Christ. Listen to him. That doesn’t require believing everything, but listen to hear his POV and not to debate. It can make a huge impact.
Also, as far as bullying goes, I don’t know the rules exactly, as I wasn’t public schooled, but I think I heard that in some schools at least, teacher’s aren’t allowed to get involved with bullying unless a student reports it to them (that might be completely and totally incorrect, but it rings a bell from somewhere). So if you see something, say something. It sounds cheesy, but it might be required of you if you want to see any real change.
Ultimately, I think it’s fair to say that you have a moral responsibility to stand up for him, which puts a lot of weight on you, I know. But look at verses like Psalm 82:3-4 and James 4:17. Whoever knows what he has to do and doesn’t do it, for him it is sin.
As far as being roused to righteous anger and throwing some punches…. I don’t know. Righteous anger, for sure – it’s right to be upset about injustice like this. Knuckle sandwiches, depends on the context. I don’t have a solid answer on that, except this: don’t throw the first punch, and don’t aggravate Hunter to do so. By all means, stand in between Hunter and Taylor and take the hit – if it should come to that. And if he does hit Taylor, don’t let it happen again – if it should come to that. I don’t know these bullies, but most people don’t like being stood up to. So it could be that you taking action against them will be enough to stop them. Next time they’re initiating Taylor, don’t let them take him. That sort of thing.
This is a really tough situation, and I appreciate that you’re trying to do the right thing in it. To summarize my long (and probably not that helpful) answer
- Be a friend to Taylor, as this is the best witness you can be
- Tell teachers/school authorities what is going on
- When you have done all else, stand
So there’s my answer. I’ll be praying for you and for the whole situation! Keep God at the forefront of it. Everything you do, do it for the glory of God.