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This
needs to get turned into a rant (aimed at those who'd be accepting the source
material as valid) about the treatment of the outsiders in high school-type situations, and preventing the escalation of bullying into psychotic outbreaks of violence.

Expanding this, think about how bashing those who are already down and hurting is like one more sword in the side.

Like that gay guy and his boyfriend. Like that crowd of goths. Like that one misfit who doesn't go to church.

Don't offer a faceless organization to someone who's already on the edge, either. Your-church-the-entity is scary like a big giant robot to someone who doesn't do churches. Your-church-the-large-mass-of-people is scary to someone who doesn't do large crowds of people. Your-church-the-favor-with-strings-attached will make someone who fears the re-payment back away.
Your-church-a-kind-word-at-the-right-time might do someone a lot of good. Build friendships, and let your actions be the good word that your church is trying to spread. If your mouth is talking about what a good place your church is, and you're an obnoxious asshole, your church will be seen as a haven for obnoxious assholes.

If you're just a nice person and you don't have an ad banner for your church stamped across your forehead every two minutes, you have a better chance of getting the idea that your church is a good place across to people. A church t-shirt is one of those quiet ad banners that don't really do anything; they're just there. Talking about the fun times you've had with one's buddies from the church group and how generally awesome it was, just like you'd talk about any other spiffy party is like mentioning you had an awesome party and you happened to serve Mountain Dew and everyone got hyper and there were fights over who got to play with the Wii. Talking about how awesome your church is and you should totally come is like a talking ad banner, and a misplaced one of these will completely get adblocked -- or a fist to the face. Either works, as long as the ad shuts up.

When you're on the outside looking in, you're wary of any too-enthusiastic attempt to include you in something, because it's likely to be a trap. Yes, that includes being invited to your church event where everyone will love you and you'll feel right at home, I swear. We already know that not everybody loves us and we won't feel right at home, because we never have and we never will. Your best intentions are denying reality, and most of us have developed a fairly good sense about when reality is being violated in a way that will potentially set us up for major social humiliation. It only takes a few times of "that popular guy loves you" and you making a fool of yourself and getting humilated in public to completely lose faith in the rest of humanity.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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