I’ve got a new name for one of my pet hates: “Sugar Bully”. What is a sugar bully? A sugar bully is someone who manipulates and bullies you with what seems to be kind, reasonable, gentle, sweetness and light.
Sugar bullies are everywhere in our society. They push for progressive causes in schools, in politics, in business and in the Church. The sugar bullies appeal is one of total sentimentality. The sugar bully manipulates you by trying to touch your heart of compassion, your sense of fair play, your desire to be liked and your desire to be perceived as nice, kind, gentle and loving.
Don’t be taken in by it. Don’t appease the sugar bullies.
Here’s an example: “I don’t know why the Church doesn’t allow women to be ordained as priests. It’s so unfair! Sally is such a nice, kind and funny person. She’s so prayerful and helpful to others. She’d be such a wonderful priest! How can the Church be so unkind and hateful towards women and continue to deny Sally’s call to the priesthood?” The sugar bully comes across as the wonderfully kind and open hearted person and if you resist women’s ordination you are instantly portrayed as the big baddy.
Here’s another one: “We’re having a wonderful ecumenical Eucharist and we really, really want you Catholics to be there with us! We love you so much in the Lord and wish you could join us. The rest of us will be sharing communion together as the Lord invites us to. I understand you won’t take communion with us, and that causes me such sadness! But I do hope you’ll make an exception and open your heart to the good things of the Lord!” There’s a sugar bully speaking. They are trying to bully you into compromising your beliefs on the basis of sentimentality.
I suspect there was a fair bit of sugar bullying at the Synod on the Family: “How can the Church continue to reject divorced and remarried Catholics? Can we not see how much they love one another and love God? When two men live together in a lifelong faithful partnership can we not recognize that love? Must we say that their love is worthless? Surely with a heart of mercy and kindness we must welcome them unconditionally.”
You see how it goes. Sugar bullies, like all bullies, must be resisted because when you appease a bully they claim the victory and instantly move on to the next agenda item and start sugar bullying you on that one. Progressive sugar bullies are never, never satisfied. Their aim is to continue their progressive campaign because their whole life only has meaning if they are engaged on some sort of campaign to change the world.
Sugar bullies use every move in the emotional blackmail playbook. They play the victim. They blame others. They take a lofty tone. They use false compassion and artificial concern for others. They ingratiate themselves. They tell half truths. The manipulate emotions, distort facts, reject authority and pride themselves on their “brave stance for justice.”
The sugar bullies are everywhere. Resist them as you would resist any bully—by calling them out and standing your ground. But be sure to do so with a sense of humor and good grace. They can’t stand that.