Rudolph and the Bullies


“All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.  They wouldn’t let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.” (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)


Even when it comes to a time of year that’s known for its holiday cheer and goodwill to all men, bullying rears its ugly head.  Take a look at the holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Because Rudolph was different from the other reindeer, he wasn’t included in their festivities and games.  Santa Claus and even Rudolph’s own family declined to stick up for him, and as a result, he ended up running away.  Although it’s never called bullying in the show, it’s clear to see what happens when others are excluded for being different from the norm.


It’s easy to commiserate with Rudolph.  After all, everyone has felt unacceptable and excluded at some time in their lives.  But how often do we find ourselves in the position of the other reindeer, bullying and excluding others, or in the position of Santa and Rudolph’s family, where we fail to stick up for those who are being bullied?


I recently read a blog post by Dan Pearce, whose Single Dad Laughing blog has reported 14 million page views and over 75,000 comments since its inception in July 2010.  The post was titled “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay?” ( and its message was convicting.  Although the title made it sound as if it was about the tendency of many Christians to judge and condemn homosexuals, the post was actually more about our need to feel right about ourselves, even if the way we do that is by labeling others as wrong.  It was about how we look down on others who may look differently, act differently, or believe differently from us.  The post pointed out how we feel threatened by anyone who isn’t like us, and how we retaliate by bullying, in a loving way, of course.  Just like the other reindeer.


Those other reindeer were harassing Rudolph to get him to conform, even though he physically couldn’t.  They thought they were being helpful in their correction, excluding him from their games until he shaped up and wore the uncomfortable black fake nose so he would look like everyone else.  The result was that Rudolph felt so alone and unloved that he ran away.   The saddest thing is that many people feel just like Rudolph felt, unacceptable and excluded.  Unfortunately, some take even more drastic measures than Rudolph did.


This Christmas season, we have an opportunity to respond another way to those who are different from us.  We can remember that we are all “misfit toys” in need of restoration and care.  And since each person is precious and unique in the eyes of the Triune God, our Christmas wish should be for the ability to see others the way that the Father, Son, and Spirit see each person.  Bullying would cease, and we would experience true peace and goodwill to all.

~by Nan Kuhlman


8 comments so far

  1. Jane Hinrichs on

    Good post. I’m reposting.

  2. Pat Brazier on

    AMEN, Nan. May this attitude begin in and with each of us TODAY!!

  3. Jeannine on

    When I saw you’d read it too, I was secretly hoping you would blog about Dan Pearce’s piece, Nan. Love it!!! I will be sharing it.

    • Nan Kuhlman on

      If it weren’t for you, Jeannine, I never would have seen it. Thanks again for sharing Dan’s blog post and mine, too!

  4. Jeff on

    Oh My God!! SHUTUUUUP!!!!

    • Nan Kuhlman on


      I’m not sure what part of the Rudolph post you disagreed with, so that makes it hard for me to understand where you’re coming from. Blog posts are not intended to be universally accepted or popular, but are intended to inspire new thoughts and conversation about ideas or behaviors that haven’t been challenged before. If you would like to actually discuss something about my post, please let me know. Thanks for your interest in the post.


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