Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bullying in Jesus’ name

This year’s National Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, will be held on April 15. As they put it on the project site:
On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.
Simple idea with simple goals. And who could argue that GLBT youth shouldn’t be safe in their schools and lives?

Naturally, far right “Christians” despise this day and its message. They’ve tried to get schools to ban it and punish any students who take part. Their politico-religious groups stage a counter event they call the “Day of Dialogue [sic],” which sounds so wholesome and innocent.

This campaign promoting bigotry went too far even for the vile Exodus ministry, probably the best-known purveyors of the “ex gay” scam. Concerned about this project’s role in encouraging the rash of teen suicides, Exodus dropped out and passed it on to the equally vile Focus On The “Family”.

Focus-on-your-own-damn-family says of their day:
"The whole idea is to help embolden and encourage students to want to express their biblical viewpoint in a loving and grace-filled way, especially when controversial sexual topics are brought up in their school and they feel like maybe their viewpoint is being stifled.”
I call bullshit. “Loving and grace-filled”? Since when? They go on:
“So this just gives them some tools for being able to be confident and loving [sic] in expressing their biblical viewpoint. The whole idea of silence seems more like a media opportunity—but the idea of dialogue is that this is an actual learning opportunity for students and a free exchange of ideas among them."
These bigots aren’t interested in “dialogue” or “a free exchange of ideas”, and the only “learning” they want is for GLBT youth to “learn” that they deserve to be bullied because of who they are. A “media opportunity”? They have NO right to attack anyone for that, master grandstanders that they are. The whole point of the Day of Silence is to call attention to anti-GLBT bullying and harassment so that it can be ended. This means, most importantly, at individual schools; if the newsmedia picks up the story and helps spread the word that this bullying is wrong, that’s a good thing, a benefit to society.

The religious bigots can try to spin this all they want, but the fact is that the Day of Silence is an attempt to combat bullying and harassment of GLBT youth. These religious bigots, on the other hand, promote bullying and harassment as a good thing—so long as they bully, shame and ostracise GLBT kids in “a loving and grace-filled way”, of course.

These religious bigots are entitled to their bigoted beliefs, no matter how immoral or un-Christian it may be, and they’re free to spout that hatred and bigotry in their churches—not in public schools—and, like all bigots, they’re entitled to their opinions. They’re not entitled to their own facts, however.

One fact is so simple even the bigots should be capable of understanding it: GLBT youth are entitled to be safe in school and they’re entitled to grow up and have a life. The bigots are not entitled to try and prevent that.

I never link to bigots’ sites, so if you want to get to it you’ll need to go to the post on Joe.My.God., where I found this.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I just ranted over on a friend's LiveJournal about the similar issue of mandatory school prayer:

To me, it's the passive-aggression that makes the bigotry even more infuriating.

They say: "Oh, we're not forcing our beliefs on anyone's kids, we're just trying to protect OUR kids from feeling stifled!"

Bull-SHIT. Other people not obeying the laws YOUR god supposedly enforces, and refusing to listen to your "loving and grace-filled" hounding != stifling your freedom of expression. If saying certain people are damned for their "choices" in life is part of your pursuit of happiness, then say whatever you want in your own space on your own time, but don't expect to be thanked or encouraged or given special platforms for doing so. Really, I'm so glad Exodus International was denied charity status here in NZ, because NZ recognizes that what they do isn't remotely charitable.

And yeah, the "poor me" tone they're taking is another dose of angry-making. Just like whenever the "War on Christmas" is declared, simply because other religious celebrations that occur around the same time dare to get mentioned. Again, check y'alls privilege. Lack of being catered to at the expense of other groups != oppression.

:deep breath: Okay that's it from me.