Just Say Yes to Bullying?

Why would conservative Christian groups in North Carolina be against a bill that would “require more detailed school policies about bullying” at school, protecting students from abuse and school violence?

Take a wild guess.

Yep… because gay students would be protected under this bill as well.

And we can’t have that now, can we…?

Mark Creech, executive director the Christian Action League of North Carolina, warns there is a “hidden agenda” behind the bill to negate what he describes as the “strongest voices of criticism” against homosexual, bisexual, and transgender behavior in society.

“The evil of the legislation,” says Creech, “is that it elevates sexual orientation and gender identity or expression on the same levels with the enumerations of race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, physical appearance, mental, physical or sensory disability — which are all immutable or unchangeable characteristics.”

Creech contends that homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, cross-dressing, and other alternate sexual behaviors are not immutable or unchangeable.

Creech also writes:

How clever! This bill is not so much about protecting “all of God’s children,” as Rep. [Rick] Glazier has framed it, but it’s actually a backdoor approach to the indoctrination of North Carolina’s children with homosexual ideology. Moreover, it would create a domino effect that not only impacts education, but also employment, housing, anti-discrimination laws and potentially North Carolina’s marriage statutes since the state doesn’t define marriage in its Constitution.

Lawmakers should not be fooled. No matter how beautiful the School Violence Prevention Act with its controversial language may be expressed, it is not a grape, but a buckthorn. It is not a fig, but a thistle.

Tell me again why these people are taken seriously by anyone?

(Thanks to Kate for the link!)

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com arkonbey

    For crying out loud what is with the homosexual ideology talk? What is that, anyway? I’ll have to have a chat with my uncle-in-law* next month at the lake as to if he and his partner can share some of their recruiting stories with me. I bet they’re a hoot. I wonder what their slogan is “Tired of not being looked down upon? Fed up with a lack of discrimination? Sick of your family not alienating or disowning you? Choose to join us and feel the difference that being gay in America can make in your life”

    Seriously, I have actual trouble understanding how they believe this. I wonder if its’ their own evangelical nature.

    *and knowing two monogamous gay men has not detrimentally affected the relationship between my wife and I

  • Pingback: Bullying is Wrong, Unless He’s Gay! « Homosecular Gaytheist (+1)

  • ryot

    This kind of filth makes me visibly upset. There aren’t words to describe the amalgamation of anger, hatred, and sadness that’s swirling through my head. Christian love indeed.

  • http://artificialhabitat.wordpress.com artificialhabitat

    I really wish I could say “that’s unbelieveable“, but alas, it isn’t.

    It’s entirely believeable.

    Although I never thought I would see the word ‘evil’ associated with anti-bullying legislation.

    indoctrination of North Carolina’s children with homosexual ideology.

    Riiiiiiigghht. Damn those gays and their agenda. They already got me with their insidious mayonaisse commercials.

    it would create a domino effect that not only impacts education, but also employment, housing, anti-discrimination laws and potentially North Carolina’s marriage statutes since the state doesn’t define marriage in its Constitution.

    Damn straight. Those bullies are the only thing holding back a big gay tide which threatens to sweep across the whole state.

  • Desert Son

    Hemant wrote,

    Tell me again why these people are taken seriously by anyone?

    Crazy is often attractive?

    Or, sadly, and more likely, without hate some people are without direction.

    No kings,

    Robert

  • http://groundedinreality.blogspot.com Bruce

    Hate to break it to this asshat, but gender is not immutable. So I guess we are all free to be sexist pigs again!

  • Jeff Satterley

    The evil of the legislation is that it elevates sexual orientation and gender identity or expression on the same levels with the enumerations of race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, physical appearance, mental, physical or sensory disability — which are all immutable or unchangeable characteristics.

    So by this logic, religion is not immutable or unchangable, so it also should not be protected.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com Derek

    Let our kids beat up gays or we’ll oppose this law!

    Sometimes conservatives are their own worst enemies. This should alienate a few swing voters.

  • http://twitter.com/relatedtohumans Amber

    Seeing as I just so happen to be an LGBT North Carolina high school student, I’m so f*cking revolted by this complete BS, I’m shaking. Since when was allowing equally human gay students to be protected from torment at school going to promote homosexual agenda? (Oh hell, if they’re not stuffed in lockers, they’re going to destroy the constitution!) Whatever happened to that ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ stuff, eh?

    Though, calling the bill a ‘backdoor approach’ made me giggle.

  • ildi

    “backdoor approach” -heheh

    (Sometimes this drivel can only be dealt with South Park fashion.)

  • wwyoud

    Unfortunately, there are such loud bigots all over the state (and a lot of silent ones, too). We live in a major city in NC; when my kid first participated in the Gay Straight Alliance’s Day of Silence, she couldn’t believe the things a few of the fundie kids said to her. I could, but didn’t think it would be tolerated at school – I was wrong. As long as the harassment happened outside or wasn’t reported, nothing happened (granted, the schools are badly overcrowded and lots of other stuff goes unnoticed as well).

    Did they scare these straight kids away from the “gay agenda”? Hardly; now she can barely say christian without spitting, and she views anyone who claims to be christian as a fool at least, and more likely a mean, narrow-minded ass. I had hoped for more tolerance, but …

  • BZ

    These guys actually succeeded in getting the language about bullying based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. removed. If you click on the link Hemant provided you can see the change between the 3rd and 4th editions.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com Derek

    As someone who was bullied nonstop until the 7th grade, I now, as an adult, suffer from all kinds of emotional and social disorders that wreak havoc on my relationships with people.

    This comes in the middle of one of the highest periods of stress and emotional depression I’ve experienced in quite some time. I had a panic attack after reading this. I can only describe my reaction as pure, seething hatred. I honesty wish I were above those feelings, but I’m not. I want to meet some of these “compassionate” conservative lobbyists just so I can spit in their faces.

  • Ron in Houston

    You know, its funny. I strongly support gay rights, but when I saw the mayonnaise commercial it sort of grossed me out. Strange, huh?

    I’m with artificialhabitat. I’d love to say unbelievable but sadly it’s quite predictable.

  • Xeonicus

    How sad.

  • http://obimomkenobi.wordpress.com Obi-Mom Kenobi

    That is just pathetic. How completely appalling.

  • http://mypantstheatre.blogspot.com bullet

    Does it really matter why a kid is being bullied? What’s the fucking difference?

  • http://agersomnia.blogspot.com Agersomnia

    Wow…

    And so gender identity is not on the same category as “race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, physical appearance, mental, physical or sensory disability”. He shoud have tried a less politically correct language, as he himself included gender there. And the commonly accepted difference between saying gender and saying sex has to do with the social roles and identity on one side, and the physiological nature on the other.

  • SarahH

    Does it really matter why a kid is being bullied? What’s the fucking difference?

    I completely agree. I don’t think that, say, “wearing ugly sweaters” is covered in anyone’s anti-bullying policy, but bullying someone for wearing them would and should not be tolerated. And that’s definitely a choice we’re talking about, so why even bother trying to convince the conservatives that being gay isn’t a choice? Clearly, bullying isn’t okay in any circumstance, choice or not.

  • Ron in Houston

    SarahH

    I agree in principal. However, you’re making the assumption that whoever interprets this particular statute finds that bullying occurred. The fact that they’re trying to actively change the definition of bullying means that they’re trying to give some stupid right wing judge room to say, “oh that’s not bullying, besides it’s not defined in the statute..”

  • Gary

    I really wish that my gay friends would let me in on what this “homosexual agenda” really is, because whatever it is, it seems like they’re winning. And I want to be on the winning side.

    Seriously though, this is pretty ridiculous. Even his argument doesn’t make sense. If we assume that being gay is a choice, how does that make it legitimate for bullying? With contact lenses nowadays, wearing glasses is often a choice. Does that make people who wear glasses a legitimate target? Does it make fat kids a legitimate target? Kids who don’t wear brand name clothes?

    This is what annoys me so much about fundies. Having an argument against common sense doesn’t bother me so much if it’s at least logical and consistent, but their arguments rarely are. NOTHING annoys me as much as an illogical argument.

  • Richard Wade

    Why do so many, many good Christians all over this country do absolutely nothing to denounce, oppose and defeat salesmen of hate like Creech who use their religion only for stolen credibility?

    Christians: if you continue to tolerate these vile impostors who hijack your religion, be ready to tell your Maker why you failed to protect your brothers and sisters. Were you afraid to stand up to the bullies? Surely that would not stop you if you had the faith you pretend to have.

    Are you going to let the atheists show more courage and compassion than you do?

  • http://themousesnest.blogspot.com Mouse

    What is often forgotten by people with responses like this is that the issue here is not bullying based on sexual orientation, but on perceived sexual orientation. They seem to assume that anyone who might be bullied on the basis of not fitting gender expectations must be gay, which isn’t necessarily true, but they’d be removing protection from straight kids all the same.

  • elf_man

    And you see, that’s what’s amazing about his logic: gender is protected, but transgender students aren’t… what? Clearly he has no understanding of the subject.
    And as some of you previously mentioned, even if being gay is a choice, so are any number of things like religion that can not be shown to be universally right or wrong, but as a result it would be justifiable to bully someone for their personal choices, so we could persecute them for being Christian (or what have you). Clear contradictions.

  • Justin

    People like Creech are just really trying to force gays back into the closet, aren’t they?

    At least, that’s what I imagine would be the long-term result if he got his way.

  • Gabriel

    I think everyone missed what Creech and the rest of his fundamentalists are really all about. Or I missed it when I was reading through the comments. Creech and his band of losers need someone to hate. If they don’t have someone to hate then they have no reason to get up in the morning. Their entire identity is based on what they hate. They can’t say nigger (my kids), spick (my father), wop, bog irish (my mother), they can’t even say faggot anymore. So they search for new ways to hate. Without their hate backed up by their religion they have no identity. They are scared silly by a world that they are not smart enough to understand so they lash out at it. I was bullied for year in Jr and Sr high schools. So I learned to fight. After I beat a couple of bullies to bloody pulps I was left alone. My son was bullied in grade school until I explained this to him. He beat a few bullies up and then he was allowed to be himself. Sometimes violence is the answer. And that sucks, you shouldn’t have to kick the crap out of someone just to be able to go to school. My 15 and 13 year old sons just can’t understand the uproar, they just don’t know why anyone cares, the say they would go to a wedding between two men and wish them well.

  • Maria

    yeah, how dare we want equal treatment………..

  • Erik

    Why do so many, many good Christians all over this country do absolutely nothing to denounce, oppose and defeat salesmen of hate like Creech who use their religion only for stolen credibility?

    Well, count me as a Christian in North Carolina who is denouncing and opposing the hate-mongers like Creech. I don’t have much of a platform to do it from, I have no public spotlight or popular blog, but whenever possible I tell others that those people DO NOT speak for me. What’s more, I think their attitudes completely contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    The one thing I cannot deliver on my own is defeating such people. Conservative Christianity has been the dominant “flavor” of Christianity for the past 50 years and their continued majority rule of the airwaves is no small source of distress in my life. Thankfully, their rule is nearing it’s end and people like Jim Wallace and Brian McLaren are leading millions of Christians in the fight against the Christian Right. Check out those guys and the people they claim among their own…that’s where you’ll find hope for defeating the “salesmen of hate like Creech”.

  • Ron in Houston

    Erik

    A number of atheists are probably humanists first. Those humanists support the work of the emerging church and understand that despite our divide between belief in God and non-belief, we have probably more common points than differences.

    Please keep up the fight. We all need to fight against insensitivity, bigotry, and hatred.

  • Pingback: Heathen Queer » Why there must be a god

  • Richard Wade

    Erik,
    I am grateful for your gracious good will and your willingness to fight back against hate addicts and their hate dealers, and for your brethren who are with you. Public spotlights you do have available are the local newspapers that publish letters to the editor. You write well. A letter no longer than your comment above would have a good effect if you included in your own words two statements to the effect:

    “As a Christian, I must say out loud that bigots like Mark Creech don’t speak for me or for my faith as I practice it. I want to hear from other Christians right here in this paper who are also sick and tired of demagogues like him who only use our religion to justify their addiction to hate.”

    Erik, I don’t presume to speak for you as a Christian either. This is only a suggestion. A message of protest is more effective if you say (1) this is wrong, and (2) those who agree with me please speak up too.

    I am familiar with Jim Wallace and Brian McLaren through Mike Clawson and through references on “Off the Map” and I am encouraged by their work. If you attend church you might consider asking your clergy to address issues such as this to the congregation. Your spiritual guides, if they are good ones, will welcome input from their flock. Many good-hearted people will passively frown upon an injustice but will take no action because they lack one tiny thing, the impetus of a single, eloquent voice from within their midst.

    Again, my thanks for your efforts.

  • Darryl

    I know what you mean Ron, but, like you, I support equal rights for all regardless of differences. When you’re raised in a bigoted community by bigoted people yet manage to become enlightened, you sometimes have to check your gut with your head. I have the occasional knee-jerk reaction emotionally, but I catch myself. I know right from wrong. As I have said before, it is not possible to “hate the sin and love the sinner.” Fundies hate gay people–that is un-Christian and un-American.

    Speaking of un-American, I never ceased to be amazed at how dismally our Nation has performed when it comes to educating our people about what America is all about and eradicating bigotry. I regard a goodly portion of our citizens as nominal Americans, not true Americans. Many of them are powerful, influential; some of them hold elected office. For instance, Jessie Helms–not a true American. Karl Rove–not a true American. Laura Ingraham–not a true human, let alone a true American. Talk about spiritual blindness; and, of course, in the irony of the cosmos, they believe they’re the real, true patriots!

  • Siamang

    What is often forgotten by people with responses like this is that the issue here is not bullying based on sexual orientation, but on perceived sexual orientation.

    What Mouse said is right. That was me in grade school and Jr. high school. Perceived as “queer” because I was more of an artist and bookworm, kind of a loner, had a number of imaginary friends, and was terrible at sports.

    Once I was introduced to friends of my parents and grandparents who were gay, I knew what the word “queer” meant before the people calling me that name.

    Having been mistaken for that orientation, I knew better than most what they faced. Gay rights became a very important political issue for me later in life. I was quite a bit ahead of that curve from every one of my straight friends.

    They all came around eventually.

  • Siamang

    Oh, can I also say how disgusted I am that these people… grownups… TURN CHILDREN against each other to fight their culture-wars battles physically that they cannot win themselves in the court of public opinion among adults using words and persuasion?

    What the fucking fuck, culture warriors? My kid can beat up your kid to teach him how to not be a faggot? That’s what this shit has come to?

    These losers are out of gas… They have no more arguments. They have lost.

    They can go nowhere but down or turn inward into their own protected sub-cults. Ten, fifteen years from now the Christian “moral culture warriors of the right” of the 90′s will be remembered alongside the segregationists and the Klan. Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Republican “Culture War” speech will be played alongside George Wallace blocking the doors to the schoolhouses in Huntsville in history museums.

    Not soon enough.

  • EKM

    How clever! This bill is not so much about protecting “all of God’s children,” as Rep. [Rick] Glazier has framed it, but it’s actually a backdoor approach to the indoctrination of North Carolina’s children with homosexual ideology.

    It is amazing to me that Christians think that it is okay for them to indoctrinate children in THEIR ideology. But if anybody else tries to speak up, well, we can’t have that, now can we?

  • Ed

    Erik does speak to his church leadership, and I am one of them. And we stand with Erik in saying that this is not representative of Jesus at all. In fact, Jesus would speak out to those Christians and try to change the nonsense of hatred they are espousing. We are trying our best here in NC to begin a counter-insurgency of love that begins to overturn this kind of power struggle. We believe that the power of love is greater than the love of power. So from all of us at Erik’s church, let me ask your forgiveness. We as Christians must get back to Jesus and take him seriously…I think we have lost that vision in our fight to hold onto religion.

    On another note: I greatly enjoyed reading Hemant’s book and having a friend here in town that told me about his thoughts.

  • Kate

    If you attend church you might consider asking your clergy to address issues such as this to the congregation.

    Richard…I uh, already did that for Erik. ;) I e-mailed his pastor with the link to the news story, the link to this post, and your first comment as a challenge to both him AND his congregation, asking what they’re going to do about it.

    I was really pleased with his response, but of course I’ll ask his permission before I post it here.

    Actually…Hemant if you’re reading this – can we turn Richard’s comment into a new post? I think it’ll stir up some good conversation. You could even make it atheist-related by asking how we could help liberal Christians “rise up” and squash things like this, and eventually (hopefully) the whole conservative movement.

  • http://www.kobrascorner.com Kobra

    I’d hate to spam this, BUT…

    http://www.kobrascorner.com/misc/steganography-vs-bullying.php

    You guys might find it interesting. Or useful.

  • http://blargen.com/blog/ postsimian

    This reminds me of the time I was playing cards in Perkins late into the night with my bottomless pot of coffee. One of the late night drunks at a nearby table called a friend at our table a “limp-wristed faggot.”

    His response: “Fuck off before I take this limp wrist and beat you to death with it.”

    I’m thinking it’s time the bullied adjusted their attitudes and join forces to kick the bullies’ asses. Strength in numbers. Sure, nobody should have to put up with bullying. But since bullying policies are generally so ineffective, maybe the only way to get through to these aggressive little shits is to communicate in ways they understand: using fists.

  • http://www.wordsfromtheway.com/between-the-trees Jake Meador

    You can count me as another Christian completely disgusted by these sort of hateful actions. And I have written letters to the editor. lol, I wrote one as a sophomore in high-school calling an old teacher of mine from the Christian school I once attended a “hateful, clanging gong.” (See 1 Cor. 13… if you zing them with their own Scriptures they can’t argue back :D . )

    However, in recent years I’ve changed a little bit on how I respond to this. Cause here’s the thing: Nine times out of ten, they won’t change. No matter how logical you are with them or how many times you zing them, they won’t change. So most the time I just laugh when I see it and if I talk to someone who has been hurt by them, that’s when I express moral outrage. But that seems to be all that can be done. I’m facebook friends with a lot of high-school kids from my old church and there’s no amount of reasoning I could do with them to make them change. They’ll continue in their narrow, arrogant, hate-mongering until they become immune to satire (because whatever you make up about them… they already did it. See: “Tyson Homosexual”) or they’ll eventually get out into the world, realize it’s a bigger, more beautiful, more diverse place than they’d ever imagined, and they’ll lighten up.

    Sorry if that sounds cynical, but I’ve spent my whole life immersed in all that crap and I can tell you it’s really deeply entrenched.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com Derek

    Nine times out of ten, they won’t change. No matter how logical you are with them or how many times you zing them, they won’t change.

    Of course, maybe that remaining 10% is worth fighting for…

  • http://www.wordsfromtheway.com/between-the-trees Jake Meador

    Good point Derek, thanks for the reminder. It’s funny how we use cliches without thinking about what we’re actually saying, because you’re absolutely right :) .

  • Gabriel

    This has been a great post. I am encouraged to see that there are christians who don’t subscribe to hate. That is a nice change. Mr. Meador, maybe we can’t change their minds but we can make it shameful for them to voice their hate in public. Only the most extreme nutjobs will voice ethnic slurs in public anymore and they can’t get elected to office. We can do the same with this. Make it so shameful and embarassing that the fools will keep their hate speach to themselves.

  • Bill

    The Christian Action League of NC headquarters are a mere stone’s throw away from my office. I’m tempted to call or walk by to see if Mark Creech would be available for an interview. I’d love to get his answers to a few direct questions, though I have no doubt they’d probably just infuriate me even further.

  • http://metroblog.blogspot.com Metro

    Wow–it’s a backdoor approach to protecting kids from assault, intimidation and the like. Well-spotted!

    They certainly should be able to recognize a backdoor approach when they see one: look at these “academic freedom” (to teach creationism as science) bills they push.

    In fact … Hmmm …

    For a bunch of rabid homophobes they seem awfully fond of watching and using the backdoor approach.

    I’m just saying, is all.

  • Darryl

    According to a recent Post-ABC poll 75% of Americans are okay with openly gay people serving in the military.

    Fifty-seven percent of white evangelical Protestants now support allowing openly gay service members in the military, compared with 82 percent of white Catholics and 80 percent of those with no declared religious affiliation.”

    I wonder what the percentages are among atheists/agnostics/freethinkers/etc.?

    Once again, women outdo the men:

    Across all three periodic Post-ABC surveys on the issue, women have been more apt than men to support gays in the military. Today, more than eight in 10 women support allowing openly gay soldiers, compared with nearly two-thirds of men. Fifteen years ago, half of women supported this stance; nearly two-thirds of men opposed it.

    Slowly making progress.

  • Pingback: Disappointed on bullying bill | Michael Kimsal’s weblog