Sure, Gay Teens Are Killing Themselves, but What About the Christians?!

There’s a heartbreaking story in Rolling Stone by Sabrina Rubin Erdely about anti-gay bullying, the resulting suicides, the teachers who didn’t (or, arguably, couldn’t) do anything about it, the district administrators who sat back and watched it happen, and the Christian groups who honestly believe they bear no responsibility whatsoever for what happened.

And it all takes place in Michele Bachmann‘s district.

You might want some tissues…

“This isn’t something you kid about, Brittany,” her mom scolded, snatching the kitchen cordless and taking it down the hall to call the Johnsons. A minute later she returned, her face a mask of shock and terror. “Honey, I’m so sorry. We’re too late,” she said tonelessly as Brittany’s knees buckled; 13-year-old Sam had climbed into the bathtub after school and shot herself in the mouth with her own hunting rifle. No one at school had seen her suicide coming.

No one saw the rest of them coming, either.

With the adults thus distracted by endless policy discussions, the entire district became a place of dread for students. Every time a loudspeaker crackled in class, kids braced themselves for the feared preamble, “We’ve had a tragic loss.” Students spoke in hushed tones; some wept openly in the halls. “It had that feeling of a horror movie – everyone was talking about death,” says one 16-year-old student who broke down at Anoka High School one day and was carted off to a psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. Over the course of the 2010-2011 school year, 700 students were evaluated for serious mental-health issues, including hospitalizations for depression and suicide attempts…

It’s a tragic story, made worse by the fact that the people who could’ve done something for these kids were forced to remain silent (or, more euphemistically, “neutral”) when it came to the issue of homosexuality.

Even if you’re an anti-gay Christian “family” group, there’s a way to respond to an article like this.

You start by saying that the losses were tragic. That your heart goes out to the families of those children who felt there was no other option. That, despite your disagreements, every life is precious. That while you firmly oppose “promoting” homosexuality, there’s a difference between a clash of ideas and actual harassment.

I’m not saying I would accept that statement even if a Christian group made it, but at least it’d show an inkling of compassion…

So how did the Illinois Family Institute — a Christian group in the same vein as the Minnesota Family Council mentioned in the article — respond to the piece?

Well, let’s just say Laurie Higgins didn’t take my advice:

These activists pretend their ultimate goal is to end bullying, but only the naïve or ignorant believe that whopper. The truth is that they are exploiting legitimate anti-bullying sentiment in order to implement their politicized anti-bullying programs, all in the service of achieving their ultimate goal: the eradication of conservative moral beliefs about homosexuality.

If they can’t achieve that doctrinaire goal, they will reluctantly settle for bullying conservatives into silence. They will accept an America in which it is politically, legally, or socially impossible for conservatives to express the moral beliefs homosexual activists can’t eradicate, leaving homosexuals and their allies free to gambol about the public square with all their First Amendment rights intact.

Clearly, Erdely is not concerned with ending teen suicide. Her mission, pursued with messianic fervor, is to humiliate conservatives into submission by any unethical means necessary. Christians in Minnesota and other school districts around the country must not cower in fear.

Right. Because the Christian groups are the real victims here… How *dare* those liberals try to take away our right to tell gay people how worthless they are and why they need to be fixed? Why can’t they just have more tolerance for intolerance?

Higgins also spends time rationalizing all the awful events mentioned in the article. As if everything is negated because a few details weren’t included. This one may be the most disturbing:

Not once did Erdely suggest that the bullies were Evangelicals or motivated by Evangelical beliefs about homosexuality, which, by the way, are simply orthodox Christian beliefs widely held by the finest contemporary Protestant and Catholic theologians as well virtually all theologians in the history of Christendom until the late 20th Century.

Yeah! There’s no proof Christians were the bullies! Even though the “finest” Christian theologians of our time totally agree with the bullies’ beliefs…

Incidentally, the Rolling Stone article mentions a Naperville, Illinois high school. It happens to be the one I work at… Despite the context given in the piece, I feel like we provide a safe climate for LGBTQ students. If there was ever a problem in our school like the one at Anoka High School, I have no doubt many teachers and administrators would come to the defense of the victims and not the bullies. I know I would.

Too bad the “compassionate” Christian groups can’t do the same thing.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Discobisc

    If we’re assigning blame, the person who gave a 13 year old a hunting rifle should take a long hard look at themselves as well.

    • MissKriss

      Lots of 13 year olds have hunting rifles. It’s not unusual here, either. Places where there is a huge culture of hunting you will find teens with hunting riffles. That is not the issue. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNWAM4DYCN4MLBLHFGDHE2YKZM GloomCookie613

        My niece turns 12 this weekend.  Her step-father bought her a hunting rifle to commemorate the birthday and her passing her hunter’s safety course.  It’s actually kind of a rite of passage thing here in my area where hunting is very popular.  To be honest, I’d trust a KID from around here with a gun quicker than I would some city slicker.

    • MissKriss

      If she was going to kill herself, do you think it mattered if she had a hunting riffle or not? It’s not the only way that teens kill themselves. You’ve missed the point completely.

      Teens kill themselves with belts, dog leashes, cars, pill, razor blades, etc. etc. Should we take everything away from a teen just in case they might want to commit suicide? Or should be looking at the cause of those feeling and fix what is causing the teens to want to commit suicide? 

  • MissKriss

    What about my moral beliefs that religious people are mental unstable and that religion should be eradicated from the earth? Should they be allowed to gambol in the public square with their First Amendment right intact since I don’t believe that they should allow religion at all? Should they be allowed to yell and curse me, and try to bully and threaten me because I am too smart and educated to believe in their mythology and fairy tales? Wait…what? That’s different? Uh-huh. I see. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/billyup Jesse Jones

      I’m going to steal this and post it on their facebook, okay?

      • MissKriss

        Totally fine :)

    • Nordog

      “What about my moral beliefs that religious people are mental unstable
      and that religion should be eradicated from the earth? Should they be
      allowed to gambol in the public square with their First Amendment right
      intact since I don’t believe that they should allow religion at all?”

      Good luck with that.

  • Denis Robert

    If a single Christian is bullied and commits suicide as a result, can you imagine the avalanche of screams of religious persecution and human rights violations that would ensue?

    • Rwlawoffice

      Christians in Africa are being killed by the hundreds if not thousands and there is no human rights outcry.

      • Erp

         Actually there is outcry since I’m certainly aware of it.  

        I will also note that Muslims are being killed and in greater numbers (usually by fellow Muslims as in the Sudan but also by Christians in Nigeria [the mass killings haven't been one way though I understand the Christians have been getting the worst of it in Nigeria, Darfour is a different level of persecution]).  I will also note that Uganda has put the bill back into parliament today calling for the legal execution of gays; Uganda is primarily a Christian country (or failing execution, long imprisonment for both gays and for those who show support for gays).

        However Anoka is in the US as is Hemant and me and, I suspect, you so this is very much our problem and the issue being dealt with.  In addition the ‘Christians’ pressuring the school board to turn a blind eye are most certainly not being killed, beaten, or discriminated against (except sometimes when they want to enforce their standards on others [a balancing of rights] and not always then either).

      • Parse

        [Citation Needed], especially if you’re going to argue that they’re getting killed for their faith.

        • Anonymous

          He is referring to Nigeria, where the has been some Muslim-on-Christian violence recently. But that stuff is hardly widespread across the continent.

          If you have to look that far for Christian persecution, you’re really reaching

          • Parse

            I wasn’t aware of that, thanks.

            • Rwlawoffice

              This is a reply to all the above. I was only responding to the first comment about the outcry that would come from one Christian suicide.  Maybe my comment wasn’t on point.    

            • Rwlawoffice

              This is a reply to all the above. I was only responding to the first comment about the outcry that would come from one Christian suicide.  Maybe my comment wasn’t on point.    

      • TiltedHorizon

         With all due respect, Rwlawoffice, but you seems to be attempting to change the issue to suit your argument. The topic is ‘gay teens killing themselves’ and the role Christians seem to play in it, what does this have to do with ‘Christians in Africa’?

      • Ladyhawker

        First of all, we’re not talking about Africa, we’re talking about the United States; stop deflecting. You are NOT persecuted here; you are NO victim. How about you stand up and publicly admit to the bloodshed and atrocities, torture, burning and oppression, discrimination, abuse and misogeny that your “religion of love’ has wrought over this planet for the past 2000 years, and in this country specifically? How about you gather those folks who believe as you do and become accountable for all of that horrific history as well as the present continuation of it? How about if you take all that blood money from your cathedrals and crystal palaces and use it as restitution for those who suffered and died at your hands, and continue to suffer and die at your hands?  How about you quit trying to turn the tables, quit whining about what’s happening to your folks in another country instead of working to fix what’s happening right here? How about some personal responsibility?

      • Lesat111863

        Let’s look at WHY Christians are being persecuted.  Because CHRISTIANS have systematically persecuted every race and religion on the face of the earth.  They are like Zombies, crawling the earth pushing their ridiculous, paranoid and hate filled propoganda on anyone or Government that will open their doors.  The American Christian Right is the most dangerous of the rats…because they have the politcal money to support their crusades.

        Karma is a bitch.

      • Anonymous

        Religious people are killing one another because of their religious beliefs? Yes, there should be a outcry about that. 

      • Rosemary

        Including all those children who are being tortured and killed by Christian bishops because they are supposed to be witches instead of Christians. Where are the Christians making public human rights outcry on behalf of these poor kids?  Or do you think that is it perfectly OK for Christians to torture and kill people, including the children of their own fellow believers? 

        Then there all those children tortured by conservative Catholic nuns or randy Catholic priests.  There are just so many ways that the Christian scripture can be made to support the indulgence of some of the most horrific behavior imaginable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aeisiminger Aimee Eisiminger

    How very sad in so many ways.  

  • http://twitter.com/Stooshie Andrew Wilson

    Such a tragedy. That poor minority group, whose voice goes unheard; whose rights are infringed; whose views are ignored; whose beliefs stop them being elected into powerful positions. These poor christians are so trod upon. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

    My wife teaches in a slum high school. When she offers to intervene on behalf of a kid who’s being bullied, the victim always says “No, I’d get killed.” There are gangs in her school. They are not using the word “killed” metaphorically. There is nothing she can do except lend a sympathetic ear.

    • http://nadiawilliams.wordpress.com/ Nadia Williams

       That just breaks my heart to read. Kudos to her, and my fervent hope that things will get better for the kids she teaches.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not judging your wife–I’m not in her position and I have no idea how I’d handle the situation. In fact, I admire her dedication to work for the kids. I’m just a bit confused. Why is she asking the bullied children if she should intervene? Obviously, they would be in no position to acquiesce without making the situation worse. Wouldn’t the better course be to  band together with the teachers, parents, & perhaps police in a bloc and deal with the offending perpetrators one-on-one or on a whole-school level without reference to identifiable victims? If there’s a bully, it’s doubtful they are bullying just one person.

    • Anonymous

       The situation in Minnesota is different. There were students who tried to get help, but were refused. And there are teachers who want to help, but are afraid of speaking up because they think they could lose their jobs

  • Yukimi

    I read this article a pair of days ago (and passed it along through twitter) and it was a pretty hard read but the follow up by the Illinois Family Institute is just completely sick and pure evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jared.scheib Jared Scheib

    Yeah, it is utterly abominable. I cried reading the Rolling Stone article. Such a tragedy. And the response and original context from the Christian side is such a disgrace.

  • Anonymous

    I found it quite appalling that it is still acceptable for Christians to promote demonstrably immoral beliefs under the veil of “conservative morality”. When will society come to realize that the “Judeo-Christian values” so long touted as fundamental principals of our country are not making society any better.

  • Georgina

    To all gay people everywhere:

    The right attitude is: “Consenting adults dude!  and if that means some nasty old priest doesn’t get to rape any childes, well tough, live with it!”

    To everyone else:

    If you witness this mobbing – tell the righteous bar sinisters  just where to go.

  • http://nadiawilliams.wordpress.com/ Nadia Williams

    Christians have got to let go of their idea that they’re entitled to hate. We have to keep exposing this kind of stuff, continuously, persistently. It’s striking to me, though, how often we need to say nothing about it to expose their real hatred: they expose themselves beautifully in actions such as  Laurie Higgins’ response.

    We must all keep bringing this stuff into the light, and the true nature of these organisations will follow of its own accord.

  • Anonymous

    This is why I’m not a “friendly” atheist. This is why I am a “militant” atheist.

  • Nathan Reese

    Leave a comment on their facebook page please.
    https://www.facebook.com/IllinoisFamilyInstitute

    • Keith Collyer

       interesting, it seems to have gone

      • Anonymous

        They deleted mine as well. I guess that goes to show what kind of people we are dealing with here. Not only immoral and dogmatic, but intellectually dishonest and censoring opposing comments. 

        • amyc

          Their comment: Illinois Family Institute Those
          who want to make anti-Christian bigoted remarks or make ad hominem
          attacks against traditional Christians can do so on their own Facebook
          pages — they will not be tolerated here.8 hours ago · Like · 3

           My comment: ‎”they will not be tolerated here.”
          …and neither will any other dissenting views (including gay kids who
          just want to go to school and not be harassed to the point of suicide).
          Stay classy Illinois “Family” Institute.Let’s see how long that stays up…

    • MissKriss

      You can’t. I posted a comment and within SECONDS it was gone and I was banned. It’s ineffectual. 

    • Cap’n Dave

       Posting your view will only wind up with your post being deleted and your account being blocked from their hatred-filled page. No, the best thing you can do is to flag their page for promoting hate speech against sexual orientation. Keep doing this and their page will be gone!

  • Anonymous

    And notice how the school board allowed itself to be bullied by a fake “parents” group of less than a dozen people. Who just like their bigger cousins FRC, AFA or CWA pretend to be bigger and more powerful than they are.

    If Christians want to be assholes they can do so at one of thousands of religious private schools. But this nonsense has no place in public schools

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

       “If Christians want to be assholes they can do so at one of thousands of religious private schools.”

      This is a crap attitude – the problem with these sorts of abuses is not a matter of who foots the bill for them.

      • Anonymous

         Don’t get me wrong. I really, really hate the fact that so many schools and universities in the US are religion based. It’s a very bad thing for society. Unfortunately, they are legal, have ridiculously wide ranging rights to discriminate and won’t go away any time soon

  • Bpbproadrunner

    This has been ongoing for years. Unfortunately some religious groups feel that bullying is a form of *Expedient Means. [I borrowed that from the Buddhists]  A method in which one coerces another person into converting by any means necessary. After all–in the Christian world, a few bumps and bruises or broken hearts are a small price to pay in order to have your soul saved and covered in that blood.

    And the staff and faculty not only fail to act, some of them help it along. This is a form of Institutionalized Discrimination against Gays, against nonChristians, or anyone who fails to fulfill expected gender roles or who fails to sufficiently conform to local societal norms. 

    I still sit and watch and wonder how it is, that America is only just now catching on to this. You can find a trail of broken bodies and minds going back many years in this country–in our Public School System.

    • Demonhype

      That’s what they taught me in Catholic school–that “we Christians” are being oppressed and have no true freedom of religion, because a part of our religion is to coerce other people to convert by any means necessary.  So if we are prevented from any potential conversion tool, be it bullying or using federal legislation to enforce our religion on others, we are the ones who are truly being persecuted.

      I was just a little girl, but all I could really get out of that was “stopping us from persecuting others is persecution, because we have defined persecution as a religious sacrament” and I couldn’t believe how horrible and wrong that was.  Especially when they’d whine in the next sentence about how those horrible Muslims won’t allow Christians to even have a Christmas tree in those horrible Muslim countries (one parishioner was moving over there because of her husband’s job), and that was evil because it deprived Good Christians of the right to practice their faith.  They said all this without a flicker of shame or a single hint that they recognized the double standard.  If my religion says I get to persecute others “for their own spiritual good and the good of society” then I get to–but that “freedom” applies only to me and not to anyone else.

  • http://twitter.com/robtombrella Rob Tombrella

    I am a Christian and I agree that the first response of a follower of Jesus Christ is nothing but compassion for those involved in this tragedy. It pains me that followers of Christ don’t obey His word so often in times like these and can jump too quickly to their own political agenda. We should express love, hurt, grief genuinely and authentically as Christ modeled and taught us and convicts us to do through His Spirit (Rom 12)…

    • Anonymous

      The problem is, however, your holy book also teaches that ”
       “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
      Lev. 18:22 .,   While I can appreciate your personal interpretation of your gods word, I ‘m sure it pains other “followers of Christ” that you are not obeying his word by being tolerant and a decent human being.

      • MissKriss

        The problem is that people are not smart enough to know that the bible is not the LITERAL word of god. It is a “moral” story. Just like the Brothers Grimm fairy tales are not LITERAL they have a moral to them. People take them out of the historical context. 

        It also says that we can sell our children, own slaves that are born here or in a foreign nation, and that people can’t plant two types of seeds in a field, wear clothes that are made with two products…etc. etc. 
        They just pick out these particular quotes because it justifies their hatred. It’s wrong to be hateful, but it’s not wrong if they can find a biblical backing for their hatred. 
        Just like they used the bible to deny rights to women, and right to African Americans. The bible is a tool for hatred. 

        • Anonymous

          I’m not sure it’s solely a matter of intelligence. There are plenty of perfectly intelligent people who believe all sorts of nonsense. The problem with religion is that it is so socially and politically pervasive. It was the go-to place for answers for thousands of years, and now that we are finally breaking from chains that we used to think to were useful, we are discovering the true nature of reality. I don’t think many of these anti-gay Christians are naturally hateful people. But when your entire worldview is as distorted as the one presented in the Christian bible, hate will certainly be a by-product. The challenge is now upon us atheists and skeptics to show that we no longer need to rely on a a bronze age book of stories to find moral truth and a purpose to life.

          • Rwlawoffice

            So what do you think the worldview is as presented in the Bible?

            • Anonymous

              It doesn’t matter what I think the Bible presents, what matters is what the Christians touting it as the ultimate truth believe. Their interpretations and attempts to force them upon everyone are my concern.

              If you would like to know my personal opinion of the Biblical worldview, I would say first and foremost it is very contradictory. I think most Christians would agree that Jesus preaches a message mostly of love and compassion, but much of the actions and messages in the bible (especially the OT) are quite violent, hateful, revengeful, and downright abhorrent. But again, that’s just my take, what really matters is how people attempt to use the bible to enforce their “morals” and unsupported beliefs onto everyone else.

              • Rwlawoffice

                The reason I asked was because of your comment that the worldview presented in the Bible leads to hate. 

                As far as forcing their morals on others, I view that is what is being done by the homosexual community.  As a Christian I am being told that I cannot believe that the homosexual lifestyle is immoral.  I am being told that if I believe that marriage should be between a man and a women then I am a bigot.  And if i do believe that I am to keep it to myself and not talk about it.  Yet, it is perfectly okay for the homosexual community to spread their view that this lifestyle is morally equal to a heterosexual lifestyle.  If that is their belief, fine, but I am not allowed to disagree with that belief or teach my children otherwise. 

                • Anonymous

                  “As a Christian I am being told that I cannot believe that the homosexual lifestyle is immoral”. 
                  Sure, you are free to believe that. You would be wrong, but I would never say a person does not have a right to their own beliefs.

                  “I am being told that if I believe that marriage should be between a man and a women then I am a bigot. ”

                  Again, believe whatever you would like, that is your right. But A) Don’t attempt to insert your personal morality into the public sphere, e.g. not giving homosexuals the right to get married and B) If you are going to assert that your morals are worth respecting and using on a societal scale, then they need to have evidence and reason to support them. Whether you like it or not, “because the Bible says so” is perhaps the one of the worst justifications for believing anything.  Believe whatever you want, but when you start asserting to others your personal morality that is clearly bigoted, then you will get called a bigot.

                  “Yet, it is perfectly okay for the homosexual community to spread their view that this lifestyle is morally equal to a heterosexual lifestyle. ”

                  I am more than a little disturbed that you you are so morally opposed to equality. Further yet, you assert that the homosexual community is spreading the view that their lifestyle (which it is not, it is a biological function, maybe do a little research into these things, especially if you are going to promoting your own beliefs as better) is equal, which they aren’t.  They (and most people whose minds’ have not been poisoned by religion) are merely asking for equality. Gay people don’t want everyone else to be gay. They don’t want everyone else to have a different kind of marriage because of them. They simply want the same rights and benefits that homosexual couples acquire through the social/legal contract of marriage.

                  ” If that is their belief, fine, but I am not allowed to disagree with that belief or teach my children otherwise.”

                  I can’t say this enough: Believe whatever nonsense you want! That is your right. But be warned that reasonable, rational people will point out that your beliefs are not justified, especially when you try to enforce them upon others. In fact, I, as someone who cares not only about myself but the well-being of society, would prefer that every single person would hold beliefs that were justified and supported by reason and evidence, so don’t complain when your views, which you can’t provide justification for, get attacked. 

                  And who said anything about what you can and cannot teach your children? You have every right to teach your children to follow the same morality that you do, but don’t be surprised when they grow up to be ignorant bigots just like you. How about instead, you teach your children critical thinking, and the application of science and reason to discover truth, rather than trusting some bronze age fairy tales.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  You just proved my point.  In one sentence you say that I have every right to believe the way I want to and then you call me an ignorant bigot for doing so.  

                • Anonymous

                  Wow you really aren’t understanding this.

                  There is a difference between “having” a right, as in “I have the right to vote and drive a car (as long as I have a license and follow the rules) and I can spend my time as I wish (as long as I don’t violate any laws) and so on, and “being” right. 
                  Everybody has the right to be an idiot, but when it comes to objectively evaluating the claims either side is making, “being right” is more important than exercising your right to be an idiot.

                  My views are, as far as I can tell, demonstrably not ignorant nor bigoted (whereas yours clearly are). THIS IS THE IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE. Sure you have the right to be an ignorant bigot, but don’t be angry when reasonable people justifiably call you out on it. 

                  This issue is not some relativistic “everyone has their own opinion so everyone is right’. One view demonstrably promotes more well being whereas the other side promotes harm. Do you disagree that something that is more harmful and promotes well-being less is immoral, or at least less moral than the alternative?

                • Rwlawoffice

                  You saying that you are right and I am wrong and therefore I am a bigot doesn’t make it so.  It only makes you closed minded and intolerant of others beliefs and therefore by  definition, a bigot.   I get it, I just don’t agree with you.

                • Brian Scott

                  Is anti-racism bigotry?

                • Rwlawoffice

                  You saying that you are right and I am wrong and therefore I am a bigot doesn’t make it so.  It only makes you closed minded and intolerant of others beliefs and therefore by  definition, a bigot.   I get it, I just don’t agree with you.

        • Brian Scott

          1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

          This is Paul’s teaching on the Church. Reading the chapter, the actual context from what I can tell is that he’s admonishing believers for taking disputes before secular (non-Christian) authorities when they should be setting up mediators among themselves, and that by going to the law they are doing wrong against their brothers. He then goes on the tirade you see above, telling them they used to be those, but they aren’t anymore because they’re supposed to be sanctified (presumably in order to tell them “Cut the crap, you’re supposed to be above this stuff”). Someone more well versed in NT studies could perhaps exegete more correctly than I.

          Either way, though, there’s no mistake that early Christian teaching describes homosexuals as evil, listing it alongside many things like thieves, adulterer and slanderers. You also get a little bit of the Christian version of Sharia for good measure.

          (Now granted, the words “effeminate” and “homosexual” are actually best guess translations, since the words were literally not seen in any other text before Paul used them, as far as I know. Why they’re translated the way they are, I’m not sure. Again, someone actually into NT Studies, I defer to you.)

          • Cap’n Dave

            Corinthians can be argued as the “hatred of the age”, really. According to Church doctrine up until the latter half of the 19th Century, that fifth word there was interpreted as “masturbators” – at least insofar as the Roman Catholic Church understood the passage, as this was reflected in a Catholic circular in the 1890s.

  • Anonymous

    I know it’s probably a waste of time to argue with this woman, but it’s worth noting that Erdely made it pretty clear that Christians contribute dramatically to the atmosphere in the district. It’s possible that most of the kids who yelled “dyke” or “faggot” weren’t churchgoers, but that’s not the point. Kids can be nasty, especially to someone who is different.

    But what about the teachers and administrators who wouldn’t touch the LGBT kids’ problems with a 10-foot pole, who stood by when the bullying was taking place? The neutrality policy put in place under pressure from a Christian group seems to have a lot to do with that. What about the kids who “witnessed” to the LGBT students, implying or stating outright that they they are at risk of going to hell for being gay? I think that is a very literal form of “evangelism.”

  • Rwlawoffice

    Bullying of any type for any reason is an outrage and should be prevented as much as possible.  Unfortunately children are bullied for being short, being too tall, being skinny, being fat, being considered unattractive, being religious, being homosexual, etc.  The list could go on. Middle school has to be the hardest time for almost all children and particularly for those that have been targeted by their peers for bullying or humiliation.  When these children commit suicide to get relief it is truly a tragedy. Compassion for those that experience this tragedy should be the response. However, with this being said, stepping back from the instant tragedy and looking at the overall picture, it would be  false  to say that either side to this controversy are tolerant and handling it in a correct manner. Those in the homosexual community refuse to acknowledge the religious beliefs of Christians and instead call them bigots and are intolerant to these beliefs.  The Christian community fails to express their moral beliefs in a loving manner.  Both sides need to learn to talk to each other in a more productive manner.  That will never happen if each side expects the other to accept their views as being morally equivalent.        

    • Anonymous

      “The Christian community fails to express their moral beliefs in a loving manner.”

      That’s because many of the Christian so-called “morals” have nothing to do with love, they are simply hateful and ignorant (e.g. stance on homosexuality, or discrimination against women). The Bible purports to be full of love and goodness, yet some of the most disgusting acts of violence and indecency are committed by the god of the Bible, as well as throughout human history in the name of the Christian god.

    • http://twitter.com/adam_the_k Adam K

      “Those in the homosexual community refuse to acknowledge the religious
      beliefs of Christians and instead call them bigots and are intolerant to
      these beliefs.”

      No, for Christ’s sake, no. They *are* bigots if they dehumanize someone for being who he or she is, or try to enforce their Iron Age morals through legislation or moral condemnation. Trying to invent and then equate a persecution of Christians by “the homosexual community” to what Christians are doing to gay people is a laughably and disgustingly absurd tactic when it’s entirely the *gay kids* sadly killing themselves.

      “That will never happen if each side expects the other to accept their views as being morally equivalent.”

      At least you’re correct here, as Christians have no moral leg to stand on.

      • Anonymous

        or try to enforce their Iron Age morals through legislation or moral condemnation

        These so-called morals didn’t wash even in the Iron Age (or the Bronze Age for that matter). The Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and the rest of the Hellenistic world were not so warped about human sexuality.

        • http://twitter.com/adam_the_k Adam K

           Yep, fair enough. Their morality is simply backwards in every respect.

        • Rwlawoffice

          So Ibis, what was it about the Roman and Greek morals about sexuality or other topics that made it so superior? Have you ever studied that era? Women were treated horribly, baby girls were thrown out into the ditch to die, there was rampant  and condoned  pedophilia, prostitution was not only condoned but practiced religiously, violence was applauded, etc. 

          • amyc

            Ibis mentioned human sexuality, that’s it. The only two things in your rebuttal that have to do with human sexuality are: pedophilia and prostitution. I personally don’t see anything inherently wrong with prostitution (although, it can cause harm depending on how it is practiced), so I hardly see how that’s an example of disgusting sexuality on the part of the Romans/Greeks. Pedophilia is, of course, abhorrent due to the fact that children don’t have agency to give consent, so I’ll give you that one.

            Of course, since you brought up those other issues, I would like to mention that the culture depicted in the Bible also treated women horribly, applauded violence, and condoned prostitution. I’m not sure about throwing baby girls in ditches, but there is a verse that states that disobedient children should be stoned to death. Not to mention the passages that say the conquering Israelites should
            take the virgin girls (i.e. premenstrual (how else would they know?))
            and keep them as wives. And of course, today there is rampant (and some might say condoned) pedophilia practiced in the Catholic Church.

            All in all, I don’t really see how the Bible is any better than the Hellenist Romans, Greeks or Egyptians. So what was your point?

          • amyc

            Ibis mentioned human sexuality, that’s it. The only two things in your rebuttal that have to do with human sexuality are: pedophilia and prostitution. I personally don’t see anything inherently wrong with prostitution (although, it can cause harm depending on how it is practiced), so I hardly see how that’s an example of disgusting sexuality on the part of the Romans/Greeks. Pedophilia is, of course, abhorrent due to the fact that children don’t have agency to give consent, so I’ll give you that one.

            Of course, since you brought up those other issues, I would like to mention that the culture depicted in the Bible also treated women horribly, applauded violence, and condoned prostitution. I’m not sure about throwing baby girls in ditches, but there is a verse that states that disobedient children should be stoned to death. Not to mention the passages that say the conquering Israelites should
            take the virgin girls (i.e. premenstrual (how else would they know?))
            and keep them as wives. And of course, today there is rampant (and some might say condoned) pedophilia practiced in the Catholic Church.

            All in all, I don’t really see how the Bible is any better than the Hellenist Romans, Greeks or Egyptians. So what was your point?

            • Rwlawoffice

              Amyc, in all due respect, your understanding of the Bible is limited.  My point was simply that if you are to compare the moral convictions of a society, even in regard to only sexuality, then compare them accurately.  The Bible teaches that the only moral sexuality is sex between a man and a woman within the confines of a marriage.  That is consistent in both the old testament and the new testament.  On the contrary, the Greek and Roman culture condoned and promoted a far different sexual morality. You may agree that this morality is better, but that is a purely subjective view.

              • TiltedHorizon

                 “Amyc, in all due respect, your understanding of the Bible is limited. ”

                I love it when someone tries to assert their own understanding of scripture as being authoritative. The claim belies reality as the truth is battles over the “right” interpretation are as old as the bible itself. Your ‘understanding’ is merely one interpretation of many.

                For example, Dr. Michael  D. Coogan, an actual scholar specializing in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible who has taught scripture in many colleges and has written a few books on the subject, he disagrees with this statement:

                “The Bible teaches that the only moral sexuality is sex between a man and a woman within the confines of a marriage.”

                You can read about it here if you are interested:

                http://www.hachettespeakersbureau.com/speaker_news.php?articleId=62

                • Rwlawoffice

                  I read your link and he doesn’t say that.  What he says is that polygamy was the norm for a while, but that since the new testament it is has been a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman.  At no point does he say that the Bible condones gay marriage.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  IDEAS: One of the things we hear most from gay marriage opponents is that the God-sanctioned version of marriage is one man and one woman.

                  COOGAN: Not in the Bible. Later, monogamy became the norm. In the New Testament, Jesus talks about it that way. But certainly in ancient Israel, polygamy, for those who could afford it,…was widespread and
                  was completely accepted.

                  Note the first answer: NOT IN THE BIBLE

                  Note the the followup:

                  IDEAS: What does Jesus say about homosexuality?

                  COOGAN: Not a word.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Very selective edit of the interview and where does he say the Bible teaches that sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is morally right.  On the contrary, if you read the stories of those that engage in sex outside of marriage and the effects it can have then you would see otherwise. 

            • Rwlawoffice

              Amyc, in all due respect, your understanding of the Bible is limited.  My point was simply that if you are to compare the moral convictions of a society, even in regard to only sexuality, then compare them accurately.  The Bible teaches that the only moral sexuality is sex between a man and a woman within the confines of a marriage.  That is consistent in both the old testament and the new testament.  On the contrary, the Greek and Roman culture condoned and promoted a far different sexual morality. You may agree that this morality is better, but that is a purely subjective view.

      • Rwlawoffice

        If you do not think that Christian kids are being bullied at school then you don’t have children. And for you to believe that someone who does not share your moral beliefs is by definition a bigot then you must apply that same definition to all that don’t agree with you.  That is a tactic used by those who wish to shut down a discussion and to bully someone else to be quiet.  And by the way, it is not only the “gay” children that are sadly killing themselves.  Adolescent suicide is a problem that is much larger then that.  

        • Anonymous

          Oh shut your pie hole. In the US no one is bullied for being a Christian

          • Rwlawoffice

            You must not have children to make a comment like that.

            • amyc

              Please do point to the higher than average suicide rates among Christian kids. Also, please point to the movement that is seeking to deny Christian kids the right to have full and equal protection under the law. How about pointing to some policies which specifically bar teachers/administrators from effectively handling bullying based on those kids’ Christian beliefs…Oh, wait, those things don’t exist do they?

              • Rwlawoffice

                So how does this comment respond to mine? Are you saying that Christian children are not bullied for their faith? I can assure you they are.

                • TiltedHorizon

                   She is saying that you need to provide citations to evidence the claim. Preferably an example based in the United States.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Here is just one example:

                   http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/44238

                  Also, have you ever heard of children calling other children Jesus Freaks, prudes, etc…   I have.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  “have you ever heard of children calling other children Jesus Freaks”

                  I sure have, and worse, ironically by other Christians. The context being, a ‘liberal minded’ Christian addressing someone they feel is a ‘fundamental’ or a member of one Christian group addressing another.

                  In regards to the link, superintendent Todd Carlson was out of line. As offensive as I find Brandon Wegner’s article to be, he was only doing what he was tasked with, which was to provide a counter-point to the topic of same sex adoption.

                  The link does not say what faith Carlson subscribes to, considering WI’s demographics there is an 80% chance he is also Christian.

          • Rwlawoffice

            You must not have children to make a comment like that.

        • TiltedHorizon

          Sure they are, for being “tall, skinny, fat, or unattractive” and a  myriad of other reasons, none of which carries the same social stigma as being homosexual. By your own admission, you are teaching your children that homosexuality is immoral, in doing so you have created the distinction which created a special class of harassment.

          • Rwlawoffice

            Do you honestly think that a child that is bullied for any reason feels less pain then a child who is bullied for being gay? I am teaching my children that all sorts of behavior is immoral not just homosexual behavior.  I am not teaching them to harass a group of people.  Are you teaching your children that Christians are ignorant and bigots? 

            • amyc

              Being bullied is very hurtful. Being bullied for something you can’t help is especially hurtful. Being bullied for something you can’t help and hearing major authority figures validate the bullies by claiming that you don’t deserve the same rights as everybody else hurts and causes feelings of self-loathing. Going to your teacher/principal/counselor for help and being denied that help causes despair.

              Children who are bullied for “being short, being too tall, being skinny, being fat, being considered unattractive, or being religious” have people they can turn to for help. Kids who are bullied for being gay often have nobody to turn to. Maybe their parents share the same views as their bullies, or the teachers have been instructed to not talk about lgbt issues. These kids internalize not only what their bullies say but also what they hear in the media and from all the adults around them. Kids who are bullied for those other reasons don’t have the same kind of pressure put on them.

              If these extra pressures don’t disproportionately harm gay kids(or kids perceived to be gay), then why is the suicide rate for gay teens disproportionately higher than the average rate? And, if these extra pressures do harm gay kids, then what is wrong with acknowledging those pressures and giving students, teachers and parents the tools to deal with the problem?

            • amyc

              Being bullied is very hurtful. Being bullied for something you can’t help is especially hurtful. Being bullied for something you can’t help and hearing major authority figures validate the bullies by claiming that you don’t deserve the same rights as everybody else hurts and causes feelings of self-loathing. Going to your teacher/principal/counselor for help and being denied that help causes despair.

              Children who are bullied for “being short, being too tall, being skinny, being fat, being considered unattractive, or being religious” have people they can turn to for help. Kids who are bullied for being gay often have nobody to turn to. Maybe their parents share the same views as their bullies, or the teachers have been instructed to not talk about lgbt issues. These kids internalize not only what their bullies say but also what they hear in the media and from all the adults around them. Kids who are bullied for those other reasons don’t have the same kind of pressure put on them.

              If these extra pressures don’t disproportionately harm gay kids(or kids perceived to be gay), then why is the suicide rate for gay teens disproportionately higher than the average rate? And, if these extra pressures do harm gay kids, then what is wrong with acknowledging those pressures and giving students, teachers and parents the tools to deal with the problem?

            • Cap’n Dave

              “homosexual behavior” – you act like it’s a rebellious attitude or something! Like it’s something that a child does just to get attention! I have news for you, Mr. “I am the Law”, homosexuals are homosexuals. It’s ingrained in them. The DSM-V is quite clear on this – it is not a “choice”, nor a “disorder”.

              Christians are not ignorant nor bigots…as a whole. However, people
              like yourselves are demonstrable in this area, as evidence within your
              own posts would show; however, that you personally, and as someone who practices law, are incapable of seeing beyond your own hatred and prejudice into what is quite prevalent within the real world, truly frightens me. Clearly, you are unable to distinguish between reality and your own innate hatred and bigotry. That you equate your hatred and bigotry with religious purity is just that much more horrendous, given that Christ never taught such mannerisms.

            • Cap’n Dave

              “homosexual behavior” – you act like it’s a rebellious attitude or something! Like it’s something that a child does just to get attention! I have news for you, Mr. “I am the Law”, homosexuals are homosexuals. It’s ingrained in them. The DSM-V is quite clear on this – it is not a “choice”, nor a “disorder”.

              Christians are not ignorant nor bigots…as a whole. However, people
              like yourselves are demonstrable in this area, as evidence within your
              own posts would show; however, that you personally, and as someone who practices law, are incapable of seeing beyond your own hatred and prejudice into what is quite prevalent within the real world, truly frightens me. Clearly, you are unable to distinguish between reality and your own innate hatred and bigotry. That you equate your hatred and bigotry with religious purity is just that much more horrendous, given that Christ never taught such mannerisms.

            • TiltedHorizon

               What is next? Will you ask me to weight out the amount of pain one feels by being labeled too tall vs too short?

              The dots you are not connecting is the label ‘homosexual’ does not have the same level of support to keep the child strong in the face of ridicule. A child who is, ‘too tall/short’, is ultimately defended and supported by adults and sympathetic peers; social advocates. In contrast, being ‘gay’, peers often withdraw out of fear of being bullied themselves or out of sheer disgust. Adults, in voicing ‘what they think’ on the subject of homosexuality, overshadow the act of bullying, placing the blame on the victim. Creating a perceived reality of there being no bastion if one is homosexual.

              For the record, my wife is Catholic, which means I am not teaching our son that Christians are “ignorant and bigots”. My son, who is five by the way and in kindergarten, DEFENDED his friend who is a special needs child from ‘jokes’ in the playground…  that is what I am teaching him.

              • Rwlawoffice

                That is admirable.  Good for your son and your teaching.  Children who are bullied for any reason should get the support they need to deal with it and it is a shame if they cannot.  

            • Anonymous

              Bullying is wrong, no matter the reason. But there is a a difference between harassing someone because of biological functions they cannot choose (just like making fun of a kid because she is short or tall) and calling someone a “Jesus Freak” because they’ve been indoctrinated to believe unsupported claims about things like homosexuality, and they are trying to assert those claims in school. Again, bullying is wrong no matter what, but I won’t apologize for feeling more sorrow for people who are harassed for patently dumb and absurd reasons (like those taught in the Bible) and people who are trying to insert their unjustified supernatural beliefs into every aspect of their life, and others.

              I would never teach my children that Christians are ignorant or bigots, but I will teach them to be able to identify ignorance and bigotry when they see it. Telling a Christian student that it’s wrong for them to abuse a gay student, even if its their religious right to believe that its immoral, is not bullying the Christian kid, or trying to promote any homosexual agenda, despite what the Christian Right has told you.

              • amyc

                I grew up Christian. And from my understanding, being called a Jesus Freak was not an insult.

    • TiltedHorizon

       “Those in the homosexual community refuse to acknowledge the religious
      beliefs of Christians and instead call them bigots and are intolerant to
      these beliefs.”

      Considering you provided a definition for bigotry in another posting I find it ironic you cannot see your fellow Christians as meeting the definition.

      Here is what you posted:  

      “Here is the actual definition: a person who is obstinately or
      intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices;
      especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a
      racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

      Here is how it correlates:

      members of a group = homosexuals
      hatred and intolerance = “Christian community FAILS to express their moral beliefs in a loving manner[i.e. hatred]”

      There is no “Both sides”, there is only a majority group condemning a minority group. If the majority feels homosexuality is ‘bad’ they are free to not sleep with someone of the same sex, beyond that, they need to mind their own business and actually practice the tolerance they preach.  

      • Rwlawoffice

        Way to paint with a broad brush.  And all homosexuals who are intolerant to the views and beliefs of Christians who call them names and treat them with hatred are bigots. But it seems that this label is only left for the Christians.

        Bullying of any kind for any reason is wrong and should be prevented.  Period. If I herd my children bullying anyone for any reason I would not condone it and would punish them.  At the same time  I will teach them that I do not believe that the homosexual lifestyle is a moral equal to a heterosexual marriage. Just as I will teach them that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. I can do that and still teach them to be kind to others, to show love and to show respect to others that may think differently then them.  The fact that we have different moral compasses does not mean that by definition we are bigots for not agreeing.

        • TiltedHorizon

           Broad brush? Really? Their action meets the definition you provided and now you are trying to make it seem as if it does not apply. 

          For the record, lack of agreement is not bigotry, considering you supplied the definition it is surprising that you keep trying to apply it this way.  It is action which defines it, in this case, the  bulling of another group with hatred and intolerance. Unless the topic here is ‘Christian teen commits suicide after being bullied by homosexuals’ then this is just another attempt by you to change the variables in the discussion to better fit your arguments.

          • Rwlawoffice

            I was responding to your comment that all Christians responded with hate. If that is not what you meant then I apologize. 

            • TiltedHorizon

              There is no ‘ALL’ in my statement only ‘Christian Community’ which is a quote from you, repackaged to illustrate that ‘unloving’  (another quote from you), meets the burden of hateful and intolerant. 

        • Anonymous

          You are correct, homosexuals are intolerant, just like I am. We are intolerant of your ignorance and bigotry. If you want to sit alone in your house for your entire life and hate gay people for something they don’t necessarily choose, you are free to do that. I would argue that it is an immoral thing to do, but I don’t withhold your right, and overall it wouldn’t be a big deal. But when you are teaching your children these views, you are most likely voting for politicians who believe the same things as you, you are having an impact on the shared reality that we live in, and I would prefer that to be the best, most productive and most moral society possible. 

          How can you say that teaching your children that a whole group of people in the world are morally inferior because of something they don’t necessarily choose will still be taught to be kind to others and show respect? If you actually had an understanding of compassion and empathy, you would understand that inequality for ANY group of people in a society is morally worse than the alternative. You say you would teach them to respect others that may think differently, yet you are clearly demonstrating in your posts that you do not respect homosexuals (even though you believe that they “think” differently than you). The fact that we have different moral compasses means only that one of us is wrong. So how do we figure out who is right? We look at the evidence and we use reason and rational thinking to determine which view causes more harm and which view promotes a better overall well-being for society. And if your views clearly are promoting inequality and are not supported by evidence or reason, then you are, in fact, the bigot.

          • Rwlawoffice

            Interestingly enough you say that your definition of morality is based upon your idea of what you think is better for society and what you perceive causes more or less harm.  This is relative morality and certainly no bases to determine who is right or wrong.  

            • Anonymous

              I’m sorry I’m not sure where you think I said that. In fact I have been quite clear that morality is based upon demonstrable evidence, not what I think. You would be amazed at the consensus upon ethical issues that reasonable people who lack any religious dogma or superstition are able to come upon. 

              Relative morality is what you are asserting. You think something is right or wrong based solely upon your person belief in the Bible. Please demonstrate that we have any reason to believe that the Bible is an authority on morality. Better yet, show us that you specific interpretation of the Bible is correct, or demonstrate how Muslims are wrong or Buddhists are immoral. You (demonstrably wrongly) assert that morality comes from a god, yet there are literally tens of thousands of different versions of your god (not to say anything about the many other different gods that billions of people believe in). A system in which something is right or wrong based upon the religious beliefs of the individual is blatantly relative. A true moral system must be based upon something objective, and seeing as how morality is used by humans to improve our interactions and create better societies, I’m not sure what other objective measures we can use to determine this.

              • amyc

                I really like your posts TheSecularThinker. One thing I would like to add to the discussion: I don’t like the moral/immoral framework that Rwlawoffice is using. How is this a moral issue? Can xe explain why homosexuality is immoral (without reference to a holy book)? Because it makes no sense. A system of morality is based on certain principles that define the difference between good, bad, and everything in between. For instance, we could use Kant’s categorical imperative to establish a system of morals. What underlying principle could possibly underlie a system of morals from which a sexual attraction could be labeled morally wrong?

                • Rwlawoffice

                  amyc, by your definition, any sexual attraction could be considered moral. It is all based upon a subjective application of the maxims that you formulate to reach the personal conclusion of whether a given action is moral or immoral even if it perceived to be based upon reason.. For example, I could think that in order to be happy I should be able to have sex with whoever I want. I can think that everyone would be happy if they could have sex with whoever they want thus unlimited sexual activity becomes a universal law by which people act. This is conceivable if we start with the premise that sex with whoever you want to have sex with it s source of happiness that should be promoted. Finally, I can see myself and others acting on this principle, therefore it is moral.  i realize this is simplistic but I hope you get the idea.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  amyc, by your definition, any sexual attraction could be considered moral. It is all based upon a subjective application of the maxims that you formulate to reach the personal conclusion of whether a given action is moral or immoral even if it perceived to be based upon reason.. For example, I could think that in order to be happy I should be able to have sex with whoever I want. I can think that everyone would be happy if they could have sex with whoever they want thus unlimited sexual activity becomes a universal law by which people act. This is conceivable if we start with the premise that sex with whoever you want to have sex with it s source of happiness that should be promoted. Finally, I can see myself and others acting on this principle, therefore it is moral.  i realize this is simplistic but I hope you get the idea.

                • amyc

                  Explain what is inherently immoral about sex and I might be able to see how a sexual attraction could be considered immoral. As it stands, sexual attraction doesn’t seem to be a moral question, rather a biological and/or social one.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Sex in and of itself is not inherently immoral under what circumstances it is sometimes engaged in which makes it immoral. I am sure we will have a different take on where that line is.

                • amyc

                  To answer your question posed to TheSecularThinker below: If the christian god were proven true, then no, I would not support it’s moral declarations. The morality espoused by Christianity is wrong no matter who says it. Just because god says it so, doesn’t mean it is right. That’s morality from authority, and it’s incredibly immature to base your moral framework off of that.

                • Anonymous

                  Thanks  amyc. You just made the point I was trying to make, perhaps better than I was saying it. In fact there is no legitimate secular argument against homosexuality (at least not one that I’m aware of). That’s why it is so important for rational people to fight the superstitious bigotry of people like RWLawoffice. It is such a trivial matter. Imagine if instead of homosexuality, they were opposed to all people to were predisposed to like rock music. It’s the same thing, this is a biological function that, as far as we can tell, is not a choice, and even if it was, how can there be anything immoral about what consenting adults choose to do sexually (as long as they are both consenting and adults)?

              • Rwlawoffice

                Actually, you said, we determine what causes more harm and promotes a better well being to determine our morals.  Even if you base that on what you call evidence or rational thinking, it is inherently subjective. For example, one society could say that women having to undergo forced abortions does less harm and promotes well being, and reach that conclusion based upon what they consider evidence and rational thinking (ex. over population) does that make it morally right?  Or is it based upon how you define well being or harm and what you consider evidence?  It is not objective no matter what label you put on it. 
                True objective morality is morality that is independent of any particular beliefs, either as individuals or a community even if these beliefs are based upon evidence or rational thinking. The nazi’s had all sorts of evidence that killing jews was not harmful and rational, that did not make it moral or right.  

                • Anonymous


                  True objective morality is morality that is independent of any particular beliefs, ”

                  Bingo, you hit the nail on the head. You can spin it a thousand ways, but religious morality will ALWAYS be dependent on individuals beliefs. Of course, you think you have found the one true god, and everyone else is wrong, so its acceptable to you to hold your personal morality as the ultimate authority because it comes from your own (unsupported) belief in a god.

                  The Nazis did not have evidence that killing people was in any way moral behavior. How warped is your thinking that you would dare to assert a secular morality means that the Nazis could pass of their atrocities as moral? You have been so hoodwinked by religion into thinking that people cannot think for themselves and need a higher power to arbitrarily decide what is right or wrong. You have been brainwashed and in the process you have given up part of your own humanity. 

                  Here’s a thought experiment for you: Imagine that one day all of a sudden, you discovered that your god does not actually exist and your whole religion is false. Forget the specifics of how this would happen, but imagine that you no longer believed in the the truth of the Bible and the existence of the Christian god. Would you immediately go around and rape people? Would you go and steal money and kill anyone who annoyed you? Would you treat everyone else around you like trash? I’d like to hope you will be able to answer this question honestly, and in doing so perhaps you will realize that your religious beliefs cannot be the source of your morality. I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say you are already a better person than the morality as professed in the Bible. If you had a religious vision in which you were convinced that your god asked you to kill your children and other family members, I think you would refuse, because you inherently understanding that this would be wrong. It’s not wrong because some book of myths says it is, it is wrong because we as a society tend to value life over death, health over sickness, etc. We base these values on objective claims about what we can determine about our goals. Nearly everyone prefers life to death, yourself included I would guess, so therefore as a society (and as a species) we agree to say “killing is wrong”.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Just a couple of points in reply. First, I did not say that religious morality is not subjective, what I was saying is that your belief that  morality based upon reason and evidence is subjective. It is not objective in any sense.  The only objective morality is one that can come from outside of humanity and in fact, if it exists then some say it is evidence of God (not necessarily the Christian god, just a higher being)

                  As for your argument that killing is wrong and that this is objective morality, then I would argue this  is flawed. I view abortion as killing a life, yet there are others who do not by arguing that it isn’t a life or it is a life not worth saving in comparison to another life. Another example would be capital punishment which takes a life for arguably a greater good. So life or death in all instances is not an objective moral necessity. 

                  I agree that the Nazi’s actions were objectively immoral regardless of their rationality for it, but the fact that they based it on rationality and evidence as they saw it shows that this is not the basis for “objective morality”.

                • Anonymous

                  I think I may have confused you with my use of objective. I didn’t mean to use it in the same way you seem to be using it. An ultimate authority based upon the whim of some higher being is not a system of morality at all. It is a tyranny. A system in which something is right or wrong based solely on the arbitrary decisions of a higher power is just not morality. Can god make rape moral? Can helping a friend in need become inherently wrong because a god says so?

                  Morality cannot come from outside of humanity. Our entire argument can end right here. Prove to us that morality can come from outside of humanity. Any discussion of morality requires a discussion of values, and values cannot exist without minds to assign them. Please demonstrate to us that there is any reason that we should believe that morality can exist outside of humanity, and then we can continue that conversation.Morality is a human construct, and when I use the term objective I am talking about the being objective in the evaluation process. I am advocating for a system of morality in which actions are evaluated in regard to reality, not to the will of a higher power (which, as I’ve demonstrated, is relative to individual believers). What do we look for when evaluating the morality of something? We look at demonstrable harm or well-being. We can use our ability to reason, evaluate evidence, use the scientific method, etc. to in order to determine this.

                  To that end, it appears our conversation isn’t going any farther. You refused to answer my thought experiment. I agree with you that there are no moral absolutes. Killing is not always wrong. But I would say that a moral precept worth abiding by is that life is preferable to death. I think most of the world would agree with me that this is a value worth following. So when someone takes an action that goes counter to this, we can examine it and determine whether it was right or wrong. For example, if i was terminally ill and in a lot of pain, perhaps I would prefer death to life. Abortion, another issue we probably shouldn’t get into here, is another one of those moral evaluations where we have to consider as much objective information as we can (medical data, science on feeling and experience, psychological impacts of abortion, personal rights, etc)

                  The most important thing of our entire argument is that you are basing your moral system on something that is not supported by evidence and which you cannot justify to others, whereas I can. If you at all care about truth and creating a better world, I think most people would agree that a system of morality that is based upon reason, evidence, and reality as much as possible is superior to one based upon unproven superstitions and unsupported personal beliefs in gods.

                  And one more thing. You said “I agree that the Nazi’s actions were objectively immoral regardless of their rationality for it, but the fact that they based it on rationality and evidence as they saw it shows that this is not the basis for “objective morality”.”

                  I disagree that those actions were “objectively” immoral in the sense you mean. They are not absolutely immoral because of any principals passed down by some higher power. Mass genocide is not wrong on Mars, because there are no minds on Mars to make that judgement. Morality is not some immaterial thing that exists outside of space and time. It is a social construct that can only exist with the existence of minds with which to value and pass judgments. The Nazis said they had reasons and evidence to justify their actions, the the simple truth is they did not. In fact, it is nearly impossible under a secular system of morality that such actions could even plausibly be justified. You need religious dogma or other delusions of absolute principals (such as your bigotry of homosexuals) to lead to actions like mass genocides.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  First let me answer your mind exercise, no I do not think that I would all of a sudden start raping and killing people. but does that mean that the moral tenets of my religion did not already effect what I consider moral? Now flip that over, what if you found out that the God of the Christian bible was real, would you change your morality or would you choose not to follow some of the teachings he outlines in the Bible?

                  Ask yourself why it is wrong to think that killing is worse then life? Why is human life any more important then any other life? This is getting hard to outline on the blog because of the narrow column but William Lane Craig has a very detailed explanation why God is necessary to have objective moralityto

                • Anonymous

                  Yeah this conversation isn’treally going to work anymore, I will post the highlights on my blog and we can continue there.

    • Anonymous

      I’m acknowledging your beliefs. I just think they don’t deserve any respect. You believe in demonstrable falsehoods and have no proof whatsoever for any of it. All of it is just faith. Belief without evidence. And yet you want respect, rights, a high social status and/or laws based on them because of that. No. Fuck no to that.

      Then add that religion in general does incalculable harm to millions of people – not just gay ones – and causes many to have psychological damage for years or decades and it becomes something that needs to be actively opposed.

      Also I don’t expect the views to be “morally equivalent”. Hardly. There is nothing moral about Christianity. Quite the contrary. Its core doctrines such as original sin and vicarious redemption/substitutionary atonement and deeply immoral and inhuman.

      Simply put: religious beliefs don’t override basic human rights and dignity.
      You can believe whatever nonsense you want. But once it infringes on other people’s rights that’s where it ends. Religion has no place in the public sphere, in politics and in education. Or at least in public education. Just keep it in your home and your churches and you’ll be fine

    • Anonymous

      Acknowledge?? How the fuck can they help but acknowledge Christians’ religious beliefs? We all know what those beliefs are. You push them on our society and bully anyone who doesn’t abide by them. That’s how we know to call Christians bigots and are intolerant of their beliefs. There’s no way to express immoral, hateful, bigoted “moral” beliefs in a truly loving manner. The vileness will always out.

      Why do you need to talk to the LGBT community at all? If you think having sex with someone with the same genitalia or sex chromosomes as you is sinful icky, just don’t do it yourself. We don’t care. Just stop trying to intimidate people who don’t subscribe to your creed into accepting your stupid, backward sexual morality.

      • Rwlawoffice

        So standing up for our moral beliefs is wrong while you get to express yours in public as being correct?  We are to just be silent?

        • TiltedHorizon

          What is so hard to understand here? You have every right to believe what you want, but those rights end the moment you try to force them on others.

        • Cap’n dave

          “…standing up for our moral beliefs is wrong while you get to express yours in public as being correct?”

          Wait…moral beliefs denote something that is worth aspiring toward. Yet your hatred and bigotry toward difference flies in the face of that which Christ actually taught. Such behavior is hardly moral, nor just, nor worthy of becoming…yet you are promoting this??

        • amyc

          Expressing your views in public /= legislating your views
          If all Christians did was express their, were we wouldn’t have too much of a problem. The problem comes in when Christians express their views on morality and then use political force to make everybody else follow the Christian moral precepts.

          • amyc

            It’s getting too late.
            The second line should read: If all Christians did was express their views, then we wouldn’t have too much of a problem…

        • Christoph Burschka

          Moral beliefs are not somehow exempt from objective judgement. If your belief harms people (and yes, ostracizing people and telling them to go to hell is harmful), then your moral beliefs are wrong.
          You have a right to stand up for them, but you have no right not to be called evil and stupid if you do so, and you certainly don’t have the right to force them on society.

    • Conspirator

      “Those in the homosexual community refuse to acknowledge the religious beliefs of Christians and instead call them bigots and are intolerant to these beliefs.  The Christian community fails to express their moral beliefs in a loving manner.”
      You just don’t get it, do you?  Christians disliking homosexuality isn’t really the problem, it’s the way in which they express that.  Didn’t your mother ever tell you that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all?  The homosexual community wouldn’t have a problem with these Christians if the Christians would leave them in peace.  

      Christians’ problems with homosexuals is that they exist, homosexuals problems with Christians is not that they exist, rather it is with the hatred that Christians express for them.  

      This is not a two-way problem, if the Christians stop their behavior, then there is no longer a problem.  Yes, that’s right, the fault is entirely with the Christians, and not the other side.  It may be hard or you to accept that, but it is the truth. 

    • Fentwin

      “Those in the homosexual community refuse to acknowledge the religious beliefs of Christians and instead call them bigots and are intolerant to these beliefs.”

      A bigot by another name would be just as repugnant. Dressing it up in mythology and claiming that its “my religous convictin” doesn’t change the fact that it is bigotry.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “Unfortunately children are bullied for being short, being too tall,
      being skinny, being fat, being considered unattractive, being religious,
      being homosexual, etc.  The list could go on. Middle school has to be
      the hardest time for almost all children and particularly for those that
      have been targeted by their peers for bullying or humiliation.”

      I understand the point you are making with this statement but what you are not considering is that bullying is not limited to just the actions of children. Being “tall, skinny, fat, unattractive, or religious” will certainly make children targets but homosexuality is in a class by itself. Parents will often reinforce that bullying based on those other traits is not acceptable but will often fail to take action when the trait is homosexuality;  that is just being a ‘good Christian’. By turning a blind eye these parents and ‘grownups’ are supporting continued harassment.

      Before you rebuttal with something like, ‘that is not what Christians teach’ or make the mistake in treating me as an outsider let me disclose that I am a former Catholic, I attended Catholic School from elementary to high school, and I have first hand experience. As a result I can honestly say: I hated homosexuals (past tense) with all of god’s fury, exactly as I was programmed to. 

      • Rwlawoffice

        Any parent that condones bullying by their children for any reason is wrong.  Do you really think that all children who bully homosexual children or other children for any reason come from a christian home? do you think that bullying is limited to children that come from a Christian home?  Of course not.  

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, I’m sure some are Jews and Muslims who have been brainwashed with similar religious nonsense. Just by demographics, they vast majority of them (95%+) are Christians though and they act that way because their churches teach them to hate other people.

        • TiltedHorizon

          Another deflection, an attempt to find tangent so a new argument can be made based on a strawman of your creation. 

          “limited to children that come from a Christian home”
          “all children who bully homosexual children or other children for any reason come from a christian home”

          Both are a variants of the same question, you were hoping I’d commit to making a an easily countered blanket statement. Of course these don’t apply to ‘ALL’. The problem you keep trying to sidestep is, Christianity makes up the majority, in terms of population, in the US which means the majority of bullying IS owned, lock, stock and barrel, by the Christian community. An unavoidable byproduct of being the majority. 

    • Alex

      Gay kid: I’m gay.
      Christian kid: Homosexuality is immoral! You fag! God hates you!

      Acknowledge this.

      • Rwlawoffice

        Actually it is really more like this:

        Gay kid: I’m gay and you can’t think that this is wrong

        Christian Kid:  I do think that this is wrong.

        Gay kid: Then you are a bigot.

        • TiltedHorizon

           Actually, it plays out, more times than not, exactly like Alex cited. I have seen it first hand.

          • Demonhype

            Very much so.  I feel in these cases like when I argue with my mom or sister.  They “grace” me with their opinion as if it is a drop of precious gold then get bent out of shape and call persecution if I disagree with the opinion or even say “that view is very dangerous, bigoted, and entirely unsupported by evidence”.  Always the whining “but I have a RIGHT to my OPINION!!!!  And if you challenge it in any way, you’re PERSECUTING ME!!!!1!!!!”  Basically, they are allowed to have and express an opinion wherever and whenever they like based on any bullshit they heard from their friends at WalMart, but I am not allowed to express my own opposing opinion because that would be forcing my views down their throats.

            Yes, you have a right to an opinion.  You even have the right to express that opinion.  But you do not have the right to express your opinion without anyone challenging or criticizing your view.  That would be the opposite of freedom of religion or expression–that would be “I [the undersigned] am the only one free to hold and express an opinion, and all others are obligated to agree with my views.”

            Don’t like having someone disagree with your opinion?  Don’t go around expressing it!  The world is not your pulpit, and when someone criticizes your expressed views you have no right to call persecution just because they equally exercised their own right to express a view.

    • Neil

      @rwlawoffice: 

      I’m curious…what is “intolerant” or “incorrect” about gays simply asking to be treated as a legally equal human beings, and not putting up with daily humiliation, bullying, or threats at a taxpayer funded school?  We don’t allow other bigotries to flourish on the playground, why should one group be allowed an exception? 

       I’m also curious….how does one “lovingly” spread the message “You are a disgusting,  sin-filled abomination and will be tortured forever by god unless you spend your whole life trembling in fear and denying youself the right to exist as an equal human being.” 

      Argue as you might, interpret the bible through bullshit-colored glasses all you want…the above paragraph is essentially what many millions of conservative christians see in the bible,  openly believe, and openly preach.  They are not fighting for a right that anyone else gets to have…  they are fighting for the privilege for themselves and their children to be able to say these things to other people’s children whenever and wherever they want,  at taxpayer-funded public schools or anywhere else.  And they don’t think there should be ANY negative consequences for this behavior at all, and that it is persecution if they are so much as criticized or asked to restrain themselves at all. 

      I’m just really not feeling the “love” there.  Please feel free to enlighten me.

      ………….oh WAIT….I’m feeling something…..

      ……uh, nope….NOT love. 

      Asking that kids not be subjected to daily humiliation and threats by religious zealots at a taxpayer funded school, is NOT demanding that christian bigots view anyone’s opinion or lifestyle as “morally equal”.  It is simply requesting that christians treat other people as legally equal human beings instead of sub-human targets of their insane, barbaric hatred.  It’s just a simple act of tolerance and an example of basic, centuries old human civilization that many believers seem utterly incapable of performing.  It’s not persecution of christians, it is an expectation of basic human decency in a public setting that has a secular purpose to fulfill. 

      If we took the logic of these “persecuted christians” and ran with it as an example of “religious freedom”, then we would also have to let muslim kids run around yelling implied death threats and screaming “INFIDEL” in people’s faces all day, and we would have to let white-supremacist christian children scream “darkie” or “wetback” at other kids all day, and christians and jews both would have to be allowed to intimidate and shame every girl who didn’t dress to their religious standards…these are all examples with just as valid a claim of “religious freedom” as christian hatred of gays.   We don’t allow these other examples in public schools, because it is harmful to the victims, disruptive to the learning environment, it undermines the mission at hand, and is a waste of taxpayer money in lost time and conflict resolution. 

      But hey…it’s christians…I guess we have to allow them to misbehave in ways no one else gets to….. I’d hate to persecute anybody!

    • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

      Those in the homosexual community refuse to acknowledge the religious
      beliefs of Christians and instead call them bigots and are intolerant to
      these beliefs.  The Christian community fails to express their moral
      beliefs in a loving manner.

      Any belief, religious or not, that views some humans as inferior to other humans is bigotry. Those who espouse bigotry are bigots.It is impossible to express hate in a loving manner. Hate deserves no acknowledgement except a contemptuous acknowledgement.

  • Anonymous

    After reading some of Higgins’s other screeds on IFI’s website, I can only conclude that she’s actually quite happy that there are seven or nine or however many dead gay kids and hopes for more.  Better dead LGBT people than Laurie Higgins’s  poor conservative sensibilities offended.

  • gatorApe

    I live in Illinois and have commented a few times on the IFI website.  Back in September 2011, I wrote to them to express my disgust for their take on the repeal of DADT.  Lo and behold, Ms Higgins wrote back to me directly.  We exchanged a few emails — she accused me of being religiously unsophisticated and directed me to about 47 links that I should visit to read learned theologians explain why we should not read the bible literally.  In any case, she embodies everything that is evil and wrong about IFI and religion and I am not the least bit surprised to see her trying to deflect blame and playing the victim card in all its glory.     

  • Anonymous

    “These activists pretend their ultimate goal is to end
    bullying, but only the naïve or ignorant believe that whopper. The truth is that they are exploiting legitimate anti-bullying
    sentiment in order to implement their politicized anti-bullying programs, all
    in the service of achieving their ultimate goal: the eradication of
    conservative moral beliefs about African-Americans.

    If they can’t achieve that doctrinaire goal, they will
    reluctantly settle for bullying conservatives into silence. They will accept an
    America in which it is politically, legally, or socially impossible for
    conservatives to express the moral beliefs equality activists can’t eradicate,
    leaving African-Amercians and their allies free to gambol about the public
    square with all their First Amendment rights intact.

    Clearly, Erdely is not concerned with ending African-American
    suicide. Her mission, pursued with
    messianic fervor, is to humiliate conservatives into submission by any
    unethical means necessary. Christians in Minnesota and other school districts
    around the country must not cower in fear.”
    FIFY!

  • Rebecca Sparks

    1) Gay Kids/Teens/Adults killing themselves due to homophobic bullying is horrible
    2)  Anytime you need to  excuse abusive behavior to make your point (per writer only one of the kid was gay.. maybe three were called gay, which is to be expected because gay=insult [points 1-4] so the bullying as per the suicides wasn’t a big deal), you are on the morally wrong side of the debate.
    3) But not all Xians think this way.  The last time I went to a church, they were giving away free copies of  cRISIS: 40 STORIES REVEALING THE PERSONAL SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS PAIN AND TRAUMA OF GROWING UP GAY IN AMERICA and were very active in the local Gay Pride events.
    4) I understand that that church was in the minority of Xians but–
    5)   Being Xian does not give you a free pass to be homophobic.  You shouldn’t get to discriminate or hate people because of their religious (or lack of) affiliation, and you shouldn’t get away with discriminating or hating people because of your religious (or lack of) affiliation.   
    6)  We need to be honest about why turn a blind eye to some types of abuse.   It’s not about being Xian or not–because you can be Xian and be against homophobia, racism, or misogyny.   The bottom line is creating an safe environment for all people.

    • amyc

      “…maybe three were called gay, which is to be expected because gay=insult…”

      Why is this not a problem? How does the fact that an innate part of who somebody is can be used as insult NOT contribute to the disproportionate suicide rate among gay teens?

      Also, the last time I went to a church they were giving out pamphlets written by David Barton and saying that gay marriage would be the end of society as we know it. You guys need to get your stories straight.

    • amyc

      “…maybe three were called gay, which is to be expected because gay=insult…”

      Why is this not a problem? How does the fact that an innate part of who somebody is can be used as insult NOT contribute to the disproportionate suicide rate among gay teens?

      Also, the last time I went to a church they were giving out pamphlets written by David Barton and saying that gay marriage would be the end of society as we know it. You guys need to get your stories straight.

      • Rebecca Sparks

        “…maybe three were called gay, which is to be expected because gay=insult…”

        Why is this not a problem? 
        I find it highly problematic.  I was trying to summarize Michele Bachmann’s post, which I tried to signal by saying “per writer” and “[points 1-4] “, but my citation was lazy and apparently unclear.  I also did not go into a lengthy discussion of what is wrong with using gay as an insult, because it was off of the point I was trying to make.

        “You guys need to get your stories straight.”  Which guys?  Neither you nor I said if we were atheists, Christian or other, and we both admitted having gone to a church in the past.  I’m assuming you’re assuming I’m a Christian.

        But the logic behind that statement … [sarcasm] Far be it for anyone adopting the same identity to have conflicting viewpoints on important social issues.  Clearly gay rights is something not something that should be won person by person, state by state, nation by nation, but in one all-or-nothing vote by large social groups, and every person in that group must either support or repress gay rights. [/sarcasm]

        This is something I see from time to time with atheists.  Person A says, “All Christians have (vile belief) X].”
        Person B says, “Not all Christians believe X, some believe Y.”
        Instead of saying, “That anyone believes X is a problem,” or “There’s still problems with Y,” Person A will say something like, “All REAL Christians believe X.  It’s in the Bible/Christians Y are in denial/etc.”  This strategy does make Xians seem bad, but it seems really ineffective in actually stopping belief X.

        • amyc

          Rebecca, I’m sorry. I misread your post. I retract the first part of my post, and I’m sorry if I wrongly assumed you are a Christian.

          “Far be it for anyone adopting the same identity to have conflicting viewpoints on important social issues.”

          I wasn’t saying Christians can’t have conflicting viewpoints. I was pointing out that the idea that Christianity somehow has a coherent moral framework that we should follow and point to in political discussion is ludicrous, due to the fact that none of them can agree on what that moral framework is (this was one of the realizations that eventually led me to not be a Christian anymore).

          When I see people say: look at what these liberal Christians believe, I just have to say so what? Their liberal interpretation of the Bible has about as much bearing on this topic as the fundamentalist’s interpretation.

          Basically, I agree with most of your post, except for your third point, because I thought it was moot. Nobody ever said this was about all Christians, so there’s no need to point that out. I think pretty much everybody here knows that we are talking about a certain subset of the Christian community.

          • Rebecca Sparks

            Thanks AmyC, sorry I didn’t see this earlier.

             look at what these liberal Christians believe, I just have to say so what? Their liberal interpretation of the Bible has about as much bearing on this topic as the fundamentalist’s interpretation.

            The topic being bullying in schools, highlighted by the suicides of young teens who are being picked on?  The question for Christians on weither they are going to support a safe environment for gay and strait students alike, or if they’re going to stand by and let students be abused?  The Bible only enters the equation as justification for supporting bullies or victims.   And really I think it matters that everyone works together to make a safe environment, because all it takes is one or two authorities looking the other way to foster an environment of violence.

            I was pointing out that the idea that Christianity somehow has a coherent moral framework that we should follow and point to in political discussion is ludicrous, due to the fact that none of them can agree on what that moral framework is (this was one of the realizations that eventually led me to not be a Christian anymore).Interesting.  That Christianity does not have a universal, coherent moral framework was not one of the things that made me question my faith.  The church I grew up was fairly diverse–we had creationists and evolutionists, homophobes and gay friendly types, democrats and republicans, and debate was encouraged.  (My questions about faith were about “rain” falling on the faithful and godless alike–prayer never answered, pain does not make one stronger, etc.)   So pointing it out to is something that seemed to me irrelevant (of course there’s no universal moral code!), but for you it made a lot of sense.  I’m sorry if I was uncharitable.  And thank you for your apology!

  • Anon

    I have a sudden desire to find this person and shout at her.

    And find the people who are enforcing this kind of legislation and tell them that they are the ones to blame for children killing themselves. If they are going to support these kinds of things then that’s the equivalent of standing next to the people doing the bullying and patting them on the head, telling them it’s perfectly fine, go ahead tell the gay kid he’s going to burn in hell, tell the lesbian she should kill herself. Because that’s their religious viewpoint and therefore that’s the only thing that matters, rather than making sure these kids have their rights protected.

    As somebody who is bisexual and has been bullied this sort of thing pisses me off. Because frankly a religious belief should come way after saving somebody’s life or preventing them from taking their lives.

    Way, way after.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-Doring/100001239300821 Sue Doring

    This kind of bullying will continue on as long as our politicians are allowed to spew out religious beliefs and the people continue to elect them.

    So the point here people is to NOT vote for the candidates who are parading around right not in these initial races. Find someone worthy of electing and get them in the positions to help everyones rights. In reading about the candidates the GOP has up for election, not a one of them really have an American agenda in hand. Most of them have a very Christian agenda on their hands and the repercussions should they come into more power will be felt by all non christians. Take an active role in your local, state and then federal elections and campaigning and help our kids be able to be proud of who they are, and not embarrased and kill over it.

    May their souls find peace and rejuvinate. May their families find solace in knowing they are now safe and can not be harmed again.

    Blessed be.

  • Cap’n Dave

    ATTENTION CONSERVATIVE FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS: I have a serious question that I wish to ask you. The economy of the United States of America, indeed the world, is in the toilet. Here in the US, our jobless and homeless rates are staggering. We are fighting a war on three separate fronts that shows no sign of ending anytime this decade. So why are you spending TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FIGHTING TO KEEP TWO MEN OR TWO WOMEN WHO LOVE ONE ANOTHER FROM LEGALLY MARRYING? I thought you were Christians? Wouldn’t Christ rather have you spend that money on programs that would go toward feeding the hungry, housing the poor and helping those who cannot help themselves instead of forcing your own prejudice, indeed your own hatreds, upon others in Christ’s name? Perhaps you should go back and read Matthew 25:40? “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Stop being hypocrites. Show the world that you are followers of Christ, as you claim to be, instead of followers of hatred.

  • Draggi

    CHRISTian this, CHRISTian that, and CHRISTian the other thing.  I am sooooo sick and tired of supposedly “good CHRISTians” claiming He said or stood for X, Y, or Z .. .. when in actual point of fact He =didn’t=!  True, =PAUL= may have said XYZ, but Paul was an open misogamist, a blatant bigot,  and a -politician- out to build himself a “safe” place in the world and current power structure.  =CHRIST=, on the other hand, was a liberal, reformist Rabbi!  And you don’t need to take my word for any of it — look it up!!  It’s all there to be read by anyone who takes the effort.

    If you want to follow the teachings of Jesus, the Christ, then do so .. but follow =HIS= teachings, not the ravings of a self-serving ‘spin-meister’!  If you’re not willing to do -that-, then don’t go around calling yourself what you’re -not-: a CHRISTian!  Call yourself a PAUList, if you want, but don’t slander His good name by using it as ‘cover’ for your own fears, bigotries and hatreds.

    As for the kids, =NO= one deserves what they’ve been subjected to, period, full stop, end of discussion!  It’s as :st.ooo.pid: as yelling at someone about the color of their hair!  And just as “holy”, too.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNWAM4DYCN4MLBLHFGDHE2YKZM GloomCookie613

      You put it well about Paul.  I always look at it like this: If one of my really conservative friends/family members wrote my biography it’s not going to be anywhere close to accurate.

  • Christoph Burschka

    … woah.

    all in the service of achieving their ultimate goal: the eradication of conservative moral beliefs about homosexuality.

    Finally you catch on! Yes, please.Also, congratulations for having the balls to whine about being persecuted in reply to a news story where your group literally hounded a thirteen-year-old girl to death. I mean, that’s seriously impressive.

  • Sue Blue

    The christian whining, projection and deflection of blame is their natural response when someone calls them out – after all, they’re only obeying their god’s command to hate everyone who is not just like them.  And as for the apologetic’s response that all that biblical nastiness is just outmoded Old Testament stuff and now they’re all warm and fuzzy because of Jesus – bullshit!   Wasn’t Jesus the guy who said he brought not peace, but the sword?  And that not one “jot or tittle” of OT law would be changed?  And who told his followers that unless they despise even their own families, they won’t get into his country club in the sky?  Hate and bigotry is ingrained in every chapter and verse of the bible. Inclusiveness, compassion and human rights are nowhere to be found, and I have to agree with former evangelical pastor Dan Barker when he says that the authors of this completely immoral tome of violence had no clue what real love is, and neither do those who follow it.    Expecting christians no to hate or bully would be like expecting Ted Bundy not to kill women.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Masters-Hiatt/1089954620 Elizabeth Masters Hiatt

    My heart hurts so much when I read about these teenagers. Life is so fucking beautiful, but you have to stay alive to see that. 

  • Ndonnan

    what a load of rubbish hermut,you make out that its the wicked christian herassing gay people.ever think athiests find homosexuallity repulsive,or moslems,or buddists,or people who dont give a rats arse about any thing spiritual,but it must be the most active of all societys groups in loving,serving and feeding the under privlidged in the world.try a bit of self reflection and honesty,instead of the bitterness that seeths from you.move on young man

    • amyc

      Athiests, muslims, buddhists and people in the “none” category are not the ones trying to pass legislation against the lgbt community. They are not the ones saying that schools should remain “neutral” (in other words ignore it). Christians (Catholics and Mormons) raised enormous sums of money to support Prop. 8. Christians led the IFI to put pressure on this school board. When I see atheists, muslims, buddhists and people in the “none” category putting so much time, money and effort into devaluing and dehumanizing gay people, then I will talk about them too. As it stands, we do call out other people who say/do intolerant things about the lgbt community. I remember Hemant had a post about the Ask an Atheist show calling out an athiest from Louisiana (?, may have been Mississippi) hosting an athiest show where he spewed bigoted anti-gay speech.

  • Sami Hawkins

    I just skimmed through the comments and predictably theirs people defending these bigots.

    If you think homosexuality is a sin you are a bigot and you are partly responsible for the climate of intolerance that drove these kids to suicide. You can lie all you want about hating the sin and loving the sinner, the simple fact is that if you think LBGT people are sinners than you consider us inferior to straight people. I can deal with that BS, but believing gay people are sinners is what drives gay children to kill themselves and I’m not gonna have any respect whatsoever for your bigoted beliefs.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Howard Stern on this article: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5eB2JH33kc

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KGGGYRM6FSNJEMK2IWHOGE6APM WYOCOWBOY

    I find it very ironic how christians talk about having compassion but don’t show when it comes to those that are not like them.  I know being an atheist, we purport to be compassionate, ehtical and moral.   I have been called an “amoralist”…its funny the person that said I was “amoral” doesn’t even know me.  I had to laugh at that. 

  • Rtvc2012

    “My invisible friend hates you, so I’m going to go out of my way to make your life a living hell”
    See how it sounds, fundies?


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