I’m Sure They’re Just Saying Boo-urns

Congratulations to my dear friends at the Illinois Family Institute! They just made the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-gay Hate Groupsagain:

Want an example of their wretched ideology? On the Day of Silence (a student-led initiative to raise awareness about the “silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying”), IFI wants parents to remove their kids from the classroom (emphasis theirs):

Call your children’s middle and high schools and ask if students and/or teachers will be permitted to refuse to speak during class on Friday, April 20, 2012. If your administration allows students and/or teachers to refuse to speak during class, call your child out of school. Every student absence costs school districts money.

When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take action. If they don’t, the politicization of the classroom and curricula will increase.

To paraphrase: If your kids’ school gives students a chance to show tolerance and respect toward LGBT individuals, don’t let your kids get an education! Homophobia begins at home, dammit!

In case you’re wondering what qualifies IFI as a hate group, the SPLC says this:

For Christian Right leaders, the gay rights movement and its so-called “homosexual agenda” are the prime culprits in the destruction of American society and culture. In the words of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, the battle against gay rights is essentially a “second civil war” to put control of the U.S. government in the right hands, meaning those who reject gay rights.

The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as “perverts” with “filthy habits” who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and “convert” them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging “facts” about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the “bestial” black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.

But who needs facts when you have the Bible…?

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.

  • Gregory Lynn

    The second one in the top graphic, Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment has conjured upon my brain the image of a bunch of gay trees being mistreated by a bunch of douchebags.

    Is that wrong?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

       No, that needs to be drawn and posted.

  • Mike

    If you have the Bible, you are definitely in need of some facts.

  • Piet Puk

    So.. if these kids are not in school/are not talking all day, would’t that mean that for one day, only the voice of reason would be heard?
    I’m all for this! Let them do it every day.

  • Anonymous

    I love that several of the entries are literally churches:

    Faithful Word Baptist Church
    Abiding Truth Ministries
    You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide (of the infamous Bradlee Dean)
    Windsor Hills Baptist Church
    True Light Pentecost Church
    Tom Brown Ministries (he is on a crusade against the openly gay mayor of Houston)

    Also like that the Parents Action League is on there. They’re the ones who caused the ridiculous “neutrality policy” in Minnesota

  • http://inmyunbelief.wordpress.com/ TCC

    When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take action. If they don’t, the politicization of the classroom and curricula will increase.

    How is it possible to have such a dearth of self-awareness and still be conscious? “Schools are allowing the classroom to be exploited for political purposes! We must strike back by exploiting our children for political purposes to protect our schools from becoming politicized!” So much fail, it requires a Picard-Riker double facepalm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    Gregory Lynn, your feelings cannot be wrong.  It would probably be wrong to joke that H.O.M.E. was originally organized as Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Opposition. . . . but you didn’t do that, so you’re OK. 
    I’m kind of a jerk, but I’ve made peace with it.

  • Anonymous-Sam

    To paraphrase: If your kids’ school gives students a chance to show
    tolerance and respect toward LGBT individuals, don’t let your kids get
    an education! Homophobia begins at home, dammit!

    Even better, if it costs the school district money, maybe you can strike a blow at other kids’ educations too! Then we can all be little morons sitting at home drooling on ourselves while staring aimlessly at The Television our lord and savior The Television to which all praise is necessitated glory to The Television. And then we can all get smartphones and forget how to read, write or do any work whatsoever while voice commands do all the work for us, and the human species will be destroyed thanks to the Heterosexual Agenda, and it will be good. Yay for morals!

  • Johnk

    Wait – I thought everyone here was against moments (let alone whole days) of silence for anything other than pure education? I hear that again and again on this forum. What if one person feels “left out” because they disagree? Will the ACLU sue the school? This is a cause that I agree with, but let’s be fair.

    • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Uly

       You’re NOT being fair.

      You’re deliberately and deceptively conflating voluntary, student-chosen protests with coerced moments of prayer – hehe, I mean “silence”! – that is imposed upon students by people in power.

      • Johnk

        In your opinion it’s NOT fair because you disagree with religious view of life. 
        I am not conflating anything, deliberatley or otherwise. If the school sanctions a day of silence for purposes that are political or idealogical, it’s the same as sanctioning (Coercing? relax please) a moment of silence. If the day of silence is NOT school sanctioned, but rather a student protest, then I support that – and any other form of protest – 100%. My guess is that you do too – unless it’s Christians who are doing the protesting.

        • Anon

          I think what atheists are continually trying to challenge is the use of christian prayer as the default. Which, if a teacher (or somebody else in a position of authority) does it, is implying that christianity is correct and is also breaking your first amendment.

          This has nothing to do with that. This is students chosing to be silent for a day to support GLBT rights. Hell, some of the students doing so might be christian.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JBAMPHNDKNSKDNVTY3VRYGWMYQ Jack

    I thought they already were a designated hate group… god, there are so many institutions with the words “family”, “values” and “America” that I’m confused.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    But who needs facts when you have the Bible…?

    Exactly.  Information via revelation is not testable.  Not falsifiable.  If God says homosexuality is wrong, then it just is.  If God says writing with your left hand is wrong, then it just is.  I’m King because God wants me to be, otherwise I wouldn’t be.  If God says he will take care of us and the whatever temperature the planet is is his design, then it is.

    No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

    –Albert Einstein.

    Any piece of information has the potential to be wrong.  Useful information has the quality that you can conceive of a way of showing it’s wrong.  A rabbit skeleton in the Cambrian layer.  Push two piles of two marbles together and count then.  Something.

    If your piece of information doesn’t have the quality of ‘falsifiable’ then it is completely useless.  It may be right, but since we can’t ever potentially check it, it’s worthless.  It doesn’t tell us anything.  It’s as good as “God told me you should give me $1″.  How could you possibly prove he didn’t?

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    “When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow
    the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take
    action.”

    I wonder why they don’t feel the same way about the “Day of Silent Solidarity” on which the anti-choice kids remain silent.

  • Anonymous

    I love the name Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment. It’s just shy of being on The Onion level of unintentional parody. It’s the kind of name Marcus Bachmann would come up with. Because, you know, they’re totally straight and just looking for a “moral environment”…y’know?

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Reminds me of The Coalition for Moral Order from The Birdcage, LOL.

  • Trish

    I was saying Boo-urns.

  • Jett Perrobone

    Heterosexuals Organised for a Moral Environment

    More like:

    Heterosexuals Against a Tolerant Environment (H.A.T.E.)

  • Georgina

    “But who needs facts when you have the Bible…?”

    Fact: Religious people think god made everyone from a single prototype + female.
    Fact: This means that everyone is the same (i.e. atheists know god exists, but they hate him; we are all born heterosexual, but some pretend to deny it).
    Fact: If everyone is the same, then everyone will do what we would do  i.e. persuade/force others to think and feel like us. Since we want to force homosexuals to ‘revert’ to heterosexuality, they must be doing the same to our children.
    Fact: Since ‘converting’ everyone to homosexuality would destroy our lives, we must first ‘convert’ everyone to heterosexuality by a)pretending they are all faking because they hate god; b) making life as difficult as possible so that they give up pretending.

    • Georgina

       Whoops … forgot the /sardonic  at the end.


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