Illinois Family Institute Doesn’t *Totally* Hate Homosexuals

The Windy City Times, an LGBT-focused newspaper in Chicago, ran a brief piece yesterday about my battles with the Illinois Family Institute. Because, you know, I think LGBT students should know they’re loved and I won’t put up with any bullying in my classroom… and IFI thinks that sort of thinking has no business in public schools.

My favorite line has to be this one from IFI’s Laurie Higgins:

Do I think homosexuality is immoral? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I hate homosexual people in their totality,” she told Windy City Times.

*Facepalm*

Can you even imagine if we substituted “Jew” in for “homosexual”…?

I don’t *totally* hate Jews, you guys… I just hate 90% of the things about them.

I would love to know which characteristics of gays and lesbians Laurie doesn’t hate…

Isn’t it so nice of her to not hate them fully, though? I can’t wait till we’re all holding hands and singing “Kumbayah.”

At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I’m glad the article included this line at the end:

Mehta said he hopes the IFI’s publication series does not scare educators.

“It’s okay to let gay students know they’re in a safe space in their classroom. There’s nothing wrong with that,” he said.

More power to any teachers who put up signs like this in the classroom:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • AxeGrrl

    Keep up the good work on this front, Hemant.   There’s nothing better than having a consistently intelligent, articulate and compassionate voice always speaking up whenever the issue arises…….your students are very lucky :)

  • jdm8

    It’s crazy how many of the vocal Christians and their organizations make homosexuality their touchtone vice.

    They have passages that say “your body is a temple” but so many of the vocal ones also promote fried foods. Jesus spoke against usury, but the Christian, er, Republican Party won’t say anything bad about it.

    • AxeGrrl

      Let’s face it, there are endless examples that demonstrate that their “homosexuality is a sin just like any other, i’m a sinner too” line (said to try to suggest that they don’t ‘single out’ homosexuality or treat it any worse than anything else) is absolutely horse pucky.

      • jdm8

        In my own experience, the “I’m a sinner too” part is rarely mentioned along with the proclamations of “homosexuality is a sin”.

        • AxeGrrl

          Oh you haven’t heard that one?  I hear it ALL the time ~ and once again, they say it specifically in order to try to portray their disapproval of homosexuality as being not ‘hateful’……because hey, we’re all sinners ~ and if they’re acknowledging that, then they can’t be singling out homosexuality! 

          and yet, their actions demonstrate that they most definitely DO single it out.  Which is precisely why the ‘im a sinner too’ thing is egregiously disingenuous.  It’s nothing more than dishonest lip-service they toss out to try to make themselves look better.

          • jdm8

             I didn’t say I haven’t heard it, it’s relatively rare for me. It might be a regional thing.

        • nice_marmot

          Right. It’s also worth noting that, curiously, the sin of homosexuality is the only one that warrants the legal prohibition of marriage.

          • jdm8

             One that’s really rich is when they say “homosexuality isn’t natural”. Which tells me they spent too little time observing animal interactions in nature.

      • Ken

        Actually, many Xians are so glib about the “I’m a sinner, too” approach that I guess homosexuality just isn’t that big a deal, either.  Or did I miss that Sunday school class about the various degrees of sin?  Is it like stabbing baby Jesus with a safety pin as opposed to using a chainsaw.  And here I though ALL sin was equally bad.  Is there a fried food and/or chocolate clause?

  • Rich Lane

    I mentioned on Facebook the safe space stickers that the organization lets you download and print out, and I said I was going to go out and get some sticker printer paper to make some.  A guy who friended me that I really don’t know well at all asked how many I needed.  I told him I wouldn’t even use a whole sheet for myself, so I’d ask if any other teachers in my school could use some.  He said his self-owned business had an extra pack of that paper, so if he ran them off, and sent them to me, could I find them homes.  I said sure.

    So now I have 35,000 safe space stickers.  :)

    I’m pretty sure anyone who wants one in my school can be accommodated.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Please tell your friend that he’s awesome. Super cool of him and you to spread the message to these kids. :)

  • NeedingMoreFacts

    “Do I think [christianity] is immoral? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I hate [christian] people in their totality,” said [Atheism]. 

    Well, maybe you’ve never said that *exactly*, but you’ve stated this in so many words. 

    • Piet Puk

      “Do I think pushing once religion [christianity] on others 
       is immoral? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I hate [christian] people. See the difference?

      • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

        I don’t hate Christians either, but I feel a lot of their thinking is idiotic.

      • Michael

        Absolutely. Hate the belief, not the believer.

    • John Hawkins

      This is a stupid argument and I facepalm ervery time I see a christian try to make it.

      Here’s a simple challenge you’ll fail miserably at: Find an example of Hemant or any other well-known atheist stating that they consider Christians to be immoral. Not that they consider them wrong, incorrect or dumb,  but them stating that their ‘Christian Lifestyle’ makes them immoral and evil and the only way to be a truly decent person is to give up that wicked lifgetsyle.

      Being correct is different from being a good person. Someone who believes that 2+2=4 while kicking puppies is correct, but no one would argue they’re a better person than someone who believes 2+2=5 while helping the homeless. All the well-known atheists haver done is state that Christianity is silly and untrue, just klike how they say belief in ghosts and El Chupacabra is silly and untrue.

      As far as I know their isn’t any well known atheist who has sunk to the level of most Christians where they label a minority to be immoral and evil. I’ve never seen an athiest arguing that they’d refuse to accept a christian child and would shame them about how they’re an evil person unless they stop being Christian while I’ve seen countless Christians amitting that’s how they’d treat an LBGT child.

      As for the safe space signs I wished their’d been some in my highschool down here in Texas. Maybe than I would have had the courage to start transitioning at 17 instead of waiting until I was 21.

    • nice_marmot

      Right, which is why millions of atheists are in a frantic national campaign to make it illegal for two Christians to marry.

    • NeedingMoreFacts

      It’s nice that so many atheists have stepped up to share how they love Christians … all the while thinking they’re stupid, delusional, idiotic.  How they don’t proselytize, while putting up their own “Christmas displays” beside nativities, saying that Christians are stupid, delusional, and idiotic. 

      Spin it how you want, but I facepalm every time I see an Atheist try to make the argument that they aren’t just as bigotted as everyone else.

      • NeedingMoreFacts

        What’s really funny is that some of the replies said exactly what I posted in the first place.  You *say* at this point Christianity isn’t immoral, yet you’ll stand ground on how Chrisianity has killed so many people, while saying Atheism hasn’t killed a soul.  You say that Christianity denies people the *right* to get married, or treats LGQTAKDHPIUB (really, I can’t remember all the letters) people with indignity … but now you’re claiming that Christianity isn’t immoral? 

        Cognitive dissonance … whoa.

      • matt

        What do you think about the premise that the creator of the universe birthed himself into mankind to sacrifice himself to himself over the sins of the very first “people” he created?  Have you read the bible lately?  Don’t you think that parts of it’s contents have been used to justify hatred in the past and are being used to deny people rights presently?  This nonsense is intertwined with politics and a lot of the people who run the country believe in it and sometimes illegally endorse it.  This should be troubling to everyone.

        It don’t hate Christians.  I’ve never had one do any harm to me.  Their belief and their influence…That’s a different story.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    “Hate” is a word that has become terribly distorted in our culture, used too much both to minimize and to hyperbolize. But replacing “hate” with “dislike” for clarity, how can anybody not dislike somebody they consider immoral?

    I dislike Laurie Higgins, in her entirety, for her moral system which is very much at odds with my own. I feel no need to be apologetic for that viewpoint. To me she’s immoral, so I dislike her. And honestly, if Laurie Higgins things that homosexuals are immoral, she should dislike them (which I suspect she actually does), and not be afraid to admit it. Her ambiguous position here simply reveals an underlying lack of consistency and legitimacy in her personal philosophy… or the recognition that her view just can’t be reconciled with the broader views of society as a whole.

    • Tainda

      I have the same problem with people using the word hate.  I save “I hate…” for a very few things.

      • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

        Like you my list of actual hatreds is vanishingly small. Say, the Boston Bruins, or duckface.

        • Tainda

          No, I still hate the duckface  lol

  • onamission5

    They don’t totally hate gay people, they just want to eliminate safe spaces, leave them open to consequence-free bullying with no support system, deny them marriage rights, and force them back into the closet of shame filled, fearful invisibility.

    Sure sounds like love to me. Amirite?

    • Phil Bellerive

      You forgot the most important part of the closet of shame thing:  violence, sexual assaults, abuse at the hands of family, etc.  That’s the most important thing they’re after, even if they won’t admit it.

  • Keith Buhler

    Hemant, I’m afraid you blatantly misunderstood (hopefully didn’t misrepresent) what Laurie Higgins was saying. The meaning of her statement was “Love and moral opposition to someone’s behavior are compatible” or “Hating someone in their totality and moral opposition to someone’s behavior are not distinct.” Do you hate adulterers, loose women, and celebrity stalkers? No, but you and I morally oppose their bad behavior. She wasn’t giving percentages of hate, she was making a distinction. I’m leeery trying to point out the obvious to you–if it’s blatant misrepresentation, then you’ll insult me and call me hateful too (though we’ve never met); if it’s misunderstanding, then I hope you’ll see the point and politely move your arguments along.

    • Coyotenose

       You are hopefully merely unfamiliar with the context, which is that Laurie Higgins is well known for her dishonest speech, libel, slander and promotion of dangerous behavior towards homosexuals, including minors, and for trying to roadblock the protection of those people from those that mean them harm. She has displayed NO love for those unlike her. That is a euphemism that religionists like her use to obfuscate their actions, which are nothing but hate.

      Say you love someone all you want. When you take steps to harm them for no defensible reason, you HATE them.

    • John Hawkins

      Laurie Higgins is a disgusting bigot who hates LBGT people. Now let’s go through the things you compared to LBGT people:

      A. Stalkers and cheaters. Invading someones privacy and cheating on your spouse *both of them agreeing to an open relationship is different and harms nobody* both do obvious harm and it’s prefectly reasonable to hate or ‘morally oppose’ them.

      B. Gold diggers is actually somehwat close since their really is no basis for condemning it, though in a minute I’ll explain why it’s still a dumb comparison. A gold digger doesn’t harm anybody if both people are aware that the other is only interested in their body or their wallet. If you were to try to argue with Hugh Heffner that either him or his consensual relationships with many 20-something girlfriends were immoral he’d make you look like a fool.

      However it’s still a dumb comparison. A gold digger doesn’t have to gold dig, Heff’s girlfriends could leave him and be just as happy with a poor man if they wanted. Theirs not an epidemic of young people being driven to depression and suicide because their family, community and church call them evil sinners for dating rich people. Nobody is arguing that gold diggers shouldn’t be allowed to marry and nobody is losing their job because they started dating someone rich.

      LBGTs on the other hand are regularly driven to self-denial, depression and suicide because they’re surrounded by people like Laurie Higgins who berate them for being evil sinners and loudly voice their ‘moral opposition’ to our natural, healthy feelings. And of course theirs the obvious harm caused by people like Laurie Higgins when they oppose our right to marriage or even our right to hold a job. *I’m cursing myself for righting this long post because I have to run some errands and if I’m not back by five my co-worker who lives in an apartment across from mine might see me coming home in women’s clothing and I’ll be fired the next morning. Thanks to people like Laurie Higgins and their ‘moral opposition’*

    • Edmond

      Of course it’s completely possible to love someone, and at the same time to hate their immoral behavior.  For example, if my brother committed a murder, I’d condemn that behavior, but I’d still love him and visit him in prison.
       
      But Laurie Higgins has not made a case for why homosexual behavior is immoral (nor has anyone else, EVER). You can condemn adulterers, gold diggers and stalkers for their deceptive, selfish and harmful behaviors.  You have a basis for calling them “immoral”.  But there is no such basis for slandering gay people in the same way.
       
      What is there to oppose?  Should free citizens NOT seek out the partner that suits them best?  Should consenting adults NOT be allowed to make mutual decisions with other consenting adults?  Will gay people only be considered “moral” when they live celibate and alone all their lives?
       
      It’s just too bad for Higgins that she doesn’t approve of my choice of partner, or of the sex that we have, but it doesn’t make me “immoral” for going against her approval.  If she doesn’t want to engage in homosexuality, nobody’s going to force her.  But she has no grounds for calling someone “immoral” for exercising their freedoms as a citizen in pursuit of happiness.
       
      Hopefully now YOU can see the point of THIS argument, and will no longer defend this woman’s controlling, slanderous behavior.

    • Margaret Whitestone

      LGBT people are not a behavior.   Stop using that technique of equating being LGBT with harmful and/or criminal behavior.  It’s demeaning and bigoted. 

  • Michael

    I don’t hate Anders Behring Breivik in his totality. Only in his role as a mass murderer.

  • DelAnaya

    I don’t hate anyone. I don’t hate Laurie Higgins. I don’t know her. But I will call her stance on gay marriage immoral. Of course she would likely call me immoral and we’ll never resolve this. So the only way make this work is if she stays out of my business and I will stay out of hers. It’s just tiresome when she and her compatriots can’t mind their own business. I have to waste my time trying to push their immoral interference back into its box. 

  • Margaret Whitestone

    There’s some progress, at least.  She’s admitting to her hatred of LGBT people, even though she allegedly doesn’t “totally” hate us.  

  • Robster

    What if one or more of these nasty christian people get their tacky scratches on any of the “safe place” stickers? They could attract troubled LGBT kids and then what? They might feed them to some of the catholic clergy who maybe finding it getting difficult to get their evil hands on some new trade. We know they can’t be trusted. Perhaps they could add the words “guaranteed christian/muslim free environment” on the bottom.


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