3 things you can do if you want to be a big jerk

Here are a few recent stories in which various people — including some public officials — demonstrate how to be a really big jerk.

I don’t recommend being a big jerk, mind you, but if that’s your goal, then study these stories carefully. These folks are putting on a clinic in jerkitude.

1. Walk into a store owned by Christians, throw their religious literature into the trash and insult their faith.

Mayor Tonya Hoeffel of Garrett, Indiana, is a big jerk.

Mayor Hoeffel walked into a local convenience store, observed pamphlets about the owner’s Christian faith on the store counter, and picked them up before throwing them in the trash bin.

When the manager and part-owner of the store asked Mayor Hoeffel why she threw out the informational pamphlets, she replied, “It’s against my beliefs. This is against true religion.”

As Ed Brayton says, “Hoeffel is a moron and a bigot.” This unprovoked disrespect for others’ faith is despicable — particularly from someone elected to represent people of all faiths.

2. Abuse your power as principal to deny gay students an education.

Hemant Mehta brings us the news from the Taylor Career and Technology Center in Texas, which used to offer an adult class in cosmetology. The class was canceled because principal Thomas Amons worried that one of the students might be gay.

Amons thought one of the students enrolled in the class this semester looked gay. And since it’s illegal to bar someone from a public school because of his sexual orientation, Amons — who is, not surprisingly, a deacon at a Baptist church — decided to just cancel the class altogether.

For good measure, Amons fired the teacher, too, since she was apparently willing to teach a gay student. If that happened, next thing you know there might be gay men working in hair salons all over the country.

Thomas Amons is a big jerk.

3. Only get upset when it’s your own tribe being disrespected.

I changed that story about Mayor Hoeffel in the first item. What actually happened was this:

Less than one month after of the massacre of Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Mayor Tonya Hoeffel of Garrett, Indiana has further offended the Sikh community. Mayor Hoeffel walked into a local convenience store, observed pamphlets about the Sikh religion on the store counter, and picked them up before throwing them in the trash bin.

When manager and part-owner of the store Kulwinder Singh Nagra asked Mayor Hoeffel why she threw out the informational pamphlets, she replied, “It’s against my beliefs. This is against Christianity.”

Mayor Tonya Hoeffel of Garrett, Indiana, is a big jerk.

And if you’re a Christian and you’re not upset by her jerkery because it was directed at Sikhs instead of at Christians, then I’m afraid you may be well on your way to joining her in Big Jerkland.

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