Please leave anti-bullying programs out of the culture war

It is time to go back to school and Focus on the Family is warning that anti-bullying programs may lead to gay promotion.

Gay-rights groups’ push for anti-bullying legislation and school programs is an effort to “promote homosexuality to kids,” according to a conservative Christian activist organization.

The accusation has underscored the conflicting attitudes among some politicians and parents who have lent their support to these policies after a string of deadly bullying episodes across the country.

Focus on the Family has accused gay-rights groups of using tolerance and anti-bullying programs to introduce curricula and books into schools that promote political aims such as same-sex marriage. The same groups, it says, lobby for gays and other minority groups to be specifically mentioned in anti-bullying legislation and try to depict Christians opposed to such treatment as bigots.

Being on a local committee to implement anti-bullying initiatives, I have already heard fallout from articles like this one. Please leave the culture war out of this.

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My concern is that Christians are not leading the way against bullying but rather are putting up barriers to the implementation of methods that work. I am on the local committee to roll out the Olweus program and I can tell you that I have heard fallout from similar articles as this one.

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Locally, the school district is implementing the Olweus program. I am on a committee to assist and I am very pleased to see it rolled out. I can tell you however, that I have encountered fallout from articles like the ABC article linked above, where parents fear the program due to concerns over gay promotion.

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  • Mary

    Reap what you sow.

    Had the good christians who supposedly make up a majority of the society practiced the golden rule then we would not have to even consider making such anti-bullying rules and legislation. One would think kindness was “self-evident”

  • DAVE G

    I think the American College of Pediatricians has the right approach on this issue.

  • DAVE G
  • Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G,

    Your “American College of Pediatricians” is a joke. It has very few members and even fewer pediatricians. Their “Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee” is comprised almost entirely of Narth leaders.

    They’ve been debunked by just about everyone who they pretend to quote. True fraud and complete dishonesty.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/tag/american-college-of-pediatricians

  • DAVE G

    Sorry, Tim. I’ve reviewed their positions, and find them valid and reliable. The debunkers are merely within the pro-homosexual community.

  • Mary

    Honestly, both sides are acting a little extreme.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    DAVE G – I have debunked the ACP website and demonstrated that they used outdated research to present a biased picture of glb people. I am an evangelical Christian and while we agree on some things, most gay activists would not consider me in the “pro-homosexual community.”

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    In Hennepin County Minnesota there were three gay kids commit suicide this past year after being subjected to a harassment on campus. The School Board’s policy is that teachers remain “neutral”, ie say nothing that would give these kids any hope.

    A group supported by Focus on the Family is fighting to keep anti-bullying programs off of the campus.

    I’m not sure what is extreme about not wanting kids to die.

    I became more comfortable with the bullying programs after they really tried to work with religious groups to address concerns. They may not be perfect, but they really are trying.

    The problem is that Focus and others oppose any message with says, “gay people exist and you shouldn’t harass them.”

    As Laurie Higgins put it, it is the Christian kid’s duty to condemn sin. And any program that says, “hey, kid, it’s alright. you’re ok” is considered to be creating a culture that condones homosexuality and it is extremely important to them that the culture condemn homosexuality.

    It’s hard to find a middle ground with people who sincerely believe that statements of rejection, disgust, and condemnation are a good thing.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Look at this quote:

    “Schools are only allowed to provide one message about homosexuality; that it’s normal and should be embraced,” Focus on the Family said of the gay group’s message.

    What is the alternative? Homosexuality is abnormal and should be rejected?

    But that is EXACTLY the message that is leading to death.

    I would go in with the message that everyone has a sexual orientation and that some people are gay. And that students should turn to their family and their faith to help develop their sexual ethic (ie the rules on sexual activity), but that no student – gay or straight – should be bullied for having a sexual orientation.

    But even that is too pro-gay for Focus.

  • David Blakeslee

    Timothy,

    I have searched for the three suicides you refer to and cannot find an article using google.

    Got any suggestions?

  • Mary

    It’s hard to find a middle ground with people who sincerely believe that statements of rejection, disgust, and condemnation are a good thing.

    That is how many behave towards christians. Take your post for example. You reject what christians say, are disgusted by them and condemn them for having a different opinion than your own.

    I’m not trying to start an argumnent – just pointing out that the blame game is going both ways.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Mary,

    “at the good Christians…”

    Speaking for myself, I was not encouraged to abuse or harass homosexuals in Sunday School.

    Regarding sexuality, the message was always the one emulated by Christ with the various prostitutes he encountered: Don’t throw stones, offer forgiveness, encourage repentance.

    Regarding gays specifically, as a 16 year old in 1974 (?) I found David Wilkersons Jesus Person Maturity Manual an application of the same Christian model…remarkable, I think, for the day (hope I am remembering correctly).

    When several of my friends struggled with SSA as young men…all I had to offer them was kindness and encouragement to resist temptation…this was a time when “treatment” offered by the APA. My conservative church was highly skeptical of psychology at the time.

    In my adult years I have stumbled upon Christian men who have been openly derogatory of gays and lesbians and other sexual minorities…my reprimands are blunt clear and end their comments before they get going.

    Likewise, in my adult years I have stumbled upon Christian men who have SSA and I find them bold, humble, compassionate and tolerant. One in particular has built a remarkably generous life.

    Just saying, 40 years into my Christian walk this is what it looks like for me.

  • David Blakeslee

    Here is the Amazon picture of the book I mentioned:

    http://www.amazon.com/David-Wilkersons-PERSON-Maturity-Manual/dp/0830701311

  • Mary

    David,

    There are many saints who are truly followers. However, even though I consider myself a follower of Jesus, I am constantly amazed at some of the statments and ideas put forth by such groups as FOTF. While they speak of a christian lifestyle being eradicated – I have to wonder – where on the whole was that lifestyle when gay kids, fat kids, “unusual” kids being picked on and tormented? So much so that society has had to make rules against harassing these young people. As if being christian was not enough back then – is sure doesn’t look like it is enough right now.

    FOTF and groups such as these that make statements that are so boldly blind to the condition of others beyond themselves, are a scar in the faith.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    You can’t separate pro-bullying from the culture wars; it’s an integral part of it. The use of social sanction and even violence to “encourage” kids to conform to what is seen as a moral principle is its very essence. If some immoral kids die, it’s seen by most as no great loss, and by a few as a positive advantage.

    The worst thing is the hypocrisy – that with a very few exceptions, many pretend that that’s not what they’re after, at least in public.

    Here, I’ll quote from some well-meant advice to someone transsexual, whose life was literally saved by the treatment.

    Now I am going to say something that may seem harsh but remember I am talking to you about objective reality – where the rubber meets the road. It is better to die than to offend God. It would have been better for you to have given your life to stay in obedience to God, than to break His law and to drag along into sin your poor spouse. At some point — along with those who denied Christ under persecution and later felt remorse, you will have to say, “It would have been better for me to have died instead.” That is hard, but really everyone of us should feel that way about every serious sin we have committed. We should prefer the death of our bodies to the death of our souls, shouldn’t we?

    We just never know what fruit may come when we determine that no matter what we are not going to break God’s law. For all you know, God may have given you peace and healed you. We can’t know that, but we can see some of the fruit of the course of action you did pursue.

    For one thing you have greater physical health — but at the cost of being an example to others that physical health is worth breaking God’s law.

    “It is better to die than to offend God”. And of course they and only they know what God would find offensive. They have a direct line.

    It is really difficult maintaining the proper degree of charity to such people. I’m no Christian, but my personal beliefs and His teachings are in accord on this one, I really should be kind to them, try to realise that they’re only doing what they think is right. It’s not easy.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Another example, this time even more obvious:

    …And while the likes of Martin Ssempa have been saying that the bill is about HIV prevention, Bahati made his motivations clear when he invited Professor Sharlet to his home.

    [Bahati] spoke more bluntly than he had before, about what he wanted to do.

    And what he wanted to do was kill every last gay person. And this came up because he said, well, the death penalty may come out of it but, you know, democracy will bring it back…

    Towards the end of this genial visit, Bahati threatened to arrest Professor Sharlet if he came back to Uganda, on the grounds of promoting homosexuality.

    And he said, yeah, of course I’ll have you arrested. And, you know, he sort of made that clear to the Ugandan journalist I was with, too.

    Because they’re doing God’s work.

    Now there’s plenty of Christians who are absolutely opposed to homosexuality who don’t subscribe to such beliefs. I think though that most oppose gays, not because of some exegesis of scripture, but because of personal and irrational revulsion: instinctive homophobia, something I suffer from myself. The difference is that they take these feelings, and then attempt to justify them via religion, rather than recognise them as being irrational and unjustifiable.

    Many feel uncomfortable when gays are assaulted, raped, killed. They know that that’s wrong, very wrong, and it causes them some considerable angst. On one side, their loathing of all things gay, on the other, basic human decency. This causes a conflict so they tend to try to ignore the whole issue, leaving the field to the witchsmellers and inquisitors, who take a literally unholy glee in being sadistic in the name of God.

    I won’t go in to the faults of the other side in this war; for one thing, I’m homophobic, so may either paint them as worse than they really are, or whitewash them in an attempt to avoid that. Let’s just say that there are definitely faults on that side too. I know of few who would put their opponents in extermination camps though.

  • Mary

    Zoe,

    Not everyone is soooo … argh! I often think about what you have had to experience. We are not all so ignorant.

  • Mary

    “It is better to die than to offend God”.

    Then those who make such statment ought to be the first to jump.

  • ken

    #

    David Blakeslee# ~ Sep 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    “I have searched for the three suicides you refer to and cannot find an article using google.

    Got any suggestions?”

    here is an article in the Minnesota Independent that mentions them:

    http://minnesotaindependent.com/64047/anti-gay-group-organizes-in-anoka-schools-as-community-deals-with-gay-suicides

  • Jayhuck

    But even that is too pro-gay for Focus.

    Honestly though – are you really surprised? The hypocrisy that abounds in that group knows no limits.

  • Debbie Thurman

    I think this discussion got a little contorted earlier regarding what many perceive as a pro-gay agenda in public education. When Dave linked to the ACP site, I believe he was pointing to a documented incursion of pro-gay ideology in the classroom and the overt silencing of anything that attempts to address change for gays. Others turned that into an anti-anti-bullying move.

    The NEA, et al brochure “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth” (mentioned on the ACP site) does not present all the facts. It clearly promotes homosexuality as a healthy sexual alternative for youth, when there are a number of known health risks for homosexual behaviors. And it casts aspersions on “transformational ministries.”

    Warren points out that the ACP is problematic as a legitimate organization. But not all of the information on their site is illegitimate. Warren also helped develop a more balanced sex education curriculum as an alternative to what public schools are compelled by organizations (that also could be called bullies) to implement.

    And remember the stillborn “The Framework,” meant to facilitate dialog between both sides in the education debate? When you and Chad Thompson wrote about it, Warren, you said, “Educators can and should require that all viewpoints be expressed in a respectful manner, but they may not exclude some views merely because they don’t agree with them.” You also said, “The Framework says that parents should be given information about any and all resources, books, video’s, and curricula that are introduced to their students. As the most infamous scandals of homosexual propagandizing have historically taken place behind closed doors, schools promoting common ground communication should take steps to prevent teachers from introducing controversial classroom materials without due process.”

    You rightly pointed out that some social conservatives downplay bullying of gay youth and that “Social conservatives and homosexual advocacy groups will probably never agree on ideology.” And you stated, “Conservatives who fail to compassionately address this issue further alienate the very kids we need to help, while the open arms of gay advocacy groups appear to be a place where these kids can be understood.”

    It was a sensible assessment. I submit that real compassion dictates giving parents and sexually confused youth the whole picture, while realizing that some will choose a path other than the one hoped for. What is so sad is that adults, who should be responsible and mature, are setting a poor example for kids to emulate in their endless bickering.

    It’s not bullying, which is a cancer in our schools we need to address, that is the culture war culprit here. It’s one-sided education promoting homosexuality and making Christians and anyone who espouses change out to be liars and even bullies, themselves, along with uncompassionate Christianity trying to pass itself off as the real thing.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Mary – two things. First, I have too many blessings in my personal life to count them. I won’t say that Life hasn’t been challenging, or that there haven’t been difficulties. But when you look at things objectively….

    I was essentially Transsexual. And my Gender Dysphoria was comparatively mild compared to that of most, vastly less than that of Trans children. I could cope with it, it wasn’t a big deal when I was young. Now sure, it gets worse with age, but I was definitely going to shuffle off the old mortal coil due to all sorts of metabolic problems long before I reached my breaking point.

    I was really looking forward to that. So maybe it wasn’t as mild as it seemed, I really don’t know. It didn’t feel too bad, anyway.

    Then what happens? I get a one in ten million dramatic change to my body, one that largely cures the problem. OK, it caused many social and legal difficulties, but although I don’t believe in (much less pray for) miracles, yes, I think this could be called a genuinely miraculous cure.

    Even more importantly, given just how terribly Intersexed I was (and am), it was beyond belief that I wasn’t completely sterile, only infertile. I have a child. That to me is worth more than Life itself, even my new improved actually-worth-living Life.

    That’s two miracles. My only complaint, if it can be called that, is that there’s something wrong with a system that grants them to such as I, and not those more deserving of them, those that genuinely need them more.

    So that’s the first point. I’m being nothing but completely honest when I say that I have been lucky, even blessed, beyond belief. The problems are large compared with those most people have to bear, but utterly inconsequential in comparison.

    The second point… yes, not everyone is like that. There’s many rank-and-file genuine Christians who don’t think that way. But…. the author’s attitude is actually rather kinder than the average. Really. She’s not writing in some fringe publication, it’s from the article Where the Rubber meets the Road

    in CatholicExchange, a very mainstream Catholic publication. Mild indeed compared with the Rabid Religious Right, Focus on the Family, NARTH, WorldNetDaily, OneNewsNow etc.

    Similar charity has been shown by a number of priests, who have advised Intersexed people that while suicide is a sin… that for them, they’re sure the Almighty would forgive it under the circumstances. It’s only a handful that have been more forthright, and told Intersexed people that the best thing they could do for the good of their families is to kill themselves. That’s mainly pastors, rather than priests, too.

    In the majority of European countries, US States, the UK, Australia etc it’s still mandated that Trans or Intersexed people have to agree to be put on a Sex Offender’s register, or agree to a diagnosis of a serious mental illness, or to divorce, or to be sterilised, in order to be granted permission to have identity documents that are consistent, and match their appearance. A few require the destruction of any stored sperm or eggs before sterilisation. Some US states, and European countries won’t issue such documents under any circumstances, regardless.

    It’s no secret that the US Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), forbidding the arbitrary firing of anyone Trans, Intersexed, or Gay just for being Trans, Intersexed or Gay had to be amended in 2007 so that it covered Gays only before it could pass in the House. It never got to the Senate, and the inclusive version has been stuck in committee for two years now, so won’t even be voted on in the House in 2010. At the state, county and city level, equivalent legislation has often been blocked if it’s not Gay-only. The day that the NH senate voted (narrowly) to permit same-sex marriage, they voted unanimously to prevent Trans and Intersexed people from having the same human rights Gays have had in NH for a decade. And to prevent the question from being revisited for at least another two years.

    This post is already too long. I’ll end with two quotes: the first from a missive of the Catholic Bishops of America, who wrote a letter saying that they’d abandoned their former silence and position of neutrality over ENDA, and were now implacably opposed, for just one reason. I’ll quote;

    We write to you regarding the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 3017, and Senate (S. 1584). Our purpose is to outline the serious concerns we have with these bills in their current form and why we cannot maintain the position of neutrality we held in 2007.

    The bill’s treatment of “gender identity,” which was not in the 2007 bill, would have an adverse effect on privacy and associational rights of others.

    That clause is in fact the only difference between the 2007 bill and the 2009 version. There are many other (obvious) objections too, but they weren’t sufficient on their own to cause the Bishops to get off the fence.

    The second is a quote from an Intersexed child who had been thrown out of home, and relied on the tender mercies of a Christian Homeless shelter for street kids.

    I was told when I arrived that I could only be there if I stayed with the girls, because I was legally female. I agreed because I had no other option, it was there or the street.

    They roomed me with a female who said she felt uncomfortable being in the same room as me… the shelter’s response was to pull me out of the room and insist that I sleep on the floor of the girls wing in front of the night staff.

    I was constantly harassed by others in the shelter as well as the staff themselves. I was discovered to be physically intersexed by another shelter recipient who walked into the individual shower section I was in with the intent to start a fight.

    When I was later told that even though I agreed to be there as a female that I could not use the female restrooms or showers, I was instructed to use a single person bathroom and shower on the first floor of the building. I was happy about that because I was obviously not comfortable using the multi-person restrooms and showers anyway.

    When the girl who discovered I was intersexed told the staff, they made me get a “physical” at the little medical place attached next door. When it was confirmed I was indeed intersexed, I was told I had to leave the shelter because they had no place for me.

    So no, not everyone is like that. A sizeable proportion, including the majority of the hierarchy (though not the laity) in most Christian denominations, are actually worse.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    I omitted the last line:

    I was kicked out 2 days before my 16th birthday.

    Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

    What makes me less understanding than I might be is that this particular shelter got additional city funding specifically on the condition that they’d cater for Trans and Intersexed kids, as none of the other shelters would.

  • Timothy Kincaid
  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    That is how many behave towards christians. Take your post for example. You reject what christians say, are disgusted by them and condemn them for having a different opinion than your own.

    That is not only absolutely untrue, it’s nonsensical.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    The NEA, et al brochure “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth” (mentioned on the ACP site) does not present all the facts. It clearly promotes homosexuality as a healthy sexual alternative for youth, when there are a number of known health risks for homosexual behaviors.

    Well, no that’s not true.

    There are some sexually transmitted diseases that are currently more evident in the US gay community (HIV, for example). Engaging carelessly in sex with an infected person can lead to contracting such a disease – just as it can for heterosexuals. So we could honestly say that there are “health risks” for irresponsible, unsafe, or promiscuous sex.

    But so far, we have not found that “homosexual behaviors” in and of themselves contain “a number of known health risks”.

    I submit that real compassion dictates giving parents and sexually confused youth the whole picture, while realizing that some will choose a path other than the one hoped for.

    I’ll ignore the obviously loaded “sexually confused youth” comment and simply note that whatever “whole picture” you are imagining, it must be based on objective and observable evidence and not on religious doctrine.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    It clearly promotes homosexuality as a healthy sexual alternative for youth…

    I want to address this one more time.

    Although you used to hear language about “alternative” and still often do from those who oppose civil freedom for gay people, this is not a term that applies.

    “Alternative” implies that one is simply selecting from a selection of choices. However, most people within the gay community, the sexual health community, and the education system recognize that one does not select ones orientation from a menu, choosing between alternatives.

    Nor is there any notion of “promotion”. To acknowledge a fact is not to “promote” it. To say that there are same-sex attracted people is simply factual, and no amount of promotion or oppression will alter that fact.

    A more honest assessment of the anti-bullying programs would be that they “clearly recognize homosexuality as a healthy sexual orientation for people…”

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Warren – this is the face of the Culture Wars

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98WRbjgSJx4

    “I’m gonna put a ball bat in my car, and if I ever see a guy

    (transgender individual) coming out of a bathroom that my

    granddaughter’s in, I’m gonna use the ball bat on him…In the good old

    days, before ’she-males’ existed, they just called such people

    perverts.”

    You can’t leave bullying out of the Culture Wars – it’s an integral part of them.

    FotF’s logic goes like this.

    Assaulting someone is immoral; so there’s nothing wrong with bullying the thugs so they stop hitting others.

    Theft is immoral, so there’s nothing wrong with bullying a thief till he stops stealing.

    Homosexuality is immoral, so there’s nothing wrong with bullying a gay kid till he stops “acting gay”. Or looking gay.

    They don’t have the guts, most of them, to say this out loud. That bullying is good, sometimes. But they, and many school administrators who are Conservative Christians, believe it. That the usual rules against bullying don’t apply when the person being bullied is doing something immoral. And that’s why it’s important to specifically say “and this applies to gay kids too”, because otherwise the school administrators often will think that it doesn’t. Because they believe it’s a “lifestyle choice”, a conscious act of immorality not to look and act totally straight.

    They’re hypocrites, who strain at the gnat of homosexuality, yet swallow the camel of gay kids being hounded into suicide, beaten to death, or even shot. Because they’re doing “God’s Will” in opposing the immoral and sinful “Homosexual Agenda”. And if a few kids who aren’t even Gay get hurt, well, their reward will be in Heaven, right? They know though that their sadism isn’t socially acceptable, so they have to hide it in order to gain support. Hypocrites, exactly the same as the ones JC encountered, and just like those, they don’t even realise it.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Timothy, you are splitting hairs. Homosexuality is widely accepted as an orientation and homosexual sex is an alternative to heterosexual sex.

    The CDC has lots of data about other health problems for gay men, in particular. These include a variety of STDs and diseases associated with anal intercourse. Mental health problems are also elevated in the gay community, according to a variety of sources, all of which you will dispute, of course.

    Are gay youths more at risk for depression and suicide? Can we say with 100 percent assurance (we can’t be rigid, now) that all gay youth depression comes from bullying or guilt-trips from their faith communities? Each of us has a conscience, an inner gyroscope, that has to weigh good and evil. That’s mostly an internal process.

    The NEA as a political entity most certainly does promote homosexuality, and so does plenty of classroom curriculum. This is axiomatic these days.

  • Debbie Thurman

    They’re hypocrites, who strain at the gnat of homosexuality, yet swallow the camel of gay kids being hounded into suicide, beaten to death, or even shot. Because they’re doing “God’s Will” in opposing the immoral and sinful “Homosexual Agenda”. And if a few kids who aren’t even Gay get hurt, well, their reward will be in Heaven, right? They know though that their sadism isn’t socially acceptable, so they have to hide it in order to gain support. Hypocrites, exactly the same as the ones JC encountered, and just like those, they don’t even realise it.

    “These people” whom you seem to know so abundantly are not the face of evangelical Christianity, nor of the culture war. People who beat others with baseball bats are fringe lunatics.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    The CDC has lots of data about other health problems for gay men, in particular. These include a variety of STDs and diseases associated with anal intercourse.

    No, Debbie. You aren’t thinking logically.

    You can’t get a sexually transmitted disease unless the person you are with has it. STDs are not magically created by gay sex.

    So, like I said before,

    Engaging carelessly in sex with an infected person can lead to contracting such a disease – just as it can for heterosexuals. So we could honestly say that there are “health risks” for irresponsible, unsafe, or promiscuous sex.

    But so far, we have not found that “homosexual behaviors” in and of themselves contain “a number of known health risks”.

    And no, the CDC does not have “lots of data” about “diseases associated with anal intercourse.”

    That is simply not factual.

    Can we say with 100 percent assurance (we can’t be rigid, now) that all gay youth depression comes from bullying or guilt-trips from their faith communities?

    No. We can’t say with 100% assurance that all youth depression comes from bullying or guilt-trips. Some probably comes just from feeling “different”, from plain ol’ being a teenager, and from a host of other factors.

    So what are you suggesting? Do you think that because same-sex attracted youth experience depression at higher rates then therefor anti-bullying programs should be banned?

    Or perhaps “the whole picture” involves warning kids that being same-sex attracted correlates with increased depression and so therefor they should… what exactly?

    The NEA as a political entity most certainly does promote homosexuality, and so does plenty of classroom curriculum.

    The problem, Debbie, is that anti-gays oppose telling same-sex attracted kids that it’s ok, it’s perfectly normal to feel that way. And they oppose telling Christian kids that they should not condemn the perceived homosexuality in their classmates.

    You seem to agree with them.

  • Mary

    You can’t get a sexually transmitted disease unless the person you are with has it. STDs are not magically created by gay sex

    True however, more men who have sex with men are reported with STD’s than any other group.

  • ken

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Sep 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    The CDC has lots of data about other health problems for gay men, in particular. These include a variety of STDs and diseases associated with anal intercourse. Mental health problems are also elevated in the gay community, according to a variety of sources, all of which you will dispute, of course.

    While gay men probably do experience greater health problems due to STDs, the ACP (and others) are mis-using research to push their own personal and political agendas rather than what the research was intended which is to help people. Instead of looking into why they have higher STD and looking for reasonable ways to decrease these problems, they are instead use it to argue that people shouldn’t be gay. That anti-bullying initiatives will somehow make people be gay (or that bullying will make them stop being gay).

    Are gay youths more at risk for depression and suicide? Can we say with 100 percent assurance (we can’t be rigid, now) that all gay youth depression comes from bullying or guilt-trips from their faith communities?

    Now who is splitting hairs Debbie? Why does it matter if ALL gay suicides are caused by bullying or not? What if 0 % of gay suicides where caused by bullying would that make it okay to bully gay youth then? What’s the cut-off point for you Debbie? what percentage of suicides have to be cause by bullying before you are willing to say something needs to be done about it?

    The NEA as a political entity most certainly does promote homosexuality, and so does plenty of classroom curriculum. ”

    What do you mean by “promote homosexuality” ? Are you trying to say the NEA is trying to make straight kids gay (like conversion therapists try to make gay kids straight)? Can you give some examples of this promotion by the NEA?

  • Debbie Thurman

    You can’t get a sexually transmitted disease unless the person you are with has it. STDs are not magically created by gay sex.

    Yes, but gay men “magically” seem to have more of them to pass around. The figures don’t lie. Just as I have to admit to inconvenient and embarrassing facts about the Church and my fellow Christians, so do you have to own up to the uncomfortable stuff on behalf of the gay community, Timothy. It’s life.

    So what are you suggesting? Do you think that because same-sex attracted youth experience depression at higher rates then therefor anti-bullying programs should be banned?

    Why should I think such a thing????

    Or perhaps “the whole picture” involves warning kids that being same-sex attracted correlates with increased depression and so therefor they should… what exactly?

    All teen sex is dangerous. I see a concerted effort on the part of gay propagandists to downplay gay teen sex dangers.

    The problem, Debbie, is that anti-gays oppose telling same-sex attracted kids that it’s ok, it’s perfectly normal to feel that way. And they oppose telling Christian kids that they should not condemn the perceived homosexuality in their classmates.

    You seem to agree with them.

    Anyone who has ever been a teen knows that sexual thoughts and feelings can be all over the map during adolescence. Homosexual feelings may be a normal part of maturing, but homosexuality is not a normative part of humanity as I and many others see it. As for condemning perceived gayness in classmates, no responsible adult I know would advocate such a thing.

  • Mary

    No. We can’t say with 100% assurance that all youth depression comes from bullying or guilt-trips. Some probably comes just from feeling “different”, from plain ol’ being a teenager, and from a host of other factors

    Many teenagers without support systems are going to suffer the symptoms of depression. This is not just a gay issue. Suicide is serious for any person who is depressed, lacking support, without resources to socialize etc…

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Yes, but gay men “magically” seem to have more of them to pass around. The figures don’t lie.

    I don’t disagree that some STDs are more prevalent in the gay community. I want to spread a message of responsible sexual ethics. You, on the other hand, want to pretend that STDs are somehow the result of being a gay person.

    I’m not the one making false claims here, Debbie. You said:

    It clearly promotes homosexuality as a healthy sexual alternative for youth, when there are a number of known health risks for homosexual behaviors.

    But that is a false statement. I’m going to ask you now to retract that false statement.

    All teen sex is dangerous. I see a concerted effort on the part of gay propagandists to downplay gay teen sex dangers.

    No you do not. The gay community is the one who WANTS TO talk about responsible sexual health. It is anti-gays who want the subject banned from campus.

    Have you EVER heard of a gay group opposing sex-ed? EVER??? Well, I’m sure you know of plenty of conservative Christian groups who do.

    So I’m going to ask you to now retract that false statement.

    Homosexual feelings may be a normal part of maturing, but homosexuality is not a normative part of humanity as I and many others see it.

    So because “you see it” as “not normative”, therefore your beliefs (which are based on no science whatsoever) get to trump they physical safety, mental health, and even lives of kids. That is disgusting.

    And you call yourself a Christian.

    As for condemning perceived gayness in classmates, no responsible adult I know would advocate such a thing.

    Really, Debbie? Really?

    I will make you a list if you agree to condemn them – no quibbling or making excuses. Deal? (warning… you may really not want to take me up on this)

  • Timothy Kincaid
    So what are you suggesting? Do you think that because same-sex attracted youth experience depression at higher rates then therefor anti-bullying programs should be banned?

    Why should I think such a thing????

    Okay, what WERE you suggesting?

  • Maazi NCO

    Towards the end of this genial visit,Bahati threatened to arrest Professor Sharlet if he came back to Uganda,on the grounds of promoting homosexuality.

    We only have Jeff Sharlet’s word for it and to be frank, I wouldn’t trust a word from the mouth of that man. Anything he says must be independently verified before they are regarded as the unimpeachable truth. For crying out loud, this is a man who claimed that our deep-seated antipathy towards gayism can be traced solely to a small band of white men who brainwashed us. (Apparently, we are all child-like simpletons unable to think for ourselves, hence the helping hand from white men of superior intelligence).

    And what he wanted to do was kill every last gay person. And this came up because he said,well,the death penalty may come out of it but, you know,democracy will bring it back

    I have my doubts as to whether MP David Bahati actually said what he has been accused of, especially after reading horrendous lies told in the Western media implying that Uganda was about to transform into the Third Reich and perform the final solution on sex deviants. Even up till now, there are several western media sources yet to retract the relatively recent hoax about the beheading of a pro-gay puppet commentator in Uganda. Having said that, regardless of Jeff Sharlet’s story, capital punishment is definitely off the Bahati Bill as there was sufficient domestic consensus against such extreme penalty long before Americans learned that Africa was not a “country” and that Kampala was not a small town in the State of Idaho. However, efforts to beat back western-choreographed gay activism within Uganda will remain in full swing without an inch of compromise. At the perfect time, new legislation will be brought forward to ban the promotion of sex crimes by local proxies of the Euro-American Gay Lobby.

  • David Blakeslee

    Trying to catch up…Thanks Ken and Timothy. There is a great video there also I would encourage people to see.

    INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE: I have worked with young men who were victims of emotional bullying and it has devastating consequences for these young men for years. Especially vulnerable are those with premorbid conditions of anxiety and depression. The bullying entrenches itself in the memory and the depressive ruminative process replays the verbal abuse over and over. They become highly anxious in novel social situations, fearing new people will similarly find some defect in them.

    So…gay, straight–doesn’t matter. Verbal abuse needs to be confronted.

    There has been bad science around gay suicide rates and that has undermined the argument for create safer school zones.

    Generally, the popular science around gay and lesbian identity is pretty shoddy, bad number of 10% persists, genetic argument weak at best, suicide link oversold early on.

    We should make the argument for safety and respect using accurate information.

    Suicide, generally, for adolescents is a leading cause of death, bullying (narcissistic disgust) should be actively condemned by caring adults and responsible peers.

  • Mary

    The gay community is the one who WANTS TO talk about responsible sexual health

    Sometimes it reads like this – Have sex with gay partners, use condoms, get checked, know your status, know your partner’s status.

    Really? Of course STD’s can get in to any population but sexual health discussions seem to be centered around how to avoid the prevalent diseases. No one denies that STD’s are high in the gay community. Sexual health discussions should also include choices of not having sex. Doesn’t always work – but that would maintain sexual health better than – regular trips to the clinic, condoms, and trsuting what your partners tell you . Although these things work also – just don’t seem to be working well enough.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    Yes, at times it does sound that way.

    I wish there was more cooperation between people of faith and the gay community to present a cohesive message of sexual responsibility to youth. Now, it mostly seems like a shouting match between one side screaming “not normal, abomination, evil” and the other side screaming “normal and healthy”.

    I think the discussions should emphasize waiting for maturity (both straight and gay) and then carefully considering ‘whether, who, and when’ with the input of family, faith, and community.

    But, sadly, I think that I may be a bit unrealistic. Lots of kids are having sex – lots of sex. And whle the vast majority of it is heterosexual, some is gay as well. So it would be irresponsible not to also give the “how to avoid the horrible things” talk as well.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to agree on the sexual responsibility message. One side is saying NEVER, EVER!! and it’s hard to counter that without sounding either overly permissive or agreeing with those who are shouting about abominations.

  • Mary

    What’s not normal and not healthy is going out and having risky sex – for anyone.

    Think of it this way “If I go out and have sex, my opportunity for getting an STD goes up because of my demographics and that I don’t use a condom, don’t follow up with my own health checks and don’t require the same from my partners. Yes, that sounds like a good idea.”

    Obviously it isn’t and yet it happens, again, and again. Some gay men are responsible. And yet, SOME is not a majority when STD’s are really a part of gay mens lives. Check the billboards in gay neighborhoods, the ads for clinic visits, use of condoms etc… While you do see it in the rest of culture ( btw, STD’s have skyrocketed for senior citizens since Viagra and other ED medications) there is still much more attention in the gay community because that’s where it happens. Neither campaign for abstinence or safe sex have worked. Neither.

    Insisting that it’s better to talk about safe sex over abstinence or abstinence over safe sex is blind and short sighted on both extremes.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    We could drag out studies of which results in fewer STDs and fewer teen pregnancies (a problem not much evident in the gay community), but I think that you and I have, for the most part, found agreement:

    A major issue which should be a bigger part of sex-ed should be an emphasis not on abstinence or on safe sex but on sexual responsibility: Wait until you are mature, Know the facts in advance (for both STDs and pregnancy), and make your Family, your Faith, and your Community an important part of the decision whether to have sex, with whom, and when.

    By the way, here’s a great piece by Anderson Cooper on the subject.

    Candi Cushman presented her argument (it’s homosexuality lessons in kindergarten) while the other two spent their time talking about what is effective methodology for preventing bullying.

  • Timothy Kincaid
  • Mary

    Timothy,

    Yes, people of all ages and demographics need to know that sex tonight (or whenever) can significantly change the course of their life.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Debbie –

    “These people” whom you seem to know so abundantly are not the face of evangelical Christianity, nor of the culture war. People who beat others with baseball bats are fringe lunatics.

    You didn’t view the video, did you? No, they’re not “Fringe Lunatics”, they’re people, good, decent people, who are scared and want to protect their families and children from the “Homosexual Agenda”.

    People who greeted a call for Gays to be banned from public office with a chorus of “AMEN!”. People who feel threatened.

    People who have been lied too, repeatedly, by those they trust.

    Please view the video. These people aren’t monsters. They’re not nutcases either. They’re just small-town Americans, with strong religious and moral convictions.

    People who have been shown deliberately mendacious videos like this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P5mmmpt_G8

    Videos paid for by well-funded groups, such as the Thomas More Legal Centre, the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, MassResistance… shall I go on?

  • David Blakeslee

    It has always bothered me that the sexual revolution deemphasized the quality of the caring in physical relationships.

    That residual value remains in the mechanics of discussing “safe sex.”

    Emotional maturity is difficult to asses…usually you only discover you have it after a crisis in a relationship…

    Delay of gratification is a key ingredient in maturity and a happy life. Simplifying it as “abstinence education,” is a distortion of what the message has been:

    wait…

    pick a person who would make a suitable mate

    pick a person who would make a good parent

    …this isn’t a sporting activity.

    It is interesting that Oregon has recently changed it’s driver’s requirements for 16 year olds to curb late driving, and other minors in the car. The adolescent brain is a neurological nightmare of risk-taking and ego and misperception of self and others.

    Wait…it will feel a lot better when your are older.

    Also of interest to me is how effective training in safe sex techniques are: since much of adolescent sex is secretive and opportunistic and impulsive (not to mention alcohol aided). It seems prone to poor execution of safe sex training.

  • David Blakeslee

    oops: assess, not asses. Freudian slip alert.

    :)

  • Jayhuck

    Wait…it will feel a lot better when your are older.

    Also of interest to me is how effective training in safe sex techniques are: since much of adolescent sex is secretive and opportunistic and impulsive (not to mention alcohol aided). It seems prone to poor execution of safe sex training.

    I agree there is value in abstinence and delaying gratification – However, as much as the adolescent brain may be wired for poor execution of safe sex training, it also seems to be wired to rebel – of course, adolescents are individuals and they won’t all respond to different messages the same way –

    Neither abstinence nor safe sex training are enough in of themselves – there needs to be a way to synthesize the two into one coherent message that adolescents are able to relate to – Adolescents will always be having sex – so it would behoove us to teach both

  • David Blakeslee

    here is where I make my argument that homosexual adolescent males need abstinence education…as MSM means twice the impulsivity…girls for the most part seem to moderate the impulsivity of adolescent men.

  • Jayhuck

    here is where I make my argument that homosexual adolescent males need abstinence education…as MSM means twice the impulsivity…girls for the most part seem to moderate the impulsivity of adolescent men.

    Seems like there might be some stereotyping going on here :)

    My point is – whether we are talking about gay or straight adolescents, no amount of abstinence education will stop them from having sex – might slow them down, might not, but it won’t stop the sex from being had. Which is why it would be nice to try a combination of the two messages – although after reading the posts from Tim and Mary above, their suggestions are a nice new way of trying to deal with the issue

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Yes, but gay men “magically” seem to have more of them to pass around. The figures don’t lie.

    Gay men are not the only minority group that may have higher rates of STDs – African American men and women also suffer from higher rates of some STDs – should schools teach that such groups are not healthy?

  • Jayhuck

    oops: assess, not asses. Freudian slip alert.

    You made my night…er, morning, David! ;)

  • Debbie Thurman

    “Are gay youths more at risk for depression and suicide? Can we say with 100 percent assurance (we can’t be rigid, now) that all gay youth depression comes from bullying or guilt-trips from their faith communities?”

    Now who is splitting hairs Debbie? Why does it matter if ALL gay suicides are caused by bullying or not? What if 0 % of gay suicides where caused by bullying would that make it okay to bully gay youth then? What’s the cut-off point for you Debbie? what percentage of suicides have to be cause by bullying before you are willing to say something needs to be done about it?

    Ken, this is rather like the “When did you stop beating your wife” question. I have NEVER said or suggested that bullying isn’t a real problem and that something needs to be done or that it was OK to bully gay kids. This it precisely the kind of intellectual (not) bullying I am reacting against.

    And Timothy, what I am suggesting is that gay youth depression is played up as almost exclusively from bullying and condemnation from Christians with nary a thought given to every individual’s own conscience (as I also discussed) and its role in ferreting out sinful thoughts or actions for which we condemn ourselves. Add to that the usual teen angst and developmental confusion over being different, and you have a predictable recipe, ALL things considered, for depression.

    One of the roles of the Church is to teach all sinners that “there is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Remember, that passage followed Paul’s discourse on his own sin nature: “Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from the body of this death?” You can find this all in Romans 7 and 8.

    It’s conviction (Holy Spirit) and not condemnation (Satan) we need.

  • Mary

    It has always bothered me that the sexual revolution deemphasized the quality of the caring in physical relationships

    Me too.

  • Mary

    Add to that the usual teen angst and developmental confusion over being different, and you have a predictable recipe, ALL things considered, for depression.

    Exactly. Teens from all branches of the culture are at risk because they are teens.

  • David Blakeslee

    Stereotyping, yes, about men; not homosexuals.

    I think the facts support this simplified conclusion.

  • David Blakeslee

    Suicide is, I believe, the second leading cause of adolescent death.

    Bullying (regardless of sexual orientation) likely is a contributor. Fragile self-esteem, over-reliance on the opinions of peers, mood instability, broken support systems and impulsiveness all contribute to elevated suicide levels.

    As gays and lesbians are overrepresented (per capita) in adult measures of hate crimes, like Jews for example, it is reasonable to assume that these rates are true of adolescents also.

    As gays (depression) and lesbians (substance abuse) appear to have higher rates of mental health concerns, these co-occuring conditions in some may make them especially vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and attempts.

    Warren and I, it seems like a long time ago, ran into research which suggested that adolescent females who were sexually active were much more likely to suffer clinical levels of depression. The same may be true of some gay men, so it is not just STD’s that can be avoided by “waiting.”

    We used this as a support for abstinence education.

  • Mary

    adolescent females who were sexually active were much more likely to suffer clinical levels of depression

    Which came first? The depression or the sexual activity?

  • David Blakeslee

    Who knows?

    All behavioral science involving humans finds correlations, not causation.

    Neurological theory associated with adolescent development and the pairing behavior of females suggests that early sexual experiences for women are less satisfying and more unstable. Such experiences could trigger depressive episodes in girls with genetic and environmental “loading” for depression.

    Body awareness for males is less necessary for sexual satisfaction in adolescence than it is for females.

    Adolescent girls seem more vulnerable to coercive sex (date rape) than adolescent boys.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    here is where I make my argument that homosexual adolescent males need abstinence education…as MSM means twice the impulsivity…girls for the most part seem to moderate the impulsivity of adolescent men.

    I think the facts support this simplified conclusion.

    David…

    This is a meme we’ve all heard before. But I’m not sure that it is bound in science.

    We do know that gay men’s brains are in some ways more similar to that of women than heterosexual men (navigation, for example), so it may well be that the impulse moderation instinct is there as well.

    And maybe not, as well. But I don’t think we should assume one way or the other.

    (Stereotyping alert:) I think that those outside the gay community assume that gay folk have no hesitation; ya wanna play, let’s do it! But those within know that often gay guys are FAR pickier in selecting partners than either straight women or straight men.

    I’ve seen an attitude among straight men that when they are horny and want a one-night hook-up, just about any woman will do. I don’t think you see that as much with gay guys. Just my observation.(stereotyping over)

  • Timothy Kincaid

    And Timothy, what I am suggesting is that gay youth depression is played up as almost exclusively from bullying and condemnation from Christians with nary a thought given to every individual’s own conscience (as I also discussed) and its role in ferreting out sinful thoughts or actions for which we condemn ourselves.

    Oh, so it’s the Holy Spirit that is driving gay kids to suicide?

    Wow, just wow.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Another exhibit from the Culture Wars:

    http://www.bilerico.com/2010/09/47323_1497572092628_1633910917_1209766_154427_n.jpg

    This from someone running for the State Senate, and president of the Big Sky Tea Party Association:

    Tim Ravndal: “Marriage is between a man and a woman period! By giving rights to those otherwise would be a violation of the constitution and my own rights”

    Kieth Baker: “How dare you exercise your First Amendment Rights?”

    Dennis Scranton: “I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.”

    Tim Ravndal: “@Kieth, OOPS I forgot this aint(sic) America no more! @ Dennis, Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?”

    Dennis Scranton: Should be able to get info Gazette archives. Maybe even an illustration. Go back a bit over ten years.”

    They’re the victims here you see. Their God-given right to lynch the ungodly is being infringed.

    Debbie, that may not be, in fact I really, really doubt it is, the Evangelical Christian viewpoint you’re familiar with. But I’d bet dollars to doughnuts you know some Evangelicals who think along those lines. Ask them. Ask if they feel that Christians are being persecuted by “The Gay Agenda”. Ask them if they believe in the literal admonition that when it comes to gays, “their deaths will be upon them”, with no-one to blame but themselves if they end up strung up somewhere.

    It’s the public face of Evangelical Christianity, whether accurate or not.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    For those who didn’t get the reference, “hanging fruits where they can be seen” in Wyoming is a reference to Matthew Shepard who was beaten and left hanging on a fence in Laramie.

  • Mary

    Yes, it is disgusting that people make such nuances to a violent crime! Disgusting!

  • David Blakeslee

    wretch.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Ask them if they believe in the literal admonition that when it comes to gays, “their deaths will be upon them”, with no-one to blame but themselves if they end up strung up somewhere.

    It’s the public face of Evangelical Christianity, whether accurate or not.

    It is on Planet Zoe. Did you stop to think about how that “face” could be both public and inaccurate? That’s an oxymoron. Do you mean improper or heinous?

  • Debbie Thurman

    Oh, so it’s the Holy Spirit that is driving gay kids to suicide?

    No, Timothy. It’s the devil. The one who condemns. Conviction leads to repentance which leads to transformation. I thought your church upbringing would have taught you that.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ohhhhh,

    So the Holy Spirit convicts kids of “sinful thoughts or actions” due to their “conscience, an inner gyroscope, that has to weigh good and evil”.

    And then, after the Holy Spirit convicts, then Satan condemns. And it is not the convicting of the Holy Spirit but the condemning of Satan that leads to depression and death.

    Viola, no guilt at all is put on the other kids who were tormenting them. It’s all God and Satan and your hands are clean.

  • Debbie Thurman

    And then, after the Holy Spirit convicts, then Satan condemns. And it is not the convicting of the Holy Spirit but the condemning of Satan that leads to depression and death.

    Timothy, go learn some Theology 101 and then come back.

  • Evan

    No, TK, devil is in your brain. He can put bad thoughts into your brain and you wouldn’t know it unless… you’re on the good side.

    It’s got nothing to do with some people’s being more vulnerable to stress, genes and all that. It’s the Devil…..

    So if I say that I’m going to have a few beers with a few devils in a few minutes, I cannot be delusional, because it’s just my beliefs & stuff. ;)

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    You are excusing the bullying of children by pretending that their depression is not the result of outside forces but is instead due to their conscience and their awareness of their “sinful thoughts or actions”.

    Your contention is a gross perversion of Christian theology.

  • Debbie Thurman

    You are excusing the bullying of children by pretending that their depression is not the result of outside forces but is instead due to their conscience and their awareness of their “sinful thoughts or actions”.

    Good grief! I am saying (go reread my earlier comments) that outside forces do not cause all depression. Some is situational. Some is not. Some people are depression-prone because of their temperaments and some have biological factors.

    Bullying is rough on any kid, but not all who suffer from it will be suicidally depressed. Some will fight back. And I can present myself as exhibit A for an illustration of someone who was severely depressed over the course of a decade of my life because of my own internal guilt meter. Destructive condemnation became life-changing conviction when I got my head on straight and realized I was forgiven and created in the holy image of God.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Sorry, Debbie.

    But now that you are backed into a corner you don’t get to dance around pretending you didn’t say what you said.

    You are seeking to excuse bullying. It’s just that simple.

    All this talkety-talk is a smoke-screen that isn’t fooling anyone.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    By the way, Debbie, I’ve noticed that you are content in talking in real and physical terms until you’re argument ceases to hold up, at which time you suddenly decide that the conversation is about theological principals and all of a sudden you are using spiritual terms and doctrinal positions to argue real-world issues.

    That’s when I know that you know that you’re wrong.

  • Debbie Thurman

    You are a tad delusional, Timothy. Sorry.

  • Mary

    No offense you guys but your back and forth is getting tiresome. Debbie, Timothy does not agree with your theology irregardless if he were to take theology 101 – I suspect you mean Debbie’s theology 101. Timothy why are you argueing with someone who wants you to only understand their perspective?

  • Jayhuck

    You are a tad delusional, Timothy. Sorry.

    Wow – bad response! Surely you can come up with something better Debbie

  • Debbie Thurman

    Jayhuck, Timothy believes I am “backed into a corner” and that my argument “ceases to hold up.” I think he just wants to bait, so he throws this stuff out. And you are right, Mary. This discussion has grown tiresome because it no longer is what all discussions should be — people examining an issue from all angles (giving their perspectives) in order to arrive at some conclusions.

    Timothy, for you to accuse me of seeking to excuse bullying is beyond the pale. I do nothing of the sort, and that is evident to those who actually read my comments.

    This is an evangelical Christian’s blog, lest anyone forget. It is completely within its the character of a blog that discusses “religious issues” to include references to theology. If you don’t like that, take it up with Warren and have him change the blog’s focus.

    I am done with this “discussion” that isn’t.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    I think you are completely missing Timothy’s point Debbie, but I will agree its probably time to end this fruitless discussion

  • Mary

    Point out: Debbie does not support bullying of any kind. Timothy was trying to take her words and twist her words into some anti-gay whatever. Niether one wanted to listen nor understand the other.

  • hazemyth

    Opposing bullying and supporting anti-bullying programs is incongruent with the message that “homosexuality is unhealthy”. The rates of STD’s, depression and drug abuse in the gay population are a important issues — in other forums. These facts help anchor education concerning risk prevention and treatment. Characterizing homosexuality on the basis of these rates is reductive and not factually precise. It stigmatizes homosexuality, which is contrary to the entire point of anti-bullying programs. Doing so to dissuade people from homosexuality is morally irresponsible.

  • David Blakeslee

    To think about it another way:

    Martin Sempa might feel guilty and ashamed for his anti-homosexuality bill. That guilt could be from the Holy Spirit (conviction of sin). However, Mr. Sempa might feel disgusted with his very person and wish that he would be dead…(not a wish of God/the Holy Spirit).

    Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” For Christians, the Holy Spirit adds to our own self examination.

    Bullies are less like the Holy Spirit, and more like Satan (who is referred to as the Accuser). They mean to humiliate and ostracize and demean. They are usually sadistically driven.

    Just as Jesus protects us from our Accuser, Satan; Christians should protect all victims from all bullies.

  • Mary

    Opposing bullying and supporting anti-bullying programs is incongruent with the message that “homosexuality is unhealthy”. The rates of STD’s, depression and drug abuse in the gay population are a important issues — in other forums

    If the discussion is opened up to the consequences of sexual activity – hetero or homosexuality – then it is absolutely correct to discuss the occurence of depression, STD’s etc… that may accompany those activities. Eliminating the full discussion from “The Forum” misrepresents the discussion.

    Just as Jesus protects us from our Accuser, Satan; Christians should protect all victims from all bullies.

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jayhuck

    I don’t think Tim was twisting her words – he was trying to call her on them – there’s a difference

  • Mary

    I don’t think

    I know. We disagree.

  • hazemyth

    Mary:

    I just meant that these things are not relevant relevant to anti-bullying programs (the forum in question). Sorry, that was not very clear.

  • David Blakeslee

    It think it is counterproductive to the goal of this blog to look at the words of a participant and then infer their motives.

    Struggling with the vagueness associated with short postings and asking for clarification and exploring the meaning seems the most respectful.

    This is a two dimensional contact place for all of us, we can’t see body language, eye contact or hear tone of voice. Furthermore, we don’t see the rest of each other’s lives to see how various accusations about their motives stack up against their character in general.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Timothy, for you to accuse me of seeking to excuse bullying is beyond the pale. I do nothing of the sort, and that is evident to those who actually read my comments.

    Okay, Debbie… we’ll let your comments speak for themselves. I reread them sequentially and found them illustrative.

  • David Blakeslee

    Timothy,

    Cryptic.

  • David Blakeslee

    To Zoe and Timothy regarding your earlier post (very helpful); it appears that the Head of the Tea Party had to resign his position, even after he apologized:

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/sep/07/mt-tea-party-removes-leader-after-anti-gay-post/

    Good news, still wretched behavior


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