The culprit is obvious

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the school district in Minnesota where the religious right has been working hard to keep LGBT students/teachers under thumb and the teen suicides that have come as a result.

At the close of the seven-month-long sex-ed review, Anderson and her colleagues wrote a memo to the Anoka-Hennepin school board, concluding, “The majority of parents do not wish to have there [sic] children taught that the gay lifestyle is a normal acceptable alternative.” Surprisingly, the six-member board voted to adopt the measure by a four-to-two majority, even borrowing the memo’s language to fashion the resulting districtwide policy, which pronounced that within the health curriculum, “homosexuality not be taught/addressed as a normal, valid lifestyle.”

It’s rather curious, isn’t it?  Anytime you hear of somebody with no background in the field thinking they know better than the experts, you can almost always detect the conspicuous and fetid odor of people contaminated by religion.  Often it’s thinking they know more than biologists or cosmologists.  Not quite as frequently comes the thinking that they know more than the battery of the best psychologists in the world.  In this case, the conflict comes with thinking homosexuality is somehow sinister even though the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association say otherwise.  It’s ok, the believers have the scribblings of some ancient goat herders, and that’s plenty good enough by them.

For a religion that praises humility, Christianity seems unchallenged in its ability to produce arrogance that would make Kanye West blush.

In April, Justin came home from school and found his mother at the top of the stairs, tending to the saltwater fish tank. “Mom,” he said tentatively, “a kid told me at school today I’m gonna go to hell because I’m gay.”

“That’s not true. God loves everybody,” his mom replied. “That kid needs to go home and read his Bible.”


Upon reading his bible the student will have discovered a definition of love so twisted it becomes indistinguishable from hate and he will have read commands from god ordering gays killed.  The bible is not the antidote, it’s the poison.  Combined with an uncritical mind it is a manual to madness.

“The lawyers said, ‘You’d have a hard time defending it,’” remembers Scott Wenzel, a board member who for years had pushed colleagues to abolish the policy. “It was clear that it might risk a lawsuit.” But while board members agreed that such an overtly anti-gay policy needed to be scrapped, they also agreed that some guideline was needed to not only help teachers navigate a topic as inflammatory as homosexuality but to appease the area’s evangelical activists.


God dammit, these enablers are part of the problem.  It’s bad enough that people claiming to know the will of god place biblical nonsense above compassion in terms of importance.  It’s worse when people fear angering them.  I even hear it from atheists how we must appease the believers, how we must make nice to keep them on our side.

We have played nice with the deeply religious for centuries.  We have tried the tactic of being nice and hoping they come around to some semblance of reason on their own.  It doesn’t work.  We need not treat these people like they are allies of humanity who must be placated.  It doesn’t matter if they claim to be hearing god’s voice, if their policies conflict with the well-being of other human beings then they should be told to go straight to hell.  Nothing else.  No amount of displeased noise from these people trumps the equality of even one other person.

If what they believe is true, we are ferrying people to hell.  We are throwing people into a pit of suffering every time we help someone escape faith in Jesus, and we are giggling the whole time.  You cannot expect a group of people who believe in hell to ever treat us as anything other than villains, let alone allies.  If what they believe is true, we are the bad guys.  We should not make the maintenance of their beliefs comfortable – we should make it so that they are constantly reminded why they are wrong about heaven and hell lest the thought not occur to them otherwise.

Anti-gay backlash was instant. Minnesota Family Council president Tom Prichard blogged that Justin’s suicide could only be blamed upon one thing: his gayness. “Youth who embrace homosexuality are at greater risk [of suicide], because they’ve embraced an unhealthy sexual identity and lifestyle,” Prichard wrote. Anoka-Hennepin conservatives formally organized into the Parents Action League, declaring opposition to the “radical homosexual” agenda in schools. Its stated goals, advertised on its website, included promoting Day of Truth, providing resources for students “seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle,” supporting the neutrality policy and targeting “pro-gay activist teachers who fail to abide by district policies.”

He notes that gay teens are at greater risk for suicide but concludes it must be the gayness.  It couldn’t be the atmosphere of antagonism and deprivation of protection in Prichard’s eyes.  No, no, people like Prichard are orchestrating the hellish misery of teens in an effort to help them escape misery.  How could the suicides in any way be their fault when they’re trying to help?

It’s the demonizing them and protecting the bullies at fault you fucking monster!

Asked on a radio program whether the anti-gay agenda of her ilk bore any responsibility for the bullying and suicides, Barb Anderson, co-author of the original “No Homo Promo,” held fast to her principles, blaming pro-gay groups for the tragedies. She explained that such “child corruption” agencies allow “quote-unquote gay kids” to wrongly feel legitimized. “And then these kids are locked into a lifestyle with their choices limited, and many times this can be disastrous to them as they get into the behavior which leads to disease and death,” Anderson said. She added that if LGBT kids weren’t encouraged to come out of the closet in the first place, they wouldn’t be in a position to be bullied.

Corruption?  Corruption?!

You want to talk about obvious corruption?  This article says nothing about Barb Anderson’s religion.  It talks about her hair color, her age, and a few other superfluities.  But just from her hateful, anti-human comments alone, is there any question that virtually anybody in America would find it fantastically easy to ascertain her religion?

This is how fully Christianity is married to hate.  They are so interlocked that whenever you see groups of people treating gay people as less than human the stench of faith is so thick you could choke on it.

Many will say that these people aren’t true representatives of the faith, to which I say horseshit.  The problem isn’t that these people get Christianity wrong, the problem is that they get reason wrong – a crime of which liberal Christians are equally guilty.

As an attempt to save the reputation of Christianity, others will say that the maniacs of faith are a very small number, merely a caricature of something greater.  Yet here they are in power either lording their numbers over the liberal Christians or getting their way while the majority of liberal Christians provide endorsement through their silence.  In neither case is Christianity rescued.

I just…fuck.  Those kids didn’t have to die.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Aoife

    …fuck. Those kids didn’t have to die.

    That’s it, isn’t it? The idea that there’s some principle more important than saving kids’ lives. I don’t get it. I never will. And it fucking guts me that this is continuing.

    • Cubist

      That’s just it: Saving people from eternal torture in Hell itself is obviously a goal that outweighs any amount of temporary discomfort in this fallen world of ours. Because whatever happens in this fallen world, it eventually ends, but the tortures of Hell just keep right on going, forever and ever, agonies without end, Amen.
      So if you believe in Hell… and these fucknozzles clearly do… you should be doing everything in your power to make gay kids stop being gay. Because their gayness will land them in Hell for all eternity. And if you only end up hounding gay kids to the point of suicide, well, that’s unfortunate, but at least you tried to make a difference for the better, right?

      • Rory

        It’s funny how religion so often justifies horrible things in the name of the greater good. And by funny, I mean, horrifying.

      • NotAProphet

        Then your best efforts to cure them results in them taking their own life, which automatically precludes them from entering the kingdom of heaven, aw shucks!

        • Cubist

          Those dirthyfilthy gay kids were already Hellbound, regardless of what any Christian(s) may have done or not done to them. This being the case, it follows that even if actions taken by Christians ended up driving said dirthyfilthy gay kids to suicide, those Christians cannot be assigned any blame for the dirtyfilthy gay kids’ suicide and subsequent residence in Hell. Because if tormenting those dirtyfilthy gay kids had made them stop being gay, that would have saved those dirtyfilthy gay kids from Hell Itself!! I mean, seriously, don’t you want to save people from Hell itself?? And even if the dirtyfilthy gay kids do end up killing themselves because of the torment, well, that didn’t change anything, now did it? The dirtyfilthy gay kids were Hellbound before; they were Hellbound after. What’s the difference?
          Why do you hateful Godless parasites want to condemn good, devout, upstanding Christians for well-intentioned acts which just didn’t happen to make any actual difference to anything?

  • Glodson

    I read this story earlier in the week, and I still cry when I think too much about it. And I get really angry. It is sickening.

    Sometimes, there’s just no words for this evil shit.

  • Drew Whalen

    Evil. The whole affair is abominable. I also read that story a few days ago, and I openly wept for those children. I don’t want to be filled with hate, anguish, and rage, but these people make me physically ill with those feelings. I wish I had the means to assist the children at Anoka-Hennepin, they have enemies on all sides there.

    You said it best, JT. Those kids didn’t have to die…

  • Yellow Thursday

    She added that if LGBT kids weren’t encouraged to come out of the closet in the first place, they wouldn’t be in a position to be bullied.

    Yeah, because we know that only kids who announce that they’re gay get bullied. This isn’t even facepalm-worthy any more.

  • John Eberhard

    Good example of ideology taking precedence over compassion and humanity.

    Those smug, evil, self-righteous bastards.

  • Makoto

    If that isn’t victim blaming of the highest order, I don’t know what is.

  • Johnnykaje

    Child celebrity on a softly-lit background:

    “Did you know that if your child is indoctrinated into evangelical Christianity, the chances that your child will induce suicide in others nearly triples?”

    Another celebrity:

    “You should sit down with your kids and talk to them about reason and superstition. Before it’s too late!”

    (title card comes up)

    Parents: My Anti-Religion.

  • Tyrant of Skepsis

    What makes me despair even more with these people is that they have this Orwellian notion that their hate is actually love. If you let them, they will forcibly “cure” a gay person until they commit suicide, like Alan Turing, and then congratulate themselves for being so loving and caring.

  • Mark

    No, the Bible is not the antidote, but it is not the poison either. It is the diagnosis and the prescription.

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12,13

    • Forbidden Snowflake

      Working up a froth over “homosexual offenders” while giving child-molester barely a vague non-mention with “the sexually immoral”… Great priorities. What a small-minded hater this god of yours is.

      • Mark

        I assume you are referring to the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, but Jesus has some strong words in that regard:

        “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”
        Mark 9:42, Matthew 18:6, Luke 17:2

        • Forbidden Snowflake

          The Catholic church isn’t the only religious institution to cover up sexual crimes against children. No, I’m referring to the fact that “god”, in you quote, doesn’t bother to explicitly condemn child molestation while condemning a harmless behavior such as homosexuality, which leads me to the conclusion that his sense of morality is all skewed and twisted.

          The quote in your last comment appears to be dealing with actions that make a child lose her or his faith, not forbidding child abuse in general. So nice try, but no.

        • NotAProphet

          Does that mean it’s ok to abuse kids who do not believe?

    • Tyrant of Skepsis

      There is not so much against gays in the NT anyways. As you surely know better than me, it’s the OT where all the good stuff is. You have to do a major amount of cherry picking to remove the poison from your bible. Unfortunately, large portions of the American public pick entirely different cherries than you do.

      • Mark

        Jesus said:

        “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17, 18

        Paul explains the function of the law:

        “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:22-25

        • Tyrant of Skepsis

          Oh cool, do I understand this correctly, the OT is compeletely obselete? Can you explain that to all the fundies please?

        • NotAProphet

          Ooh biblequotes! I can do those:

          “If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbours wife.”
          Deuteronomy 22:23-24

          So see, it’s the rape victim’s fault too, and they get to not only be raped, but also killed for it!

          God is love right?

        • christdenier

          Uh, wrong, Mark. Paul was an opportunistic asshole, who misconstrued and bastardized Jesus words. Pay attention to Matthew’s words (even though Matthew, like Ye’shua, probably never existed, either):

          “….until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law…..”

          The ending of heaven and earth did not occur with Jesus death, and therefore, the “Law” is still applicable. Therefore, according to Christianity, the proscriptions against homosexuality in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are still valid.

          The 18th annual Apologetics Conference in Charlotte was full of the same crap you’re peddling here.

          You people absolutely fucking bewilder me.

    • ‘Tis Himself, OM

      So the Bible thinks it’s all good for homophobic bullies to beat up and harass gay children. Thanks for explaining, Mark. Now I have another reason to know how poisonous Christianity is.

  • Drakk

    I don’t recall the last time I read a post by JT that ended in an unrestrained emotional outburst.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been in such full agreement either.

    Fuck them.

  • passerby

    I always find it sickening that these people can let a kid get bullied and tortured until he snaps, and they say that he deserved to die because of who he/she loved, then go on to say that their torture was an act of kindness.

    Fuck That.

  • Jaime

    The fit survive, the weak perish.

    • Aquaria

      Fuck of sociopathic slime.

  • WMDKitty

    I tried to read the article, and I could only get through two pages before I just had to put it down and go find the cat.

  • MandaSauce

    I linked to this post on my Facebook and was inundated with people complaining about the tone and how ‘hateful’ JT was being towards Christianity. Missing the point much? It was incredibly frustrating for that to be the main thing they took away from the article.