As we all know, bullying has been getting a lot of media attention as of late. Horrible stories of children being beaten, verbally abused and openly humiliated by their peers are making headline news. And it’s about friggin’ time in my opinion. Adults around the country are horrified by these stories and condemn them openly – you’d be a monster not to, right?. Apparently however, The Christian right has identified a group of kids and young adults who have it coming.
Today, students across the country will take a vow of silence to protest anti-gay bullying and harassment in schools. The Day of Silence, an annual event organized by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), is meant to draw attention to the "silencing effects" of anti-gay harassment and name-calling in schools and to be a way for students to show their solidarity with students who have been bullied.
But thank God for the religious right for being the voice of reason. Not only are the protesting the Day of Silence, they are calling for boycotts on schools that are allowing students to participate. The most egregious of them all, “Focus on the Family”, launched a counter-attack called "Day of Dialougue". This “social awareness” event tells students to tell their classmates “what the Bible really says”. They have actually designed “conversation cards” to arm these students against the big bad gay kids and even their gay-perceived peers. I hate those effeminate little punks, being all "well-dressed" and such. It's an affront to God I tell you.
The "Day of Dialogue," with its playful logo and friendly marketing materials is meant to help "people who messed up sexually." per Jeff Johnston, an “ex-gay” activist. Candi Chushman, FOTF education analyst calls it “homosexuality lessons”. They are also claiming that these anti-gay bullying events are actually a form of undercover “homosexual indoctrination”. Those gays are so sneaky! They’ve been after me for years with their so-called messages of “love” and “tolerance”. Bastards.
Another absurd claim these activists often add is that anti-bullying programs that include the recognition of anti-gay bullying amount to "special rights" for LGBT students, leading to what Cushman calls "reverse discrimination" against Christian students. Um, so they should be bullied just as much as the God-abiding straight kids? One of the organization’s leaders went so far as to say anti-gay bullying programs are a "homo-fascist tactic to stifle any dissent". Homo-fascist. Yikes.
In order to protect their little homophobe prodigies with baseball bats, religious right leaders have claimed that the gay rights movement, and young gay people themselves, are responsible for anti-gay harassment and the high suicide rate among gay youth. According to The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, gay teens may be led to suicide because they "recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal." Surely it can’t be the endless harassment and constant humiliation from their peers and religious fanatics.
That would be just silly.