By Laurie Higgins, Director of IFI's DSA - Illinois Family Institute
Although the experience of being slandered over the past couple of weeks has
been painful, the reason I'm writing about it has nothing to do with my
feelings. My experience is, unfortunately, not unique. All over the country,
those who publicly affirm conservative beliefs about homosexuality with the same
conviction that supporters of subversive views of homosexuality affirm theirs
will experience "the wrath of the tolerant" in the form of lies, obscenities,
name-calling, or worse.
It's important that people be prepared for the
hostility and deceit they will encounter if they speak publicly and resolutely
about homosexuality. My hope is that conservatives will neither allow this kind
of hostility to silence them, nor allow it to embitter them. We desperately need
more courageous conservatives who will speak the truth graciously as Miss
California, Carrie Prejean, recently did, even if it results in being
publicly called scurrilous names.
Recently I wrote an article in which
made several unambiguous statements regarding bullying, which were then twisted
beyond recognition by homosexual blogger Timothy Kincaid:
1) I said that name-calling is deplorable and should stop; Mr. Kincaid says I
approve of such name-calling.
2) I wrote that all are created in the likeness and image of God; Mr. Kincaid
says I think it's okay to "push gaykids into lockers, beat them up, threaten
them, and subject them to a constant barrage of insults."
3) I wrote that I have never bullied a homosexual teen or endorsed such
despicable behavior; Mr. Kincaid says "Laurie finds it reasonable . . . to
torment gay kids . . . with taunts of 'faggot' and to physically abuse and
threaten them. Because in her world Christians are required to 'condemn'
objectionable behavior - which means public derision and abuse."
4) I wrote that no conditions, volitional or non-volitional, including
homosexuality, diminish the pleasure I take in people's company or my respect
for their myriad good qualities; Mr. Kincaid says that "To Laurie, Christian
students should show contempt and disgust and derision. It is a good thing to
abuse their fellow students that they think might be gay. It's the Christian
thing to do."
5) I wrote that schools must work to end bullying; Mr. Kincaid says I think
nothing of the deaths of children.
IFI and over twenty other
pro-family organizations opposed the exploitation of the classroom for the Day
of Silence political protest. Somehow supporters of the Day of Silence persist
in making the absurd claim that anyone who opposes classroom silence supports
bullying. They are saying that unless you support their particular
endeavor to curb bullying, you support bullying. That sounds rather like
blackmail to me: Either adopt or acquiesce to their particular disruptive plan
for combating bullying, or they will publicly vilify and lie about you. GLSEN has been remarkably successful in
duping school administrators, teachers, parents, and the public at large into
believing that the only way to prove that one opposes bullying is to
support student vows of silence during instructional time.
vows of silence are not the only way or an appropriate way to combat bullying.
And GLSEN is not the organization whose anti-bullying efforts public schools
should adopt. GLSEN has a well-known socio-political agenda that is woven into
all their public school efforts, including the Day of Silence. Integral to that
agenda is the goal of undermining moral opposition to homosexual behavior. But I
will let Mr. Kincaid make that case in his own words. Here is what he wrote on
"This is why they fight so hard against the Day of Silence and
Gay-Straight Alliances. Not because of sex, but because these groups help counter the culture of disapproval and
Here Kincaid acknowledges precisely
what I've said: Day of Silence and gay-straight alliances seek to end bullying
by transforming disapproval of homosexuality into approval.
organizations like GLSEN, the goals of ending bullying and normalizing
homosexuality are indissolubly linked. They refuse to decouple them. In their
view, statements of moral disapproval of homosexual acts are tantamount to
bullying. Already schools expend an inordinate amount of time and money on
illegitimate efforts to equate homosexuality to race and biological sex, and to
persuade children and teens that homosexual behavior is morally equivalent to
heterosexual behavior. These claims are neither factual nor true. Moreover, it
is not the business of schools to advance them.
Despite Mr. Kincaid's
dishonest efforts to demonize me and mischaracterize the Walkout, many people
still possess sufficient common sense to realize there are ways to go about
curbing bullying that don't involve intrusive classroom vows of silence or
affirmation of behavior that many find immoral. And despite Mr. Kincaid's
protestations to the contrary, many people who oppose the exploitation of the
classroom also care deeply about the suffering of bullied children. In fact, it
might surprise Mr. Kincaid to learn that many teachers who hold politically
left-of-center beliefs and who detest bullying as much as Mr. Kincaid and I do
also dislike the Day of Silence. They dislike it because the best teachers want
to teach the subject matter for which they were hired to teach without the
distraction and disruption of classroom political protests.
have anti-bullying policies and the vast majority enforces them. But no policy
and no curricula can prevent all bullying. And the fact that kids are
still bullied is certainly not evidence that vows of classroom silence are
needed. We should look for better means for combating bullying, but GLSEN offers
In a recent interview, I made the statement that virtually all
schools have ample anti-bullying policies, a statement with which Professor
Warren Throckmorton disagrees . He sees the recent suicides of Carl
Walker-Hoover, Jaheem Herrera, and Eric Mohat, three young
boys who could not endure another day of relentless, senseless ridicule at the
hands of peers, as evidence that schools lack sufficient anti-bullying policy. I
and many others hope their tragic suicides will result in better solutions to
the seemingly intractable problem of bullying. But their deaths tell us
precisely nothing about the appropriateness or efficacy of classroom vows of
The fact that bullying persists may have nothing to do with the
content or implementation of school policy or curricula. The cause of the
problem may be the diminishing influence of faith and the growth of family
dysfunction. The problem may be that splintered families create hurt and anger
in children who look for vulnerable peers upon whom to unleash their anger. The
problem may be that there are too few intact families raising children with
authentic Christian beliefs. It is Scripture that would teach children to love
their neighbors as themselves, and to know right from wrong. It is also
Scripture that would teach kids who experience same-sex attraction that they are
no different from those who experience other sinful desires and that they too
are of infinite value to God. It is Scripture that would teach them God's design
for sexuality and that Jesus Christ offers freedom and hope.
course, isn't the business of public schools. Nor is it the business of public
schools to promulgate to children the bleakly deterministic, arguable theory
that homosexuality is inherent and immutable, or the non-factual belief that
homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality.
There is no
evidence of which I'm aware that suggests that compassionate, intelligent
expositions of conservative views of homosexuality are the cause of either
hatred or violence. Rather, it is ignorant, hate-filled, deceitful rhetoric that
fuels ignorant, hateful bullying. It's rhetoric not unlike that used by Timothy
Kincaid that spawns ignorance, hatred, and violence.