Microaggression and macroaggression »« Apples but not bananas? What about pineapples?

Mandatory bullying in the schools

Sometimes the ugliness is just suffocating, and also hard to believe.

Take a good idea…

On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to.

The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500 schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying.

And it would also teach children some useful things – such as, that you don’t have to eat lunch with the same people every single day; that it can be interesting and fun to get to know different people; that it can be a nuisance to have to spend time around people you don’t like but that it’s going to happen anyway and you might as well get used to it and practice being civil about it.

But nooooooooooooooo – the theocrats don’t think so.

But this year, the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” and is urging parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 30, the day most of the schools plan to participate this year.

What the fuck?

Why, because everybody outside your own tight little clique is (because outside your own tight little clique) one of them there HoMoSeckShuals? And eating lunch with them is “promoting” their “lifestyle”?

Ugly ugly ugly.

“I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is,” said Maureen Costello, the director of the center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program. “It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”

A tactic for the sake of what? What does not sitting with different people at lunch get them? What is that I don’t even.

Well it’s because the SPLC recently added the AFA to its list of hate groups. (Gee, I wonder why.)

“The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the association. “We tell the truth about homosexual behavior.”

Although the suggested activities for Mix It Up at Lunch Day do not expressly address gay and lesbian students, the law center itself promotes equal treatment for gays and lesbians and that philosophy then informs the school program, he said.

“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Mr. Fischer said. “It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”

Who believe that? Or who inflict that (baseless, nasty, hatey) belief on students they take to be HoMoSeckShuals. If the students are telling other students that they should not be normalized, then they’re bullying.

Parents who are on the American Family Association e-mail list were encouraged to keep their children home on that day and to call school administrators to tell them why.

Horrible, harm-doing, malevolent people. Bullying for Jeezis.

Comments

  1. Acolyte of Sagan says

    No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”

    The perfect lesson in how to contradict oneself within the space of one sentence. Why didn’t he just say what he was clearly thinking “Us Christians believe that people shouldn’t be bullied. We don’t believe people should be gay. Ergo: Gays are not people and so can be bullied”?
    Dipshit!

  2. smrnda says

    A problem is that they can’t just accept that not everybody feels inclined to respect the dictates of their dusty old holy book. Christians can’t just shut up, mind their own business and let GLBT people exist without having to remind them of what “God’s word” says about their supposed lifestyle (as if anyone cared, or as if anybody doesn’t already know or couldn’t find out.)

    Manners and decency just don’t exist with Christians. They cannot accept that people don’t care what they have to say.

  3. Emily Isalwaysright says

    Acolyte, I read it more as “no one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for *JUST ANY* reason . . .” ie. bullying is OK so long as done for “good reason.” Like to punish people for being gay.

    Which is even more disgusting when you think about how many people commit suicide in later life (or even as teens) as (at least partly) a result of being bullied in school. I bet they wouldn’t have too many qualms about encouraging suicide: they probably think, “well, they’re going to hell anyway.”

  4. Emily Isalwaysright says

    Smrnda, I think this is unfair: “Manners and decency just don’t exist with Christians.”

    And if only this were true: “They cannot accept that people don’t care what they have to say.” TOO MANY people DO care what they have to say.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    … Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.

    They, and Fischer, prefer to have The Gay abnormalized, by which they mean whatever the hell they want it to mean.

  6. Rob says

    So for these people Lunch Day is all about promoting Gayness as opposed to a jock sitting with a nerd or the popular girls sitting with the goth girl etc etc?

    Just how sad are they? How terrified of life are they?

  7. Rodney Nelson says

    “Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Mr. Fischer said. “It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda.

    Someone complaining his followers can’t bully homosexuals. What an odious person.

  8. AsqJames says

    So for these people Lunch Day is all about promoting Gayness as opposed to a jock sitting with a nerd or the popular girls sitting with the goth girl etc etc?

    The more interesting question is why they didn’t see it as an opportunity to proseltise. If your faith is strong and you know the TRUTH, it can’t hurt to have lunch with a sinner once a year and witness to them surely?

  9. mildlymagnificent says

    The more interesting question is why they didn’t see it as an opportunity to proselytise. If your faith is strong and you know the TRUTH, it can’t hurt to have lunch with a sinner once a year and witness to them surely?

    Oh, I think their faith is so strong it’s like cast iron. Strong, heavy to lug around all day, but so brittle it shatters if you knock it the wrong way.

  10. says

    Apropos of this, and the Amanda Todd business: today just happens to be the first anniversary of the death of James Hubley, a teenager in my area who was bullied to death for being gay (don’t call it suicide — put the *all* the blame where it belongs). He made the news partly because he was the son of my city councilor. Also: Parliament just reconvened — and is promising to study the issue of school bullying. As James’ father Alex said: we’ve studied it enough; we know what to do improve the situation; just do it already.

  11. LeftSidePositive says

    I listen to these conservatives talking and somehow all I can hear is that Mitchell and Webb bit and I keep wondering when they’ll ask…”are we the baddies?”

  12. ckitching says

    “We need to be able to bully gay kids into self-annihilation, because when we suggest executing or otherwise brutally punishing them, people look at us as if we’re the monsters!

  13. mikee says

    My condolences to the Americans reading this. Your country is wonderful in so many ways but the prominence that these sorts of minority bigoted morons seem to gain in your country just outright depresses me. I can’t believe people could be so twisted as to take such a great idea and use it to sow bigotry and hate.

  14. Paul W., OM says

    Let’s not overemphasize the homophobic motivations behind this, even if they do because faggots are the easiest target.

    This is also about social enforcement of other important norms, like slut-shaming, beating up hippies or goths or the freaks du jour, ostracizing uppity nerds and arty types–and all the other ways that boring unremarkable people maintain status by putting anyone they can down.

    These people are right-wing authoritarians, and homophobia is only a small, highly visible part of that.

    They are not wrong to be afraid of anti-bullying measures. Many of them do benefit from bullying, and a more egalitarian scheme with meritocratic consequences would push them down the ladder.

  15. eric says

    Smrnda @3:

    Christians can’t just shut up, mind their own business and let GLBT people exist without having to remind them of what “God’s word” says about their supposed lifestyle.

    Well, a lot of them can. But a vocal minority subscribe to Ambrose Bierce’s definition of Christian: “CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.”

    Though I think the motivation here is a lot simpler and more tribal. I.e., the SPLC supports it, so the AFA must object to it. Doesn’t matter if they might otherwise agree with the concept (it seems to me that young evangelists might like an excuse to sit next to new people); tribal loyalty trumps content.

  16. sheila says

    I can’t remember where I read it, but I’m sure I read somewhere that one of the main reasons that people stop being lockstep, right-wing, fundamentalists is they actually meet gay people who aren’t paedophiles or atheists who don’t eat babies etc. etc.

    So Mix It Up at Lunch Day would be a real threat to their hermetically-sealed minds, wouldn’t it?

  17. smrnda says

    Wanted to add, I was making too broad a generalization. Plenty of Christians can mind their own business, and I’m probably not noticing them since they aren’t doing anything to attract my attention.

    I do think it’s a knee-jerk “we must oppose the SPLC since they called us a hate group’ going on, but a lot of these far right people see conspiracies behind everything. If someone passed a new ordinance about when you could burn leaves they’d say it was some Trojan horse to slip in the ‘homosexual agenda.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>