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Laurie Higgins Seeks to Justify her Endorsement of Bullying

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2009

Laurie Higgins, Director of the Division of School Advocacy of the certified hate-group Illinois Family Institute, is not at all pleased with my observations about her advocacy for bullying.

The homosexual blog Box Turtle Bulletin carried an article last week in which Timothy Kincaid spread pernicious lies about me. I don’t know Mr. Kincaid, so I don’t know if he has a limited capacity for following the logic of an argument or if he has a limited commitment to truth and an unwillingness to provide evidence for his defamatory claims.

The crux of Higgins’ argument is the indignant insistence that she does not personally bully children but that “There is an important distinction between interacting with individuals and participating in public debates”

In my interactions with individuals who identify as homosexual, I would never articulate my views about homosexuality unless the topic were introduced by them. If the topic were introduced by them, I would speak the truth graciously.

Higgins goes on at quite some length in her “graciously truthful” way, crafting a world in which schools are hell bent on promoting a radical, subversive, ahistorical view about the nature and morality of homosexuality and are conspiring to censor conservative views. This makes it “ethically legitimate for all citizens to participate in the public discussion regarding what best serves justice and the common good.”

But let’s stop for just a moment and remind ourselves exactly what it is that we are talking about, exactly what it is that Higgins finds so objectionable: anti-bullying programs.

The constant use of “faggot” and “homo” and the constant deriding of students who may not fit the stereotype of sexual norms is pervasive in our public schools. And it is resulting in the staggering truth that children as young as 11 years old are killing themselves rather than face another day of this abuse.

And let’s also keep in mind that there is nothing whatsoever that these kids can do about it. They did nothing to start it, do nothing to contribute to it, and have no way of stopping it. Many of them do not identify as gay and most of those who do have never engaged in any sexual behaviors of any kind. These are just kids who – for reasons that adults can never fathom – have been declared to be “a fag” and therefore deserving of torment.

Think about this when you read the next paragraph.

The truth is that public schools can find ways to curb bullying without addressing homosexuality. For example, students who engage in promiscuous behavior, particularly girls, are often called “sluts,” “skanks,” and “whores.” Public educators deplore such bullying, and yet even in the service of ending bullying they would never permit books, plays, films, days of silence, newspaper articles, essays, speakers, panel discussions, and “diversity” weeks to be employed in the service of transforming students’ views on the morality of promiscuous behavior. They would find ways to curb bullying of promiscuous teens without ever specifically addressing promiscuous conduct.

I want to be charitable. I want to believe that no one, not even Laurie Higgins, would oppose programs that seek to stop kids calling other kids “skank” or “whore”. I can’t.

I want to believe that Laurie thinks it wrong to push gay kids into lockers, beat them up, threaten them, and subject them to a constant barrage of insults. I can’t.

I want to believe that she feels more empathy and a closer association with those being tormented than to those who doing the tormenting of their fellow students. I can’t.

There simply is no way to avoid it. There is simply no other possible conclusion. Laurie Higgins supports the bullying of gay students, she just refuses to think of it that way. Higgins sees the abuse as the legitimate response of moral kids to the immoral conduct they see in others.

Just like Laurie finds it reasonable to call a promiscuous girl (or one so accused) a slut or a whore, so too is it reasonable to torment gay kids (or those so assumed) 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 – even if most of their victims have never engaged in any behavior at all.

To Laurie, Christians 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. It’s just condemnation of sin, not bullying, you see. It keeps society on the straight and narrow way.

And if there is collateral damage, that is of little concern to Laurie Higgins. She has never shown the slightest care for the victims, not even in passing. The important thing to Laurie is that students who share her contempt for homosexuality be unhindered in their efforts to condemn and berate.

And if this results in dead children, that is of no consequence; to Laurie it’s a small price to pay.

Comments

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Bruno
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

I think she may be in over her head here, argument-wise (and intellect-wise).

Chad
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

How hard is it to grasp the concept that, to be used against someone and have a destructive impact, an insult doesn’t need to have any real basis in reality? And how can she not know that a female adolescent and teenager can be someone that never dated or had sex and still be called a “skank” et al.?

I didn’t know it was possible not to know that. I can only hope Laurie is feigning ignorance or is just a really bad debater.

Bill S
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Plus: Some people self-identify as gay or lesbian, but how many people self-identify as a “skank”?

Mark F.
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Some sexually active gay men identify as “pigs.” ;-)

matt
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

I actually disagree with his argument here. Laurie Higgins as ignorant as she is, isn’t justifying the bullying. She’s suggesting that schools should instead target the act of bullying itself rather than justifying a homosexual lifestyle – in the same way they would target the use of the word slut or whore rather than endorsing promiscuous behavior… Read More. She wants schools not to say “don’t call him a faggot – there’s nothing wrong with being a faggot” and instead say “stop that, it’s bullying and bullying is wrong”. At no point does Higgins say bullying of this nature is ok. At NO point.

It’s not that I think she’s right, I don’t and she’s a muppet, BUT if we want to win this war we need to be cleverer than Box Turtle and NOT ignore WHAT they say, NOT twist their words to suit our cause and NOT stoop to their level. Every time we get hysterical like this we set ourselves back ten years.

Jaft
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

I think you misread her argument, Tim. I thought she was saying that in the case of calling someone a slut, they should be told not to do so without saying that being a slut is okay. Likewise, she wants bullying against gays to be stopped without saying, “Being Gay is Okay”.

Of course, what her argument doesn’t grasp is that, unlike acting promiscuously, being gay is not a choice. Confirmation and telling the student that they are fine just as they are will still lead to suicide or abuse – because the greatest damage and discrimination comes from hating yourself.

In any case, I dunno if you’ll agree with me, but that’s how I read it. Thanks for taking her to question, though. She wrote an article about my old high school (Stevenson) having its first GSA dance a bit back. That GSA is only 5 years old; I was so glad they’ve gotten this far and she won’t be one to reduce those students’ belief in themselves.

Timothy Kincaid
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

At no point does Higgins say bullying of this nature is ok.

Matt, I disagree.

In her previous article Higgins makes it clear that Christian students are required to publicly condemn their fellow students. She phrases it in terms of “conduct” but at no time does she actually make a distinction between bullying of gay students or bullying of their behavior.

And remember that the entire debate arose out of her insistence that Dr. Throckmorton is incorrect and that gay students should not be treated the way one wants to be treated.

Behind the pretense one sees that Higgins’ position is not that one should stop anti-gay bullying without saying that “gay is ok”. Rather, Higgins is arguing that public condemnation – and that appears to consist of literally anything – is not bullying if directed against “homosexual conduct” (and conduct includes self-identity and perceived identity).

David C.
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Ms. Higgins tries to walk a fine line to not appear to approve of bullying, but clearly her heart is just not in it where it comes to gay children or even those that aren’t gay but have been labeled gay by their peers. Certainly it’s OK to disapprove of homosexuality in her book, and keeping discussion of homosexuality out of public schools is obviously what she would most like to see:

But if activists insist on keeping this issue alive and kicking in public schools by introducing activities, protests, curricular resources, panel discussions, speakers, and films that implicitly or explicitly espouse unproven theories on the nature and morality of homosexual behavior, public schools must spend equal time exposing students to equivalent resources and activities from opposing viewpoints. Public schools should neither condemn homosexual behavior nor affirm it.—Laurie Higgins, Director of IFI’s DSA -Illinois Family Institute

Were it that easy. Had her call here been heeded a long time ago, all the ex- and anti-gay organizations would have gone out of business by now. Their “unproven theories”, junk science, fantasies, superstitions, and flat-out lies would have been exposed and disposed of a long time ago.

Taxpayers need to understand that the anti-bullying efforts of groups like the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network are inextricably linked to destroying traditional beliefs about homosexuality. Day of Silence is not merely about ending bullying. It’s about ending bullying by eradicating the belief that homosexual behavior is immoral.

Maybe, but it seems that there are plenty of “values based” programs foisted on schools that are intended to advance the “Christian Agenda” and label any philosophy or belief contrary to Christian Canon as “immoral”. So, OK, make all public education completely secular, dispose of all bullying by setting a zero-tolerance threshold for it, and teach respect for diversity and tolerance for differing viewpoints and family structures without picking a side or making value judgements.

If you care about children’s temporal and eternal lives, please oppose any anti-bullying efforts in public schools that imply that homosexual behavior is worthy of affirmation.

Directly from the horses’ mouth. What further proof does one need to draw the conclusion that Laurie Higgins supports or at least does not condemn the bullying of gay children?

Jason D
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

let’s not forget her other quote, (Matt, this is for you, bold is mine)

Dr. Throckmorton believes that “Christian students should be leading the way to make schools safe and build bridges to those who often equate ‘Christian’ with condemnation.” In this statement, Dr. Throckmorton glaringly omits the truth that Christians must condemn volitional homosexual conduct. And to those who view homosexuality as moral, this necessary Christian condemnation of homosexual behavior renders homosexual students unsafe.
from “Dr. Throckmorton’s “Golden Rule” Misguided at Best”

And here I thought there were sections in the bible saying “judge not”, “take the log out of your own eye first”, and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

Silly me.

RU486
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

The problem with Laurie Higgins’ “argument” is that it’s all based on her belief that homosexuality is sinful and wrong, If you happen to share that belief then everything she says makes sense. Fortunately, most people don’t share her belief and neither do our laws which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. While she seems sincere in her objection to gay and lesbian students being bullied, she, nevertheless, thinks that if they are bullied it’s their own fault for being gay in the first place, and the solution is for them not to be gay (or at least not act gay). Welcome to the world of Sharia law in America.

Mary
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

I think Laurie’s comments, opinion are right on target. She speaks the truth from her heart. I believe in her mission and know the IFI is not a hateful group. She is judging the behavior of people, not the people themselves. God created all to love Him freely, we choose right or wrong.

Jaft
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Mary, I’m going to have to cut past the “you believe as you wish” part and be straight with you – there is nothing harmful about homosexual behavior. It will affect no one. Further, there is no fear of this behavior “spreading” because it comes from identity (which you are born with) to begin with. If you don’t agree with the behavior, don’t partake in it – otherwise, it’s a waste of time, rude, and intrusive to instruct others how to live their lives.

Lastly, thinking of homosexuality as simply a choice will lead to a painful future. If you have kids, it’s possible one may be gay. That’s just fact. At least someone you know is. People want to love God, others just disway them from it.

Candace
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Mary, you make one little (well, OK, actually several) error here when you say that homosexuality is a behavior. You need to understand that gay isn’t something you DO, it’s something you ARE. There is no CHOICE to being gay or not.

As far as “speaking the truth from her heart,” there are christians who “speak fromt hie heart” when they advocate that gays be either exiled from America or executed. There are christians who “speak from their heart” when they advocate that the reaces not be allowed to intermarry. Just because someone sincerely holds a belief, doesn’t mean that the belief is moral or good.

homer
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Mary. Little kids deserve to be bullied because of their behavior? Wow, you’ve totally, utterly shown to me that the IFI is a hate group.

Bruno
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Whoever’s keeping the list of “religious” automatons that contribute to the comments on this site needs to add Mary to the list. It’s growing.

Dan
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

You will never succeed in convincing IFI or their followers that homosexuality is anything other than “wrong”. Logic and evidence don’t enter into it, since even if it could be shown empirically that all gays in the world are 100% happy, healthy and productive, it would still be “wrong” b/c the Bible says so.

Therefore, I think the best response is to recall that Jesus protected the prostitute from the condemning and violent crowd. Only AFTER the threat had abated and the crowd dispersed did he then preach to her “go and sin no more.” If these people want to follow Jesus’ example (hah!), their approach should be to make anti-bullying the first priority (not a matter of lip service each April) and only later, after a safe environment is established, proceed to lecture bullying victims about homosexuality.

William
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

As I have already observed in my comment on a previous post, and as Timothy has re-emphasized here, anti-gay bullying is usually directed at students because of who they are, or are assumed to be, and very seldom because of their sexual behaviour – if, indeed, they have engaged in any sexual behaviour at all.

The way that I see Laurie Higgins’s position is this:

Laurie Higgins believes that all homosexual behaviour is wrong under all circumstances, and she wants everyone to share this belief. All else must be subordinated to that end.

Therefore, if there is the slightest chance that making schools safe places for LGBT students could be construed as implying that homosexual behaviour is ever O.K., then schools must remain unsafe places for these students. Stopping them from being bullied is a legitimate aim in theory, but in practice a far more important consideration, viz. the wrongness of all homosexual behaviour, must override it. If that means that life is made hell for gay (or supposedly gay) students, then that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s a price that we have to pay – provided, of course, that it’s OTHER people’s children who are suffering.

Lynn David
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

We’re talking about children who could be as young as 7 or 8 when it comes to bullying. What does Ms Higgins want her Christian children to be evangelic preachers on the playground pointing at kids who they think are gay and condemning their supposed behavior? Hopefully, no kid at that age is even thinkng of sex; and yet at that age some are being condemned as gay already. I think it comes more from hearing their fathers speak in demeaning tones about gays and lesbians than anything else.

At any rate at that age and on into those early years of puberty, it’s less often less the physical harm and moreso the verbal abuse which can cause harm to a young person’s spirit. And yet Ms Higgins seems adamant that Christian kids should be able to verbally harangue those who are perceived as gay or lesbian. She’s a rather thoughtless woman.

RU486
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Mary, are you Laurie Higgins? Tell the truth.

Teri
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Lynn David, you’ve made a pretty bold statement:

“And yet Ms Higgins seems adamant that Christian kids should be able to verbally harangue those who are perceived as gay or lesbian.”

Where have you ever seen Ms. Higgins’ writings advocate this? Can you cite an example?

If not, then I think you should retract your statement.

To accuse Ms. Higgins of wanting to see children harangued, bullied or dead says much more about Mr. Kincaid and some other writers here than it does about Ms. Higgins. Personal assaulting the character of those with whom you disagree is the refuge of those who cannot make a persuasive logical argument.

Graham Shevlin
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I note that the website where Ms. Higgins complains about the Box Turtle Bulletin has no Comments area…that kind of sends a message about how open to discussion and debate that organization might be.
And Teri, whining about character assassination is nothing more than a diversionary tactic. We have the compelling proof of Ms. Higgins’ attitude in this statement:

If you care about children’s temporal and eternal lives, please oppose any anti-bullying efforts in public schools that imply that homosexual behavior is worthy of affirmation.

So, in other words…she is not interested in any blanket condemnation of bullying. This is what I term “weasel words”…kind of like an apology that runs “I’m sorry, but you deserved it”. Come to think of it, that is probably what Ms. Higgins would say to bullying victims who are gay…this woman is a thoroughly non-Christian, non-empathetic scumbag.

RU486
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Teri, are you sure that you aren’t Laurie Higgins? Just wondering. Actually, I think you’re the one making the bold statements here. The problem with Laurie Higgins’ view is that, while she no doubt does not want to see anyone bullied or hurt, she, nevertheless, believes that gay and lesbians, themselves, are responsible for being bullied. Her solution is not to eliminate the source of the bullying (homophobia) but to “blame the victim” and demand that they change. Further, she views any attempt on the part of schools to address anti-gay bullying as an endorsement of the “gay lifestyle.” Such dangerous (and bigoted) views do, indeed, promote violence toward gay and lesbian students.

Paul
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Mr. Kincaid — we love you. Ms. Higgins, look inside yourself and discover the source of your fear/hate. Maybe she fears her same-sex lust? Who knows. But what’s clear is that her hate comes from fear. Ms. Higgins should educate herself — perhaps a little Chopra? “Hate is an expression of fear, really. When you don’t know what to do with your fear, you express it as hate. Hate is the resistance to love, and also the expansion of fear.” Ms. Higgins’ restricted view of humanity is unfortunate… and very tedious.

Teri
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Graham,

You said:

“We have the compelling proof of Ms. Higgins’ attitude in this statement:

“If you care about children’s temporal and eternal lives, please oppose any anti-bullying efforts in public schools that imply that homosexual behavior is worthy of affirmation.”"

In an effort to be clear, what exactly do you mean by Ms. Higgin’s ‘attitude?’

If traditional Christian teaching regarding homosexual behavior is true (as Ms. Higgins believes) then that statement is very good advice. Now, Ms. Higgins could be wrong. Perhaps it is not true, in which case she is in error, but it’s either true or it’s false. I’m not sure how ‘attitude’ has anything to do with it.

RU486,

You said:
“…she nevertheless, believes that gay and lesbians, themselves, are responsible for being bullied.”

Have you got a quote to support that statement?

I have read much of Ms. Higgins writing and I have never read anything she has written that would even suggest such a thing.

I’ve never read anything that would suggest she demands people stop engaging in homosexual behavior either. As far as I’ve seen, her main argument seems to be that public school educators do not have the right to teach other people’s children the sexual morality of LGBT activists.

William
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Let us look again at Ms Higgins’s statement:

“If you care about children’s temporal and eternal lives, please oppose any anti-bullying efforts in public schools that imply that homosexual behavior is worthy of affirmation.”

A good anti-bullying policy will aim to prevent students from bullying or harassment for any reason, including their sexual orientation (actual or supposed). It will not imply that sexual behaviour of any kind is worthy of affirmation, nor will it make any judgment on sexual behaviour one way or the other, since that is not its function.

Some people believe that all homosexual behaviour is morally wrong under all circumstances; others (including me) don’t. An anti-bullying policy would not be an appropriate vehicle for me to push my views on this matter, nor for those who hold the contrary view to push theirs.

Does Ms Higgins know of any anti-bullying policy that breaches this criterion? It is difficult to believe that she does, or she would surely have cited it.

Reading Ms Higgins’s statements leaves me with the impression that she is perfectly willing to agree in principle that LGBT students shouldn’t be bullied or harassed for being who they are – indeed she probably feels obliged to agree, since she would otherwise lose all credibility in today’s climate – but that she is far less willing that anything effective should actually be done about it; hence her straw man argument.

I wonder how she intends her reference to children’s eternal lives to be understood. Does she mean that, if these children do at any time engage in homosexual behaviour, then any bullying that they may have experienced in this life, however horrific, will be nothing compared to what God has in store for them in the next?

William
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

“As far as I’ve seen, her main argument seems to be that public school educators do not have the right to teach other people’s children the sexual morality of LGBT activists.”

As I’ve just pointed out, that is not the object of an anti-bullying policy. (Unless, of course, you regard teaching students that it is wrong to bully or harass LGBT people as the sexual morality of LGBT activists, in which case educators have both the right and the duty to teach it.) It is therefore difficult to see any actual situation to which her argument has any concrete application.

Priya Lynn
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Mary said “I think Laurie’s comments, opinion are right on target. She speaks the truth from her heart. I believe in her mission and know the IFI is not a hateful group. She is judging the behavior of people, not the people themselves.”

Terri said “Lynn David, you’ve made a pretty bold statement:

“And yet Ms Higgins seems adamant that Christian kids should be able to verbally harangue those who are perceived as gay or lesbian.”

Where have you ever seen Ms. Higgins’ writings advocate this? Can you cite an example?”

Mary and Terri, Laurie Higgins has made it clear that she is judging people, not behavior and that she advocates verbally harranging gay and lesbian students by her comment here:

“Dr. Throckmorton believes that “Christian students should be leading the way to make schools safe and build bridges to those who often equate ‘Christian’ with condemnation.” In this statement, Dr. Throckmorton glaringly omits the truth that Christians must condemn volitional homosexual conduct.”

While she claims that she wants Christian students to condemn “volitional gay conduct” the fact is that in high school there is no gay conduct by gay students, or at least none that any Christian students would be aware of. Hence by encouraging the condemnation of non-existant gay conduct she is in fact encouraging the condemnation of students merely because they are gay – she’s assuming that gay sex goes along with being gay in school. She’s encouraging the condemnation of children who are guilty of nothing but being singled out as being gay or lesbian.

Also, the idea that Christians condemn behavior and not people is a lie. Our behavior is determined by who we are inside. If you condemn a person’s behavior you are condemning that part of who they are that leads to the behavior. You can’t seperate a person’s behavior from who they are as a person.

The idea that it is okay for Christians to condemn gays because they are merely mistaken about morality is false as well. Being honestly mistaken does not justify wrong-doing.

Dieter
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

This woman needs to shut her big mouth, get a job, and ask for God’s forgiveness. The Bible says what you do to the least of these, I will do to you. One day this whole lot will have to answer to God and I can’t imagine he will have time for the nonsense they have spouted.

William
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Well said, Priya Lynn.

In the seventh paragraph of your post above you raise a point that has long intrigued me.

It is typical of anti-gay Christians to insist that God demands that those who have the “misfortune” (in their terms) to be homosexual, and who can’t manage to change their orientation, live a life of perpetual sexual abstinence, and that this is perfectly possible by God’s grace. (How they can be so confident that they know God’s will for someone else in such a personal matter I’m not quite sure, but that’s another question.) And yet, when they are informed that a particular person is homosexual, they almost invariably assume – without any evidence one way or the other – that the person is actively engaging in sexual activity, probably of the most reckless and irresponsible kind.

Timothy Kincaid
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Laurie’s defenders play the same game that she does. They talk about “homosexual behavior”.

What they don’t tell you is that they define “homosexual behavior” to include the simple act of identifying as gay.

You see, to the IFIs and Exoduses and others who “fight the homosexual agenda”, they really don’t care so very much what you do in the privacy of your home – so long as you are suitably ashamed and believe that you are a sinner.

What they oppose is gay people openly and proudly identifing themselves and living with dignity.

Laurie and Teri and their pals would FAR rather have a teenage kid sneaking off to a seedly alley to have shame-filled anonymous unsafe sex than they would some virginal boy announcing that he is gay and plans to stay pure until he falls in love and marries the man of his dreams.

You see, as long as he hates himself they have a chance to save his soul. And that is far more important to them than his body or his spirit or his health or his character.

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 condemnation.

Because what Laurie wants more than anything is that the culture and society be dominated by disapproval and rejection of gays. Not gay sex, but gay identity.

Candace
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn, excellant post…. but I must disagree with this:

“Also, the idea that Christians condemn behavior and not people is a lie. Our behavior is determined by who we are inside. If you condemn a person’s behavior you are condemning that part of who they are that leads to the behavior. You can’t seperate a person’s behavior from who they are as a person.”

Of course you can separate a person’s behavior from who they are as a person. People behave in all kinds of ways that do not necessarily reflect on who they are, their core values, or who or what they identify as.

HOWEVER, homosexuality is not a BEHAVIOR. It is a sexual orientation, like heterosexual or bisexual and thus it is not chosen. Most rightwing christians continue to try and separate homosexual orientation from homosexual behavior, as if they may be turned on and off like a light switch. A hterosexual cannot help but act hetero and a homosexual cannot help but act queer. When you condmen the behavior of either, you condemn the identity and personhood of either.

As to the suggestion that GLBTT people simply never, ever, act on a gay impulse, let me give you my most sincere reaction:

*takes a big breath*
pahahahahahahahaha hoo hoo hoo wahahahahahahahh hooot paahahaha

*wheeze*

Isn’t it wonderful that no gay person pays any attention to abusrdities like “never know the touch of a human hand your whole life unless you can become hetero?

Teri
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Candace,

You assert:

“A heterosexual cannot help but act hetero and a homosexual cannot help but act queer. When you condmen the behavior of either, you condemn the identity and personhood of either.”

Does having an unchosen ‘orientation’ necessarily justify satisfying it?

How would this apply to pedophiles? They would say that pedophilia is an orientation as well.

Teri
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

You hit the nail on the head with this:

“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 condemnation.”

Exactly.

The DOS, GSAs and other programs in the public schools are designed to teach kids that homosexual behavior is moral. Teaching the next generation that homosexuality is OK is the purpose of these programs but they are sold to parents and taxpayers under the guise of ‘making kids safer.’ Thank you for making that clear.

Laurie, I and others believe that homosexual behavior is destructive to mind, body and soul.

Either that is true or it’s false.

If that is true, homosexual activists are doing irreparable harm to kids in the public schools.

If it’s false, then it is Christians who are hurting kids.

cowboy
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Teri,
You’re still thinking homosexuality is a subset of heterosexuality and therefore some errant behavior?

It’s not. In my opinion, sexual orientation is a deep-rooted characteristic of anyone. It’s not an simple urge or curious temptation someone needs to curtail.

Perhaps you need to understand it’s a basic necessity we all need; and it’s called romance/companionship and it’s not something laws or ignorant people have the right to dictate whom I shall love.

Teri
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

The secondary issue is, of course, that given the fact that this nation is deeply divided over what the truth is about homosexuality, educators do not have the right to teach other people’s children the sexual moral values of homosexual activists.

Therefore, schools should not be teaching about this issue at all.

GaySolomon
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Teri asks:

“Does having an unchosen ‘orientation’ necessarily justify satisfying it?

How would this apply to pedophiles? They would say that pedophilia is an orientation as well.”

An orientation does not justify a specific behaviour. Just as a heterosexual orientation does not justify male/female rape, pedophilia would not justify sexual molestation of a child.

Candace can speak for her/himself – but I beleive her/his point is that in the context of civilized behaviour (i.e. sexual activity among consenting adults) one can expect orientation to be reflected in non-criminal behaviour. You know – who you find attractive, how you flirt, who you date, etc…

But then again – I suspect you already knew that.

So what is your point Teri? Just another cheap shot at LGBT people by trying to link them to pedophilia?

Timothy Kincaid
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

The DOS, GSAs and other programs in the public schools are designed to teach kids that homosexual behavior is moral.

No, Teri.

They are simply not teaching kids that homosexual identity is immoral.

I know it has a lot of similar sounding sylables, but it isn’t the same thing.

You and Laurie can have your beliefs. I have mine.

You think that “homosexual activists are doing irreparable harm to kids in the public schools”. But you have no proof, no evidence, nothing to point at the validate this belief.

I, on the other hand, believe that the culture of disapproval and condemnation is doing irreparable harm to kids in public schools.

And I have a long trail of dead children as evidence. Two dead 11 year old boys within the past week. Both of whom were tormented with anti-gay taunting and harassment. Both of whom are direct victims of the culture of disapproval and condemnation that you and Laurie Higgings support.

Let me ask you a direct question, Teri. And please give me a direct and honest answer.

If you were granted a wish and had to choose between either

a) eliminating all Gay-Straight Alliances and Days of Silence and safe schools and all other programs to protect kids who are gay or perceived as gay, or

b) bring back to life Jaheem Herrera and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.

Which would you choose?

Priya Lynn
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Candace said “Of course you can separate a person’s behavior from who they are as a person. People behave in all kinds of ways that do not necessarily reflect on who they are, their core values, or who or what they identify as.”

No, Candace, that’s not true. If you’re behaving in a way that doesn’t reflect your “core values” then those values aren’t as core as you would claim them to be. No one undertakes any behavior unless it at some level reflects who they are as a person.

Priya Lynn
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

And I might add that while people may occaisionally do things that are atypical for them having sex with the people we are attracted to is very much at the core of who we are and you can’t disconnect that behavior from who we are as people, you can’t seperate the person from the behavior when you condemn gayness. When you do that you are condemning the person as well.

homer
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Teri blathers: “The secondary issue is, of course, that given the fact that this nation is deeply divided over what the truth is about homosexuality, educators do not have the right to teach other people’s children the sexual moral values of homosexual activists. Therefore, schools should not be teaching about this issue at all.

The nation is also deeply divided about evolution, therefore, according to Teri, we shouldn’t teach this issue.

Also, the nation is deeply divided as to whether PCs or Macs are the superior type of computer, therefore, we shouldn’t allow those in schools either.

And so on.

Every time people like Laurie Higgins or Maggie Gallagher open their mouths or write something, the gay rights movement gains more supporters. Thanks!

Priya Lynn
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Terri says “Does having an unchosen ‘orientation’ necessarily justify satisfying it? How would this apply to pedophiles? They would say that pedophilia is an orientation as well.”.

We are justified in satisfying any desire which does not hurt others. Pedophilia hurts children and thus is not justified. If gays are not justified in satisfying their orientation then you are not justified in satisfying your heterosexuality.

Terri said “The secondary issue is, of course, that given the fact that this nation is deeply divided over what the truth is about homosexuality, educators do not have the right to teach other people’s children the sexual moral values of homosexual activists…Laurie, I and others believe that homosexual behavior is destructive to mind, body and soul.”.

The nation may be divided but the experts are most certainly not. Every major mental health organization agrees that being gay is not an illness and that gay people can be happy and healthy of people like you will only let them. A wealth of studies going back to Evelyn Hooker’s ground breaking work in the ’50′s show that gays are indistinguishable from straights on common measures of mental health. All these mental health organizations also agree that it is the condemnation of people like you that troubles gay people, not being gay in and of itself.

The fact is that gay behavior, despite what ignorant people like you believe is not destructive to mind, body, nor the mythological soul. Educators have a right to teach these facts just as back in the 60′s they had a right to teach the fact that black people are not inferior despite many white people believing it to be so.

Timothy Kincaid
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Teri

Does having an unchosen ‘orientation’ necessarily justify satisfying it?

No. And we can legitimately debate whether satisfying anything is moral.

But what is not a legitimate debate is whether it is moral to be Hispanic. Or moral to be Jewish. Or moral to be left-handed. Or moral to be gay.

And what you and Laurie support is the public condemnation of those who are gay. You pretend it’s “homosexual behaviors” but, as you admitted above, it is deliberate condemnation of persons who are gay – not their behaviors.

Which, incidentally, is a heinously immoral position.

How would this apply to pedophiles? They would say that pedophilia is an orientation as well.

Nope. No one says that pedophilia is an orientation.

Well, no one but those who are motivated purely from an anti-gay animus that is indistinguisable from bigotry. And I know you don’t want to be one of those persons, Laurie.

(ps. I’m still waiting for the answer as to which you’d pick)

Jason D
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

“Nope. No one says that pedophilia is an orientation.”

This cannot be repeated often enough.

Pedophilia is a crime not because of some scolding of sexuality, but because real, living, breathing, crying children are hurt, exploited, mentally abused, and physically abused by pedophilia.

Unlike heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pedophilia has a victim: the child.

Candace
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Candace,

Teri said:

You assert:

“A heterosexual cannot help but act hetero and a homosexual cannot help but act queer. When you condmen the behavior of either, you condemn the identity and personhood of either.”

Does having an unchosen ‘orientation’ necessarily justify satisfying it?

How would this apply to pedophiles? They would say that pedophilia is an orientation as well.”

Teri:

1. Pedophilia isn’t a sexual orientation. It is a parapehelia, a sexual fetish — something an individual requires to be come sexually aroused– and the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are heterosexual. It is recognized as such by medical, sociological, and scientific groups the world over. It is no more a sexual orientation than men who like to watch a Dominatrix step on balloons with 5″ stiletto heels.

It is also a CRIME, and homogenital acts between consenting adults, are not. No one, except deliberately disengenious christian ministries, says that pedophilia is a sexual orientation.

2. When you tell a homosexual that your religion teaches that if they cannot somehow manage to become heterosexual, then they must never love anyone, touch anyone, have sex with anyone, or even fatnasize or masturbate– do you REALLY think we’re going to listen to you? You are free to believe whatever you wish, but you’re NOT free to force me to live by your beliefs. If you move to a country that practices female circumsision, will you be OK with the idea of being forced to have your clitoris gouged out with a piece of broken glass, simply because their religion is in the majority there, and their religion teaches that all females should have thier clitoris chopped out?
And furthermore, you must be veiled head to toe, except for a screen to see through, and you may not leave your home without a male escort.

Are you going to try and kid us that you would go along with those rules?

If you would object to being forced to live in a way that you find personally repugnant and oppressive just because some religion says you should, then why are you surprised that we use the same reasoning when christians try to force their religious rules on us?

Pedophilia isn’t a sexual orientation, but it is a CRIME.

Next?

Candace
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn saidL

“And I might add that while people may occaisionally do things that are atypical for them having sex with the people we are attracted to is very much at the core of who we are and you can’t disconnect that behavior from who we are as people, you can’t seperate the person from the behavior when you condemn gayness. When you do that you are condemning the person as well.”

There are all kinds of behaviors acted out by heterosexuals that are unfortunate and sometimes reprehensible, yet they are not defined by those behaviors. The same thing is true about homosexuals.

I am not my BEHAVIOR. I am a 56 year old out lesbian and would be homosexual even if I had never acted out a single homosexual behavior. It is what I am, not what I do or don’t do. I was married for 34 years, had 3 daughters, and was gay the whole time…. yet not a single one of my behaviors was “gay.” I chose not to engage in OVERT gay behavior, but I still couldn’t stop being gay inside. My fantasies were gay, I had crushes on women, I was miserable acting heterosexual.

Nowhere in this am I suggesting that homosexuals remain celibate or try to be heterosexual. That is the christian way of keeping us miserable, depressed, in the closet, and out of their holy hterosexual sight.

Patrick
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Let’s cut to the chase, what are Laurie, Mary and Teri doing to stop kids in middle schools and high schools from taunting and bullying other kids by constantly calling them faggots and beating them up?

Laurie, Mary, and Teri, what are you doing to prevent these acts from happening to children who do not identify as gay and who do identify as gay?

Put up or shut up.

William
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Teri,

You say:

“The DOS, GSAs and other programs in the public schools are designed to teach kids that homosexual behavior is moral.”

No, Teri. Wrong. They’re designed to do no such thing. They’re not designed to teach kids anything at all about the morality or immorality of any specific sexual BEHAVIOUR.

What they are designed to teach is that homosexual PEOPLE are as good as anyone else and that they have the same right as anyone else to lead their lives with dignity and self-respect, free from bullying and harassment, and to be treated fairly and decently.

My former parish priest summed it up nicely when he said at Mass one morning a few years ago: “To discriminate against anyone because of their race, creed, sex, colour or sexual orientation is EVIL!”

Every time we pray “Thy kingdom come”, we are praying for, among other things, and end to all such forms of discrimination.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Candace said “There are all kinds of behaviors acted out by heterosexuals that are unfortunate and sometimes reprehensible, yet they are not defined by those behaviors.”.

We are not defined by any one behavior but we are defined by the sum of our behaviors – that is who we are whether you like it or not. A person who undertakes a reprehensible behavior is at least partly defined by that behavior, you cannot say that that is not part of who they are. If it were not the behavior would simply never be expressed. There is no such thing as condemning a behavior but not a person.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I just re-read Candace’s comment and missed part of what I think she was saying. I agree that a group as a whole, such as heterosexuals or gays is not defined by the acts of individuals within that group. We are not responsible for the character of other people with whom we may share some unrelated characteristic.

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn

Sexual orientation is not defined by behaviors of any kind. Orientation is not a description of actions but a direction of attractions. What one does with those attractions is up to them.

Some live a life of meaning and integrity with one person whom they love and with whom they build a life.

Others live a life of promiscuity and short-lived pleasures. Some find this fulfilling while some do not.

And yet others live a life of denial and struggle in order to meet the expectations of their religious convictions or social expectations. Some find this to be spiritually enriching while others end their battle with bitterness and regret.

You will note that these behaviors and choices are present in all sexual orientations. They do not define any orientation nor are they prescriptive or incidative of any.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I don’t disagree with you Timothy. The point I’m making is that if our behavior wasn’t at some level based in who we are that behavior wouldn’t exist. I’m not saying that one individual act sums up who anyone is inside, what I’m saying is that anytime we express a behavior we are expressing to at least some small degree who we are inside. Behaviors don’t exist in a vaccum, they aren’t disconnected from our personalities as the claim that one can condemn a behavior but not a person suggests.

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

I think that your argument, while not entirely untrue, is unnecessarily complicating the issue.

Teri is denying the existence of orientation and saying that homosexuality exists only in terms of behavior.

Your insistence that behavior and identity are inextricably linked (because if we do something it must be out of who we are) seems to be a validation of Teri’s position. I.e. we are what we do, thus sexual behavior is all that we need discuss.

I don’t think you support that position but are, instead, enjoying a discussion about concepts and possibilities.

This is a more esoteric argument than what we are doing here. We are discussing will and intention and how orientation does not eliminate them or dictate behavior.

Your hypothesis could go off into speculations as to whether will and intention are also not part of us and therefore part of our identity, etc. ad infinitum but it has no practical relation to the discussion at hand.

Our point is that orientation is not the same as behavior. And that Teri/Laurie’s desire to conflate them is a false argument.

Fanciful theoretical notions about ones general nature and character are nice, but ultimately we have to come back to the simple and nontheoretical fact that orientation is not the same thing as behavior and they are not always an indication of each other.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I agree with you that orientation is not the same thing as behavior. However I also maintain that every behavior derives from who we are at some small level. For example a person may lead an exemplary life, helping the poor, volunteering at soup kitchens, donating to charities, etc. but at some point go into a store and steal a chocolate bar. Thief doesn’t sum up who they are as a person, but it is a tiny fraction of who they are as a person while the rest of who they are is a wonderful human being.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

In other words Timothy we are not what we do, but what we do is based on who we are. Ultimately my point was a refutation of the common false claim Mary made that Laurie Higgins is “judging the behavior of people, not the people themselves.”

Candace
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Priya:

If you follow your argument to its logical conclusion, then every time we tell a lie, we are liars. I disagree with that: a person who tells a lie does not become a liar– they are simply a person who told a lie.

A homosexual may father a child, yet still be a homosexual. The Congressman with the “wide stance” is correct when he says he’s not gay. Why? Because gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, and sexual activity are all separate.

If a gay man has sex with a woman, then heterosexuality is not “part of who he is.” He is still a gay man who chose to have sex with a woman at some point in his life. He has not become a “tiny bit hetero.”

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Candace, if you tell a lie then to some degree you are a liar. If 99% of the time you tell the truth then 1% of you is a liar and 99% of you is an honest person.

By the same token a gay man who successfully has sex with a woman is at least in some small part hetero or bisexual or he wouldn’t have been able to complete the act. He still may be 99% gay but he most certainly is a “tiny bit hetero”. Behaviors aren’t totally disconnected from who we are as people and hence the idea that one can condemn behaviors without condemning the person is a fallacy.

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

OK guys.

It’s time this thread gets back on topic.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

One more before I leave this thread:

People aren’t black and white – no one is 100% hones or 100% a liar. One behavior does not define us while the sum total of all our behaviors says a great deal about who we are.

The word gay means same sex attracted, the congressman with the “wide stance” is most certainly gay to some degree and probably a large degree. The gender(s) to which we are attracted is a huge part of who we are, it is at the core of our very being and it is not surprising that this usually results in sexual activity with that gender(s). The idea that one can hate the sin and love the sinner is untrue. When you hate the sin you to at least a small extent hate the nature of the person that gives rise to the “sin” or in the case of gayness and some Christians you hate the core nature of that person.

Christians may claim to love murderers, but they’ve bastardized the word love to mean something totally unrelated to what most people take it to mean. They don’t honestly mean it gives them joy to be around a murderer, that they admire and have a fondness for who that person is, that they can’t wait to be in their presence because that is so pleasurable – they mean “love” as in “I want to control you to make you do what I think is right”.

Priya Lynn
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Sorry Timothy, I didn’t see your post before I made my last one.

Candace
April 24th, 2009 | LINK

Excuse me, Timothy, but I’m not going to allow someone to disseminate incorrect information without challenging it.

Sexual orientation is not sexual activity. Even a first year Psychology student knows that.

Engaging in a hetero sex act does not make a homosexual “a little bit heterosexual.” It makes them a homosexual who engaged in a heterogenital act.

Priya Lynn
April 24th, 2009 | LINK

Candace, I never said sexual orientation was sexual activity.

RU486
April 25th, 2009 | LINK

OK, back to the topic: Homo-bigot, Laurie Higgins.

She’s posted yet another tiresome tirade on the IFI site, complaining again about this blog (Does this woman have a life?). Poor, poor Laurie Higgins. Imagine, people are daring to insult her on blogs! What is this world coming to? It’s getting so a narrow minded bigot can’t spew nastiness and promote discrimination without people actually taking offense and (Gasp!) saying unkind things about her! She then attempts to pad her argument by bringing up the Miss USA/Perez Hilton kerfuffle. All I can say is, Laurie Higgins: You’re no Miss California. And you’re no lady.

David C.
April 25th, 2009 | LINK

She’s posted yet another tiresome tirade on the IFI site, complaining again about this blog (Does this woman have a life?).—RU486

Her two posts taken together paint the clearest picture of her world-view. In the most recent post (4/24/2009) she posits:

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.

So, perhaps it’s the adults that need to learn “to love their neighbors as themselves, and to know right from wrong.”

This, of 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.

OK, if IFI believes that it “isn’t the business of public schools” to teach “Christian beliefs” or scripture then why are IFI’s DSA (Division of School Advocacy) loaded with rhetoric about how God and “exposure to conservative views” is missing from the classroom? IFI DSA is obsessed with keeping anything contrary to their religious conservative agenda out of the classroom, and if that isn’t going to happen they want equal time, so that they can promote their brand of unproven, nonfactual, divisive, and often hateful political views.

Ms. Higgins is an articulate spokesperson for a conservative, so called “pro-family” organization. That organization claims to stand for lots of things, but apparently chief among them is the belief that being gay can never be accepted as natural, healthy, or for the benefit of society. Both the post that started this thread, and the one RU486 and I now comment on here have one message: homosexuality is immoral, ultimately corrosive to society, and should not be discussed in publicly funded schools without a counterbalancing message of Christian conservatism.

If it isn’t obvious by now, let me make it clear: I profoundly disagree with IFI and Ms. Higgins where it comes to judging the worthiness of gay people to love and commit to each other, marry, teach right from wrong, contribute to the ability of children to think critically about the issues of the day, or be regarded as peers worthy of respect and consideration in every aspect of life.

William
April 25th, 2009 | LINK

Ms Higgins disapproves of homosexual behaviour. Fine. We all understand that, and she has a perfect right to hold that view, even though we may not all agree with her. (I don’t)

She says that “name-calling is deplorable and should stop”; that she has “never bullied a homosexual teen or endorsed such despicable behaviour”; and that “schools must work to end bullying”. She acknowledges that “all are created in the likeness and image of God” and tells us that “no conditions, volitional or non-volitional, including homosexuality, diminish the pleasure [she] take[s] in people’s company or [her] respect for their myriad good qualities.”

But she opposes Day of Silence and GLSEN, whose object it is to end such bullying, and it is here that is difficult to discern whether she is being deliberately dishonest or simply obtuse. I say this because she makes claims about Day of Silence and GLSEN which are demonstrably false. She says that:

(1) “the goal of undermining moral opposition to homosexual behavior” is “integral to the agenda of GLSEN”. This statement is simply untrue: GLSEN takes no position on the rightness or wrongness of sexual behaviour, as a glance at the GLSEN website will show.

(2) “Day of Silence and gay-straight alliances seek to end bullying by transforming disapproval of homosexuality into approval.” Notice how she here takes refuge in ambiguity: what does she mean by “homosexuality” in this context? If she means “homosexual behaviour”, the statement is again simply untrue, as can be ascertained from the DOS website, and she must know it.

(3) “For organizations like GLSEN, the goals of ending bullying and normalizing homosexuality are indissolubly linked. They refuse to decouple them.” Note again the unclear meaning of the word “homosexuality”. If here, too, she means “homosexual behaviour”, the statement is once again false. It is she who refuses to “decouple them”.

So what does she really want? Does she want to end overt bullying but still want to make LGBT students feel disapproval for being who they are and to make them feel “abnormal”? If so, why, and by what right?

Or does she know that the bullying of LGBT students is wrong and must be officially condemned – but feel that in practice it must be unofficially tolerated, or at any rate treated with kid gloves, because the bullying of LGBT students, even to the point of suicide, is a “lesser evil” than leaving the tiniest loophole for the impression that homosexual behaviour may not always and in all circumstances be wrong?

St Augustine is said to have prayed, “Lord, make me chaste, but don’t do it yet.” Is Ms Higgins’s secret prayer “Lord, put an end to anti-gay bullying, but not in my lifetime”?

Unjust suspicions? If so, she has no-one but herself to blame for them. What else can one suspect of a woman who purports to be against anti-gay bullying, yet opposes organizations which aim to put a stop to it, and attempts to justify her opposition by ascribing, without any justification, ulterior motives to those organizations?

RU486
April 25th, 2009 | LINK

I can live with Laurie Higgins’ anti-gay views. I don’t like them, but I can live with them. But what I really despise about that women is her totally disingenuous attempt to claim that she’s being victimized. This “victimization” canard is the same con that all professional homo-bigots, such as LaBarbera and Fred Phelps, make. They push their hateful, anti-gay rhetoric, then, when anyone gets angry at them, they insist that they’re being “picked on” and infer that all gays (in addition to being immoral perverts) are mean people with some sort of hateful agenda. Gimme a break. If Laurie Higgins has got balls big enough to go around insulting gays and lesbians, then she should have balls big enough to take a few insults and unkind words. And if she can’t take the heat, then she should shut the f*** up and get the hell out of the kitchen. But spare us the “I’m a kind, loving person being picked on for my traditional Christian views” crap. If Laurie Higgins really doesn’t like homosexuals, I have some advice for her: Don’t be one. And get off my case about it or you’ll start to hear some unkind words from me.

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