More from Laurie Higgins on why She Supports a Culture of Disapproval and Condemnation

Timothy Kincaid

April 28th, 2009

On April 15, Laurie Higgins, the Director of the Division of School Advocacy for hate-group Illinois Family Institute, wrote an article about why she opposed Dr. Throckmorton’s efforts to get Christian kids to follow the Golden Rule in response to GLSEN’s Day of Silence.

She argued that Christian kids should not “do to others what you would have them do to you”, but rather they “must condemn volitional homosexual conduct”.

I found this to be an endorsement of the bullying that GLSEN sought to counter as well as a perverse distortion of Christianity. I responded with a commentary in which I stated that “Higgins opposes the Day of Silence because she believes it is a Christian kid\’s duty to bully his gay classmates”.

This did not sit well with Laurie Higgins.

She countered with another article in which she accused me of spreading “pernicious lies” and tried to draw a distinction between “condemnation, which means strong disapproval” and bullying. She even went so far as to argue that “censoring” the public condemnation of gay students by other students “constitutes an act of incalculable harm”.

Higgins expressed no mention of the harm of allowing this “strong disapproval”, such as the suicide deaths of two eleven year-old boys in the previous week.

I commented on her rebuttal,

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.

Now Laurie has responded again. In her opinion piece The Bullying Tactics of “Anti-Bullying” Activists, she seeks to defend her honor.

Rather than review her bullet points one by one, I’ll let my previous writing stand on its own. I think that the observations I have made about her character, values, goals, intentions and agenda are far more evident in her writing than are her new protestations.

And, perhaps most important, Laurie and I have found a common point. Referencing something I wrote in the comments to my own commentary, she indicates that I have, indeed, identified her intention and purpose (in the comments an individual who called herself “Teri” said I “hit the nail on the head”).

Though Laurie truncates my comment, I’ll repeat it in full.

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. [The section in bold is quoted by Higgins]

And on this Laurie Higgins and I agree. We both acknowledge that she sees her goal as defending the culture of disapproval and condemnation.

Where we disagree is that I find the suffering and dead children she leaves in her wake to be abominable and horrific.

In mentioning the deaths of Carl Walker-Hoover, Jaheem Herrera, and Eric Mohat (the first time she’s been inclined to do so) she finds no evidence that “compassionate, intelligent expositions of conservative views of homosexuality” (the condemnation and strong disapproval in which she says Christian kids must engage) are in any way to blame.

Even though the parent of all three boys lay the blame for the death of their children at the feet of anti-gay bullying, Laurie thinks that she’s identified another culprit. Believe it or not, it’s me.

Pomo

April 28th, 2009

Seems to me that both of you care more about winning the argument than about what the other side has to say. Hence the reason its a debate and not a dialogue and nothing will get accomplished. Your side will keep thinking its right and her side will keep thinking they’re right.

David C.

April 28th, 2009

In one of my remarks, I concluded that Laurie Higgins has only one view of homosexuality:

…homosexuality is immoral, ultimately corrosive to society, and should not be discussed in publicly funded schools without a counterbalancing message of Christian conservatism.

That belief seems so strongly held by her, that another commentator on that thread in part remarked:

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?
—William

The bottom line is, Laurie Higgins does not want any gay child to be comfortable with themselves if they are gay, and she damn sure does not want anything taught to a school child that might contradict her view of the morality and worth of gay people. This explains all of her posturing and justification for her position on anti-bullying programs put forth by gay-rights activists, or supported by gay-supportive blogs like BTB and its editors.

The woman is completely, utterly, and transparently anti-gay in every respect based on her interpretation of Christian principals. No further sophistication of argument is needed to explain the activism, rhetoric, and propaganda of Laurie Higgins and IFI DSA.

RU486

April 28th, 2009

The biggest problem I have with Laurie Higgins and Teri (is there a difference?) is their attempt to portray themselves as victims. They make careers out of promoting intolerance and discrimination against gays and lesbians, but as soon as anyone dares to take offense, they claim they they, themselves, are being picked on. It’s a deceitful and distracting con that all homobigots, such as Peter LaBarbera and Fred Phelps, use. Blog posts are not bullying and are not hate. They’re merely impassioned opinions being expressed in the blogosphere. The real reason that Laurie Higgins is so angry and upset is that she is, no doubt, painfully aware that the public is increasingly rejecting her shrill, ugly message of bigotry and stupidity. Laurie/Teri: If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Timothy Kincaid

April 28th, 2009

RU486

“Laurie Higgins and Teri (is there a difference?)”

I wonder the same. I’ve emailed the Illinois Family Institute to ask but have not heard back yet.

UPDATE: I have confirmation that Teri is not a pseudonym for Laurie Higgins.

Regan DuCasse

April 28th, 2009

Hi Pomo,
Consider this: the side that is right doesn’t have dead children bullied into suicide in their wake.

And those children were not the first, they are from a long line of VERY young people to either be murdered or commit suicide or are victims of anti gay rage induced school shootings.

Gay affirming organizations don’t have such a record. Gay affirming families and school environments are safe for ALL children.
Identifying as gay is offense enough for Higgins and her ilk.
These kids suffered FOR how gay people are treated, not how gay people treated THEM, or for gay people advocating to prevent this treatment.

Ms. Higgins prefers the traditional road, which, regardless of not working to do such a thing, maintained the power and influence.

She has no solutions, she supports no solutions. GSA’s and GLSEN clearly ARE solutions.
That is what makes her wrong, she just doesn’t care and know in a small way she doesn’t HAVE to.

Rev. Harry Jackson is on the defensive regarding religious sensibility to blame for these suicides, but asserts more of the entire of gay people for making themselves visible as the culprit.

Evan

April 28th, 2009

Sounds like you’ve struck a nerve with old Laurie.

And you’ve really hit a key point of what’s going on — just as the most rabid anti-choicers don’t actually care about fetuses (I mean, hell, their favorite “living fetus” image is a dead fetus), but rather care most about the subjugation and submission of women, the most rabid anti-gay forces really don’t care if, as you mentioned, kids are going off into alleys for unsafe sex, or if their husbands are trolling Craigslist for anonymous man-sex, as long as their public faces towards gay people are scorn, shame, “religious condemnation” (bullying in its most original, organic form, hehindeedy?), and hatred.

That’s also why it doesn’t really faze them all that much that so many of their Republican congresscritters are doing guys inside the beltway. As long as they keep smuggling hate to the heartland, it’s all good.

Ben in Oakland

April 28th, 2009

Actually, RU486, you mean stay IN thge kitchen… where any good Christian woman will be.

me again

April 28th, 2009

Hmm, I read this:

“She argued that Christian kids should not “do to others what you would have them do to you””

And then I read this:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_is_the_Golden_Rule_in_the_Bible

Bruce Garrett

April 29th, 2009

“You see, as long as he hates himself they have a chance to save his soul.”

I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. What’s going on here is he has to hate himself as much as they hate him. Then they can feel justified. If, on the other hand, he feels good about himself, if he lives proudly, decently, honorably, then there is always going to be that little mustard seed of doubt deep down inside, asking, “What are you doing to these people…?”

It’s not his soul they want to save. It’s their own. From having to live with the knowledge that they put a knife into the hearts of so many innocent kids.

Ephilei

April 29th, 2009

I’m inclined to agree with Pomo. Let’s not worry about winning the argument. Unless Laurie has something new to say, let’s ignore her.

Priya Lynn

April 29th, 2009

I disagree with Ephilei and Pomo. The point of these essays is not to change immovable minds like Higgins its to influence the reachable moderates who she is also attempting to influence. Higgins specious tracts left alone have the ability to convert. If we cede the stage to people like her they’ll be the only ones telling impressionable people what to think and we’ll lose the battle for public opinion.

Timothy Kincaid

April 29th, 2009

I have confirmation that Teri is not a pseudonym for Laurie Higgins.

Christopher Waldrop

April 29th, 2009

To back up what Priya Lynn said, I think there’s a lot more to stating a case than just “winning the argument”. Higgins approves of bullying. She says Christian kids must engage in “condemnation and strong disapproval”, and she even goes so far as to say that publicly-funded schools should provide “a counterbalancing message of Christian conservatism” in any discussion of homosexuality. It’s not the role of schools to push a religious message.

To get back to bullying, though, Higgins is in favor of it. She even encourages it. Is she saying teachers should stand off to the side when kids are bullied, or that they should take the side of the bullies if they’re doing it for the “right” reasons? I think it would be fruitful to get her exact definition of “bullying”. Does she think it should stop at verbal abuse, or would she encourage it to become physical? If Higgins approves of violence, let her come out and say so.

Priya Lynn

April 29th, 2009

Yes Christopher, I was wondering myself what Higgins feels distinguishes rightieous “condemnation and disapproval” from bullying.

William

April 29th, 2009

I agree with Priya Lynn. Laurie Higgins’s organization isn’t – unfortunately – some obscure, far out group, comparable to a flat earth society or an anti-Copernican society, which no-one but a tiny number of nutcases would dream of taking seriously. It’s an organization with a grandiose title, the Illinois Family Institute, whose declared object is “Upholding marriage & family, life & liberty in the land of Lincoln”; it’s presumably well funded and it asks people to pledge a monthly gift of $25 or more to support its new “New Division of School Advocacy”. N.B. Donations are tax-deductible.

People who see the IFI website need to be made aware of what it is they will really be supporting if they contribute.

Priya said: “I was wondering myself what Higgins feels distinguishes righteous ‘condemnation and disapproval’ from bullying.”

The “Christian” kids, with the encouragement of bodies like IFI, can express the righteous condemnation and disapproval, making it clear that they’re not thereby trying to incite bullying; they can then safely leave it to others to do the explicit bullying. Now what was the name of that famous bloke nearly 2,000 years ago who adopted a somewhat similar ploy? Ah yes, Pontius Pilate.

Bill S

April 29th, 2009

Wrapping verbal abuse in Biblespeak doesn’t make it any less hurtful and mean-spirited and obnoxious.

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