You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 5, 2012.

Overindulgence.  How Western Civilization will be remembered.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

  Sometimes I get asked by the faithful as to why I advocate so strongly against religion.  It is hard to know where to start sometimes, but sadly incidents like what is happening in Minnesota at Anoka High School makes it all to easy.

Religion promotes intolerance, hatred and bigotry.  It is a poison of the mind, an affliction that can turn off the parts of us that make caring, altruistic human beings.  What has gone on in Anoka High School is reprehensible as teachers following religiously influenced “policy” allowed homophobic bullying to happen.

“Brittany was a low-voiced, stocky girl who dressed in baggy jeans and her dad’s Marine Corps sweatshirts. By age 13, she’d been taunted as a “cunt” and “cock muncher” long before such words had made much sense. When she told administrators about the abuse, they were strangely unresponsive, even though bullying was a subject often discussed in school-board meetings. The district maintained a comprehensive five-page anti-bullying policy, and held diversity trainings on racial and gender sensitivity. Yet when it came to Brittany’s harassment, school officials usually told her to ignore it, always glossing over the sexually charged insults. Like the time Brittany had complained about being called a “fat dyke”: The school’s principal, looking pained, had suggested Brittany prepare herself for the next round of teasing with snappy comebacks – “I can lose the weight, but you’re stuck with your ugly face” – never acknowledging she had been called a “dyke.” As though that part was OK. As though the fact that Brittany was bisexual made her fair game.

Here is a quick test.  If you do not already disagree with the course the principal is taking then you need to reexamine your position on bigotry and homophobia because not acknowledging it when it happens is the same as tacitly condoning it.

“Like Brittany, eighth-grader Samantha Johnson was a husky tomboy too, outgoing with a big smile and a silly streak to match Brittany’s own. Sam was also bullied for her look – short hair, dark clothing, lack of girly affect – but she merrily shrugged off the abuse. When Sam’s volleyball teammates’ taunting got rough – barring her from the girls’ locker room, yelling, “You’re a guy!” – she simply stopped going to practice. After school, Sam would encourage Brittany to join her in privately mocking their tormentors, and the girls would parade around Brittany’s house speaking in Valley Girl squeals, wearing bras over their shirts, collapsing in laughter. They’d become as close as sisters in the year since Sam had moved from North Dakota following her parents’ divorce, and Sam had quickly become Brittany’s beacon. Sam was even helping to start a Gay Straight Alliance club, as a safe haven for misfits like them, although the club’s progress was stalled by the school district that, among other things, was queasy about the club’s flagrant use of the word “gay.” Religious conservatives have called GSAs “sex clubs,” and sure enough, the local religious right loudly objected to them. “This is an assault on moral standards,” read one recent letter to the community paper. “Let’s stop this dangerous nonsense before it’s too late and more young boys and girls are encouraged to ‘come out’ and practice their ‘gayness’ right in their own school’s homosexual club.

How dare they indeed, try to make a safe harbour to weather the storm of  insults, intolerance and bigotry.  Having a safe place might actually give these poor sinners hope.  But fuck that idea, these children need to learn that what they are feeling (and who they are) is dirty and wrong, that they will burn in hell for their “crimes”.  People who argue that christianity is a base for grounding one’s ethics need to find the moral virtue in driving homosexual children to suicide.

“”This isn’t something you kid about, Brittany,” her mom scolded, snatching the kitchen cordless and taking it down the hall to call the Johnsons. A minute later she returned, her face a mask of shock and terror. “Honey, I’m so sorry. We’re too late,” she said tonelessly as Brittany’s knees buckled; 13-year-old Sam had climbed into the bathtub after school and shot herself in the mouth with her own hunting rifle. No one at school had seen her suicide coming.”

Bullshit.  If you allow bullying at your school this is what happens.  So when you see it, stop it.  If you’re not actively working to stop bullying then you are also part of the problem.

“Against this supercharged backdrop, the Anoka-Hennepin school district finds itself in the spotlight not only for the sheer number of suicides but because it is accused of having contributed to the death toll by cultivating an extreme anti-gay climate. “LGBTQ students don’t feel safe at school,” says Anoka Middle School for the Arts teacher Jefferson Fietek, using the acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning. “They’re made to feel ashamed of who they are. They’re bullied. And there’s no one to stand up for them, because teachers are afraid of being fired.”

When teachers roll over and let the religious right start dictating ‘morality’ your not teaching anymore, just facilitating and amplifying religiously sponsored hatred and bigotry.

“For years, the area has also bred a deep strain of religious conservatism. At churches like First Baptist Church of Anoka, parishioners believe that homosexuality is a form of mental illness caused by family dysfunction, childhood trauma and exposure to pornography – a perversion curable through intensive therapy. It’s a point of view shared by their congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has called homosexuality a form of “sexual dysfunction” that amounts to “personal enslavement.”

Insanity according to the Church can also be cured by trepanning to let out the evil spirits.  When religious bullshit is not called for what it is, people get hurt.  Observe the slide of this school board toward the Dark Ages.

“When the Anoka-Hennepin district’s sex-ed curriculum came up for re-evaluation in 1994, Anderson and four like-minded parents managed to get on the review committee. They argued that any form of gay tolerance in school is actually an insidious means of promoting homosexuality – that openly discussing the matter would encourage kids to try it, turning straight kids gay.”

Insidious.  O Projection, how I doth love thee.  If you cannot breach the secular school system from the outside, corrupt it from within.  Are you getting that New Testament feel good jesus burn…I know I certainly am.  Pandering to the deluded in this case results in school policy that encourages bigotry and hatred.

“Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation including but not limited to student-led discussions.

It quickly became known as the “neutrality” policy. No one could figure out what it meant. “What is ‘neutral’?” asks instructor Merrick-Lockett. “Teachers are constantly asking, ‘Do you think I could get in trouble for this? Could I get fired for that?’ So a lot of teachers sidestep it. “

See what happens when you capitulate to fundamental christian demands.  Fertile ground to plant the seeds of hate in the minds of children.

The silence of adults was deafening. At Blaine High School, says alum Justin Anderson, “I would hear people calling people ‘fags’ all the time without it being addressed. Teachers just didn’t respond.” In Andover High School, when 10th-grader Sam Pinilla was pushed to the ground by three kids calling him a “faggot,” he saw a teacher nearby who did nothing to stop the assault. At Anoka High School, a 10th-grade girl became so upset at being mocked as a “lesbo” and a “sinner” – in earshot of teachers – that she complained to an associate principal, who counseled her to “lay low”; the girl would later attempt suicide. At Anoka Middle School for the Arts, after Kyle Rooker was urinated upon from above in a boys’ bathroom stall, an associate principal told him, “It was probably water.” Jackson Middle School seventh-grader Dylon Frei was passed notes saying, “Get out of this town, fag”; when a teacher intercepted one such note, she simply threw it away.”

     Not addressing homophobia and homophobic bullying when it occurs is the same as condoning it.  Laying low is NEVER a strategy when dealing with bigotry, in each and every case it needs to be addressed and explicitly stated that that level of discourse has no place in society, even less in a school.  School needs to be a safe place, not a religious quagmire of bigoted hatred.

This is the loving christian religion – when laid bare to critical scrutiny we see the unctuously fetid purulence of religion for what it is: Intolerance, bigotry and the unabashed hatred of people based on the rantings of goat-herders some two thousand years ago.  And the religious want, no… expect my respect when it comes to their worldview?

Are you fraking kidding me?

Religion has no place in the 21st century.  We know better.   The sooner we can put this delusional based way of thinking in the past the better.

 

 

 

 

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