The conservative Christian radio host Linda Harvey, who had previously warned families about letting their children visit gay doctors, has recently released a guide for talking to kids about homosexuality.
In it, the Mission: America founder and Truth Wins Out’s ‘Most Homophobic Woman in America’ in 2011, compares homosexuality to obesity.
Mission: America's hate-filled pamphlet called Questions and Answers for Kids About Homosexuality is intended as an easy guide for parents struggling to explain to their older grade school or middle school children what being ‘gay’ means.
She says that kids who are overweight are sometimes bullied, too and though we might want to make that person feel better ‘it would be a mistake to say that overeating is a good thing. Right?’
So she advocates telling friends, ‘in a nice way that no one needs to be “gay” or pretend to be the other gender. It's not the right thing to do.’
The guide that is targeted toward kids, in general is light on actual factual evidence but clear in its conviction that homosexuality ‘is just not a thing’.
The guide explains: ‘Most cultures long ago decided this was very wrong. And they made rules against it, for a lot of good reasons (more grown-up stuff).
‘And two men kissing— well, it just doesn’t seem right. That's because it isn’t!’
Harvey has also thrown in some Biblical citations in case the ‘because it isn’t’ line of reasoning isn’t convincing enough.
‘After some time passed, sin came into the world, and people started doing things they shouldn't. Some of those things involved having homosexual feelings. This sin is described in the Bible, and it's always wrong.’
The guide refutes any notion of being ‘born’ gay as ‘there is no well-accepted science that backs up that idea’.
She elaborates that even heathens agree on this one: ‘From Asia to India to Africa to Latin America, most people now and throughout history agree that being homosexual or “gay” is wrong.’
However of further concern is that Harvey on the subject of bullying, walks a fine line between condoning bullying – it is ‘always wrong’ and making gay kids feel accepted – ‘never try to make him or her feel better by saying “gay” is okay,’ she instructs.
I find it problematic and disturbing that the analogy Harvey tries to draw is between bullying someone because of their sexual orientation and bullying him because of their weight.
Paul Campos last month touched on the connection between American attitudes toward obesity and attitudes toward homosexuality in a Salon article, which stated: ‘Telling fat people they ought to be thin is about as helpful as telling gay people they should be straight.’
What cannot be denied however is the truth that both overweight and gay students are bullied in high percentages.
The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network in the US shows that 81.3% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 38.3% reported being physically harassed, and 18.3% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation in its most recent survey.
And a Canadian study concluded that overweight teens are more likely to be both the victims and the perpetrators of bullying.
Mission: America is not the first conservative group to counsel parents and teachers on how to address bullying.
Focus on the Family, a group with a mission statement similar to Harvey’s, issued an Anti-Bullying Policy Yardstick that Think Progress condemn openly as ‘an elaborate scheme to ensure religious bullying is protected in schools while students most likely to be targeted for harassment are made more vulnerable’.
These conservative Christians via their publications are not only condoning bullying of our LGBT youths but ignoring the damage that such actions have on the victims.
Just how many teenage suicides will it take and how many have to join the ranks of those who have tragically already lost their lives before gay bulling is condemned and the Bible bashing Christians realize that we are all, irrespective of our sexual orientations, God’s children and deserve love, compassion and understanding in a safe and tolerant society.
Matthew Vines has already, at BibleandHomosexuality.com, published a video that dismantles every Bible based argument against homosexuality and says being gay is not a sin. You can watch it here: