I'm angry; I've been angry all week. I'm not one to dwell on being angry, but I am angry and I just keep getting angrier the more this week goes on. Let me explain...
Earlier this week, at a local high school, it was "ally week" for those unfamiliar with it; ally week is part of a growing movement called It Gets Better. If you ask me, it's a pretty cool concept; in light of all the gay students committing suicide recently over the social stigmas they've felt because of being gay, this project couldn't have come out at a better time.
So, the local school had an ally week; they asked students to wear purple shirts to basically say, we're allies; it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight-most importantly you are a person.
Three students showed up the first day with a shirt that said "Straight Pride"on the front, and on the back a verse from Leviticus that says that if you are gay, you ought to be put to death. (I'm simplifying it, of course, you can see the various versions of the verse here)
They were asked to cover their shirts and they did; they were not punished. The next day two more students showed up with these shirts and were asked to cover them-and they did. End of it right? No, of course not, there are now right wing nut jobs who've jumped all over the issue pushing their own religious and political agenda onto these teens.
Let me just say this-while I don't agree with the sentiment of "straight pride" (Or gay pride, as far as that goes, we don't need to discuss our sexuality with other people in my very humble opinion) as an educator, I can see why no one was punished-freedom of speech and all that HOWEVER the fact that the verse on the back was a full on threat bothers me. In my opinion, that sort of hate speech is completely and utterly inappropriate in a school setting and the three teens should have had some sort of repercussions for wearing that awful shirt.
As if it isn't hard enough being a teenager, think about the gay teen, who is more than likely ostracized for the mere fact that they are gay, and now they have classmates who are promoting the belief that if you're gay you should be killed.
NEWSFLASH PEOPLE: NO ONE should be killed because of their beliefs-just because YOU don't agree with someone or what they believe doesn't make them wrong. I don't agree with people who kiss their dogs on the mouth, but I certainly don't think they should be put to death. I don't agree with people who consider women second class citizens, but I don't think they should be put to death.
What I want to know is where were those teens parents? How in the hell did they get out the door with that sort of message on their shirt? AND if the parents believe homosexuals should be killed because of their sexual orientation, why would they be passing that onto their children? My God, of all the things to teach your children, hate is NOT one of the things that should be high up on your list. (shouldn't be on the list at all, really)
I am mostly Christian. I fully believe that GOD makes us the way we are-God made me a brunette with a tendency to have a large rear end and a love for all of his children; gay or straight. I have a hard time believing that God would want HIS people to persecute, ridicule, and punish those who don't fit their stereotype of the what God would want. EVEN if the bible says something is wrong and should be punished, I strongly feel that we ought to go back to basics. Our church has a motto; "People matter, things don't" and if you boil down all of the bits and stories in the bible, that's what it says. PEOPLE matter, what they do in their bedroom does not-who they choose to love does not-PEOPLE matter-as it's been said, hate the sin, but not the sinner.
Come on, it's not that hard of a concept-treat others the way you'd like to be treated.