Yes, all bullying is bad, but Matt Barber is being disingenuous

Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, the first c...

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Yesterday, I ran across a Truth Wins Out blog post by Evan Hurst.  Evan dissected an interview between Peter LaBarbera (of the disingenously named Americans For Truth About Homosexuality) and Matt Barber (of Liberty Counsel).  Both men are professional (and by that term, I only mean that they get paid for those efforts) anti-gay activists.  Matt was talking about the recent flack he’s been (justifiably) taking for claiming that gay kids commit suicide because they know deep down that being gay is a sin.  During that interview, Matt made the following infuriating comment.

They promote these propagandist ‘LGBT’ laws to the exclusion and detriment of other classes of kids who are perhaps even more frequently bullied and in larger numbers: Overweight kids and racial minorities come to mind.

This is infuriating to hear, because the statement is nothing more than a diversionary tactic by s9omeone who doesn’t care about anti-gay bullying.  It’s not only disingenuous, it demonstrates that they don’t really care about anyone who gets bullied.  Want proof?  What “all-inclusive bullying protections” have Matt Barber and company actually supported?  What “all-inclusive” legislation have they pushed any level of government representative to introduce, sponsor, or support?  Any?  Any at all?

And truth be told, Matt is ignoring the institutional church’s and many religious organizations’ complicity in anti-gay bullying, complicity that encourages and condones (if not explicitly, then implicitly) in ways that the bullying of overweight kids or racial minorities aren’t.

I know of know major Christian denomination who has an official doctrinal stance that states that overweight people or racial minorities are inherently disordered.  I know of no religious organizations that have been formed specifically for the purpose of “fighting the evil overweight agenda.”  I have yet to hear an entire sermon preached on the evils of overeating or being black.  I have not ministers, religious organizations, or political organizations make a concentrated campaign to spread defamatory and damaging propaganda about overweight people, and no one outside of organizations who attack racial minorities would even consider remaining silent when confronted by those organization’s tactics.

No, this kind of institutionalized dehumanization and vilification is currently reserved solely for QUILTBAG individuals, and it’s the kind of thing that not only condones anti-gay (and anti-QUILTBAG)  bullying, but implicitly (if not explicitly) encourages it.  And that’s the painful truth that people like Matt Barber are trying to obscure when they pay lip service to the truth that all bullying should be stopped.  They’re trying to shift attention back to the cases of bullying they can fully get behind so that no one notices their silence regarding the bullying they’re okay with.

4 thoughts on “Yes, all bullying is bad, but Matt Barber is being disingenuous”

  1. I was always taught two wrongs don’t make a right. Even if overweight and racial minority kids get bullied more often (and I say “if” because in truth I have no idea of the stats) I don’t see why GLBT kids should be criticized for speaking out, or why GLBT interest groups should be criticized for speaking out for them. Bullying is wrong whatever form it comes in.

  2. Thanks, Matt. Unfortunately, this whole thing ties into the whole “gay people are looking for ‘special rights’ rather than equality” meme that the anti-gay industry is trying to sell. Or at least that’s how it seems to me.

  3. I hate these fights. I care SO much about bullying, and I’m glad that gay support has come to deal with this. I don’t know what to do with this, because, having been bullied (and not fat or minority, just smart and mom dressed me funny) that the WHOLE cultural norm that says some kids get to be ok, and others get to live their lives persecuted, needs to be challenged, HARD, not just the bits against teh ghey.

    OTOH, I totally understand that the institutionalization of gay demonization is cringe-worthy and also should be pushed back HARD.

    And I don’t want to show up as a concern-troll ally and go, But, but my people! If it’s gay specific, I’ll totally roll with it. If it can be applied to all the picked-on kids, I’ll work for that, for ALL the bullied kids: Gays and nerds and “ugly” and overweight and disabled and racial minority. OK?

    (I’m redundant, it’s early. This is not a composition, it’s a reaction. And friendly, I hope. Thanks for letting me come.)

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