by Leah Waldron
If you are 8 years old and an adult gives you a guide book on how to treat gay kids in your class, would you follow it? What if you were gay, yourself? This week, Linda Harvey, of “Mission: America,” released a new children’s anti-bullying guide that is anything but helpful to children–gay or otherwise. If Harvey’s guide is disseminated to parents and children, it will only add to the staggering number of LGBT youth suicides—an ironic, hypocritical twist on the “right to life” mantra most conservative Christians espouse.
Using the Bible rather than the law as her cited source, Harvey tells children that bullying in any form is wrong, but that they should “never try to make him feel better by saying ‘gay’ is okay.” To help break this down for the impressionable, assumed-to-be-Christian children reading the guide, Harvey compares homosexuality to obesity:
“Kids who are overweight are sometimes bullied, too. And we might want to make that person feel better. But it would be a mistake to say that overeating is a good thing, right? So tell your 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 ridiculous homosexuality/obesity comparison aside, I find it even more ironic that Harvey is instructing children to tell other kids to slow down on the eating—i.e.: bully them for being overweight (What if little Jimmy is overweight because he loves Chick-fil-A freedom-of-delicious-speech rallies?) Not to mention the nuanced jab against transgender kids (if you missed it in the quote above, Harvey writes that children who “pretend to be the other gender” are not “okay,” either.
Nice. Harvey has managed—with one guide—to make the lives of children monumentally worse—and possibly up the suicide rate while she’s at it. Not only has she spelled it out that being a gay child is “not okay,” but she is instructing children to tell overweight kids to put down that value meal.
Telling a child that it is “not okay” to be gay is tantamount to telling them, in many cases, that life is not worth living. As of 2002, a third of LGBT teens (grades 9-12) reported a suicide attempt, and in a 2005 study, 90 percent of LGBT students said they had experienced anti-gay bullying. The only way to stop the rate of bullying-related LGBT suicide is to tell children that being gay is not only “okay,” but absolutely fine (in other words, “it gets better”).
Harvey does not care about LGBT children’s “right to life,” and is instructing school children to do her dirty work for her. She has not written an anti-bullying guide, but a manual on how to bully someone for being gay (or overweight); telling a child that it is wrong to be gay—even if you do it in a non-violent way—is not only bullying, but a suggestion that life is not worth living.
Everyone deserves a right to life. When people like Linda Harvey tell children that they are not “okay”, they are not helping anyone. They are playing God.
Truth Wins Out