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Kenneth is the latest victimof anti-gay bullying encouraged by the religious right’s rhetoric and their efforts to curtail or stop anti-bullying legislation and policies.
“A gay Iowa teen has taken his own life after friends and family say that classmates sent him death threats on his cell phone and made him the subject of a Facebook hate group.
“As KTIV is reporting, 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. began to be teased and bullied by classmates at South O'Brien High School after he came out earlier this year. ‘People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him,’ sister Kayla Weishuhn, a sophomore, is quoted as saying. ‘A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything.’
“The anti-gay teasing reportedly also continued online, where classmates created a hate group against gays and added Kenneth's friends as members, and got even worse when the freshman started receiving death threats from students on his phone.
“Weishuhn’s mother Jeannie Chambers said her son told her, ‘Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated.’ …”
Groups such as AFA, FRC, and AFTAH claim to be “Christian” organizations whose “opposition” to homosexuality is biblically based. Problem: Jesus said absolutely nothing about what today we call “homosexuality.” Misogynist Paul did in his letter to the Romans (1:26-27). But then again, he never met Jesus and was pretty much making things up as he went in his drive to create a religion in his own image: he though celibacy was the ideal lifestyle. For Paul, marriage was an option only if one could not control his natural, human urges.
The Old Testament does have specific proscriptions against homosexual activities, but then again it also sanctions slavery, murdering those who work on the Sabbath or who wear clothing made of two different threads and, of course, stoning to death those nasty non-virgin brides.
I’ve been researching and writing about – on-line and in peer-reviewed journals – the religious right’s campaign of hate and disinformation targeting gay and lesbian American for a decade now. They haven’t changed their tune, but they have lost credibility. Nevertheless, they continue to make fools of themselves and expose the extent of their sadistic pathologies as was so well illustrated recently by Sean Harris, senior pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina:
“By Neal Broverman
“MAY 01 2012
“The words of a homophobic North Carolina preacher are reverberating around the Internet today, following a sermon in which he advocated physically assaulting toddlers with ‘limp wrists.’ …
“Sean Harris … the senior pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, is a strong supporter of North Carolina’s proposed antigay Amendment One. In Sunday's sermon, Harris screams like a maniac about cracking limp wrists and punching young children who exhibit gender-variant behavior. … Listen to the audio, obtained by GoodAsYou.org.”
Violence against gays was also the advice of Dominic Dieter, a DJ at Cleveland rock station WMMS:
“By Neal Broverman
“April 27 2012
“The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is on the offensive after a Cleveland morning DJ made a horrifying comment that suggested a man allow his gay daughter to be raped.
“The comment was made by Dominic Dieter, a DJ at Cleveland rock station WMMS. Speaking during the Rover's Morning Glory show, Dieter was discussing a man who wrote the radio station about his gay daughter. ‘You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight,’ Dieter said, according to viewers. …”
In his “apology,” Dieter had the audacity to say, “And I want to make it clear; there was absolutely no intention to promote physical or sexual violence.” How does one advocate rape without promoting physical and sexual violence?
Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, Peter LaBarbera, Sean Harris, Dominic Dieter: you can’t be held legally responsible, but your constant demeaning and mocking of gay men and women makes you morally culpable for the bullying-provoked suicide deaths of young gay teens and the homophobic violence perpetrated against every gay and lesbian person. You incite and justify violence. You’re a disgrace to the religion you claim to champion.