The Bullying Tactics of “Anti-Bullying” Activists
The Bullying Tactics of “Anti-Bullying” Activists
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   04.24.09

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Although the experience of being slandered over the past couple of weeks has been painful, the reason I’m writing about it has nothing to do with my feelings. My experience is, unfortunately, not unique. All over the country, those who publicly affirm conservative beliefs about homosexuality with the same conviction that supporters of subversive views of homosexuality affirm theirs will experience “the wrath of the tolerant” in the form of lies, obscenities, name-calling, or worse.

It’s important that people be prepared for the hostility and deceit they will encounter if they speak publicly and resolutely about homosexuality. My hope is that conservatives will neither allow this kind of hostility to silence them, nor allow it to embitter them. We desperately need more courageous conservatives who will speak the truth graciously as Miss California, Carrie Prejean, recently did, even if it results in being publicly called scurrilous names.

Recently I wrote an article in which made several unambiguous statements regarding bullying, which were then twisted beyond recognition by homosexual blogger Timothy Kincaid:

  • I said that name-calling is deplorable and should stop; Mr. Kincaid says I approve of such name-calling.
  • I wrote that all are created in the likeness and image of God; Mr. Kincaid says I think it’s okay to “push gay kids into lockers, beat them up, threaten them, and subject them to a constant barrage of insults.”
  • I wrote that I have never bullied a homosexual teen or endorsed such despicable behavior; Mr. Kincaid says “Laurie finds it reasonable . . . to torment gay kids . . . with taunts of ‘faggot’ and to physically abuse and threaten them. Because in her world Christians are required to ‘condemn’ objectionable behavior – which means public derision and abuse.”
  • I wrote that no conditions, volitional or non-volitional, including homosexuality, diminish the pleasure I take in people’s company or my respect for their myriad good qualities; Mr. Kincaid says that “To Laurie, Christian students should show contempt and disgust and derision. It is a good thing to abuse their fellow students that they think might be gay. It’s the Christian thing to do.”
  • I wrote that schools must work to end bullying; Mr. Kincaid says I think nothing of the deaths of children.

IFI and over twenty other pro-family organizations opposed the exploitation of the classroom for the Day of Silence political protest. Somehow supporters of the Day of Silence persist in making the absurd claim that anyone who opposes classroom silence supports bullying. They are saying that unless you support their particular endeavor to curb bullying, you support bullying. That sounds rather like blackmail to me: Either adopt or acquiesce to their particular disruptive plan for combating bullying, or they will publicly vilify and lie about you. GLSEN has been remarkably successful in duping school administrators, teachers, parents, and the public at large into believing that the only way to prove that one opposes bullying is to support student vows of silence during instructional time.

But student vows of silence are not the only way or an appropriate way to combat bullying. And GLSEN is not the organization whose anti-bullying efforts public schools should adopt. GLSEN has a well-known socio-political agenda that is woven into all their public school efforts, including the Day of Silence. Integral to that agenda is the goal of undermining moral opposition to homosexual behavior. But I will let Mr. Kincaid make that case in his own words. Here is what he wrote on his blog:

“This is why they fight so hard against the Day of Silence and Gay-Straight Alliances. Not because of sex, but because these groups help counter the culture of disapproval and condemnation.”

Here Kincaid acknowledges precisely what I’ve said: Day of Silence and gay-straight alliances seek to end bullying by transforming disapproval of homosexuality into approval.

For organizations like GLSEN, the goals of ending bullying and normalizing homosexuality are indissolubly linked. They refuse to decouple them. In their view, statements of moral disapproval of homosexual acts are tantamount to bullying. Already schools expend an inordinate amount of time and money on illegitimate efforts to equate homosexuality to race and biological sex, and to persuade children and teens that homosexual behavior is morally equivalent to heterosexual behavior. These claims are neither factual nor true. Moreover, it is not the business of schools to advance them.

Despite Mr. Kincaid’s dishonest efforts to demonize me and mischaracterize the Walkout, many people still possess sufficient common sense to realize there are ways to go about curbing bullying that don’t involve intrusive classroom vows of silence or affirmation of behavior that many find immoral. And despite Mr. Kincaid’s protestations to the contrary, many people who oppose the exploitation of the classroom also care deeply about the suffering of bullied children. In fact, it might surprise Mr. Kincaid to learn that many teachers who hold politically left-of-center beliefs and who detest bullying as much as Mr. Kincaid and I do also dislike the Day of Silence. They dislike it because the best teachers want to teach the subject matter for which they were hired to teach without the distraction and disruption of classroom political protests.

All schools have anti-bullying policies and the vast majority enforces them. But no policy and no curricula can prevent all bullying. And the fact that kids are still bullied is certainly not evidence that vows of classroom silence are needed. We should look for better means for combating bullying, but GLSEN offers none.

In a recent interview, I made the statement that virtually all schools have ample anti-bullying policies, a statement with which Professor Warren Throckmorton disagrees. He sees the recent suicides of Carl Walker-Hoover, Jaheem Herrera, and Eric Mohat, three young boys who could not endure another day of relentless, senseless ridicule at the hands of peers, as evidence that schools lack sufficient anti-bullying policy. I and many others hope their tragic suicides will result in better solutions to the seemingly intractable problem of bullying. But their deaths tell us precisely nothing about the appropriateness or efficacy of classroom vows of silence.

The fact that bullying persists may have nothing to do with the content or implementation of school policy or curricula. The cause of the problem may be the diminishing influence of faith and the growth of family dysfunction. The problem may be that splintered families create hurt and anger in children who look for vulnerable peers upon whom to unleash their anger. The problem may be that there are too few intact families raising children with authentic Christian beliefs. It is Scripture that would teach children to love their neighbors as themselves, and to know right from wrong. It is also Scripture that would teach kids who experience same-sex attraction that they are no different from those who experience other sinful desires and that they too are of infinite value to God. It is Scripture that would teach them God’s design for sexuality and that Jesus Christ offers freedom and hope.

This, of course, isn’t the business of public schools. Nor is it the business of public schools to promulgate to children the bleakly deterministic, arguable theory that homosexuality is inherent and immutable, or the non-factual belief that homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality.

There is no evidence of which I’m aware that suggests that compassionate, intelligent expositions of conservative views of homosexuality are the cause of either hatred or violence. Rather, it is ignorant, hate-filled, deceitful rhetoric that fuels ignorant, hateful bullying. It’s rhetoric not unlike that used by Timothy Kincaid that spawns ignorance, hatred, and violence.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years...
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