People are not thinking straight, so to speak, as “gay” teen suicide escalates into a lightning rod issue. Communities are being rushed to implement something, anything, to stop the hatred, the bigotry, which can be seen in … what?

Oh, sure, there are the actual bullies, the actual perpetrators of vicious verbal and physical harassment. But punishing those individuals alone would be way too easy, and under closer examination, the stories may not line up exactly as the “queer” lobby wishes. So never let a good crisis go to waste, the revolutionaries say.

It’s certainly understandable that people are grieving the loss of precious young lives. And yes, the hallways are increasingly uncivil in public schools. But the demands are over-the-top as the “gay” lobby intends to use the tragedies to silence all unwanted opinions and to make sweeping claims not supported by hard evidence.

Why are we turning a blind eye, then, to another potentially explosive kind of rhetoric: the anti-chubby messages sent every day in our schools, now encouraged by our first lady?

Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative describes the health risks of childhood obesity as well as associated low self-esteem and social stigmatization. The research shows that overweight kids are at very high risk for being bullied.

OK, then, can we get some “sensitivity training” arranged for the first lady next? And all the health teachers? The cafeteria workers may need close review. And then, out in the community, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig? We have to police this thing before it gets out of control.

The overweight kids are frequently bullied, but lack George Soros-funded lobbying groups. They don’t have “pride” parades. And to think even the nation’s first lady is making them feel bad by her biased rhetoric. Lose weight? Aren’t you just creating a “climate of hate” for the bullies?

Every time a teacher at school mentions calorie counting, or recommends fresh fruits and vegetables, the heavy kids slink down in their seats. Here it comes … more ammunition for the pokes and jabs out in the hall later. “Hey, tubbo!” “How about some broccoli, Fatso?” “Oink, oink!” And lunch is a living nightmare, day after day. So mean!

But collective wisdom supports telling these kids the truth regardless. How cruel that adults would actually recommend health and lifestyle practices that are in the long-term best interests of kids, and expect schools to still protect kids in the midst of school activities. Or responsible and mature, perhaps.

OK, I hope I’ve made the point. Actually, this is probably the one issue where I would agree with Michelle Obama.

The accusations, the outrageous claims, the “blood on your hands” e-mails I and others are receiving need to stop. Traditional sexual morality is good for kids, period. And “support” for homosexuality will only do more harm, not good. No one is suggesting any harm come to kids – just the opposite.

Yet the press is on to rounding up the usual suspects for public castigation – Christians, conservatives and anyone who doesn’t pedal the “gay” spin machine. New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino comes to mind.

But other areas of disturbing bigotry and discrimination may need new monitoring, like boy/girl dances, prom kings and queens, and even girls who are still able to use the restroom without skirted males present. And let’s not forget football teams with – gasp – only boys!

Some schools are considering adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to school non-discrimination policies (essentially endorsing and protecting such behavior). In Saline, Mich., the school only has two “harassment” incidents on record involving homosexuality, both verbal, and one prompted by the heterophobic, anti-Christian “Day of Silence” observance in April. Still, the school system is putting it at the top of the board agenda, despite the existence of the district’s enumerated bullying policy already covering “sexual orientation.”

But let’s face it – bullies are arrogant, troubled kids who use anything to bully. They pick on human weaknesses, real or perceived. Even if all bullies became amnesiacs tomorrow on the subject of sexuality, forgetting all slurs like “sissy” or worse, guess what? They would dream up something else, and often against the same kids.

This is why you punish behavior, not beliefs or presumed beliefs. Bullies can use academic achievement as an insult. “You think you’re smarter than everyone, don’t you?” So, do we need to increase our support for low achievement, so these kids feel “safe”? Where do the unsupportable, spurious connections end?

In some instances, students are bullied because they don’t support homosexuality, because they have high moral standards for sexual behavior, or because they are Christians. Some kids have told parents they don’t want to go back to school the next day, because the “gay” kids are so vicious.

Does this mean that only positive views of Christianity should be allowed? That all students and teachers need training in sensitivity toward those who believe homosexuality is wrong? Not a bad idea – but are Christians asking for that? I don’t know of any.

Genuine Christian attitudes and traditional values actually foster peace, security and harmony, with respect and kindness among students. That’s why you don’t hear much about these troubling incidents happening at Christian and parochial schools. The climate is usually different, with high standards, involved parents and an atmosphere of personal accountability. Kids are unlikely to be “supported” as they make age-inappropriate decisions that compromise their whole school experience, like boys dressing as girls and demanding to use the female bathroom. Or girls being encouraged to label themselves “lesbian” before the whole school at age 13. Kids are secure and protected, even from their own worst impulses.

Let’s support respect for every person, but not for all behaviors, and let’s challenge those who say they hate bullying to stop being bullies themselves.



Linda Harvey is president of Mission America and hosts a daily radio talk show in Ohio.

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