“Free Speech” & “Hate Speech”

If the Bible truly calls for gays to be put to death, then don’t public school students have the right to wear t-shirts to class that simply repeats the Scripture? Yes, says faulty thinker Jerry Moore, in perhaps the dumbest argument in favour of "Straight Pride" shirts yet.

When a handful of teens showed up to St. Charles North High School in Illinois wearing "Straight Pride" shirts ("If a man lay with a male as those who lay with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and shall surely be put to death," was written on the back), they were told by administrators to cross out the offending Biblical passages with marker. They complied, and the next day a different set of students wore homemade "Straight Pride" shirts, sans Bible verses. But barring kids from wearing shirts with Christ’s alleged teachings on them is an infringement of their religious freedoms, argues Moore, the opinions editor for Suburban Life Publications in Chicago.

Three students at the high school wore T-shirts Nov. 8 with “Straight Pride” on the front. The shirts also had the biblical passage Leviticus 20:13 on the back, declaring that people who engage in homosexual activity should be put to death. That’s pretty strong stuff, but it is what the Bible teaches. If these students believe in the Bible, they have every right to promote death for gays.

Which is akin to saying that if students believe some random fairy tale that says Jews — or blacks, or women, or puppy dogs — deserve to be slaughtered, that too is protected speech. It is not. And Moore winds up his haphazard argument without really concluding one way or another whether Biblical teaching can qualify as prohibited speech.

Is it hate speech? Well, wishing to see someone’s life extinguished isn’t very compassionate. It depends on the students’ motives in conveying this message. But is hate speech protected under the U.S. Constitution? Very much so –– as long as you don’t incite or threaten violence, it’s considered free speech.

Also true. But missing from Moore’s argument is standing precedent that allows students’ First Amendment rights to be infringed if their activities inhibit the normal activities of a school. Saying your classmates deserve to be executed surely qualifies as problematic. [via Queerty]

  

132 thoughts on ““Free Speech” & “Hate Speech””

  1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, …”

    Bible crap on T-shirts (or anywhere else) IN SCHOOL infringes on our Constitutional right of SEPARATION of church and state.

    And those are the FIRST WORDS of the First Amendment — to LIMIT RELIGION from being in the government.

    1. Penboy, you’re missing a very important part of the First Amendment, which reads in part “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.”

      That second clause is very relevant here. It protects the right of fundamentalists to believe as they wish as surely as it protects your right NOT to believe. The framers of the Constitution were JUST as concerned with preventing the government from controlling the content of private belief (or unbelief) among the citizenry as they were with keeping institutional religion from dictating the secular laws of the state.

      Public school teachers and administrators are prohibited from wearing religious clothing or accoutrements, leading students in prayer, teaching creationism, etc. while on the job because they are acting as agents of the state, not as private citizens. Students, on the other hand, are not only NOT public employees, they are compelled by law to attend until they turn 16, unless they are enrolled in a state-accredited private school. They continue to function as private citizens in school and hence do not forfeit their right to religious expression (or any other right) the moment they walk in the doors. A student wearing a “Kill all the gays” T-shirt is indeed offensive and potentially provocative, but it does NOT amount to a violation of the Establishment Clause, and even the most liberal, pro-gay Supreme Court justice would likely agree.

      The ONLY legal ground upon which a student could be prohibited from wearing such a T-shirt while in school is the very real possibility that it might incite violence, which surely amounts to an infringement upon the normal activities of the school. As Josh noted above, there is standing court precedent in this regard allowing teachers to act.

      The tension between the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause is why cases such as this are so constitutionally problematic and why they provoke such strong feelings on all sides of the issue.

      I would strongly advise you to check out Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. (www.au.org) for a deeper understanding of what is permitted and what is prohibited in the public schools when it comes to religion. It’s bad enough that fundamentalists consistently misrepresent and misinterpret the First Amendment to suit their own ends. We don’t need a band of disaffected secularists following in their footsteps and making the situation worse.

      1. No, I wasn’t missing that “important part” of the very next phrase. I left it out because I really don’t have any problem with it as I don’t care WHICH religion you or anyone else “belongs to.” That’s immaterial to the point I was bringing up.

        You responded (with a very well written response, I might add) to essentially my first post but you appear to have neglected to notice that I said (and EMPHASIZED) “IN SCHOOL.” (And my inference was, of course, PUBLIC school.)

        And as I pointed out elsewhere, every PUBLIC school in America has their own written “code of conduct” or “behavioral rules” to which ALL the students are to abide by or risk some sort of punishment such as either suspension or possible expulsion, depending on the administration.

        Wearing a T-shirt like above (with the inflammatory writing on the back (or wherever) and visible to the other students and staff) could easily be construed as negative behavior/speech under their own guidelines.

        So, while everything else you responded with, and in theory, even clothes like that are protected, the Supreme Court has already ruled a precedent that Schools can have some type of code of conduct because students through high school are MINORS and therefore require guidance.

        And it’s EXACTLY the reason of that FIRST PHRASE of the 1st Amendment, that we have ruled for the SEPARATION of church and state (and that includes PUBLIC schools). Again, notice that SEPARATION was their FIRST CONCERN, and THEN, if you do believe, it can be any sect you desire.

        While I will probably look up that site for curiosity, I don’t NEED to go there just to understand the nature of free speech and how it applies to our government which includes schools. But, I won’t deny I can learn something as well.

        Thank you for that very well thought out and extremely well written response. I always appreciate reading comments like that on the Internet.

        ‹(•¿•)›

  2. Biblical passages considered as hate speech? Leviticus 20:13 should qualify for that.

  3. This is the first time I’ve been torn on something like this.
    I’ve been an advocate for believing as long as you don’t push it on unwilling people, you should be able to practice your religion, no matter what you are, in school, meaning being able to carry your bible or whatever else with you and pray and whatever else. I’ve been such a strong believer in this that I’ve actually been kicked out of my class on more than one occasion for arguing my point with teachers who didnt want to have the conversation questioned, and different students who ridiculed people who believe differently than them.
    But when it’s something like this, it really tears me at both sides, because while I believe you should be able to openly be religious at school, I also believe you should be able to be openly gay without judgment, ridicule, or anything else.
    The whole ‘against’ the bible thing really tugs on my heart a lot too, because while I am getting to be more comfortable with being bisexual, I also am a Christian, and that conflict weighs on my mind a lot. =/
    Idk, this article (and subject) is a really tough one.

    1. “because while I believe you should be able to openly be religious at school,”

      THAT’S part of the problem with you religious types. You think you have to push that bullshit onto everyone and everywhere and insist on acting like it’s facts and some science. And you INSIST on throwing out the First Amendment just so all of you can make all the laws you want — in essence make this country a theocracy. IT’S NOT. That first line gives us freedom from religion — and it’s the FIRST ITEM above all else.

      Public schools are a part of our government, whether you like it or not. READ THE FIRST LINE OF THE FIRST COMMENT IN HERE.

      What’s there to be “torn” about? Respect the Constitution.

      1. How about espect other people? That’s one hundred times more important than respecting the contitution in my opinion. And since when did all religious people get lumped into one category? I never have tried to push my religion on anyone else, I just deserve the right to have a bible with me if I want, just like someone else has the right to have a Koran with them at school.
        It’s factual to me, but I don’t expect people to believe the same as me, and I don’t try and change their beliefs to fit my own. You should have taken time to read my comment better.
        I’d also like to say, the only time I EVER see you commenting on something is picking someone apart and being, for lack of a better word, a complete tool. Why not go to a community more fit for being super critical about everything and of one another?
        Like I said before, I never would try and push MY beliefs on someone. I just want and deserve my right to be a christian, just like I want my friends to have the right to be a muslim, buddhist, or whatever else they may be. It’s a matter of RESPECTING one another. I don’t approve of, and in fact I have a huge problem, with churches like Westboro Baptist Church, and the Save The Family one, or whatever its called. They give goodhearted christians a bad name, and it is NOT like that in 99% of christian churches.

        1. @SuperVee (and others like him):

          I am going to make a few assumptions, just based on those 2 posts you just made:
          1. Your family (immediate, as well as ‘grand’ and uncles/aunts) is probably very or even extremely religious.
          2. You have been attending church (and my pure guess here is some type of protestant, i.e., not catholic — but I may be wrong) since you were VERY YOUNG, possibly since 4-5 yrs old?
          3. You not only went to church EVERY SUNDAY & HOLIDAYS (when possible), but probably attended other religious classes, i.e., some type of bible study, et al.
          4. You did quite a bit of “socializing” within the church and its activities and you regularly saw your neighbors, others from all your schools, etc.

          (I mention all of those because I am very familiar with the typical religious cycles and they reflect my own childhood and family obligations — my uncle was a catholic priest for over 40 years.)

          Now, let’s get into specifics:

          The ENTIRE 2nd paragraph of your first post belies your true “calling” and to me, at least, shows how you actually DO TRY to push your religion or its concepts (generally as subtle as you think you are) to as many as you can if you think you can do so. Because I’ve had a strong religious background, I certainly know when people like you grab their first opportunities to start preaching (whatever it is that you deem “appropriate” at that time) “the gospel” and/or your religious views that’s been crammed into your head since you’ve been very young. While you might not be outright “preaching” every moment you can, the VERY ACT of having that damn bible with you WHILE AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL, is the same as preaching to others like me who [now] prefer to believe in common sense/logic and scientific theories (which HAVE BEEN PROVEN regardless of how you interpret the word “theories” when applied to math and science).

          How about this? Instead of carrying that damn bible to school (don’t you know by now pretty much everything it says?) how about carrying, you know, your SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS that you might need to read so you can pass all the tests and of course gain insight to whatever subject it may be? I’m not saying that you “don’t deserve to have” a bible with you, but why carry this obvious symbol of incitement into a place where it has no business being there? You’re only asking for confrontation (from people like me — at least since my 2nd year of high school but was still FORCED to go to church on Sundays). Yes, I admit to being confrontational with regard to religions and don’t mind being considered on the far left in this area — because it represents logic and science.

          You say it’s factual to you, “but [you] don’t expect people to believe the same as [yourself]” If this book is so factual, WHY IS IT that it is ILLEGAL to teach anything from that book in PUBLIC schools and WHY IS IT that the words of that book are NEVER used (for intelligent people) as an absolute alternate TRUE scientific theory for two of the most important science discoveries and proofs in mankind and this entire planet: 1) the beginning of this planet and its life; and, 2) evolution (the continuance of life) on this planet?

          If you’re TRULY LOOKING for facts regarding those 2 within schools, you should look into and read thoroughly (and PBS has an excellent documentary of this trial): Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover [PA] Area School District, et al. In this documentation and the documentary about it, you will see exactly HOW the religious right deliberately tried to scam the public with these bullshit “theories” (and I hate insulting science that way) of both “Creationism” and, the most laughable one, “Intelligent Design” in the [new] Biology textbooks. (In fact, the PBS documentary is called, “Intelligent Design On Trial” [2004]. You will see proven facts that the religious right, in order to push this I.D. bullshit, just “edited over” the word “Creationism” with “Intelligent Design” in either a child’s book or a new school text (I forget which one off the top of my head). And to make this laughable (in the worst way), there were those passages that “C” and “n” weren’t even deleted when they COPIED & PASTED their “new” concept over the already proven wrong concept. How is that for spreading their religious bullshit into our schools?

          I could go on and on about that “factual bible” and “its teachings.” But I think I’ve shown enough of a point (actually 2 major ones) about scientific facts. Oh, and BTW, the Judge in the above trial is in fact, very religious and was appointed to the Federal Court by, none other than, GW Bush.

          1. Sorry but this is the correct statment:
            “there were those passages that “C” and “m” weren’t even deleted when they COPIED/CUT & PASTED their “new” concept over the already proven wrong concept.”

            Again, sorry, it’s just one of my typing and proofreading “faux pas” (that I complain to others about, but this isn’t so bad considering the amount of text).

            ‹(•¿•)›

          2. You’re wrong, I don’t ever talk to anyone about my or any other religion unless I am asked to by them specifically, or they confront me, which has been unprovoked every time, about how I am less than for believing differently than them. Those are the ONLY times I find it necessary to talk about religion, even outside of school, unless it is in a church.
            No, I do not regularly attend church, I wish I did more but I haven’t been in months, and even when I went then it was the first time in a very long time. I just have an educated understanding of what Christianity is.
            Contrary to your post, I don’t carry a bible with me anywhere, but I will fight tooth and nail for my right, and the right of anyone else, to carry artifacts of their religion if they want to.
            Yes my family is very religious, and as such I was brought up in a religious environment, but that does not make me closed minded to any other religions. I do not believe in them, but I do not have a problem with anyone else believing in it at all.
            In all honesty, the people who make this an issue are the people who get out of hand (like the people in this article) and people like you, who let something that shouldn’t affect you like this bother you so badly to the point you’re driven to anger. You should not be any more upset when you see a child carrying a childrens book than you should if you see a teenager carrying a Bible, theyre both fairytales to you, why do you have to make an issue of one instead of letting it go like the other?
            I’m done with this conversation. You are seriously one of the most arrogant people I’ve ever heard, and you’re the closedminded one here, and the only one pushing their beliefs onto others. Just because you don’t have a religion doesn’t mean you can take the rights away from anyone else. You’re free to not believe, just as I’m free to believe. To each their own.

            1. @SuperVee:
              I’m arrogant? OK, if you insist. But in your reply, I noticed that you ONLY addressed the issue of carrying your bible with you in school (obviously to make sure as many of the other students see it as possible). You SAY you don’t bring up the religious subject or you haven’t brought your bible with you to school, but you’re so adamant on fighting for that right to carry your bible at school (which you have already — no one can stop you from doing that). So that leads me to believe that you DO bring up the religious subject when you think you can (regardless of what you deny).

              And, by your own words, “I’ve been such a strong believer in this that I’ve actually been kicked out of my class on more than one occasion for arguing my point with teachers who [didnt] want to have the conversation questioned, …” And that alone leads me to believe that you do in fact try to preach when you can and you keep arguing in favor of allowing (forcing?) religion in the state (including schools) idea. Why are you so intent on this: “but I will fight tooth and nail for my right, and the right of anyone else, to carry artifacts of their religion if they want to” but you say you don’t bring it anywhere with you. I’m not inclined to believe that. But that’s not so important to me as that you didn’t address any of my other issues when I presented real and factual references.

              “You should not be any more upset when you see a child carrying a [childrens] book than you should if you see a teenager carrying a Bible”
              The difference should be clear. A child’s book either TEACHES them something of life and language, or allows them the freedom to let their imaginations roam. Whereas a bible preaches murder and mayhem along with fictional tales of life purporting to be the FINAL FACTS OF SCIENCE which it clearly IS NOT.

              Isn’t it curious that we encourage, even “force” children to read all through that bible with all it’s rants of stoning and killing people for not abiding by some law, but yet will censor books that explain in detail about the physical changes they may or will experience of their body during puberty, or may include the possibility of being a homosexual (which is factual)?

              Again, you didn’t respond to ANY of the specific issues I presented to you, only that “right” to carry your bible. You must know by now how incendiary it is for others (yes, like me, also) in a place of real education to see a bible so purposely exposed and with its obvious intent. If you’re confused, maybe you need to get some real logic into your mind and question some of what that bible purports — like the beginning of time and all that murder and mayhem if you don’t believe. And a quick question of curiosity — have you tried looking up that lawsuit I referenced? Or thought about going to your library and looking for that PBS documentary (it should be there or they can order it — it’s PBS, not some commercial network offering — therefore considered educational).

              But you say, “I’m done with this conversation.” OK, fine. Your choice. But I ask you now, WHERE is the arrogance?

            2. You’re arrogance is in the fact you keep saying what I’ve said isn’t true to prove you’re points. I don’t care if you believe it, I’ve only gotten kicked out of class for telling someone they need to grow up and learn when to shut up and respect people, because I got called, “a fucking idiot” because “the bible is a load of bullshit” and I’m “retarded for believing in retarded shit”. Brought up only because the class was world cultures and religions was a small subject in the course.
              And you can say “I don’t believe you blahblahblah” as many times as you want, I could care less. Truth is, no, I don’t, nor have I ever, or plan to, bring my Bible to school. But I damn sure better have the right if I want to, along with every other person who wants to bring something religious.
              By the way, I’ll have you know I have been close friends with people of many different religions, there’s a common courtesy all decent humans have, called RESPECT, (something you obviously lack) which enable you to accept people’s differences in lifestyles and beliefs.
              Don’t care about your bullshit legal cases. Fact is you pick things apart just to tear people down, it’s true in ALL of your comments on every thread. Find a better use of your time, or go to a community for assholes instead of laying your bullshit here in a community of love and acceptance. Have you noticed theres ONE person who leaves comments being a complete shithead on things, and it’s you.
              There’s your arrogance.
              BTW- I’m friends with atheists, and we get along great, the whole respect thing goes far, you should try it. :)
              <3

            3. He likes to poke holes in arguments, but doesn’t offer much of his own, does he SuperVee?

              He’s not telling you that many things in the scientific community are just theories, or educated guesses. Any scientist worth is merit will tell you they can’t explain everything. Some of the most famous in the world will tell you they have an explanation for everything, except that first spark of life, that first atom. Or, how about the carbon dating system gets screwed up by things being exposed to water?

              I’m not saying the Bible is 100% true, in fact, we’ve proven it isn’t all true. Like how the Bible’s creation story is almost word for word the same as that of the Babylonians, and the Bible was written down during the Babylonian captivity. Coincidence? I think not. That just supports my theory that God reveals Himself to us and explains things to us in ways we can understand.

              PenboyX, I really wish you’d actually read some of the Bible. It is very educational. It has many stories that teach children, and many more that allow their imaginations to roam. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

              Yes, there are some horrible stories in there, but many of our nursery rhymes are horrible stories. I guess kids shouldn’t be allowed to play “Ring Around the Rosie” or “London Bridge” anymore. Those are certainly horrible games right?

            4. Yea, not to mention he poked holes in my argument by just deciding to say I’m lying and act’s like he knows what I do. Haha.
              You’re view on this is very refreshing, thank you for taking time to respond :)

    2. I think the problem here isn’t religion per se, but that the passage they selected to wear called for violence. It (technically) doesn’t matter if it’s against gays, ethnics, religious views, or anything – it was a message that someone should be put to death, period, Which should never be OK in this context. Moreover it called for death over differences between people, and of course it preaches violence against people for love.

      1. I agree entirely.
        My only argument is that people shouldn’t have the right to have anything religious with them at school. If you’re not pushing onto other people or hurting other people, you shouldn’t be condemned by anyone for your beliefs.

    3. @SuperVee
      You are very introspective, honest and sincere. I hope you never loose those qualities.

  4. Perhaps the comeback would be to get T shirts quoting Leviticus 19:19, and condemning anyone wearing a poly-cotton blend shirt.

    1. And maybe Leviticus 25:48-53 — the keeping of slaves. And another one about stoning your wife.

    2. In that case, you might have to have the quote tattooed directly on your chest and go to school shirtless.

      Hmmm, upon further reflection, that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Christian Zealots can have nice bodies, too. And, wouldn’t they feel uncomfortable with me ogling them all day long?!

  5. BEFORE the First Amendment was altered in the House:

    James Madison’s original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ”The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/01.html#1

    It was their intent to NOT have religion a primary concern or to be forced upon us in any way when forming our government back then. It’s just too bad that original text wasn’t finalized instead of the brief segment that is there now.

    1. That’s beautiful, PenboyX. I am going to have to remember that! This is a good example of what happens when a committee gets involved in altering what a clear mind originally creates.

    2. Seems to me that, under this wording, the t-shirts in question would be fully protected.

      I prefer the more vague separation-of-church-and-state wording we have and the subsequent interpretation that limits religious expression in government run schools.

  6. I am sure that if it were possible for Jesus to “make a ruling” on all this, he would say, based on how he is presented in the Gospels, “What concern is it of yours what sexuality someone else has? If you want to be a follower of me, then be concerned about your OWN issues, and leave everybody else alone.”

    I’ve said it many times before, this kind of so-called “Christian” isn’t a true Christian at all (or even religious). They don’t understand the first thing about Jesus, and they aren’t following his teachings. They’re just projecting their own sick psychology and attempting to justify it by falsely calling it a “religious belief.”

  7. Disclaimer: before I write this comment, which I’m sure will be terribly unpopular, please note that I am not affiliated with any specific religion.

    Okay, here it goes: there is no true contradiction between Christianity (in the way it should be) and homosexuality. The truth is that the problem rises when people use their own religion to further their biggoted and hateful beliefs.

    Now to address the term “cafeteria religion.” This term is used to look down upon people who pick and choose what parts of the Bible they follow. Here comes the important part: LADIES AND GENTLEMENT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLLOW EVERY SINGLE LINE OF THE BIBLE. The Bible is extremely contradictory, stating that you should love the sinner, turn your cheek and not cast the stone if you have sinned, however itbalso states that you should put gays to death and stone adulterers. The problem is that religious leaders/extremists emphasize the wrong parts of the Bible to follow.

    So the fault doesn’t lie with religion, it lies with the people who follow the religion and who are dumb enough to follow the parts about hate instead of the parts about love.

    Now, about the article: plainly and simply, these people should not be allowed to wear these shirts. Clearly it presents a clear and present danger to school security. I know that if I wore ashirt to a high school saying straights should be put to death, I’d be considered a threat to school security.

    1. In fact, there is clearly a hierarchy of principles to follow in the bible (for ex., in the gospels, Jesus answers a question about what is the most important “commandment”, among the thousands of existing ones. Jesus answers that one has to love God and one’s neighbour, no killing, no adultery, no bearing false witness, honouring one’s parents, and then, guess what ? the most important thing for Jesus is getting rid of all you possess.

      Strangely enough, many so-called religious people prefer to refer to more esoteric commandments, preferably using them completely out of context, but have no issue whatsoever with money.
      If God exists, all those “religious” people are sure to go to Hell. For having crucified their God and fellow human beings every single day of their miserable life.

      1. Very nicely written. “and then, guess what ? the most important thing for Jesus is getting rid of all you possess.”

        Oh, NO!! All those southern pastors and preachers just can’t have any of that! There’s still that Bentley they ordered last month with its gold lamet (sp?) interior that symbolizes just how truly close they are to ‘god’ and to show that ‘god’ sent this down to their driveway as a way to “thank them” for all the life savings they’ve ripped off from all those old ladies and men — especially the televangelists.

        “preferably using them completely out of context, but have no issue whatsoever with money.”

        You said it, mister! Hallelujah!!!

        ‹(•¿•)›

  8. After a number of incidents where students came to school with T-shirts that included anti-Muslim, anti-gay and other such slogans, our school district put into place a school uniform policy. It is a good solution in that it doesn’t directly put one person’s free speech rights in opposition to another person’s. Instead, students must wear solid color shirts to school: no patterns, no symbols, no words. Legal precedent already allows for schools to set a dress code or uniform.

  9. “But barring kids from wearing shirts with Christ’s alleged teachings on them is an infringement of their religious freedoms, …”

    Wrong. This is an Old Testament quotation, NOT Christ’s teaching. Christ taught love. Be careful what you write.

  10. It seems to me that saying someone deserves death in such a public fashion is tantamount to a threat, which is not protected speech.

  11. How about we make our own religion condemning the condemnation of homosexuality? Then we can call these shirts derogatory and offensive to our religious freedoms.

  12. The courts are clear: any speech that may cause a disruption of the schools mission may be curbed. There is no denial of religion in this case since no religion requires that one wear clothing recommending the death of classmates. Reasonable expression such as wearing black armbands to protest the vietnam war were allowed. Straight pride? no problem. death to gays: problem since it creates an environment that detracts from the school mission just like wearing a klan t-shirt. Stewart is actually citing a precedent that bans an act and not the message. Banning all messages regardless of content is legal. This has all been previously resolved by the supreme court.

  13. Oh, lolz. The OT is filled with this kind of stuff but Leviticus is a delight compared to Deuteronomy telling you what is going to happen if you don’t follow all God’s commandments and statutes.

    I wonder if those christian families also follow the part that says everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death just 4 verses before Leviticus 20:13 ._.

    ____

    On the other hand, I’m not familiar with the current U.S. Law or the original intent of the founding fathers (that’s how you call them, right?) regarding all this but over here you just can’t suggest someone should be put to death (or encourage violence for that matter) on the grounds of his sexual orientation.

    1. Unfortunately churches tend to mix Christianity with Patriotism. I like to agree with over zealous Christians and would wear a shirt that says:

      Jesus was a good example, why don’t you go hang with him.

      :p

  14. I had a t-shirt that I liked best:

    “I can’t even think straight!” XD

    I despise religion but you all know that so why whip a dead horse (not that I would ever whip an animal)?
    I contend the so called Dark Ages were inaugurated by the Christian Church of Rome. :P

  15. @Kevin
    I think you’ve got a good point.
    The bible is very vague and full of metaphors.
    I live in a little town full of mostly republicans. That being said, and religious and generalized natural rights aside, I know if anyone wore that shirt in school, my school district would definitely see that person as a direct threat to the safety of the students and shut it down in a heartbeat.
    Then there would most likely be a small scale bible fueled nuclear war amongst parents lol

  16. In my opinion teaching children this bible crap is tantamount to child abuse. These kids go into the world emotionally and mentally handicapped because of these beliefs. And if they should be gay themselves then traumatized as well. Certainly these t-shirts threaten and could incite violence. On the other hand it might be good to let people literally wear the Bible’s dirty laundry just to show how illogical and mean-spirited Christianity really is.

    1. Very well written. Personally I agree with you. And, personally, I think we should level the “playing field” of those who go to church and believe and those who don’t go to church and don’t believe. We should have a law that NO ONE UNDER 18 should be allowed to go to ANY church as they clearly don’t have the full mental capacity to TRULY BELIEVE in this garbage. (After all, we make them wait until they are 16-18 for drivers’ licenses and at 18 before they can become a “legal adult.”) Then we could really see just how many there would actually be in the “congregation” as believers. If they haven’t been in a church throughout their childhood, let’s see if they would CHOOSE to do so after they turn to adulthood without any of the “benefit” of forced childhood brainwashing.

      666 ‹(•¿•)›

        1. Hey, since probably 99% of ADULTS can’t get it right with this religious idiocy, I wouldn’t expect anyone younger to get it right either — it’s full of so much crap.

          And as far as your reference, a 13-yo COULD understand what he wants with his own body and be mature enough to decide, either pro OR con.

          But EVERY religion does nothing but screw around with everyone’s head with all the FEAR and nonsense they teach. Why pressure our children with more fear than they already have just getting through life?

        2. You call an 18 year old a grown man? He might have the body of grwon man, but mentally he probally still is an adolescent. I know I was…

          1. I was not referring to the specific case featured in the post “Just a Kiss” but rather to the comments made in that thread.

            And, as some of the comments on this blog clearly show, mentally it is possible to be an adolescent way past the age of 18

    2. I agree with this, Islanddreamer.

      Especially the way that Southern Christian and Evangelicals throughout the country, teach their kids nonsense like Creationism and that Tyrannosaurus Rex was a vegetarian gamboling in the Garden of Eden…
      I call that child endangerment and abuse.

  17. Leviticus is in the Old Testament. It’s not a teaching of Christ. The teachings of Christ were actually quite compassionate, and almost what we’d consider socialist.

    Also, people have the right to wear ‘Straight Pride’ tops and practise religion. Whether you find this homophobic, racist or sexist is tough shit. In the US, anyway, this is perfectly legal.

    Remember, heterosexuals are not the enemy. I notice this mentality on the site a lot. Stop it.

    1. “Leviticus is in the Old Testament.”

      So was all that Genesis “In the beginning” bullshit. If you keep getting SELECTIVE of what to believe or not, it just FURTHER SHOWS how that book which was “written” by so many “authors” (or whatever you call them) just can’t get their bullshit in order and makes it even more fiction (but of course, I will allow OBVIOUS good philosophies like, “thou shalt not steal and murder). ANY book of fiction can have some good passages but still tell a fictional story.

      ‹(•¿•)›

      1. A law or commandment cannot be considered fiction, because it makes itself true as long as people obey it and hold others to obeying it. This really doesn’t change just because some of these rules contradict each other and people are forced to pick and choose.

    2. Jesus kept the law of Moses in quite a high esteem. When he cured a leper in Mark 1:44 he said the former leper had to go to the priest to be examined according to Leviticus 14:1-32 (ritual for cleansing healed lepers).

      In John 5:46-47, Jesus asks how could they believe in him if they do not believed in Moses’ writings. While Deuteronomy 26:16-17, God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments. ALL statutes and judgments (with all your heart and with all your soul, mind you).

      Romans 3:31 says the [Moses'] Law is not made void by faith but on the contrary, it is established through faith. Matthew 19:17 encourages to keep the commandments in order to enter into life, this being analogous to Leviticus 18:5.

      Finally, Matthew 5:17-19 discourages from breaking the least of the commandments because Jesus did not came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.

      ____

      My question is, how can you disconnect the Pentateuch written by Moses from the teaching of Jesus and his support for it?

      I would love to read your answer.

      Regards <3

      1. Basically, it’s like this:

        Jesus taught that it’s not the letter of the law that is most important, but the spirit of the law. This has been widely accepted as part of the teachings of Christ since he taught. There are thousands of examples throughout the 2000 years of this. In fact, it’s still widely accepted today by most of the worlds most prominent ministers.

        This argument is used for the reasoning behind now being able to eat pork and shellfish. And for why it’s okay to not go to church every week and many, many other things. Basically, when God gave us some of these rules, they were for our own benefit. We didn’t know how to properly cook those foods, so not eating them was a safety measure for us. That is no longer the case, so it’s okay to eat them now. The spirit of that law was to protect us, but we no longer need that protection, so that law no longer applies.

        This is the same with the argument against homosexuality. (Point of Interest, in almost all references to homosexuality in the Bible it refers to temple prostitution, something Jews/Christ were always against.) The nation of Israel was a small nation surrounded by more powerful, more populous neighbors. A homosexual couple generally does not have any children. This isn’t a good thing when you need as many young men as possible to put in your army.

        Similar arguments were made against slavery. Slaves were “necessary” previously, but no longer are.

        So it isn’t so much of a disconnect as it is understanding the spirit of the law. This is much like our current legal system in America. Or how we can say “Don’t Kill” but in cases of war, killing another is necessary.

        Hopefully that was helpful to you.

        1. Kaeleb–your discussion here is absolutely right-on and it is too bad how many out in the world do not have the ability to reason and understand this way, they just want to have a rule to blindly follow. The Bible is actually full of fascinating things that effectively tell of the time and place and the particular culture where their various rules were meant to apply. I enjoy reading analyses of that sort of thing. For example, in the “prodigal son” story (in which the father forgives and accepts his son), it says that when the father learns that his son is coming back, he goes out to meet him on the road, and when he sees him, he RUNS to greet him. An analysis I read said that in those days, it was considered unseemly for a respected, grown man to run, they were to remain dignified in their bearing. So the fact that this man ran to greet his son shows just how much he loved him and wanted him back. He was willing to sacrifice his dignity in order to make it clear to his son that he was welcome. To me, that makes that whole scene even more powerful that it originally seemed.

          Another analysis I read showed how Jesus truly did accept homosexuals, but to our modern sensibility, we do not catch the clues. One very powerful one is that for the Last Supper, Jesus was going to have this in a secret location (because he knew the Sanhedrin wanted to arrest him and he didn’t want that to happen yet). So the disciples were to look for a man carrying water who would tell them how to find the chosen location. The person writing this analysis said that in that culture, carrying water was women’s work, so when in the Bible a man is described as carrying water, you may as well say “look for the swishy man wearing make-up and calling everybody “girlfriend”. Not every homosexual was “fem”, of course, but in this case, Jesus trusted a fem homosexual with the location of the Last Supper!

          And the very best one of all was the story of the Centurion who sought out Jesus to heal his slave boy. A “Centurion” is a soldier who is a captain over a hundred men, they were very powerful and respected warriors. They very often had what were called “body slaves”, attractive young males from the enemy camp who were captured as slaves and used for sexual purposes. (If I am not mistaken, “The Persian Boy” was an example of such a body slave, in this case for Alexander, the Great, so this concept wasn’t just Roman, but went back into the Macedonian culture, as well.)

          However, in the case of the Centurion who ran through the streets to find and beg Jesus to heal his sick slave, what this meant was that the Centurion and the slave were actually lovers. So that puts it much closer to what we would think of today as homosexual lovers rather than say, owning a rent boy or hustler. Okay, so what did Jesus say about this? “Never among all the Jews in Israel have I ever met a man with faith like this.” [The Romans were considered heathens by the Jews, yet the faith of this Roman soldier surpassed that of the Jews.] “Just as you believed, it will be done.” And when the Centurion returned back to his house, he saw that his slave had been healed (from afar, no less), just as Jesus had promised.

      2. I tend to agree – because Christ did say he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it… However Christ did stop a stoning of a prostitute saying “let he who is without guilt throw the first stone”. It can therefore be inferred that he would have done the same for a gay couple. Christ taught compassion.

        1. Absolutely correct, Aeros. And the best book I ever read that shows that compassion so beautifully is Kahlil Gibran’s Jesus book, “Jesus, the Son of Man, As Told By Those Who Knew Him.” That book is, in fact, my favorite Kahlil Gibran book, and that is saying a lot.

  18. I don’t remember where I found this letter but I think it brings up some interesting points that most people probably don’t know about the bible, I didn’t. I find it odd that no one ever uses the points in the letter to demonstrate why the bible and Leviticus in particular cannot be taken literally anymore. And, would wearing a t-shirt that condoned slavery be OK for all the same reasons as stated for putting gays to death?

    In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

    The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

    Dear Dr. Laura:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
    Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
    I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your adoring fan.

    James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,

    1. @Scott:
      Thanks. After reading this post (and laughing at all the comparison absurdities of those scriptures) I was IMMEDIATELY reminded of that one episode (at the end) of The West Wing.

      The President walks into this reception room with nearly everyone standing EXCEPT this well-dressed female radio talk show host (OBVIOUSLY and INTENTIONALLY depicting this same “Dr.” Laura). He starts to go into this talk, but can’t finish because he keeps seeing this woman still seated.

      Then he starts into this satirical “questionnaire” towards this “Dr.” with many of the same items (verses) you mentioned above. Then, when finished asking all of them, he looks directly at her and states, “When the President is standing in the room, NOBODY sits.” (or something like that). And then you see her slowly rise in embarrassment. And the final kicker, Sam (Rob Lowe) walks over to her and takes an (Alaskan) crab puff from her plate. As the “President,” Martin Sheen did a great job in satirizing those same verses and showing the stupidity of them in today’s world.

      Anyway, thanks for posting that. I enjoyed it.

      ‹(•¿•)›

  19. I never said i agreed with Leviticus. I was merely pointing out it’s not technically Christian.

    1. Saying the word of God “it’s not technically Christian” it’s not technically Christian.

  20. Ok, lets calm down, cut through the crap, and take a look at what actually happened here:

    These kids were most likely given the idea to wear these shirts to the school by their church and/or parents who had a political agenda and are trying to kill two birds with one stone.

    By wearing these shirts, the students got to meet their goal: to intimidate and harass gay students in their school.

    At the same time, their parents/church knew they knew their kids would be told to remove or cover up the quote on the back of the shirt (it’s hardly a coincidence it was a bible quote). This allowed them to start screaming their kids first amendment rights had been violated by the school, getting them all sorts of free publicity for their fight against gay rights and the first amendment debate.

    The real story that gets completely overlooked, is that these kids were bullying, harassing, and threatening violence on other students just by wearing those shirts and the school stepped in and said “you can’t do that”.

    Separation of church and state, freedom of speech, etc are all no more then cop-outs. These kids wore shirts that (paraphrased) said “Kill all gay people”, whether or not it was a quote from a religious text it clearly falls under the “clear and present danger” exception to the first amendment (The First Amendment does not protect statements that are uttered to provoke violence or incite illegal action).

    Case closed. Can we please stop falling for these traps now?

    1. I wouldn’t discount the very real possiblity these kids wore those shirts because that is what they believe. Not what they were told to. Who knows, maybe they wore them just to get a rise out people. It’s not like teens ever do that right?

    2. I agree – it is some church/parents putting the kids up to this – and it doesn’t take much to encourage a kid to bully. If they don’t they could get labeled as gay themselves…

      The thing is, everyone is talking about their kids free speech being infringed upon by the public school…. but people give up their rights to free speech every day. For example: many schools have a dress code or even a school uniform. Beyond a school saying you can’t wear something immodest, many schools will say that your jeans can’t have holes in the knees. That isn’t a modesty thing because the same dress code might allow shorts. We even give up verbal freedom when we walk into a library or classroom. You could be punished for saying politely to a teacher “take a flying leap”

      The school has the perfect right to say that a student can’t wear something that could incite violence. Despite the source being the bible, the bible verse IS hate speech and does not belong in school. It disrupts the educational process. You can’t ban it from public, but you can ban it from a public school.

      … though I don’t think you can ban the “straight pride” side of the shirt without banning “gay pride”, pink or rainbow triangles or other such things.

      On another note – this is just like someone from the KKK saying they do not hate other races, they just want to promote loving their own race more. Same tactic.

      1. Yea know…. I really don’t have a lot of sympathy for people against public school dress codes/uniforms.

        Not only did I go to private schools in middle and high school that had dress codes (collared shirt with no picture on it, khaki pants/shorts, and a belt), but every place I’ve ever worked has had either a dress code or a uniform I was expected to wear. Some may call it having my speech infringed upon, but I call it doing what I have to to get an education or money and dressing appropriately for the occasion. I have all the hours I’m not on the clock to wear my band shirts and ripped up jeans.

        As for kids getting in trouble for telling their teacher “take a flying leap”… I’m fairly certain I’d get in trouble where I work if I used words like that towards either my boss or the guests of the hotel I work at. I might even get fired for it.

        It’s this little thing called respect. Your employer will expect you to treat your clients/customers and your coworkers with respect and that’s what the school is trying to teach you when they discipline you for telling your teacher to “take a flying leap” (and lets be honest, there isn’t a polite way to say that).

        1. America is now a kid centered society that has regressed to a hiphop, homie, street culture where women are refered to as bitches and intelligent, sensitive boys are referred to as fags. If you carry a book or get good grades you considered to be “acting white.” A dress code would put a dent in the gang dress in California schools.

  21. What sucks the most is before reading the article, I thought the front part of this shirt was kinda cute. I saw it at first as a gay ally shirt. Kinda like showing how gay vs straight are just to different sexualities. Like saying have pride for yourself just as much as you support others.

    sucks these ass*holes destroyed any positive meaning the shirt could have…

      1. I thought the same thing! I love the front of this shirt! I think that straight people should be able to take pride in being straight just like I take pride in being gay. It’s just the back I don’t care fo.

  22. Almost all the contributors to this thread so far are from the USA. It seems ironic and bizarre to me that Americans, who have the benefit of constitutional separation of Church and State, get so worked up about religion, whilst in Britain, where no such separation exists and the Church of England or Scotland is the state religion (and prayers are said in both state and private schools), very few people give a damn about religion and just get on with their lives! Also, the whole T-shirt problem would not occur here because you can’t wear what you want to school – all schools (up to age 16, anyway) have a uniform. Problem solved.

    1. Paul101,what an unusually different if not refreshing comment. As an american, I for one, really like what what you have to say.

    2. Well its a complex situation. Its not that there a single line in the Constitution that says “Church and State are separate” really there different ways people have chosen to interpret the document.

      The REAL difference is that in the US, there is no “official” religion, while you guys do. We get more worked up about it because there is a constant push and pull on where to draw the line. For you guys its more like the line has already been drawn, nothing to debate, so you have to support it or ignore it.

      1. “Its not that there a single line in the Constitution that says ‘Church and State are separate’ ”

        Actually, there is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” — that’s why I put it at the top of this thread in bold. While it’s not a SEPARATE full statement, it’s THE VERY FIRST WORDS of our First Amendment.

        Before our “founding fathers” put in our Constitution that we should be allowed to have free religion of any type, they FIRST STATED that NO LAWS shall be made in our Congress that expressly forces us to have ANY religion if we so choose. And the most important point made VERY CLEAR is that we have freedom from religion BEFORE ANY freedom of [any] religion. And that’s all BECAUSE of Britain’s state religion.

        ‹(•¿•)›

        1. It isn’t becuase of Britain’s state religion at all PenboyX. Read the papers from Madison and Jefferson. It is very clearly from the state religion originally imposed on the state of Virginia. And NO this was NOT the same religion as that of England.

          1. When I said, “And that’s all BECAUSE of Britain’s state religion,” I meant because of Britain’s state-sponsored religion, not what the particular “denomination” was. Madison and Jefferson didn’t want to IMPOSE any state-sponsored religion on this new country. It (imposition) was in Virginia because it was in Britain. Again, it was because of the IMPOSITION, not “specific” religions. That’s what I meant.

    3. Well, the thing is, the Article 6 of the US Constitution and the 1st Amendment exist because there is/was a state religion in Britain and, at the time they were written, people were not permitted to worship as they pleased.

      When the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were being written, the 13 colonies had just won their independence from Britain and were trying to prevent the US government from becoming as restrictive as they viewed the British government to be. Also, the vast majority of the people in the first 13 states had either fled to America from Europe so that they could practice their religion as they wished or were descended from those that did.

      It is almost certain that the Constitution would never have been ratified had those two parts not been included in it.

      That said, I don’t think the average person in the US is any more or less religious then the average person in any other country. It’s just that because we have the right to choose any religion we wish or none at all, we feel obligated to stand up and defend that right when we feel it’s threatened.

      It’s one of the reasons why we have practicing members of almost every religion there is from every country in the world within our boarders.

    4. The separation of church and state here merely comes down to the fact that the state (including state run schools) can not do something that promotes one religion over another.

      The thing that causes people to get worked up over here is that there is a strong fundamentalist movement. This “Christian coalition” that tries to be holier than Christ.

      What is happening here is someone from this fundamentalist movement wanting to do some bullying and they are hiding behind the free speech clause – knowing that by using a bible verse that they will get backing from other Christians to defend the bible verse.

      The separation of church and state only really enters into the question if the school protects or bans the words of one religion over another.

  23. Do not argue with them just wear a shirt with two other bible verses:

    Wisdom 11:24
    “For thou lovest all things that exist, and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made, for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.”

    and

    Mt 7:1 + 2
    “Judge not, that you be not judged.
    For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”

    1. I’ve looked in the three different versions of the christian bible I have and can’t find the book of Wisdom in any of them…. is this part of the Apocrypha? I don’t seem to have a copy that includes that (damned if I know how that happened)…

        1. Ah, ok. Thank you.

          It seems to me that, despite the pope’s teachings, most catholics don’t seem to have a problem with gays. It’s always the fundamentalists and mormons that are most apt to poke their noses where they’re not wanted and don’t belong.

          (hehehe, my spell-check tried to replace “mormons” with “morons”)

          1. For sure not me, I’m gay and catholic.

            I believe God loves all man wether they are gay or hetero.

  24. Enough with the “hate speech” nonsense in the US. People have the right to say whatever they want.
    As long as I have the right to wear a shirt that says “God is an illusion” or something of the likes, I’ll respect their stupidity in making these shirts. (though I live in Alabama…nobody would take my side. Our principal was caught taking down GSA signs, no joke..nothing happened either.)
    The minute we start telling people they can’t say something is the minute we start taking away the last beacon of liberty in the US.

      1. Well, they are entitled to their…unpopular opinion.
        You cant tamper with free speech, or democracy goes down the toilet. To appreciate free speech, you have to tolerate the shitheads like this.
        How does hate speech physically harm anyone anyhow? If I said rapists and serial killers should be put to death, would that be hate speech? Should I be tried for my spoken opinion?
        The only times when we should limit people’s speech are few and far between. We cant just attempt to outlaw this sort of activity just because it is offensive.

        1. If you allow hate speech people will consequently assume it’s OK to think like that and therefore actions will inevitably follow the thoughts.

          You can’t wear shirts saying blacks should be put to death even if you believe so ’cause you grew up in a family of KKK members. So why should anyone be allowed to wear shirts saying gays should be put to death?

          1. The Black Panthers talk about wanting to exterminate the white race all of the time.
            There is no harm in speech, just harm in actions.

            1. Do they? First time I hear that oO

              And as I said above: speech will lead to actions so yes, there certainly is harm in speech,. Speech is probably the most dangerous weapon there is. Hitler didn’t throw over the German government back then. He was elected because he convinced the people with what we would consider hate speech nowadays. Just as the Bush administration did with their terror hysteria speech they used to justify two wars.

            2. Look up Samir Shabazy, A3P News Team, July 7,2010. I know better than to quoat what Samir stated.

            3. “There is no harm in speech, just harm in actions.”

              As has already been pointed out, this is not true.

              Further, there are several instances where the US courts have determined we DO NOT have the right to say whatever we wish:

              Fighting words or phrases that are likely to induce the listener to get into a fight are not protected by the Constitution. You may not be charged directly for this form of speech, but there are a number of ways they can go after you indirectly for it.

              Speech that presents imminent lawless action is also not protected under the Constitution and can very well lead to arrest specifically for it. Examples of this include yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and inciting a riot.

              Slander and libel are not protected under the Constitution and can lead to hefty lawsuits from the targets of such.

              There are also restrictions in the US on commercial speech, this is why cigarette manufactures can’t advertise on TV.

              Lastly, there are the Obscenity clauses, which is why Janet got in so much trouble at the Super Bowl a few years ago.

              Granted, those restrictions apply mostly to public speech and even then are rarely prosecuted on their own, most of them are only brought to court when there’s a negative consequence of the speech. (for example, if I told you to kill someone and you did, I’d be brought up on accessory charges).

              The freedom of speech IS one of our most valuable rights in the US, but, as with any freedom, we have the responsibility to avoid abusing it. It is abuses to freedoms that lead governments to place limits on them.

              Lastly, if you truly believe there is no harm in speech, try calling up a radio station talk show and telling them you think the president should be assassinated. I’ll bet you’ll have unwelcome visitors knocking on the door or busting it down within an hour….

            4. Actually, you’d be charged with solicitaion. But you’re right in any case about how you can’t entice someone to kill another person.

              And there are plenty of people who wish Obama was picked off every day and are pretty vocal about it sometimes. I would know, I live with one of them. No one ever gets their door knocked down until you actually make a threat as far as I know.

              Also, the Obscenity Clause is mostly stupid. I don’t get why most people are fine with seeing the goriest most violent movies out there but can’t stand to see a breast, something most people probably grow up attached to a lot of the time during their younger years and has nothing offensive about it. Just shows how prude we are and how much of our priorities are in the wrong place.

            5. Under the auspices of The Patriot Act & Homeland Security, anyone making public threats against the President, will be shortly whisked away if the right people know.

              During the Chimp’s regime, a local boy drew freehand (for an art class), a picture of the Chimp riding a nuclear missile. The teacher told the principal, the principal told the superintendent and he told ‘the authorities’. Next thing you know, the boy was whisked away by the FBI and interrogated. At the end of the ordeal, the boy said he would move to Canada as soon as possible.

            6. Interesting, I never thought something like that would get treated as a “threat”.

            7. Yeah, if you’re looking for stories about arrests and detainment, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  25. @Taitrnater
    You are partially correct. Their anti-gay message (ignoring the school’s right to censor it) would be covered under free speech had it not included the threat of violence. In the 1919 case of Schenck v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that speech that creates a clear and present danger is not protected under free speech. Due to the rising amount of anti-gay bullying and the semi-recent instences of school violence (Virginia Tech, etc.) I’d say that these shirts do run the risk of creating a violent outburst and therefore should not be allowed. Not because they are anti-gay, but because they encourage deadly violence.

    1. Schenck v. US is one of the biggest court mistakes in US history though. They defended the Espionage Act and outlawed protest against the draft by creating this “clear and present danger” clause.
      That ultimately puts everyones liberty under threat.
      I’m throwing out a what-if here, but if the US were the become controlled by authoritarians, and they arrested dissenting citizens because their speech was ruled “hate speech,” wouldn’t that go against everything this country was founded on, yet be protected by that case?

      1. I’m sympathetic with your defense of freedom of speech Taitrnator but there has to be a line drawn somewhere when speech threatens physical harm. For instance, if someone started a false rumor that you were a child molester, that could result in you getting beat up or worse. But fortunately, under slander or defamation of character statutes that would be against the law. When we call for the death of entire groups of people defined by race, beliefs or sexual orientation etc. that is also defamation. Freedom of speech is a basic human right. Freedom from hateful speech resulting in harm is also a basic human right. These simply have to be balanced. I don’t know if you are a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) but that would be a good start. This is an excellent organization that has a good track record of sorting these sorts of issues out.

  26. Replace the word Bible by the word Koran, and you get a complete different perpective.
    Thats why relegion and state are to be strictly seperated.
    Killing an other human being is wrong, period! (this includes death penalty)
    If you are relegious, you know, only God decides about life and death.

  27. I have a very simple principle with my Christian friends.

    I say, tear up the Old Testament.

    Jesus made the Old Testament invalid.

    They can come up with all sorts of sophistry about how important it is that the Old Testament prophesied Jesus Christ.

    It’s bollocks.

    Proper, observant Christians have simply abandoned the OT on a theological and personal level.

    That’s all I have to say.

    1. Wasn’t there a line in The Bible that said every single one of God’s words was to be followed? This sounds like a cop-out to me so Christians can ignore all the bad stuff they don’t like.

      Not that there aren’t horrible things in the New Testament, mind you.

    1. There were gay people when he lived. Is there anything in your bible about him having killed them? I didn’t think so.

      1. There were also gay neanderthals just outside that “garden of eden” laughing it up while watching that serpent/snake scare the hell out of Eve. They were yelling at her, Keep that fig leaf in place!

        ‹(•¿•)›

        1. Actually, the concepts of “gay” and “straight” as we think of them today didn’t exist until the 1800s.

          Members of the same sex certainly had relationships with each other before then, in fact probably more often then in the last century or so. But it was usually in addition to their relationships with females, not instead of them.

          In fact, most often, it was males that sought to be bottoms that were persecuted while those that seduced other males into bottoming for them were just doing what came naturally.

          1. You’re correct, of course. And “Gay” as homosexual didn’t even come about until the [late-?]1960s. Before then, it was just queers, faggots, poofs, etc.

            I was being a bit more rhetorical than maybe I needed to be, but just trying to make a point that there have ALWAYS been homosexuals because, (whether any of the religious will admit it or not) you cannot have ANY society without homosexuals. PERIOD.

            ‹(•¿•)›

  28. I’m not positive about the exactness for the american version of Freedom of Religion act, but up in Canada there is a statute of limitation citing that one cannot adhere to ‘religion’ as dictum in cases where either harm is caused or when you remove the rights of another individual.

    *skip*

    Jerry Moore is actually correct concerning the citing of the scripture if it is proven that what they follow (literally, metaphorically, etc.) is the religion.

    *skip*

    The question isn’t whether or not the title christian or gay fits; for then “christian” or “gay” would be a discription. It should be noted that discriptions can’t be titles; for they are illusions(words) and based upon the factors that observation do not interact with.

    This then becomes problematic for Straights and gays alike. We cannot claim to be gay nor straight since both of them are based upon current action; do they not?

    I always found it amusing whenever I see all these celebate people walking around exclaiming they are having sex.

    The whole idea of “I am this” cannot really reflect being from the mere account that you only refer to observation.

    (yay philosophy and my not being able to remember names! If I were a bit better at recalling titles; I would of filled it out a bit more.)

  29. The First amendment was to protect the speech you do not like, not the speech you like.
    It also gives people an opportunity to know who the stupid people are.

  30. For those who are believers in religion, ask yourselves a simple question.
    If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior from death and corruption, eliminating mortality and blessing you with spiritual clarity, why do you have to push it on non-believers?

    Why is it that so many religious folk fear death? Instead of demanding for more security, I would expect believers to stand up to the terrorists, for instance, and fighting back by ignoring their threats, not giving into the fear.

    If your believe is as simple as I have learned, in accepting the Christ, why is it not enough to simply life a good christian life (not hiding your light under a bushel) and letting others see your decency, peace and righteousness rather than constantly telling others, even believers in other Christian sects, that they are not righteous, evil, foul and doomed to hell fire because …. fill in the blank?

    If all that is as you and others say, why care what anyone does in civil or state roles? “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is unto God.”

    Did not Jesus level the playing field by dying on the cross on Golgotha, persecuted by his own people and religion as well as by the state machine (Rome) making all that went before invalid? If he once said you must follow all the Lord’s laws and Apocalyptic end of the world (the concept of God taking the reigns and meting out punishment Himself), was that not from his earlier time as an Essenes which Pope Benedict XVI believes he and his own teacher, John the Baptist, were part of?

    The more I think of the positives offered to Believers, and including the Gentiles into the Kingdom of Heaven, the more I wonder why there is such a strong resistance to science, the secular state, and modernism, Humanism and Enlightenment in general when all of these will eventually lead Man to God? I would think a secular state that forbids a state religion and making laws to keep citizens from practicing religion would be in everyones best interest, particularly for the Believers.

    So as poor Judas says in “Superstar” : “Tell what’s the buzz! Tell me what’s a happening!”

    Note : I did not reference the following concepts because
    The Devil, Spreading the Word and all of that, was really the Apostles influence, especially Paul who was a good PR man. And we know the concept of Satan, the Devil, did not seriously come to the fore until 5 or 6 centuries later to help finalize the punishment and obliteration of the Pagans (Literally the Hicks, rural folk, sod kickers, etc..)

    1. Because many people have the over-riding urge to make themselves feel better by telling everyone else what they must do. Using their religion is just their justification.

      You won’t know the religion of a good christian unless the subject of religion comes up in conversation. The same goes for good muslims, atheists, jews, hindus, and every other religion.

      1. And that is what I was going for but hoped someone who truly believed could answer me.

        I know the rote answers. I am confirmed, I know what they are.

        The Religion itself determines how its followers will act and speak It lies with the ancient foundations in Judaism and in the adaptation of the Roman machine to the Church giving it infinite power, wealth and gravitas. Whether you speak of the Goyim or the unclean heretics, or the Unbelievers… it is the same thing.

        You are not one of us under our contract with God, and therefore you are less than us.
        You must become one of us to save your immortal soul and add to our numbers.
        Or die/be rejected/persecuted/tortured.

        In real life, I do not argue or tell these types that they are wrong or misguided or fucking nuts because I damn well know what will happen.

        Anything said by even the most well meaning believer, is still predicated on a belief in and acceptance of God as reality. As a non-believer, that is a circumlocution I cannot break through with reasoned logic because it is by its nature ill logical.

        1. “Anything said by even the most well meaning believer, is still predicated on a belief in and acceptance of God as reality. As a non-believer, that is a circumlocution I cannot break through with reasoned logic because it is by its nature ill logical.”

          That is EXACTLY the way I feel and think also. Very well put. Thank you.

          ‹(•¿•)›

        2. Isn’t your argument that God is not a reality just as illogical as mine is that God is a reality? You can’t prove He isn’t, and I can’t prove He is. Not through science at any rate.

          1. It’s basically accepted that you cannot prove a negative.
            And people who see science as the be all are just as misinformed. It is a method for discovering the world around us. Truth? What is that besides what we are told it is.

            Religion is personal and a personal path of enlightenment, improvement, and whatever the person desires it to be. Your perspective is unique, so no one person sees the exact same thing the exact same way. Spirituality is experiential and is best understood to the person who experiences it.
            Religion is by its very nature not logical.

            Faith is a mystery not a logical process.

            There is no proof for something that is invisible, and without measure. While Science can measure much, that is still like figuring the volume of a Chimera. You cant say what it is, or what it isnt because you cannot see it, or measure it.

            Sorry… using logic, God is not provable or demonstrable ergo illogical. It’s semantics and it is logical. Does that mean there can be no God?
            No. It simply means no one can prove it.
            And running a country based on decisions made on conjecture of what God means you to do, as GW Bush has done, is truly terrifying.

            I dont expect you to accept our points of view.
            But in the give and take of ideas, I am learning more about you and how you see things. That is always good.

            1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Other than the “cannot prove a negative” And that’s only if it’s assuming to begin with God is a negative, or non-existant. Not trying to put words in your mouth, just used to fighting with other people here lol.

            2. I hope you understand I am not fighting with anyone… to me, these are legitimate discussions.
              OK…. here is my mea culpa.

              Actually I was plain wrong.

              ‘You can’t prove a negative.’ is considered an argument appealing to ignorance. That an argument is a false dichotomy because the subject, in this case God, is necessarily true or false, and dropping the third option which is, we do not have enough evidence to prove whether or not God exists.

              My bad.

              Since this has been argued ad infinitum I have to accept neither is supportable due to the lack of fact.

              That does not mean that faith along solves it. I guess that is why all the evidence of true history being pulled from the Bible is all about. Proof by association…. the same way we date a Tell at various levels by the types of pottery or coinage found.

              My greatest issue with History (the study of documentation of historical events) is that it assumes the historian or the documents present an accurate if biased view. Without other documents unrelated to the first referring to the same events, it cannot be assumed to be fact. Schliemann was right that within most myth lies some grain of history. I concede easily that the Bible holds some historical data. But the pursuit of archaeological evidence throughout the middle east has proven to be far less helpful. Recall that what we know of the Bible was created over centuries, reshuffled and rewritten innumerable times.

              According to Wikipedia, “Pope Damasus I assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Council of Rome in AD 382. He commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible.” Jerome had libraries of religious texts, stories and related writings, and chose those books or stories that best suited the commission.

              At that time there were many different stories and writings based on the Torah, and even more based on the lives of Jesus and the Apostles.
              It was not until 1546 and the Council of Trent that the ‘list’ had been duly catalogued and researched to fit the needs of the See of Rome, and was accepted as the official book, the Latin Rite.

              To say this was cherry picking and reinventing history would be an understatement.

              Histories up through to the Modern era were little more than events described either by witnesses or by writers having read works by witnesses, the second party author, or the third party author who is writing about an event handed down by various authors. Since modern forensics has proven eye witnesses to being unreliable, this means what was written about Jesus in the second century is unsubstantiable except through other texts of the period when Jesus lived. The fact is by the second century most Christian scholars of the time did not think Jesus actually existed as a man.

              And so it goes … the argument can go round and round but to say or use the Book we know as the Holy Bible as historical fact or worse, the Truth of God’s word, as so many misguided people believe, is laughable.

              That is a demonstrable argument for it being wrong.
              The Bible as such should not and can not be used as a logical or academic source for real events. It simply is too contaminated.
              All sources go through this, and if upheld continue to be examined,

              Does it hold tidbits of fact? Yes. Is it substantive enough to rely on as anything more than allegory?
              No.
              Faith is not a reliable method for determining truth.

              Sorry for the length… building even haphazard arguments is often long, laborious and tedious.

              My bad again. >__<

            3. Just to play devil’s advocate, it all depends on how define truth doesn’t it?

              It really does come down to religion and faith being a personal discovery for all. If you read my post in the Gay Healer thread it explains my personal beliefs. I’ll just go into them briefly.

              I’m a Christian. I accept Christ and God. However, I dont’ accept the Bible as a the True Word or anything of that nature. I also don’t believe that my concept of God is the whole picture. I believe God reveals Himself to peole in ways they can best understand. I understand Him as God; that isn’t to say that the Native American Earth Mother isn’t God also. Hopefully that makes sense.

            4. I really like your comments. Although I am not a Christian nor do I identify with any religion, I have had similar ideas on the concept of God which for me is not a conscious or cognitive process. If one can admit to having dreams then they must admit the existance of an unconscious which is just another word for soul and the concept of the Other (capital O) is another word for God.

  31. In the Netherlands some imam said us gays should be thrown from the highest buiding, apparently because the Koran says so. If these student were muslim and had a Koran-verse on there t-shirts, all of the USA would be over them like bees over a jar of honey.

    This has got nothing to do with freedom of speech, it’s just a very pathetic way to spew hatred and demonstrate ignorance and/or a lack of intelligence.

  32. I say i fthey have the right to wear it becasue or religious freedom, then I, by religion, have the right to invoke Psalms 137:9 and beat them against a rock

  33. gay people can be gay if they want, its their choice. If they want to live sinful lives, let them, but remember, we are all born sinners. so dont think youre any different from them. its not our job as christians to force beliefs upon others. Nor is it to condemn others for their beliefs/ways of life. Christ didnt go around bashing all homosexuals and sinners. NO, instead he dealt with compassion and understanding. We shouldnt hate gays or lesbians as themselves for being homosexual, but the sin they are commiting. Its not our jobs to scare people into believing in God or “bible thumping” as i like to call it. It is merely our job to plant the seeds of Christ. He will do the rest. God Bless

    1. The irony of preaching about your God’s compassion and understanding when your name is “GodsWrath” is quite amusing.

      By no stretch of the imagination is eternal damnation to hell “compassionate”.

    2. You have pointed to the religious truth in that, at least from a Christian perspective. Jesus died as the last covenant with God to remove Man’s sin. Jesus said that it is only through me (Jesus) that you will reach God. This effectively negates the previous covenants. God decided to sacrifice his son as he had told Abraham to do in order to save man kind. That should be the end of the hate. Jesus never preached hate.
      In my mind those who profess to believe and are Christians are only that in name when they profess hate. If they believe the Bible is the very word of God, the New Testament is meant to be the NEW BEGINNING. The Old was included as a history of where we have come from, but it is with Jesus you should move forward. However one learns it, the last word is with Jesus, and his disciples. If you take the Revelations as gospel as well, it is meant as warning to what is coming, not a prescription to bring about the End. Just because a person says they work for the Will of God does not mean they do especially when they commit acts that directly break with God’s commandments, nor should they judge others because in the sight of God, they are just as guilty if not more so.
      Being raised in the Church and having studied the Bible helps. But as my Priest always warned, you should always look to Christ for your guidance through the dark, and to be humble.
      At least for what it is worth, that is my Protestant perspective.

  34. First of all, being gay is not a choice. And second, how could one live a sinful life if the only thing he or she does is love another human being, even if it’s same sex/gender? I see what you’re getting at, I respect you for ‘accepting’ our way of life as far as it goes for you as a Christian. But you also need to know I don’t need your sympathy or compassion. I can do without it. I’m not mentally or physically challenged.

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