Ann Coulter, “That’s So Gay,” and Thought Police in Schools

By Peter LaBarbera

ann_coulter.jpgAnn Coulter has been roundly denounced for using the “F-word” (six letters) – see this article by Matt Barber of Concerned Women for America and this article by Albert Mohler). I’m a Coulter fan, but she crossed the line on this one.

There are larger issues at stake here for American freedom: today it’s the F-word, which has been banished as the sexual equivalent of the N-word. Tomorrow it could be certain applications of the G-word: G-A-Y. Many students use “That’s so gay” to connote something that they think is stupid or weird: should they be forced to undergo sensitivity re-education — or perhaps attend a “Gay Pride” parade?

Where will the PC “hate speech” enforcement stop? AP recently reported:

“When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, “Do you have 10 moms?” she shot back: “That’s so gay.”

       “Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal’s office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?”

The AP story points to the threat that official speech codes pose to Americans’ most fundamental freedoms. Homosexual activists routinely and outrageously blame Christian pro-family groups for violence against homosexuals, and there are many on the Left who will go to extraordinary lengths to turn any derogatory use of ‘gay” into an opportunity to spread their pro-homosexual ideology. 

Coulter was joking. These activists are dead serious. Students and parents, take note.

As a rule we do not, like Fred Phelps, use the term “fag.” Coulter’s stunt was childish and, despite her protestations, she was clearly calling family man John Edwards a “faggot” — even as she also poked fun at the Left’s quirky “hate” formula by which they vilify their foes, then jump up and down when their own PC speech taboos are violated. (Example: saying George Bush is like Hitler – NOT HATE; saying we should love people practicing homosexual behavior but hate their sexual sin — HATE.)  Coulter’s reference point was Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington, who, after publicity grew about his calling a homosexual co-star a “faggot,” apologized and checked himself into rehab for a “psychological assessment.”

People involved in homosexuality should not be the object of taunts or hatred, and Christians, especially, are called to apply the Biblical command to speak the truth in love. We are called even to love our enemies so name-calling simply is not an option. (I confess that I once called homosexual blogger Joe Brummer, who is obsessed with AFTAH, a “twit,” but you might too if you read the tripe that he puts out on an almost daily basis. (A recent Brummer blog entry accuses Sonja Dalton and me of being “extremely responsible [sic] for the climate of violence that plagues gays and lesbians.”)

“That’s So Gay” 

The reality we face is that many on the pro-homosexual side, even as they recklessly smear committed Christians as bigots and haters (and murderers for what we believe!), want to define any negative use of the word “gay” as evidence of “hate speech” requiring punitive and corrective action. The AP story continues:

Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that when she uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone’s sexual orientation. She said the phrase meant: “That’s so stupid, that’s so silly, that’s so dumb.”

 

But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.

 

“The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment,” the district’s lawyers argued in a legal brief. “In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase ‘That’s so gay’ … was a reasonable regulation.”

So many questions about this AP article (which you can read in full by clicking HERE):

  1. Since when was it decided that “hate speech” must be “stamped out” in the USA, as AP reporter Lisa Leff so cavalierly asserts? I thought we had something called the First Amendment. Maybe Ms. Leff needs to go back to school to study it.
  2. Who could agree on what constitutes “hate speech,” anyway? Are we going to get our definitions from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), whose founder, Kevin Jennings, certainly has evinced clear “hatred” toward religious conservatives? Lesbian blogger Pam “Jeebus” Spaulding calls me and other Christians who oppose homosexuality the “AmTaliban,” and I think she’s a hateful anti-religious bigot. How about letting the free market of ideas sort that one out — not some school bureaucrat or judge? If a kid is taunting another kid, it’s one thing — all students must be protected regardless of criteria — but if a student is overheard using “gay” in a negative context, that must not be used as an excuse to call in the Thought Police.
  3. As we recently noted, it’s OK to be “anti-gay” as long as you don’t hate people. Homosexual behavior is destructive, wrong and — most important — changeable. “Gay” is not a person. So while I would not encourage my kids to say ”that’s so gay” – there are better ways to make your point — it’s almost refreshing that the word “gay” still has a stigma attached to it among so many youth. (That does not mean that you don’t fully punish thugs who prey on weak kids — you just do it without promoting any agendas.) Polls show that young people are increasingly pro-”gay”-agenda on issues like “same-sex marriage.” Nevertheless, despite years of brainwashing by public schools and popular culture designed to re-program their minds into thinking that “gay” is good (or at least no big deal), most American young people recognize, deep in their God-informed consciences, that homosexuality is unnatural and wrong. It’s sort of like liberal adults who take pride in their ”tolerance” until they are confronted with the reality of what homosexuals actually do (perversion) — and they react with disgust (the “ick” factor) like everyone else.
  4. Remember, this is not about being fair or neutral: most homosexual activists and many liberals openly ridicule EX-”gays,” and some are even trying to ban therapy groups from helping people change unwanted homosexual attractions. Based on the preposterous “gay” arguments equating conservatives with the KKK because we oppose homosexuality, you’d better believe these activists will try to restrict more and more “hateful” speech as their power grows (example: Canada). 
  5. Back to the Thought Police: once the GLSEN/”gay” agenda gets rolling in schools, what kinds of corrective measures would be meted out to the kid “caught” saying, “That’s so gay”? Surely part of the punishment will include being taught that homosexuals (they wouldn’t say that word, which is also fast on its way to being banished) are a “civil rights” minority, etc. — i.e., another excuse to foist one-sided pro-homosexual propaganda on kids. 
  6. Rebekah Rice’s dad is to be commended for standing up to the education establishment, which apparently was watching Rebekah closer than other students. Isn’t that a microcosm of what’s wrong with the “hate speech” concept? Whoever is in charge gets to decide which speech will be the target of censorship or “correction.” Liberals dominate positions of power in public schools, libraries, big city governments, and the corporate H.R. departments that run ”diversity” programs. In schools, they will be tempted to abuse their power and impose their ideology on children through speech-control. We have to fight them to preserve freedom.

Continue reading AP article at Law.com…

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The following is excerpted from ‘So Gay’ Trial So Sad on So Many Levels, by Chris Coursey, published Feb 16, 2007, by The Press Democrat:

…Insults based on sexual orientation and religious practices are not nice. Unfortunately, they are human nature. And when it comes to adolescent humans, those kinds of insults seem to be second nature.

It’s a defense mechanism. Teenagers haven’t yet learned enough impulse control or gained enough self-confidence to respond to slights in more thoughtful or productive ways, so they seize on the most glaring sore spot of their adversary.

His looks. Her clothes. His intellect. Her race. His religion.

It’s not right, but it’s reality.

It’s the proper role of schools to teach kids that such comments are not acceptable. After all, once they get into the real world, slurs about race or gender or religion might cost them their jobs.

But why did administrators at Carrillo feel it was necessary to give a written reprimand to Rebekah Rice when she responded to teasing about her Mormon religion by saying, “That’s so gay”? It’s hard to reconcile the discipline meted out to her with the school’s lack of response to religious insults directed at her. (The girl never complained to anyone about those insults. But neither did anyone object to her “gay” remark, except a teacher who overheard it.)

On the other hand, it’s hard to believe the Rice family’s lawsuit is about clearing their daughter’s record. The trial seems to be more a continuation of Elden Rice’s seven-year battle over what he has called the school’s “homosexual agenda.”

The father of seven began this crusade in 2000, protesting Carrillo’s first “Day of Dialogue,” an all-day lesson on diversity issues. Rice and other parents complained the school had not given them sufficient notice before exposing their kids to a sexual curriculum, as required by state law.

Since then, the Rices also have protested regarding a Diversity Club presentation in their daughter’s class, and complained when she was assigned alternate work after refusing to attend a class screening of the R-rated “Saving Private Ryan.”

But if Rice used his daughter to make his political points, the school provided him plenty of fodder. It apparently failed to follow its own policies on parent notification, even when it knew Rice was agitated about the issue. After he complained his daughter was being singled out, officials searched her backpack in response to a report of a “Rebekah” with a knife and cigarettes. The school now says that was a mistake.

This article was posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2007 at 1:14 pm and is filed under Boards, Administrators, Teachers, Counselors, Christian Persecution, Court Decisions & Judges, Diversity & Tolerance Propaganda, Mormon LDS, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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