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Christian groups: Jesus would have bullied your gay teen too

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Donald Glover 30 Rock

Whatever tenuous relationship Christianity, as represented by a vocal group of conservatives, had with Christ, the actual guy as written about in the Bible, it's officially severed. In what might be the cynical news story of the week, lobbying groups like Focus on the Family and Concerned Women For America are opposing a nationwide spate of anti-bullying legislation — specifically on the grounds that it should be okay to bully gay kids.

As Katherine Stewart thoroughly laid out here, the last few months have seen a national movement to create a legal structure that prevents kids from getting bullied: New Jersey, Illinois, and Michigan among other states have recently put forward anti-bullying laws, and teen suicides attributed to bullying have gotten wide coverage. Plus, Harvey Weinstein made a movie about it

And those anti-bullying measures have been opposed just about everywhere — by Christians. In Arizona, an anti-bullying bill was killed by lobbyists affiliated with Focus on Family, who claimed the bill was pro-gay. In Michigan, a line was inserted into a similar bill, saying bullying was acceptable, as long as it was based on "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction." Which is to say, it's not okay to beat up the musical-theater kids, unless you really believe that shit is gay.

That's where we are: a piece of legislation that seems so clearly non-controversial — that you can't ridicule children systematically until they lose so much perspective that they kill themselves — is apparently totally partisan. For the record, I'm not 100% sure that statewide legislation is the way that a problem like this will be solved, but that's not why these bills are getting shot down. They're getting shot down because of homophobia, pure and simple. (Someone's going to quibble with that, but it's true: no one is saying that you have to date the gay kids or go to their totally awesome Judy Garland-themed birthday parties, just that you can't hurt them — a distinction between tolerance and endorsement that's a pretty huge part of our understanding of civil liberties.)

Although, I guess if you think about it, Jesus might have been a lot like those popular assholes in high school. I mean, he was a carpenter (biggest jock job ever), he had a posse of dudes who followed him around, and hell, who needs a fake ID when you can just make booze? I guess it stands to reason that he also gave a lot of purple nerples to the apostles when they sat with their legs crossed.