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.

Commentarium (62 Comments)

Apr 07 12 - 5:05pm

that's fucking crazy. i don't understand how someone could see another person get bullied and just be okay with it because of what the bible says. have a heart.

Apr 07 12 - 5:28pm
Ben's an idiot

Yeah, david, not what's happening here. There are reasonable objections to the bullying legislation that Reininga completely glosses over in his attempt to smear Christians. Dig a bit more deeply into it and you'll see - whether you agree or not - that organizations like Focus on the Family are completely on board against bullying. Reininga is simply pandering although he's doing so poorly. What happened to nerve? Used to be interesting but it's long since jumped the sharks.

Apr 07 12 - 6:13pm

Then please, tell us what's REALLY going on here. Because the links posted in the article are pretty cut and dry.

Apr 07 12 - 11:48pm

yeah, because the washington post is just a bastion of knee-jerk liberal christian-bashing. Seriously though, there are always reasonable objections to any piece of legislation. national sovereignty, states rights, and fiscal responsibility have always been great conservative pretexts. what were the ones you had in mind here, BaI? or were you just trolling?

Apr 08 12 - 12:29pm

Unfortunately, such "great conservative pretexts" do not protect children that do not live up to the archaic gender norms. And as if there aren't enough media outlets with a right-wing agenda. Liberals aren't anti-Christian. Many of us are Christian. The problem is the way that certain members of the right-wing use their Christianity; as a pretext for hatred, rather than love - which, really is what Jesus was 100% about. Believing that homosexuality is banned by the Bible (which is actually pretty ambiguous on the subject when you get down to brass tacks and actually read the thing) is not enough of a reason to condone bullying, ever. I'm sorry, but have we all forgotten Columbine? Fag-rhetoric is dangerous shit!

Personally, I think that kids need to be held accountable for their actions, but I'm dubious about making it law. There are two big problems with bullying legislation; first, you're basically relying on the education system, as opposed to law enforcement, to see it carried out, and second, that you are legislating down onto kids that have no legal autonomy of their own.

Apr 07 12 - 5:15pm

Bullying legislation is the most moronic concept that's evolved from our obsession with being controlled by a nanny state. Just because you can get a self-righteous hard on from "Protecting kids" doesn't mean you should support passing an idiotic law like this. You're no better than the christians who cry "Think of the children!" when they see a nipple if you're seriously going to use this angle to promote a bad idea.

Apr 07 12 - 11:46pm

It's illegal to "bully" in the workplace, so why can't we offer the same protection to the most vulnerable demographic in the nation?

Apr 08 12 - 11:59pm

UNESCO released a 2012 report on homophobic bullying in educational institutions around the world:‚Äčimages/0021/002157/‚Äč215708E.pdf. It includes highly significant statistical associations around the benefits of policies that specifically mention homophobia for preventing homophobic bullying, self-harm and suicide for GLBTIQ students (p.33)

Apr 07 12 - 5:25pm
True Patriot

The great irony, in my mind, is that since Muslims see everyone else as infidels, these loopholes in anti-bullying laws give the green light to Muslim kids to beat the crap out of anyone they want.

Apr 07 12 - 8:37pm

my thought exactly. everyone is using religion as their excuse for bigotry nowadays. my god, if this is where we're heading, i do hope the world ends this year.

Apr 08 12 - 12:19am

The thing about your post, True Patriot, is that you are ignorant.

Apr 08 12 - 8:05pm

The thing, Muslim, is that he has a point.

Please substitute any religion that insists on its primacy.

Apr 07 12 - 6:14pm

1930's Nazi Germany -> Jews
2000's Liberal Americka -> Christians
Simple as that.

Apr 07 12 - 6:21pm

You're SO right. Even though the majority of people in the US identify as Christians, almost every single elected official in Washington identifies as a Christian (and good luck fielding a presidential candidate who doesn't identify as a Christian), there's a Republican majority in the House, and, oh, we're not murdering Christians. But other than all of those, you're absolutely right.

Apr 07 12 - 8:49pm

2012 -> Greg

Apr 07 12 - 9:18pm

Well, the Nazi trope. Last I checked Jews weren't running Germany in the 30's. We're talking about kids here. YOUR kids. Oh wait, no one would breed with you, so we're talking about your SISTER'S KIDS. Stop being an asshole. The abused religious zealot thing is getting old. It's been a long time since you morons were fed to lions. I for one think the lions could use the sport.

Apr 07 12 - 9:46pm

Shit! The Christians have caught on to our plan! And we were just days away from forced labor camps and the gutting of churches :( :( :(

Apr 07 12 - 11:36pm

i like it when a thread's been godwin'd before i've even read the story.

Apr 08 12 - 12:16am

Christianity is the ONLY religion that is openly attack as such.
Do you see any articles on Nerve (or in the Media in general) about Muslim intolerance to Women or Homosexuals?

Just as it was OK in Nazi Germany to denigrate Jews, its ok in Socialist America to do so against Christians. Do this test Liberals, replace "Christian" with "Jew" or "Muslim" when you read an article and the reverse and see if you aren't disturb. How about replacing "Jesus" in this article with "Muhammad" ... heck you probably couldn't even publish it for fear of starting a riot.

Apr 08 12 - 12:38am

"Christianity is the ONLY religion that is openly attack as such."

Apr 08 12 - 12:39am

Dude, this nation is 60% Protestant and 20% Catholic. It is point-fucking-3% Muslim. You are NOT an oppressed minority, you are an oppressor majority. And yes, there are plenty of articles on Nerve about Muslim intolerance in other countries, not as many as articles about Christian control over the U.S. because it is, I believe, a U.S.-based publication.

There were articles about the Jews that were harassing young girls in Israel, and the readers were outraged; and Muslims that have stoned women, and readers are outraged. You have a highly selective memory and a completely delusional victim complex.

Apr 08 12 - 12:41am

Oh, and also, EL OH FUCKING EL at the idea that the problem people have with Nazi Germany is that they "denigrated" Jews. Man, if all they did was hurt some feelings, NO ONE WOULD GIVE A SHIT. The difference between your hurt feelings and the fucking Holocaust is astronomical.

Apr 08 12 - 3:21am

Pretty much everything you've posted on this site is worthless, dishonest, sneering drivel, but this deserves comment:

"Do you see any articles on Nerve (or in the Media in general) about Muslim intolerance to Women or Homosexuals?"

If you Google "" and "Iran" or "Saudi", you get some results, but I'm not immediately finding anything that calls out Islamic fundamentalism, which surprised me a little.

Then again, Nerve is an American site, and despite the wet dreams of the right wing, there ain't no sharia law here: the worst injustices being perpetrated against women in America are committed by people who self-identify as Christian. So this falls under the heading of "clean your own house first": an American site that wants to stand up for women's rights, appropriately devotes most of its energies to American women's rights. And it's people like you who are trying to force women back into the 18th century.

(Of course, people like you don't actually give a fuck about women's rights; what you really want is civil war, and the ejaculatory release of violence. But that's no secret.)

Apr 08 12 - 3:58am

1. Is there a "Christian Phobia" website "K" ... no? Why not?
2. The worst "injustices being perpetrated against women in America are committed by people who self-identify as Christian" ... ding-ding-ding we have a Liberal ... Sorry, no. Google "Honor Killings" ... here's one:,8599,2055445,00.html
Is there ANYTHING WORSE than killing a women. How many Christians commit honor killings of their daughters because they have become too "Westernized"? What are these "injustices" being committed? Calling them sluts for wanting free birth control pills? Boo-freaking-hoo. Honor killings ... RESPOND TO THAT PLEASE. In America.

You folks reveal your own bias and hatred of Christians which is VERY similiar to the attitude
of the Nazi's in the 30's (and by the way, you REALLY need to read something other than the Huffington Post so you'd know that the extermination of the Jews was not started until 1941, you ignorant idiots, I have been talking about the 30's)

Apr 08 12 - 10:29am

They still gutted synagogues, destroyed and boycotted Jewish businesses. And it was in the preparation for a total annihilation of the Jewish race. When our president has a best-selling book about how he wants to round up and eliminate Christians, get back to me, you delusional fool.

You know what kills way more than one woman a year? CANCER. Which PLANNED PARENTHOOD HELPS TO PREVENT. Which good Christians have decided is not important. No one here is defending honor killings, so stop trying to deflect the debate. There is no methodology of saying that a woman's life is unimportant that will get a "boo-freaking-hoo" from me. (And the "free birth control" bullshit has been so often debunked it's not even worth addressing.) And of course pre-BC, pre-organizations like Planned Parenthood back-alley abortions killed women.

I guess I'm saying I agree with you. There's nothing worse than killing a woman. Which is exactly the policy being pushed when you argue against insurance coverage of BC, shame women for seeking out appropriate health care, and try to close women's health organizations.

Apr 08 12 - 1:16pm

Oh God, this argument was so off-topic I actually forgot what the topic was, so let me add: When you oppose policy that would protect the lives and health of women that happen to be gay, you are promoting violence against women.

Apr 08 12 - 1:33pm

Oh yeah, Planned Parenthood is curing Cancer! That's their mission. SO that's THE BEST example of Christians attacking women in this country you can come up with? I point out Muslims KILLING their daughter and you come back with some ridiculous planned parenthood cancer thing.

And oh, Mein Kampf DOES NOT CALL for the extermination of the Jews. That policy was formulated in 1941. Its funny, you liberals go around accusing people of being Nazis but you sure don't like it when your intolerance is exposed.

Apr 08 12 - 1:50pm

What is intolerant about saying that bullying should be illegal? And yes, Planned Parenthood does a shitload of work -- the vast majority of their work -- working to fight cancer. (Obviously they're not a research organization so they're not working on a 'cure' in a broad sense but on an individual level.) And my point was not that the case of an honor killing isn't absolutely appalling; it was that it is wholly irrelevant, as it does not take anything away from atrocities committed unto women by Christians. "Religions being shit to women" is not a zero-sum game.

Mein Kampf says that Jews pollute the blood of the German people, and that the production of these semetic and mixed-race children needs to be eliminated. I'm sorry if I'm connecting the dots for you by saying that he's talking about killing (or at least forcibly sterilizing) some Jews.

Apr 08 12 - 11:15pm
Mr. Arrow

Hard on -> pussy

Apr 09 12 - 5:12pm

Any attempt to compare the antisemitic policies of the Nazis in the 1930's to the attitudes of liberals towards Christians in the US today is extremely offensive. Nazi anti-Jewish legislation, even in the early 1930's, was remarkably punitive by any standard and a clear indication of the horrors to come.

1933: Laws passed to prevent Jewish lawyers from being admitted to the Bar and to purge Jews from government service; De-naturalization laws passed to strip German citizenship from naturalized Jews.
1935: Jewish officers expelled from the Army.
1936: Jewish teachers banned from teaching in public school.
1938: In Berlin, Jewish children no longer allowed admission to public schools.

Anti-Jewish legislation penetrated every corner of life in Germany at the time. By 1939, legislation was even in place forbidding the sale of lottery tickets to Jews. That you can equate the experience of Jews in 1930's Germany with that of Christians in the United States today is astounding to me.

Apr 07 12 - 6:41pm
J-wow's tits

Get a grip here. This has nothing to do with Evangelicals trying to legitimate gay bullying--it's about the constitution and what the "founders" intended! Just as they made sure to protect us from the hardship of quartering British soldiers, so too was their conviction that the right to "bullye ye olde ande younge homoe-secte-yualls" be enshrined in the constitution. Read your historical documents people!

Apr 08 12 - 12:10am

And THIS is the reason why putting freedom of speech, no matter what, as the golden egg in society. Wow.

Apr 07 12 - 7:48pm
344 ofictur

Fuck Christians. There, I said it. Jesus was simply the most successful cult leader in all of human history, nothing more; if he was here today evangelizing on the streets of LA he's be laughed at and/or ignored.

Apr 07 12 - 9:21pm

Actually, that title probably should be reserved for Paul. Jesus would have required circumcision to join his cult and he was the only member who died... On the streets of LA, he would be selling maps to Beyonce's house. LOVING maps mind you, but maps nonetheless.

Apr 08 12 - 12:19am

344 oficutr .... Please share your opinion of Muhammad ... (tee-hee) ...

Apr 08 12 - 3:52pm

Greg, like the previous poster said, fuck christians, and fuck you too. i have had enough of your fantasyland fucking contrived bs based on the myth of jesus christ which i sit here on easter saying is 100 percent complete and utter FICTION. and fuck your scurrilous attacks on muslims too.

Apr 07 12 - 9:25pm

I really hate that loud-mouth evangelicals have hijacked the word "christian." I believe that when Jesus said "love thy neighbor as yourself," he didn't mean "except if thy neighbor be gay". ugh.

Apr 08 12 - 2:24am

... and what about all those pastors/ministers/priests and their altar boys?
*Somebody had to say it*

Apr 08 12 - 4:01am

Hordak ... The Germans believed that the Jews were running German (and the world) in the 30's ... just like the Liberal think that "Christian Conservatives" are running this country. You are so filled with hate that you can't see your own bias.

Apr 08 12 - 10:38am

Greg. You are 70% of this country. All politicians must pander to your religion if they hope to succeed. Your religious holidays are universally observed, and you can find that nearly everybody on television and in film celebrates your religion. You DO run this country. Acknowledging your privilege has absolutely nothing to do with hate.

Apr 08 12 - 1:40pm

Pandered to! Ha. I live in a Town that is surround by an "Eruv" i.e. Jewish "magically string". They've never been sued by the ACLU over the obvious religious accommodation (and never will be). But you try and put a "Baby Jesus" on any public land and boy will your head spin from the lawsuit.

Try this, EVERY TIME there is a terrorist attack by Muslims (being redundant) our politicians come out and remind us that "the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful" but when was the last time your heard such a think after some nut job attacks an abortion clinic? No, then its "THOSE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES have to be stopped!" You liberals are more angry after an abortion clinic is bombed than 9/11!

Apr 08 12 - 10:03pm

@Greg You are an idiot. An Eruv is necessary for the obviously large population of Orthodox Jews in your area. They can't take anything outside without the Eruv up, including babies, on certain days. What exactly does a baby Jesus do for you? We do make ridiculous concessions to all religions here in the USA. I'm from a high Amish population (who are technically better Christians than most) and their buggies, despite being a hazard to car drivers, are everywhere.

Apr 08 12 - 1:32pm

This is a poor attempt at journalism. Writing that "Christians" think gay kids should be bullied is ludicrous. Members of some conservative Christian groups are lobbying for this, not everyone. I'm a Christian, and I think that kind of ignorance and intolerance is loathsome. Please don't lump all of us in with the hateful crazies.

Apr 08 12 - 1:53pm

Why don't you liberals just leave Christianity alone?
You seem so obsessed with it. Pick another religion to focus on and hate, like Judaism or Islam.
Surely you can blame all of societies problem on a different religion as well!

Apr 08 12 - 2:54pm

Sure thing bro. You stop trying to hurt our kids, marriages, medical care, and bodies, and we'll stop making you feel so oppressed when we point out the awful shit you do. Deal?

Also, good Christian, why the fuck are you on Nerve instead of celebrating Easter with your family?

Apr 08 12 - 4:47pm

I'm not a practicing Christian, I simple abhor bigotry in all its forms, such as the form you practice it. Much like the Nazis's in the 30's created a "boogey man" in the form of the Jew you Liberals have created on in the form of the "Christian Conservative". Its a very simple concept but you refuse to accept your own unreasoning hate.

Apr 08 12 - 5:08pm

How is it bigotry to resist the imposition of another's will unto your own? Really, how? What happens to Christians that is so awful? What actual, material things are being done to hurt them? Nothing. You have given absolutely no examples. YOu have given examples of other religions committing wrongs, but nothing to excuse the wrongs committed by Christians. Asking Christians to own up to their privilege and intolerance is not hateful, anymore than pointing out racism or homophobia is hateful (but then, you probably think that as well).

You say we are focusing on a tiny group of Christians. I say we are focusing on the effect that this "tiny" group of Christians is having on an entire STATE 's worth of children. If they are so tiny and unimportant and insubstantial why are they big enough to influence our government so dramatically?

Apr 08 12 - 3:25pm
Easter Bunny

Right, let's make this argument a sharp divide between liberals and Christians, because we all know there is no such thing as a liberal Christian. Actually, I happen to be one, and there are LOTS of us. But the conservatives have hijacked the public dialogue in a way that makes everyone assume that Christians only come in the Republican, Bible-thumping-but-not-reading, intolerant variety. So you have non-Christian liberals running around proclaiming that Christians are all ignorant bigots, and conservative Christians running around proclaiming that liberalism is inconsistent with Christianity, and they both couldn't have it more wrong.

Apr 08 12 - 4:39pm

That's legitimate - I tried to make that clear in the first line: "Christianity, as represented by the vocal (political!) Christian Right" -- not Christians full stop.

Whatever percentage of actual Christians folks like "Focus on the Family" represent, they certainly occupy more than their fair share of media coverage -- which sometimes makes it easy to conflate the two.

But I don't think there's anything "anti-Christian" in calling out the Christian Right for being homophobic -- any more than calling out Muslim extremists for their misogyny is "Anti-Islam."

Apr 08 12 - 5:01pm

I will counter your argument with the one used by Muslims concerning honor killings which goes like this "Honor killings represent a tiny percentage of women killed, indeed many more are killed by their supposes in other religions thus the heavy focus on honor killings in the media represents a form of Islam-a-phobia".

The incessant focus on what a tiny group of Christians say or do while ignoring equally obnoxious actions by other groups represents a form of bigotry and bias. Merely tossing in the occasional article on some other group doesn't "balance things out".

People who are bigoted don't always know it. It was perfectly accepting to disparage African-Americans decades ago and Homosexuals. If you called people on it then they would have similarly. Indeed I still hear arguments made when people denigrate African-Americans to the effect that they have no problem with Black people just the "thugs" who act a certain way!

Apr 08 12 - 6:02pm

"The incessant focus on what a tiny group of Christians say or do while ignoring equally obnoxious actions by other groups represents a form of bigotry and bias. Merely tossing in the occasional article on some other group doesn't "balance things out"."

Out of curiosity, then, what would "balance things out," and why is that even necessary?
Comparing anti-conservative bias to racism and homophobia is spurious and insulting. Criticism or even mockery are not tantamount to oppression. Conservative Christians in the US ARE NOT PERSECUTED. It's that simple. Nothing you say changes that simple fact.

Apr 09 12 - 12:03am

I think it's worth taking a moment to remember that you're arguing with someone who claimed the Nazis didn't start exterminating the Jews until 1941. This would come as news to survivors of Kristallnacht, to name but one example.

The other thing about someone like Greg is that, like so many right-wingers, he accuses his enemies of the things he's feeling himself. He calls liberals "hateful" because he feels a deep, abiding hatred for people who (he thinks) think they're better than he is. He accuses them of persecuting Christians because he wants the power to crush others, and worships power. This is the kind of guy to whom a gun and an erection are the same thing. To him, it's all about power, violence, and a life devoid of love or pleasure.

Apr 09 12 - 12:45am

@Greg -

You kind of jump straight from anti-bullying legislation into Christian persecution.

Setting the latter aside, do you at least agree that opposing such a measure on the grounds that you should be able to bully someone if you are driven by a "sincere religious conviction" is a pretty shitty idea?

Apr 09 12 - 6:52pm
Easter Bunny

Ben - yes, my comment was directed more at the tone of the comments rather than the article itself. But I do think the media in general has a way of framing the issues that contributes to narrowing the discussion in that way.

Apr 09 12 - 9:20pm

@Craig Kristallnacht was not Nazi extermination of the Jews. The "Final Solution" was planned at a meeting in 1942.

Christian Conservatives ARE very much persecuted by Liberal Media in the US.
There is an undercurrent of hatred against this particular expression of religion that the LIberal Media does not express for any other religion.

Apr 09 12 - 10:52pm
Easter Bunny


Don't you think "persecuted" is overstating it just a bit? There is a tendency of some media outlets to frame the issue in a biased way (see my comments above) and to criticize conservative Christians, but criticism, and even biased news coverage, does not rise to the level of persecution. To call that persecution minimizes the suffering of Christians around the world who actually are persecuted because of their religion. To use the word persecution to describe what you're talking about minimizes its meaning.

Apr 08 12 - 11:09pm

What would Jewish Christ killers do?

Apr 09 12 - 8:44am

thanks for painting us all with the same brush.

Apr 09 12 - 8:55am

I thought Jesus was friends with a prostitute. Wouldn't Jesus theoretically be friends with a beaten up gay person? WTF christianity.

Apr 09 12 - 11:58am
agnostic libertarian

Look, this has devolved into a discussion of worldwide religious intolerance, a worthy topic but not the one at hand. This is about freedom of expression: the individual's right to make their beliefs known and be who they are without fear of persecution. The kids being bullied have a right to say what they think and participate in whatever they want to as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. The bullies referred to in this article have the same rights. One can make (and has made) the argument that words, while emotionally hurtful, do not constitute persecution and are therefore protected by free speech. But with social networking, where we exist as much in our online profiles and blogs as we do in real life (and for some more so, since we feel more free to express ourselves in an online forum), cyber-bullying has more than begun to cause serious physical harm. There are people committing suicide based on the words of others. They have been convinced either that they do not deserve to live, or that they do not want to live in a world that so obviously and pointedly abhors them.
One could argue that this is psychological warfare and thus not covered under free speech.
But one could also argue that the bullies are children themselves, just expressing their opinion as is their right in the best way they know how: online, and with no thought as to what harm they might be causing. Everyone is harsh online. Real debates of real issues dissolve into ad hominem arguments more quickly and fluidly than ever. Read the above discussion if you aren't convinced.
So the court system is handling this (as in the case of Tyler Clementi) by requiring proof of intent. Intent to intimidate and cause harm on the basis of another's beliefs.
Putting aside the question of how to legally prove what someone's true motivations are, what he really carries in his heart, there is still the fact that, intended or not, someone's free speech has caused someone else to kill themselves. The question is how do we prevent this without treading on the free speech rights of ANYONE, the bullied OR the bullies?

Apr 09 12 - 9:33pm

btw all you ignominious, you probably should read the language of the Arizona Bill that the author sites:


Uhhh, "ANY ACT" that "A REASONABLE PERSON" ha-ha-ha, yeah where are we going to find one of those? It would take no time at all for this "law" to devolve into the Government punishing children for what are minor or innocent acts. "Sally was bullying me, she said my hair was messy on Facebook!" Uh-oh parent teacher conference at the police station!

Apr 14 12 - 4:04am

So many christians-so few lions!