Suicide, from the Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself”, is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death; in most cases it applies to mortal beings (humans), although there are reported cases of animals deliberately starving themselves to death because a benefactor/owner died, moved away, or abandoned the animal, or because its mate ceased living or left. In all cases, it is an external reaction to an internal perceived loss; however, today, with more suicides taking place each year, it is far closer to murder with death being the result of aggravated pain brought about by another person who casts aspersions or speaks negatively or argumentatively with someone who does not follow the norm of a society or given situation.
Over one million people die by suicide every year, and more than twenty million people each year attempt suicide, especially in religious communities and states/nations where a fundamentalist faith is in power politically and theologically, as seen in the suicide of Bryan Egnew, a 40-year old gay
Mormon man who had a wife and five children, lost his family, his place in his church, and ultimately his life by suicide, after being excommunicated by a religion that had no program to help people understand the LGBT community but condemned it on the weakest evidence possible: claiming it was not intended to exist by god.
As a friend of Egnew wrote: “Bryan found that courage and came out to his family and his church. The results were tragic. According to Curran, his wife Amy immediately packed up their children and drove them out-of-state to Tennessee, refusing to let Bryan see them. His parents and family withdrew, and his Church immediately excommunicated him because he refused to denounce his sexual orientation”. His wife, Amy, his parents and children are all guilty of his suicide, for the put stress upon his life so that he could not reason sanely. Amy and her children, and the parents of Egnew passed a death sentence on Bryan. Bryan was made to feel like garbage, and in despair took out the garbage–his own life for he had given up all hope–and got rid of it. According to Sigmund Freud, this was “Todestrieb”, a psychological drive towards death, self-destruction and the return to the inorganic where physical and mental pain were unknown. This became popularly known as a “death drive” (or “death wish”) that frequently led to suicide, as the death drive opposes Eros: the tendency toward survival, propagation, sex, and other creative, life-producing drives of pleasure and fulfillment. Suicide appears, according to Freud, as an urge in organic life to restore an earlier state of things. Those who take their lives are trying to restore or return to a time thee was no pain. (Sigmund Freud (1987 edition). “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” in On Metapsychology: the theory of psychoanalysis : Beyond the pleasure principle, the ego and the id and other works Middlesex, Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, p. 308).
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that suicide is the thirteenth-leading cause of death worldwide. The National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States. Suicides have increased 60% over the past 50 years. Now the rate is rising rapidly, especially in areas controlled politically and theologically by evangelical extremists of any religion. Today’s radical evangelical Christians, such as C. Peter Wagner and Texas Governor Rick Perry,
are as rabid and hatefilled as any ayatollah in Iran or other Muslim dominated nation, where human rights mean nothing, and civil rights are cursed in the name of following the rigid laws of a god who was never author, but whose words, it is alleged, were either memorized or written down by a scribe or prophet so that individual lives can be controlled by a few for their personal enrichment. This has always led to suicides–in all religions and all nations especially where religion is strong.
There has been a rapid rise in suicides in the USA recently, especially in areas where evangelical Christianity has a stranglehold and children of fundamentalist families attend public schools where there are a variety of
lifestyles that do not conform to their preconceptions.
Asher Orrin Michael Brown, March 1, 1997 – September 23, 2010, of Houston, Texas, shot himself in the head after kicked down a flight of stairs, his books kicked and scattered across the ground, while other students watched. When Asher attempted to gather himself up, he was kicked down another flight of stairs “because he had a lisp, was a Buddhist and ostensibly gay”. Bullying is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. It is seen as an apocalyptic forerunner of an epidemic of suicides in Michele Bachmann (R-MN)’s 6th congressional district: Minnesota’s largest district. When questioned about the current holocaust the presidential candidate remained stealthily silent as Bachmann has always found it difficult to talk about homosexuality, and at times even use the word–a word that did not appear in any English lexicon before 1892, and then only in the English translation of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia sexualis, which was a reference work, in German, on sexual perversions (Krafft-Ebing, R. [Richard] von (1891). Psychopathia sexualis : mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der conträren Sexualempfindung : eine klinisch-forensische Studie; 6. verm. und theilweise umgearb. Aufl. Stuttgart, Germany: Ferdinand Enke; reissued as: R. von Krafft-Ebing (1893). Psychopathia sexualis : with especial reference to contrary sexual instinct : a medico-legal study; authorized translation of the seventh enlarged and revised German edition by Charles Gilbert Chaddock. Philadelphia, PA, USA: F.A. Davis). The work first appeared in 1886 and was enormously popular, being reprinted about once a year, with the sixth edition in German and seventh in English most frequently cited. Kraftt-Ebing noted in his introduction that he had “deliberately chosen a scientific term for the name of the book, to discourage lay readers” fearing that lay readers would misread what was written and offer bizarre interpretations–his prophecy has been realized. As an Austrian man of the nineteenth century and living in a Roman Catholic culture, Richard von Krafft-Ebing believed that procreation was the purpose of sexual desire. He argued that any form of recreational sexual intercourse was a perversion of the sex drive, and perceived women as sexually passive, and thus recorded no sexual case studies of sadistic or fetishistic women. Many problems known today have come from this work, and especially from the word “homosexual” (it originally was “sexual inversion”) that was coined by [Henry] Havelock Ellis–who lived to regret creating the word (it is not an original Greek word); read: Ellis, [Henry]Havelock and John Addington Symonds (1897) Sexual inversion : a critical edition; edited by Ivan Crozier. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hamphire, UK and New York, NY, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008; the first edition was known simply as Sexual Inversion and was published in Philadelphia, PA, USA: F.A.Davis Co. [c1901].
In July 2009, Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district–which has a policy requiring school employees to be “neutral” about homosexuality in front of students–settled with a student for $25,000 who said two teachers had harassed him for being gay by tag-teaming an 18-year-old boy with relentless anti-gay taunts and jokes. By all medical and psychological / psychiatric definitions this was bullying, and shows a mental malaise on the part of the teachers as well as with the students who tolerated their unprofessional conduct (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, (March 2011), No. 80, notes that “boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, regardless of the gender of their victims. Bullying by girls is more often verbal, usually with another girl as the target”; available online). As the American Psychological Association notes, bullying stems from fear and apathy in any workplace culture of submissiveness, especially in schools where teachers try to be friends with the students, rather than display authority by being subject matter experts who do not tolerate lackadaisical students or poor work performance.
Teachers become bullies when they want to appear as “part of the group”–lessening their status as teachers and endangering the student of any age. Verbal or physical aggression is used by the bully to achieve a superior standing, and if the victim fails, withdraws, or commits suicide, the bully considers that he or she has won and prove his or her superiority.
Life means nothing to the bully, unless the bully is personally attacked. At that time the bully cries foul and blames others for his or her misfortune and attempts to justify his or her bullying as demonstrating his allegiance to a higher power (usually a god or religion, but also to a senior military or political figure). Evangelical and Apocalyptic Christians (such as the New Apostolic Reformation) justify violence in the name of peace, and harken to Matthew 10:34, where Jesus, it is written, said he came to the Planet Earth to bring a sword–not peace (matching radical Islam and their quest for a holy war: جهاد appearing 41 times in the Qur’an and should be interpreted not as a war or struggle, but as “striving in the way of God”. It has become a war was primarily considered to be against unbelievers identical to the intolerance of Christians who reject those who live lives different from them). This has been the common modus operandi for many of the teachers in the Anoka-Hennepin school system in Minneapolis, where there are significant numbers of teachers and students who are members of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod that highlights bigotry (such as referring to the Pope as the Anti-Christ, demeaning the role of women by quoting from the Letters of Paul that a woman must submit herself to her husband’s rule, and so forth), and staunch Republican supporters. They fear the rise of labor and the Middle Class at their expense, and since many are Lutherans, they are taught Martin Luther’s message concerning a rebellious workforce: Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern–a social conflict that conservative Minnesotans see as injurious to their economic stability even though to thwart labor brings down the state’s productivity and prosperity. Using this popular fear Michele Bachmann has been able to be repeatedly returned to the US House of Representatives.
Bachmann’s scapegoat is the LGBT movement. It gives her ammunition to rifle in votes, and at the same it feeds into her husband’s cannibalistic “practice” of reparative psychology; the community of the Sixth District is to tightly controlled by religion that both continue without being challenged: Marcus is not a licensed psychologist by the State of Minnesota, but recognized as a counselor who offers a “cure” to homosexuality so that homosexuals can “return” to the “real world” and be accepted. As the American Psychological Association notes, reparative psychology has caused more psychological problems that have led many to suicide. Marcus Bachmann could never be a member of the American Psychological Association, as he has broken every rule established by the group, has gone against every researched and tested method endorsed by the APA, and has brought a deep tarnish to the association and its members. Marcus Bachmann is not just a fraud, but a man deeply troubled without a clue as to what psychology is about. At the same time his backward thinking and the practice of his colleagues at the “Bachmann Clinic” that receives federal funds, causes more damage to those who are disturbed than produces any positive results in ending personal fears or desires for suicide. It is the insensibility, craven greed of the Bachmanns who led the charge over a decade ago against basic human rights and freedoms, especially the right to be one’s self, that has led nine students in the Sixth Congressional District at the Anoka-Hennepin schools to end their lives in the last two years. Michele and Marcus Bachmann are guilty of fostering hate, of silently encouraging violence and bullying, while Michele has spoken out repeatedly against any legislation that would outlaw or criminalize bullying. Michele Bachmann should stand trial for her part in the suicides of the young in her district and throughout the USA.
Four of the nine students who died by suicide in Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district were believed to have faced harassment stemming either from a gay sexual orientation or from the perception among pers that they might have been gay, including seventh-grade student Samantha Johnson who entered Fred Moore Middle School (now Anoka Middle School for the Arts). Students at the girl’s school harassed her on the assumption that she was a lesbian. They also mocked Samantha for her weight. When Samantha made an extra effort one day to dress more like other girls in her class, her mother says the harassment only worsened. In November, Samantha’s mother, Michele Johnson, returned home and found her daughter dead in the bathtub. Samantha had put a hunting rifle in her mouth and shot herself.
In April 2011, Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz
carried out a suicide pact because they said they were being bullied by religious groups in their school. Both girls complained about the bullies; the teachers only laughed, the principal did not act.
Being the best of friends, who even had gone so far as to hyphenated both of their last names, hanged themselves in a carefully planned suicide pact–to end the ever-increasing religious intolerance of their classmates who claimed to be speaking for god and threatening the girls that they were going to “hell”–a place no one ever had seen but heard about it by their pastors pounding hate-stained pulpits and tables. Gehenna would have been better, as at least it is today a garden–unlike the wasteland of their school that had become an open-pit of bitterness for both.
In May 2011, 14-year-old Jordan Yenor killed himself. He had grown weary of the students slander, the licentiousness of their libels, and their faux-Christian righteousness. He was the latest suicide in the Anoka-Hennepin district that
Michele Bachmann represents and has worked with her husband to “pray away the gay” and prevent any protection for LGBTs.
Yenor committed suicide as the result of his not being able to handle more bullying by religious fundamentalists. On his Facebook page, his “friends” and classmates accused him of being gay. What Yenor did not receive from any counselor or teacher was an affirmation that it is okay to be gay–that being gay is genetic and what counts is the production of the individual, or as Abram Maslow wrote: being self-actualized in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. Yenor never had the opportunity of time to discover himself and realize that he was a good person regardless of his sexual orientation and interest, as homosexuality has always been a part of the world in which we all live.
Being gay is neither sinful nor wrong. Being gay is a lifestyle that a person is born into. Any LGBT person has as much value as any heterosexual–and as much right to excel, exceed, and experience the full pleasure that comes with living.
No one choses to be gay. No person elects to put himself or herself out in front of intolerant theological thugs who tread on individual liberties. This is more in keeping with theocracies, such as Iran, where there are no Constitutional protections, where all people must believe in the same deity, practice identical dietary rules, and contribute to the charities detailed in the only holy book that those in charge of society claim exists.
Christian terrorists are everywhere. Christian terrorists range from Timothy McVey who bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City, to mass murderer Ander Breivik (born 13 February 1979) in Norway who was opposed to multiculturalism, was pro-Israel/far-right Zionist and strongly anti-Muslim; today they flourish in the USA behind the masques of the New Apostolic Reformation, the Tea Party and its undisguised racism, the reemerging Ku Klux Klan (now growing strong in Iowa, having started in Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, Ottumwa and Des Moines, and other northern states), and are responsible for as many deaths as the merchants of hate do in Islam where there is no pity, no mercy, no kindness–only a submission to a vicious god that equals the tyranny of the deity that builds fortresses between people in Minnesota and throughout the world as flock-stealing becomes acceptable with one denomination sending ministers and missionaries into the lands that already have established religions: thus Lutherans and Mormons enter Peru, Scientologists invade France and Germany, and Islam spreads out over the African and Asian continents–each like a giant fungus determined to sweep opposition away from its talons. What they all have in common is hatred for LGBT people, pass laws (usually backed up and supported by some spurious scripture) to deny LGBT people basic human and civil rights, and legislate draconian denunciations that demand the death penalty for LGBT people from Uganda and Liberia to Nigeria and beyond–with Bradlee Dean, a former cocaine addict, in Minnesota applauding the Muslims who execute LGBT people in the Arab and non-Arab world and the law sponsored and written by USA evangelical Republican Christians.
The use of Facebook is one of the most common forms of devastating cyberbullying. Cyberbullying, instead of happening face-to-face, happens through the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. There are numerous cases now being reported of where cyberbullying–especially by young girls who are jealous of other girls, use cyberspace to demean, ridicule, and humiliate perceived rivals and cast blame on others for something that they did themselves. This has led to an increase in suicides in more affluent areas.
Cyberbullying peaks around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school. Research on cyberbullying has found that students involved are more likely to those who are target of cyberbullying being unwilling to attend school, most frequently receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems. Cyberbullying can have particular effects on those who are targeted: especially if the victim is perceived as fat or obese, ugly, wears jewelry that is considered taboo within a certain area (such as piercing lips, chins, and so forth), seek or have a same-sex partner/attraction, and go to small or mainline tolerant churches. In Minnesota, many of the students found to be engaged in cyberbullying go to the more radical evangelical churches and hate-groups like the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod churches where people are attacked for being Roman Catholic, homosexual, or not a part of fanatical fundamentalism. Research has found that young people who have been cyberbullied are significantly more likely to use and alcohol and drugs (especially marijuana and Methamphetamine: a central nervous system stimulant drug that is similar in structure to amphetamine, and increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses, may induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem–especially in the case where a person is bullied or feels unwanted or unneeded–and increase libido; it is highly addictive), skip school or are late to classes, and experience in-person bullying or victimization.
From a psychological perspective, people do not choose to use drugs to the point that their personal relationships are ruined, they go broke, or are imprisoned. People who do use recreational drugs, do so because they are convinced that they know when to stop or that they cannot become addicted to the drug of choice. This is incorrect; people do misuse drugs, and because of their addictive behavior, especially when it creates the illusion of comfort, popularity, and acceptance, are used repeatedly. When the illusion is broken, either because the person using the drugs cannot afford additional supplies, or because it takes increasingly greater use and quantity that cannot be paid for, the individual becomes despondent, and in many cases will attempt suicide. However, suicides because of drugs make up only a small percentage of all self-inflicted deaths; the greatest number come from a will to die because of an incurable and disabling illness or because of bullying.
In July the National Center For Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin school district on behalf of five current and former students who say they were harassed due to their sexual orientation. Teachers and the principal were named as conspirators against LGBT students and listed as defendants. The U.S. Department of Education considers gay bullying to be a civil rights issue and have earned the scorn and contempt of Michele Bachmann who has vowed to shut down the Department of Education if she is elected President of the USA in 2012, detailing her revulsion to any compromise with “minions of Satan” who promote homosexuality, speaking in Iowa with Pastor Jeff Mullen of Point of Grace Church in Waukee where the confession of the congregation is on the (1) infallible Bible that is without error, (2) salvation is only through Jesus, and (3) faith alone gives salvation: it is a part of the radical New Apostolic Reformation that believes Jesus will ride out of the sky on a horse, carrying a sword, and personally killing all those who do not belief he alone is triumphant.
Considered by many to be a closeted homosexual, Jeff Mullen “took a much more active role in the anti-retention campaign, setting up a website dedicated almost exclusively to getting rid of the ‘seven rogue justices’ and asked ‘pastors to register voters on the Sundays.’ Mississippi’s American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated an anti-gay hate group, supported his efforts.” His cult retains its IRS tax-exempt status–at least for the moment, but it is under investigation as he used his church for political purposes that attacks Jefferson’s wall separating state and church.
Both the 7th and the 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal have ruled that schools must take steps to protect students from known anti-gay harassment. In the suit filed, the SPLC alleges that the anti-gay policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, Title IX, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Last week a companion suit was filed on behalf of a lesbian student who attended Jackson Middle School in Champlin. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
The newer suit alleges that the middle school student was called “faggot” and “dyke,” among other slurs, and even was punched in the stomach once. When she reported the harassment to teachers and administrators, the suit says, they did nothing to protect her. The earlier suit alleges that students endured slurs, getting stabbed with pencils, pushed into walls, shoved into lockers, and even being urinated on by classmates because of real or perceived sexual orientation. It claims that district and school officials’ response to such harassment was “grossly inadequate,” and that administrators told the students in some cases to “lay low,” “ignore” the harassment, and “stay out of people’s way.” District officials have countered that they have anti-bullying policies in place that address such issues.
The school may have policies against bullying, but those are undermined by another rule that states:
“Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation including but not limited to student led discussions.”
The school district has a policy on the books known colloquially as “no homo promo,” pushed by the Bachmanns. The suits aim is to have the policy repealed, on grounds that it stigmatized homosexual students and promotes harassment since the teachers are told not to respond to any hate-crime speech or belittling anyone based on sexual orientation.
Lance Lundsten, a Jefferson High School student, was
openly gay on his Facebook page. Facing constant bullying, Lance took an overdose and later died in hospital in March, 2009. The cause of Lundsten’s suicide also was the cause of the suicide of Thomas John ‘TJ’ Hayes, in 2009: bullying from religious extremists and taunts that each would “go to hell” because of their “evil lifestyle”–claiming, incorrectly, that the Bible condemns homosexuality.
Aaron Jurek, a student at Blaine High School, became so depressed–a depression that was never diagnosed, that in November 2009, he also committed suicide in Bachmann’s district–rehearsing her hate speech that LBGTs deserve no attention or protection, but must be considered sick and sinful. Michele Bachmann’s constant repetition of the word of homosexual and the sin of homosexuality continues to cost lives in the Minnesota LGBT community, further polarized by the uneducated self-styled pastor of hate Bradlee Dean [Smith], the lead drummer in the Heavy Metal band “Junkyard Prophets.” Dean [Smith] are directly responsible for the suicides for the public proclamations of hate (Dean created a hate-filled organization called “You Can Run but You Can’t Hide, that Tim Pawlenty and other Republicans in Minnesota have endorsed as a “god-send” to rid Minnesota of LGBT people) and are accessories who should be charged with contributing to the death of minors.
Bachmann refuses to speak about the suicides. Dean claims it is his god’s punishment, and applauds the Iranian government that executes gays and lesbians as young as age 4. His “preaching” ultimately inspired the Minnesota State Legislature to invite him to offer the prayer for its opening session–a time he used to belittle Obama (suggesting that the President is not a Christian) and lamenting that Christians were being discriminated again. He used his presence in the legislature to raise funds for his organized hate group YCRBYCH.
The word “homosexual” does not even appear in the lexicon of languages until 1892. Today it appears in poorly translated editions of the Bible that did not translate from the original scrolls.
Health officials in Minnesota recognize that Michele Bachmann’s Anoka-Hennepin school system is in a region that is a “suicide contagion” area due to the high number of suicides and suicide attempts. Advocates say gay teens make up a large percentage of that group. Disturbingly, it seems they aren’t just being targeted by their idiotic classmates. According to Reuters, a 2009 study found that 84% of LGBT students in Minnesota had been subjected to bullying.
Bachmann covertly endorsed the rash of gay suicides, telling an audience in 2004 that “gay” is a Satanic misnomer when applied to men who love men and women who love women, dredging up the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s stand on Satan (which also equates the Pope as the Anti-Christ, based on the dementia of Martin Luther in the sixteenth century). As a state lawmaker, Bachmann worked against protections for LGBT youths in the state’s schools. Bachmann dismissed the possibility that LGBTs might actually be happy if left alone, telling her listeners that gays lead “unhappy” lives, and seeming to mean that unhappiness stems from being gay, rather than being punished for it.Experts on the issue note that Minnesota has one of the weakest antibullying laws among U.S. states), and now on the rise in Massachusetts (especially with the scandalous case of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince who had recently
immigrated from Ireland, and was bullied daily with slurs and insults, physical assaults and worse–even after she died by hanging herself, with Christians leaving taunting messages on her Facebook page, celebrating her suicide, that had to be removed at her family’s request), New York (where 14-year-old
Jamey Rodemeyer was shouted down by “Christians” calling for his death; with the Buffalo police now opening an investigation into the suicide as a hate-crime pushed by fundamentalist fanatics, proposing a charge of “criminal
bullying“), Minnesota (Justin Aaberg, a gay 15-year-old from Champlain, hanged himself after being bullied by a student religious group whose members told Justin that he was going to hell because he was gay; he was one of the nine suicides in Michele Bachmann’s district in 2010, where the presidential candidate for the Republican nomination and her husband, Marcus, push “reparative” therapy that has been condemned by every medical and registered psychological group in the USA and abroad), Texas (where a 9-year-old
boy, Montana Denton Lance at Stewart Creek Elementary School North Dallas, hung himself in the boy’s bathroom after being repeatedly bullied by evangelical extremists in his school), and other states. More pre-teenagers (the majority are female) die from suicide than from any other disease including cancer. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11-year-old
Jaheem Herrera, a fifth-grader at Dunaire Elementary School in DeKalb, Georgia hung himself inside his home, after being called “gay” and a “snitch”. One week before his twelfth birthday,
Carl Walker-Hoover, in Georgia, committed suicide in April after months of being tormented with anti-gay slurs. Sean McDonald was only 11 when he hung himself on May 26, 1999, suffering from mood-swings that few troubled themselves to understand.
There are also older teens who kill themselves because of Christian bullying, as was the case with Tyler Clementi — an 18-year-old student at Rutgers University — jumped to his death from the George Washington bridge after a sexual encounter he had with another man was allegedly streamed online by his roommate at Rutgers University students — Dharun Ravi, Tyler’s roommate, and Molly Wei — who placed a camera in Tyler’s dormitory room and streamed the images onto the internet on Sept. 19. Tyler was a gifted and award-winning violinist, who played with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra and participated in the Bergen Youth Orchestra as concertmaster and considered to be one of the finest new/youngest talents in the USA.
On April 20, Ravi received a 15-count indictment, including a charge of the hate crime of bias intimidation, for his alleged actions that led to Tyler’s death, and for trying to cover up it up afterward. Weeks later, Wei struck a plea deal to avoid jail time on the condition she testifies against Ravi.
Children as young as five will kill themselves if taunted by a bully screaming that the child will go to “hell”. The bullies, such as Dakota Ary, a Texas anti-gay Christian high school freshman, received a two-day detention after announcing in his German class that “homosexuality is wrong” and claims his “religious beliefs” allow him to make anti-gay comments in class, are the actual murderers. Bullies, cyberbullies, and “students”, such as Dakota Ary, a youth who is guilty of using hateful words, are supported and defended regularly
by virulently anti-gay Liberty Counsel— loosely affiliated with Jerry Falwell and his Liberty “University”. What Ary forgets, conveniently, is that freedom of speech is limited. Free speech cannot cause the loss of life. The US Supreme Court ruled that no one is entitled to express oneself if that expression endangers the life of another (Schenck v. United Statesin 1919; in this case, Justice Holmes wrote of falsely shouting fire, because, of course, if there were a fire in a crowded theater, one may rightly indeed shout “Fire!”; one may, depending on the law in operation, even be obliged to. Falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater, i.e. shouting “Fire!” when one believes there to be no fire in order to cause panic, was interpreted not to be protected by the First Amendment). All people, however, can express any opinion no matter how odious as long as it does not threat life or create noticeable harm; suicides take life and cause harm to the family.
Fox “News” regularly sides with the bullies and even has on its staff a “psychiatrist” who argues that homosexuality is a choice in direct opposition to every stand taken and publications authored by licensed and recognized psychologists and psychiatrists by the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association: Keith Russell Ablow (born November 23, 1961) and is not a member of either organization but who still audaciously
claims to be an authority in the field of psychiatry, and has private practices in Massachusetts and New York–but he is not a member of the American Psychiatric Association (Ablow, openly argues in favor of discrimination, especially against LGBT people; see: “Discrimination Won’t Be Tolerated, Says APA President” Psychiatric News Update. September 14, 2011). While a medical student, he worked as a reporter for Newsweek and a freelancer for the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun as his interest lies in journalism, making his career in television and writing and not staying current with psychiatric research. His publications in the areas of depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders have never passed peer review and only have been “published” on FoxNews.com.
While the rapid increase in suicides is true (or at least more noticeable) in larger communities where numerous LGBT people have committed suicide because of ridicule, ostracization, or physical assaults by those who feel that there is only one acceptable lifestyle: heterosexuality, it also exists in smaller,
rural (as with Seth Walsh, age 13 at Tehachapi, Calif.) or isolated communities where education is marginal and knowledge of the genetic nature of sexual selection and preference is unknown or ridiculed.
The idea that homosexuality is a perversion or unnatural is patently untrue, and is not accepted by any legitimate organization, such as the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association (with all other professional psychological associations in the USA, Europe, and where competently taught subjects on mental orders and disorders: “opposes, the use of “reparative” or “conversion” therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation” as wrongfully practiced by Marcus Bachmann, Keith Ablow, and other pseudopsychologists/psuedopsychiatrists; redefined more vigorously on July 12, 2011: H-65.992, 983, 990, B-1.50, 6.524, etc.), American Counseling Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others. Homosexuality has always been and is
(1) natural (it happens among all species found in nature; a breakdown by species is at Bruce Bahemihl, Ph.D. (2000), Biological Exhuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, New York, NY, USA: St. Martin’s Press, page 35 ),
(2) normal (it is a recurring experience/ event, especially in preteen and teenage years, with hotlines established by the medical communities to help troubled teens, especially those contemplating suicide) despite that the most ignorant and uneducated legislators complain that it is abnormal and against the will of their particular deities, as with Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband Marcus who claims to be a psychologists but bought his degree over
the internet, Oklahoma Republican state legislator Sally Kern whose statements have led many into attempting suicide (she claims that she “bashes gays for Jesus”) and was publicly rebuked by the Oklahoma House of Representatives for negative comments she made against women and minorities; Kern implicitly blamed gay marriage and President Barack Obama’s official acknowledgment of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month (among other things) for the economic crisis, when predicting that the USA would only survive another twenty years. Kern said nothing about the rising number of LGBT
suicides in Oklahoma, such as that of Zach Harrington, a 19-year-old, talented musician who endured years of struggles due to his sexual orientation in high school in conservative Norman, Oklahoma, and attended a three-hour public hearing on a proposal to declare October gay history month in the city. He internalized all the hate he heard, according to his sister, from people his parents’ age who screamed about a loving Jesus who would come with vengeance against Oklahoma for considering such a motion.
Kern is the southern version of the Midwestern mindset of Bob Vander Plaats (a self-style evangelist who was a one-time/part-time coach and high school principal, with no theological or medical education) of Iowa claims it is addictive “like smoking” and “bullying is normal” even if it leads to suicide among those under 12 or in their teenage years–and was rebukedeven by the leadership of his own Republican Party for whom he campaigned to be governor of Iowa. Vander Plaats and his wife have nothing but criticism of the LGBT community, but show nothing, not even a weak impression of what they claim to be Christianity in their statements and actions. As it was reported (and a video made) of Vander Plaats this March listening to a man’s voice: “You know what my wife says?” After a brief pause, the off-camera man answers: “Iowa: Where you can’t smoke a fag but you can marry one.” This form of hate-filled speech will have two results: encourage homophobic zealots to kill LGBT people, and increase the number of LGBT suicides in Iowa. Slapping his thigh, Vander Plaats exploded in laughter, chortling “Good! That’s a good one!”
Vander Plaats exemplifies and personifies everything said about a backward thinking and operating Midwestern hayseed.
(3) good (it brings pleasure and self-fulfillment to the individual and the participant), and it was considered “good and pleasing to god” from the dating of Sumerian religions and others back to 15,000 BCE; even the early christian communities recognized homosexuality as being good as it was “created by our Lord” and for that reason married people of the same-gender (cf. http://www.enkiea.org/; neither Rome nor Greece rejected it (homosexual marriages were not outlawed until 324 CE, as recorded in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3); cp. Eskridge, William N. (October 1993). “A History of Same-Sex Marriage”. Virginia Law Review 79 (7): “While the statute [that prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome] reinforces the impression that same-sex marriages were not uncommon in the Roman Empire, it also evidences an anxiety about same-sex unions that antedated the 4th century. At the end of the 2nd century, for example, Plutarch’s Moralia included a dialogue filled with invective both for and against same-sex relationships, suggesting that their propriety was a matter of some controversy. A subsequent anonymous dialogue entitled Affairs of the Heart was sympathetic to same-sex relationships but sharply distinguished them from marriage”.
Jesus said nothing about homosexuality (neither about heterosexual nor homosexual marriage). The only “condemnation” came from Saul of Tarsus years after Jesus died, and then the passage refers to the changing of understanding by ignoring what is and hopes to mentally change the individual within the mind. Homosexuality is not condemned until the thirteenth century, and then by Thomas Aquinas as a crime against nature because of a gross mistranslation of Genesis 19 (where the crime actually is Lot’s incest with his daughters) and because of the unavailability or ignored explanation in Ezekiel 16:49.
During the early middle ages, homosexuality became a scapegoat sin that explained how everything from natural disasters to military losses could befall ostensibly Christian cities, and with it came the transmogrification of the nightmares of John Patmos and the evolution of a physical war by a physical Jesus riding a white horse into battle with a sword (cp. Matthew 10:34 and my articles on the Apocalypse here and here). Read: Crompton, Louis (2003). Homosexuality and Civilization. Cambridge, MA, USA : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 623 p). Most biblical literalists want to read the Apocalypse as if it were prophecy, which it is not. It is the writings of a depressed, pressured old man living on an island imprisoned by the Roman government, and it is a tale about events of the day: not a prediction of what might happen tomorrow. No one at the time of the writing ascribed to John Patmos knew the law of gravity, or would have know it would be impossible to ride a horse from the sky to the earth. No one at that time knew of automatic weapons, but still relied on a sword. Each of the plagues and signs are easily explained, for those who will take time to research and study science.
(4) it has the added benefit of it being nature’s perfect form of birth control in an already overpopulated world consuming rapidly dwindling natural resources.
Those who are primarily responsible for the suicides are self-appointed “ambassadors of Christ” who, like Jerry Buell, feel that their faith compels them to speak out against homosexuality and sin. The social studies teacher at Mount Dora High School (Lake County, Florida) does not mince words when it comes to his religion. Like other hate-mongers urging LGBTs to commit suicide, Buell argues: “I’m exercizing my rights, First Amendment rights, guaranteed in the Constitution, supported by the state of Florida — on Facebook”. No matter how odious and obnoxious Buell is in his messages of hate, with the current US Supreme Court, he is right–and he is enabled to damage as many lives as there are those who will not think for themselves but listen to his rants based on fiction. What psychologists know is that when something has been a repeatedly tested and proven fact impressionable youth, like older people, will do what they are told if they see the speaker either as an authority figure or as someone who could do them harm: a demon/god, a career decider and potential employer or recommenders, and so forth. The students he does not destroy he will be instrumental in convincing them that their only option is suicide.
Depression, one of the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorders is being diagnosed in increasing numbers in various segments of the population worldwide, and is often a precipitating factor in suicide (Torzsa P, Szeifert L, Dunai K, Kalabay L, Novák M (September 2009). “A depresszió diagnosztikája és kezelése a családorvosi gyakorlatban”. Orvosi Hetilap 150 (36): 1684–93). Depression in the United States alone affects 17.6 million Americans each year or 1 in 6 people (Lambert K.G. (2006). “Rising rates of depression in today’s society: Consideration of the roles of effort-based rewards and enhanced resilience in day-to-day functioning”. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 30(4): 497–510) especially acute in students (American Psychological Association (August 12, 2010), “College Students Exhibiting More Severe Mental Illness, Study Finds,” on-line). This depression is frequently the result of humiliation, peer pressure and ridicule, and the taunting of teachers such as Buell and those in Minnesota, while others, especially in Texas, do not want to be (or feel intimidated) involved with a student’s personal problems. These are the actions of other people leading the victim to take his or her life. The bullies are playing the role of Socrates’ judge in ancient Athens, while the victims become martyrs to the will of the vocal minority by committing suicide (Plato. Apology, 24–27 and at the end of Phaedo; however, there is a counter-argument to Plato in Waterfield, Robin (2009). Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths. New York: W.W.Norton and Company, with Waterfield suggesting that it was a ceremonial cleansing to rid Athens of its guilt and by offering a token rooster of appreciation for Asclepius Socrates’ death would represent a cure for the ailments of Athens).