What Did Jesus Do?: Answering Religious Conservatives Who Oppose Bullying Prevention Legislation

20 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2011

See all articles by Dan Weddle

Dan Weddle

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Kathryn E. New

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 18, 2011

Abstract

Conservative Christian organizations assert that anti-bullying programs are a stealth effort by gay activists to introduce into American schools an aggressive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) agenda. They contend that legislation and bullying prevention programs that mention gays are an attempt to indoctrinate children to embrace homosexual lifestyles; tolerate homosexual behavior; and celebrate homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender identity. These voices are having an impact on state legislatures and the damage is immense. Educational research has made clear the devastating effects of bullying upon children, and LGBT students are among the most often targeted and least protected students. Given that schools are already failing to address bullying effectively, efforts to thwart protection of any group of students -- especially one that is routinely targeted -- is unconscionable. Yet these devoted Christians zealously interfere with protection of LGBT students from abuse by their peers and believe wholeheartedly that they are doing children and Christ a great service. We believe they fundamentally misunderstand three things: the dynamics of bullying, the law pertaining to student-on-student abuse, and the example and teachings of Christ. This Article addresses these misunderstandings. We propose a response to the distortions that are used to promote what is an anti-gay agenda that represents neither the teachings of the Bible nor the position of most Christians and evangelicals, whom these organizations purport to represent. Our hope is that, once the distortions are debunked, thinking Christians will reject the misguided efforts of a relatively few but influential individuals and organizations. If new voices can confront the misleading claims of anti-gay zealots with informed educational, legal, and Biblical responses, perhaps the distortions will be seen for what they are by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Keywords: Bullying, bullies, schools, homosexual, homosexuality, LGBT, lesbian, gay, gay agenda, transgender, conservative christian, evangelical, Christianity, Bible, Jesus

JEL Classification: I20, I28, J16, J18, K10

Suggested Citation

Weddle, Dan and New, Kathryn E., What Did Jesus Do?: Answering Religious Conservatives Who Oppose Bullying Prevention Legislation (October 18, 2011). New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, Vol. 37, p. 325, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1945737

Dan Weddle (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

Kathryn E. New

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
153
rank
187,999
Abstract Views
960
PlumX Metrics