Friday, February 25, 2011

The Kids Are NOT Alright

A Wichita, Kansas school newspaper has people questioning the extent of free speech this week, as an opinion piece written by a student appears to have advocated the death penalty for gays (as, of course, mandated by the Bible). 

"Some teens see it as abnormal, as well as the intimacy that comes with it. Some people believe that since the Bible verse Leviticus 18:22 said 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,' they do not think it is proper for same sex relations.

"Also, less commonly cited, is the death penalty called for in another Bible verse, Leviticus 20:13, 'If a man also lie with man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.' These are the most common arguments against homosexual marriage and/or dating."

Thus far, the Wichita school district has refused to pull the article or publish a retraction, sparking a debate about free speech-- should they control what a student says in an opinion piece?

Fuck yeah, they should!  While normally I would totally back up a student's right to say whatever the fuck they want about homos, this goes beyond freedom of speech and breaks into the realm of a little thing I like to call "incitement to violence."

For instance, what if he had instead advocated the death of Christians?  Or black people?  Or basically anyone else except for gays and/or Muslims?  That article would be pulled, this punk would be suspended, and the police might possibly get involved.  People write shit like this and I feel threatened, and there is no rationale that can convince me that this kind of crap is okay, Bible verse or not. 

What happens when yet another gay kid is beat up after school, or heaven forbid, shot like poor Lawrence King?  Can we truly view this stuff as isolated incidents in light of language like this? 


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