Religious Right activists try to play the victim in their campaign against anti-bullying measures, warning that efforts to prevent bullying will somehow limit the rights of Christians. Of course, when a public school initially stopped a student from wearing a t-shirt that says, “Jesus is Not a Homophobe,” these so-called “free speech” activists not only were silent but some even attacked the 17 year old student. Talk show host Janet Mefferd called the t-shirt “disgusting” and Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values blamed the “homosexual agenda” for trying to make the school allow him to wear a shirt with a “sexual connotation.”
Today, Mission America president Linda Harvey also attacked the student, Maverick Couch, for using the word “homophobe,” saying that the real problem in not anti-gay bias but the use of the word “homophobia,” which she called a “mean, hateful term, intended to put anyone with traditional values on the defensive.” She said that “objecting to homosexuality” is not a phobia but “reflects common sense, good judgment, sound health and strong morality.” Harvey maintained that the t-shirt is part of the “false faith of liberal churches” and represents “uninformed Christianity at best, and deliberately falsified at worst.”
You have probably already heard about the 17 year old boy in Waynesville, Ohio, who is suing his school because they asked him not to wear a controversial t-shirt. Maverick Couch has a t-shirt featuring a rainbow-colored, Christian fish and the words, ‘Jesus is Not a Homophobe.’ Yes you heard that right. And it all revolves around the upcoming pro-homosexual Day of Silence observed in most schools on Friday, April 20th.
Not that I disbelieve that Maverick, who is openly homosexual in his behavior and identity, isn’t very sincere in what he’s doing, he is quoted as saying that he has been bullied and called names and he is wearing this t-shirt to encourage respect. While I agree that he should not be bullied and neither should other students, but schools don’t have to embrace homosexuality to prevent bullying, and the even bigger issue here is the t-shirt is tragically and profoundly misleading. The assumptions are wrong, so you can’t even talk about it until we deconstruct its false implications. Homophobia is a mean, hateful term, intended to put anyone with traditional values on the defensive, as if objecting to homosexuality is a phobia, it’s not! It reflects common sense, good judgment, sound health and strong morality.
Which Jesus is this young man talking about? He’s implying the same false faith of liberal churches today that rely on only a carefully chosen, few passages from the New Testament and ignore everything else. Its uninformed Christianity at best, and deliberately falsified at worst.