Friday, October 29, 2010

Anti-Gay Bullying is Today's Witch Hunting - Rev. Irene Monroe, October 28, 2010 –

This Halloween many of our  American children will dress up as witches. And we'll hear their laughter and see their smiles as they joyfully go door-to-door trick-or-treating.

But not all of our children will. 

Due to homophobic bullying, some of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) children feel like they are looked upon as today’s witches. And in some places across the globe children would never pretend to be witches because the consequences are too deadly.

For example, organizations like the United Nations Children's Fund, Africa Unite Against Child Abuse  and Save the Children have stepped in where they could to stop  the witch-hunting of children. But the phenomenon of "witch children" is so widespread throughout Africa these organizations have set up "witch camps" as shelters for children who cannot be safely placed with a relative.

Throughout history people described as witches have been tortured, persecuted, and even murdered. And it is usually society's most vulnerable who are targeted, as we see with bullying. Many would argue that anti-gay bullying is our present-day form of witch-hunting. And let us not forget the role religion has and continues to play in both witch-hunts and anti-gay bullying.
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Related Links:

IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR - Mass Hysteria – Salem Witch Hunts - “War of the Worlds” - RC Hierarchical Anti-gay Rhetoric & 400,000 Anti-gay Marriage DVDs mailing = HYSTERIA + LUKEWARM = KIDS ARE BEING HURT!!! + Kills – Valentine’s Day (2010)
October 28, 2010  Photo

Clinical Psychology | 2012: Armageddon Or Mass Hysteria?
December 1, 2009
Psychology Online

Throughout history, human beings have been foretelling the end of the world, but nothing out of the ordinary has so far come to pass. So what makes the date December 21, 2012 any different? Controversy continues to build around that date fueled by the one thing that all other similar occurrences appear to have in common, fear, a necessary component in mass hysteria. According to the American Heritage Medical Dictionary, mass hysteria is defined as “a socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.”

The operative word is “irrational” as proven by previous events in history such as the unrivaled hysteria that claimed innocent lives at the hands of supposedly educated men during the Salem Witch hunts. There was also the too-realistic radio broadcast of an adaptation of  H.G. Well’s “War of the Worlds” where listening audiences actually believed that their country was being attacked by aliens, and more recently, the Y2K scare that had the entire world waiting breathlessly for the computer crash that never came.
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Gay Marriage - WITCH HUNTS ->The Crucible (1996) -> McCarthyism 1940’s -1950’s, -> Benedict XVI 2005
Senator Joseph McCarthy, with his reckless charges of spies and ''comsymps,'' occupied the front pages, while behind the scenes J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the F.B.I., presided over and manipulated a vast internal security bureaucracy, issuing periodic bulletins intended to fan the flames of the domestic cold war. Photo
In the center ring were the congressional inquisitor-investigators, asking ''Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?''

Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
Dr. Gregory Herek,
University of California at Davis &
Yale University &
City University of New York

Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests
ABC News – 2009

New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem
Politics Daily - November 18, 2009

Professor's view: 
Witch hunt for gay priests 
off base when target should be child abusers 
 By: Iver Bogen, 
University of Minnesota Duluth 
 Duluth News Tribune

Pope Benedict XVI in August 2005 ordered an investigation of America’s 229 Catholic seminaries in order to eliminate gay seminarians. The week of Sept. 27, Vatican investigators began the “witch-hunt” at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. The question posed to the students: “Are you, or have you ever been, a homosexual?” Photo  

The investigation was reminiscent of the house arrest of Galileo in his home near Florence from 1633 until his death in 1642 for espousing the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe. The church does not suffer “heretical” thinking well and is extremely slow in altering its doctrines to be consistent with scientific progress as well as changes in cultural mores regarding acceptable human behaviors… Photo

… It is my belief the Catholic Church’s focus on gay priests is merely a strategy for affixing blame and is consistent with its historical antipathy toward homosexuality and same-sex behaviors. However, research in the area of child sexual abuse suggests that pedophilic intrusions occur preponderantly with heterosexual males rather than gay men. It is not one’s orientation that is predictive of pedophilia. According to Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or women.” Cartoon of Benedict XVI & Hierarchy

Being immature psycho-sexually, these men find themselves responding sexually to other males who also are immature. One’s orientation is not predictive of pedophilia. Read complete article - By: Iver Bogen, 
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth News Tribune

Don’t turn blind eye to gay bashing
By George Mattingly
October 25, 2010
Houstonian - Sam Houston State University

The topic of gay rights has come to the forefront of the media and politics with things such as Proposition 8 in California and the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Now, in light of the recent suicides of six gay teens across the U.S. in recent weeks, the focus has turned to bullying and discrimination in schools.

Often times, many people are afraid to approach the topic because of its sensitivity and the norms that exist in our society that say being gay is wrong. However, the reality is that not only have these young teens and their families suffered, but also members of the gay community have suffered blows to their morale in fear of facing persecution and for some, their confidence in ever being accepted by society. It is time to face the reality of what is happening because it is here to stay and more importantly, to act upon it to provide support and acceptance to the gay community affected by bullying.
Read complete article:

See no Race, See no Gay:
What Proponents of a Gay-Blind Approach to Bullying in the Schools can Learn from Race Relations
by Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D. and Nestor L. Lopez-Duran PhD,
October 25, 2010
Psychology Today

Why the gay-blind approach to bullying won't work.

Today's post was co-written with Nestor L. Lopez-Duran PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. 

Pssst...... Refusing to acknowledge differences won't make them go away.

Over the past few weeks, we have been inundated with stories of bullied and shamed young people taking their own lives due to the hostile environment of socially sanctioned hate.

Just this September three teens committed suicide after experiencing severe bullying: 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Indiana, 13-year old Asher Brown of Texas, and 13-year-old of California. All three teens were self-identified as, or perceived by their classmates to be, gay. Also in September Tyler Clementi, an 18-year -old freshman at Rutgers University, committed suicide after his roommate video taped him having an encounter with another boy and streamed the video over the internet to other students, and 19-year-old Zach Harrington committed suicide after attending a homophobia-filled City Council meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, where his neighbors opposed the designation of October as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered History Month.

However, despite the recent media attention to this issue, the bullying of gay teens and the resulting high rates of suicide among them, have been major problems for years. This led Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-PA) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to introduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), which would require schools receiving federal funding to implement policies to explicitly prohibit bullying on the basis of the "student's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion".

The SSIA received strong opposition from religious organizations who objected to the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected target group. For example, the lobbying organization Focus on the Family argued that this bill would "open the door to teaching about homosexuality as early as kindergarten. And it would lay the foundation for codifying sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes," which they oppose…

…Bullying is not a rite of passage. Some may disregard the recent suicides as anomalies. Yet, research indicates that bullying leads to many long term consequences. Bullying is also preventable. Some have opposed anti-bullying efforts on the premise that bullying programs don't work. However, whole-school interventions, those that go beyond making simple changes to the curriculum to address the entire school culture, are highly effective and should be the model all schools should follow. Yet, decades of research on race and racism teach us that adopting a gayblind approach to this problem is not only unwarranted, but it may make the problem worse.
Read complete article:

Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Bullying, gay teen suicides, and a need for a solution –
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD,
October 11, 2010
Child Psychology Research Blog

A call for support of anti-bullying efforts and the The Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Last Sunday a 30 year old gay man was lured into a house in the Bronx where he thought he would be attending a party. Instead, he was tortured and sodomized by a group of teenagers and young adults. He was the third person tortured by the group for being gay that same weekend. The other two victims were just 17. Also last week, Tyler Clementi, a teenager and accomplished violinist who was just starting his freshman year at Rutgers University committed suicide after he was “outed” by his roommate who secretly video taped him having an encounter with another boy and streamed the video on the internet to other students. Earlier last month Billy Lucas hanged himself after being bullied because his classmates thought he was gay. Likewise, thirteen-year- old Asher Brown shot himself in the head and died after experiencing severe bullying by classmates in 2 different schools. Asher had recently told his parents that he was gay. Within days Seth Walsh, another 13 year old gay teen who had been bullied at his school killed himself. And the cases seem never ending. Eric Mohah, just 17, shot himself to death after being bullied relentlessly and called “homo” and “gay” and “fag”. He was 1 of 4 teens who had been bullied to death at the same Ohio school. The others included 16 year old Sladjana Vidovic, 16 year old Jennifer Eyring, and 16 year old Meredith Rezak, who was tormented by her peers after coming out as gay. In light of these tragedies, how could anyone oppose efforts to keep these kids from being bullied?

So, last Friday I stepped in unfamiliar territory when I posted on twitter account (@childpsychology) a call to our followers to tell the organization Focus on the Family to stop opposing anti-bullying programs at schools. I had been following the stories about Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization that has a strong anti-gay position and opposes Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-PA) anti-bullying legislation, as well as stories about other Christian organizations that also oppose efforts to specifically protect gay teens from being bullied. But, from the messages that arrived soon after my twitter post, I learned that some of my followers actually agreed with the position of these conservative organizations and were upset at my post. I spent time trying to understand their logic, reading the official position of these organizations, and reading the comments on many websites where people adamantly oppose such anti-bullying efforts. And as I sat thinking how to respond, I realized that it was nearly impossible to argue with those whose views are driven by fundamentalist religious convictions. Beliefs such as that “gays are impure,” that they are “worse than terrorists,” or that those trying to stop bullying at our schools have a secret homosexual agenda and want to turn our kindergarten kids into the “homosexual lifestyle”, reflect a degree of hate and irrational paranoia that precludes the possibility for productive discussion…
Read more:

Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD.
I'm a clinical child psychologist and researcher, currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. In my research I examine a series of physiological and cognitive factors that contribute to the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents. I teach courses in clinical assessment and childhood mood disorders. I'm also the editor of Child-Psych, a research-based blog where I discuss the latest research findings on parenting, child disorders, and child development. Contact me at
Read more:

Related links:

Gay Teen Suicides Pervasive, A 'Hidden Problem': Expert 
Lucia Graves, October 22, 2010 
The Huffington Post

LGBT Ally Week: Take a Stand for LOVE!
by Jason Mannino, October 22, 2010
The Huffington Post

Bullies and Victims: Boys will be boys or a symptom of distress?
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD
October 14, 2010
Child Psychology Research Blog

Several months ago I reported on a series of studies regarding the long term effects of bullying. See for example a discussion on factors that are associated with being a victim or a bully, or this discussion on the effects of bullying on children with special needs. I also reported on a very interesting study that examine the long term consequences of bullying. Data from that study showed  that being a victim of bullying in middle childhood almost double the odds of having psychotic symptoms during adolescence. In that post I discussed one major limitation of that study. While the data seem to imply that experiencing bullying could play a role (‘a causative’ role) in the eventual emergence of psychotic symptoms, it was also possible that those “children who were on path to developing psychotic disorders also engaged in behaviors during early childhood that made them more likely to be victims of bullying.”
Read complete report:

Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD.
I'm a clinical child psychologist and researcher, currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. In my research I examine a series of physiological and cognitive factors that contribute to the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents. I teach courses in clinical assessment and childhood mood disorders. I'm also the editor of Child-Psych, a research-based blog where I discuss the latest research findings on parenting, child disorders, and child development. Contact me at

 It gets better: 
A video campaign featuring hundreds of videos 
by people standing up for gay youth
by Dr. Brian Mustanski
October 8, 2010
Psychology Today

Video campaign to gay youth says, "It gets better."

In September several LGBT young people tragically took their own lives. In the media it was reported that they had experienced bullying, victimization, and harassment. While the reasons why someone chooses to take their own life are very complicated, we do know that things do get better and that suicide is not the answer. To help tell the story of how things get better famous syndicated columnist Dan Savage launched a YouTube channel that allows gay adults to upload videos of themselves describing the bullying they might have experienced in high school, but also talking about how much better their lives are now.It is a rare opportunity for gay adults to speak directly to gay youth and explain that while sometimes you may feel isolated, that life gets better.  Many celebrities joined in and shared their words of encouragements with the simple message that "it gets better."

If you are struggling with a difficult time and need someone to talk to I encourage you to call the Trevor Project 24 hour hotline designed specifically for LGBT young people at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.  We also have a lot of resources for LGBT and questionning youth on our website at the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program.

I encourage all youth to think about how great your life can be in the future.  This can be a powerful way to cope with some of the tough times you might be experiencing right now. It will get better and you can have an amazing life! 
Read more/ view videos:

Dr. Brian Mustanski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Juvenile Research and is an expert in LGBT health and development.

Discussing all things related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) health and development: from the biology of sexual orientation to talking to your family about sexuality to the pros and cons of the Internet in our romantic lives.
by Dr. Brian Mustanski

Related links:

Why are these young people proud of their sexual orientation?
by Dr. Brian Mustanski
September 20, 2010
Psychology Today

See how these young people are proud to be LGBT.

The "I Heart My Sexuality" campaign is being conducted by the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The project aims to highlight the strengths of LGBTQ youth, instill pride in the community, and tell stories of healthy relationships. 
We set up a video booth at the 2010 Chicago Pride Festival and asked people to write on a card why they "heart" or love their sexuality. The response was overwhelming, with over 200 cards completed. The cards were just released on the IMPACT website, allowing visitors to view the cards and read the inspiring and sometimes funny messages. The main goal of these cards is to share examples of why people are proud to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. There were also cards completed by heterosexuals sharing why they are proud to be included or connected to the gay community. You can view some of the cards below, or go to the campaign page to view more.
Read more/view cards:

President Obama: It Gets Better
October 21, 2010
The White House

Recently, several young people have taken their own lives after being bullied for being gay – or perceived as being gay – by their peers. Their deaths are shocking and heartbreaking tragedies. No one should have to endure relentless harassment or tormenting. No one should ever feel so alone or desperate that they feel have nowhere to turn. We each share a responsibility to protect our young people. And we also have an obligation to set an example of respect and kindness, regardless of our differences.

We all have a responsibility to protect all of our children.  But we also have an obligation to set an example of respect and kindness regardless of our differences. 

This is personal to me. When I was a young adult, I faced the jokes and taunting that too many of our youth face today, and I considered suicide as a way out.  But I was fortunate.  One of my co-workers recognized that I was hurting, and I soon confided in her.  She cared enough to push me to seek help.  She saved my life.  I will always be grateful for her compassion and support – the same compassion and support that so many kids need today. Photo

In the wake of these terrible tragedies, thousands of Americans have come together to share their stories of hope and encouragement for LGBT youth who are struggling as part of the It Gets Better Project.  Their messages are simple: no matter how difficult or hopeless life may seem when you’re a young person who’s been tormented by your peers or feels like you don’t fit in: life will get better...
Read more/watch video - President Obama:


facing the 
Roman Inquisition 

Holy Office of the Inquisition

Biblical quotes used to Condemn Galileo

Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. 

1 Chronicles 16:30 (New International Version)
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! 
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New American Standard Bible)
30 Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 93:1 (New International Version)
The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; 
 the LORD is robed in majesty 
 and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 96:10 (New International Version)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." 
 The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; 
 he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity." 

Psalm 104:5 (New International Version)
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Psalm 104:5 (New American Standard Bible)
He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
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“Someday, maybe, 
there will exist 
well considered and 
fervent public conviction 
that the most deadly 
all possible 
 is the mutilation 
a child’s spirit.”

Erik Erikson 

…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.  Photo
Matthew 18:6

Protect children and the entire world will be safe.

Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.

Kids Are Being Hurt!!!

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