Remember when that Dan Savage (soooo aptly named!) used bullying to try to get kids to stop bullying?
Well, now there's legislation in Minnesota that will basically give legal protection to that kind of bullying. (I am linking to Fr. Z's blog where you can find more links to the original information.)
While no one of an ethical mind will justify bullying per se, the anti-bullying movement is really not about bullying per se. After all, bullying is and always has been wrong and bad, and bullies have always been seen as jerks. No one likes them. People are their friends out of fear rather than affection. And what they do to others is mean - it is assault. Verbal bullying is a kind of assault. We have laws against assault that have nothing to do with the assailant's intentions or thoughts or motives, nor anything to do with the victim's religion or sexual preferences or whatever. Does it really matter if someone assaults someone else because the victim has a speech impediment or because he want's the victim's money? No. Assault is assault, and other things are irrelevant.
But "bullying" is a particular kind of assault. Laws against bullying list the kinds of people who are protected from bullying, and assign a motive of hate to the bully.
OK, so a kid is gay. Others bully him for it. Is it not enough to simply to enforce laws against assault or harassment or verbal abuse or intimidation or whatever? Do we have to have a special crime to protect gay people from people who don't like them?
Is not liking gay people - is disagreeing with the gay rights agenda - a hate crime?
Proponents of gay rights will use anti-bullying laws to bully opponents of gay rights into silence, into acceptance, and into compliance with indoctrination to their agenda.
And what I say isn't about whether the gay rights agenda is good or not. It's about whether or not we as a society need laws through which people who disagree with the gay rights agenda can be bullied by the law into compliance.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. And what more could a bully want than to have the law endorse his bullying?
Will the anti-bullying legislation be on my side or against me, if I offer arguments against gay marriage or why being sexually active outside of (man-woman) marriage with anyone (which would include homosexual activity) is morally wrong?
Who is the real homophobe: Someone who in the face of bullying complies with the gay rights agenda, or someone who fearlessly opposes it?
Will anti-bullying laws protect me from bullies who disagree with me and hate me? Or will it enable those bullies to stomp on my free speech, my freedom of association, my freedom of religion, because by engaging in those things I'm guilty of bullying them?
It began with the notion of "hate crimes." Look, if someone burns a swastika on someone else's front yard, are there not laws against vandalism, intimidation, and the like, that would prohibit that action? I abhor such crimes, by the way.
But do we need to make the perpetrator's interior thoughts a crime, too? Does not doing so make THOUGHTS something for the law to intervene on?
After "hate crimes" comes bullying, a milder form of hate crime. Well, if we have hate crimes, do we need anti-bullying laws? Is this not yet another step down the road of legally controlling what people think and believe?
Slippery slope, my backside. This is a well-determined path that society is being pushed on by people who know exactly where they are going.