I’d like to pass on this short news item, which featured as part of the ‘Shit List’ in the latest Religious Doubts podcast.
Some time ago in Michigan US, a severe case of anti-gay bullying and assault at school, resulted a 14 year old boy taking his own life in 2002. As a result of the outcry, the state legislature drafted the ‘Matt’s Safe School’ bill, named after the poor kid. The bill in essence made it a criminal offence to engage in bullying of any kind.
At the last minute before the legislation was passed, they added the following language:
“..this section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil and parent or guardian”.
Sometimes you just want to scream.
In essence, what the law now does is provide explicit direction on how to bully and get away with it.
I’m afraid it’s just another example of the privileged position of religion in our society. Now it’s ok to cause psychological harm to someone if you do it in the name of religion.
It’s also another example of the monumental selfishness of religious zealots.
This amendment, no doubt forced by a religious lobby group, has to be the least christian action I’ve seen for a long time.