Bully For You

As we gradually destroy our civilizing institutions, people are gradually reverting to barbarism and therefore not necessarily learning at home how a civilized person behaves. I acknowledge that schools may need to address certain basics such as, "Dogs establish Alpha order and intimidate everyone else into submission; people don't do that." Nevertheless, while I'm sure they are well-intentioned, I mistrust anti-bullying campaigns for three reasons.

1) I don't think the advice to never fight for any reason is sound. Always walk away from confrontation? That's right if we're talking about having your fancy shoes taken from you at gun-point. Don't die for shoes. When some loudmouth is picking on the class weakling, though, the right thing is to tell him to knock it off. Avoiding confrontation yields the schoolyard to the bully. Remember how horrified we were by the failure of Penn State asst. coach Mike McQueary to intervene in an abuse situation he walked in on? I think we're training our young people to do just that: never think about direct intervention, always wait and call for the teacher. Trained helplessness is good for the bullies long-run.

2)  Based on news stories about "bullying" incidents, I think they fail to properly discriminate between bullying behavior and mere insults. If I'm a 13-year-old girl and my BFF from twenty minutes ago switches allegiances to another girl on the playground and I call her a b**** on Facebook, that's uncharitable and immature speech, but it's not bullying. Every expression of anger is not bullying. Bullying is aggressive use of superior force to badger, intimidate or coerce another person. It's a power game. Single instances of lashing out don't qualify, and teaching kids --especially males-- to always suppress anger is a great way to make an adult who is cynical and bullying.

3) The anti-bullying movement is gradually becoming identified solely with eradicating "homophobia." No one wants a kid persecuted for his sexual orientation, but belief that same-sex attraction is an unfortunate cross to bear and not a gift to be celebrated is not commensurate with bullying. That won't wash. Political correctness is itself a form of bullying and there is no bully like the homosexual lobby. As witness this lovely outburst from Dan Savage of the It Gets Better project.
“I thought this would be about anti-bullying,” Tuttle told Fox news. “It turned into a pointed attack on Christian beliefs.”
Tuttle said a number of his students were offended by Savage’s remarks – and some decided to leave the auditorium.
“It became hostile,” he said. “It felt hostile as we were sitting in the audience – especially towards Christians who espouse beliefs that he was literally taking on.”
Tuttle said the speech was laced with vulgarities and “sexual innuendo not appropriate for this age group.” At one point, he said Savage told the teenagers about how good his partner looked in a speedo.
The conservative website Citizenlink was the first to report about the controversy. They interviewed a 17-year-old girl who was one of students who walked out of the auditorium.
“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control,’” she told CitizenLink. “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible.”
As the teenagers were walking out, Tuttle said that Savage heckled them and called them “pansy asses.”
Dan Savage is not a man who is against bullying; he is a bully himself. Unfortunately for Christian teenagers there will be no celebrity assurances that public attacks on them will get better. On the contrary, they are liable to get worse.