Creep of the Week: Matt Barber


Have you punched a gay middle-schooler for Christ today? Well, you’d better do it fast, because Barack Obama is trying to take this God-given duty and religious right away from you.

It’s no secret that LGBT students get bullied at school. In fact, it’s no secret that kids who get bullied at school are often accused of being LGBT, even if they aren’t. And while a lot of folks think all of this bullying is really not conducive to learning, others, like the Liberty Council’s Matt Barber, apparently think it’s just a trial by fire to determine who is righteous.

As you may know, the White House recently held an antibullying summit, which provoked outrage amongst the antigay right. On his Faith and Freedom radio program, Barber likened antibullying programs to a “Trojan horse,” saying that all of this talk about “safe schools” was really code for a “homosexual activist political indoctrination agenda and a curriculum of pro-homosexual propaganda.”

That’s right, folks. Antibullying = pro-gay. And not just supporting gay students, but mandating homosexuality. You’ve got two choices: a school where kids are total violent assholes to each other or a peaceful school where everyone’s gay.

The fact is, antibullying problems are unfair to Christians. Forcing Christians to not bully their gay and lesbian classmates is unChristitutional, or whatever.

“We have a situation that this creates where those who they accuse of being the bullies become the bullied,” Barber laments. “People with traditional values, Christians, kids who happen to believe what every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology hold to be true, that sexual behavior is appropriate within the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Barber is, I think, confused about what it means to be bullied. No one is saying that kids can’t believe what they want about gays. But it shouldn’t be acceptable to make a gay kid’s life a living hell just because your pastor says gays are evil.

Shawn Akers, Barber’s co-host, points out that if you want to stop bullying, you work to “grow Judeo-Christian ethic.”

“Even if you disagreed with someone’s lifestyle, the Judeo-Christian ethic would be the first to tell you you’re not going to bully, you’re not going to beat up, you’re not going to abuse anybody,” Akers says.

Ah, so the problem is that kids aren’t Christian enough. It couldn’t have anything to do with so-called Christian groups like, say, the Liberty Council, portraying LGBT people as sick and damaged that contributes to the bullying against them. So when a Christian kid gets the urge to beat up one of these disgusting queers, Judeo-Christian ethic steps in and says, “You leave that godless piece of trash alone,” and everything’s fine.

Most enlightening was Barber’s suicide-prevention strategy. He says sexually active teens, gay and straight, are more likely to commit suicide than their chaste peers.

“We’ve had this spate of kids who have committed suicide and some of them it has been apparently because they have been bullied. A handful have actually also been kids who self-identified as gay or lesbian,” Barber says. “Kids who are engaging in homosexual behavior, I think often look inward and know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral, and so they become depressed and the instances of suicide can rise there as well.”

So Barber, spinning some of that Judeo-Christian ethic magic, is essentially arguing that since gay kids are twisted and wrong, it’s no wonder they want to off themselves. If anything, bullies are really just doing gay kids a favor.

“What Obama should be teaching, rather than promoting the LGBT agenda that pushes premarital sexual activity, be it homosexual or heterosexual,” Barber continues, “is advocating on behalf of abstinence education and encouraging kids to remain pure until marriage. That is the best way to prevent kids who are engaged in sexual behavior from committing suicide.”

Abstinence education as suicide-prevention tool. Very novel. Very sure-to-work. What could go wrong? Keep in mind that gay people, for the most part, can’t get married. Which means there’s no room in Barber’s equation for them. And that’s exactly how he wants it.

Antibullying programs are a problem precisely because they acknowledge that gay kids exist. And if gay kids no longer have to hide in the shadows, it’ll be a lot harder to convince them that they’re horrible and damaged. And the more gay kids who feel like they actually matter, the harder it’s going to be for Barber and his ilk to lie about who and what they are, which is, of course, the “[antigay] activist political indoctrination agenda.”

D’Anne Witkowski is a Detroit-based freelance writer and poet (believe it!).