Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tennessee Anti-Bullying Law Change Could Allow Students To Speak Out Against Gays For Religious Reasons: Report

Tennessee Anti-Bullying Law Change Could Allow Students To Speak Out Against Gays For Religious Reasons: Report Posted: 1/4/12 01:35 PM ET Updated: 1/5/12 10:02 AM ET — "Less than one month after a local gay teen took his own life after allegedly being tormented at his high school, a proposed change in a Tennessee law could protect students who engage in anti-gay bullying if they do so for religious reasons."

The complexity of law can be convoluted and frustrating. Free Speech and Freedom of Religion vs. Hate Crimes[1] and public safety. Basic common decency says that you should never do anything to harm another person. And, if you follow the teachings of the western deity[2], love and compassion are the only things you would ever say to anyone. However, we are not a society based on the teachings of Jehovah, Jesus or Mohamed. We are a society based on the Bible/Qur'an, which are often incorrect, misrepresented and blatantly false interpretations of said teachings by men attempting to push their own agendas. We should have little need for anti-bullying laws. But that is, unfortunately, not the case.

The critical issue here, though, is where do you draw the line? Personally, I feel it is akin to the whole, yelling "Fire" in a theater or "Bomb" in an airport, situation. But that's just me.

[1] This really is a misnomer because when is crime not perpetuated by hate
[2] Specifically, the God worshiped in Judaism, Christianity and Islam


  1. Joe, crime is frequently not perpetuated by hate. IMHO, greed is probably an even bigger factor. It may be cloaked in a disguise of hate (e.g., "I hate the rich!") but it's really greed, or at least jealousy, underneath.

  2. You've been awfully quiet of late, Joe. Maybe this award will spark something....

  3. I'd prefer to have the laws leave exemptions for 1st amendment protections out of them being that the judgement of a reasonable person can be used to differentiate Constitutional violations. That is, after all, the purpose of the judicial system and discretion of prosecutors (both official and not). As in, we don't know how to codify the difference between art and pornography but we know the difference between the two. But we're talking about hate crimes and public schools, things that left the realm of "reasonable" behind years ago. Needing to draw exemptions in the law that some fear will be exploited is a consequence of using the law for political purposes in the first place. Reap what you sow.

  4. what is the Tennessee law for anti bullying ?

    1. The second link in the post explains it quite well. Basically, the wording in the bill seems to exclude possibly hate speech from bullying definitions if it's made under the auspices of the First Amendment. The problem is that it's vague on the line between First Amendment and Hate Speech.