A horrifying story is unfolding from out of McKee, Jackson County Kentucky that illustrates the danger of the religious indoctrination of children and the possibly irreversible harm it can do to a child's psyche. Some people might even point to it as a case in point as to how children should not be allowed within ten miles of organized religion, which would of course be taking it way too far. What it does however definitely illustrate is the need for proper, mature, adult supervision. I'll go more into this later, but first, the story.
Two eighteen year old girls, along with an unnamed teenage juvenile, have been charged with kidnapping, assault, and attempted murder. The alleged victim was Cheyenne Williams, an openly gay classmate who is said to have been friends with her alleged assailants since they were in the sixth grade-in other words, for close to six years.
What they did to her is a case study in sadism. They took her to a remote forested area and assaulted her, at one point throwing rocks at her, and ultimately attempting to force her off the edge of a cliff. Strangely, Miss Williams somehow managed to film the entire assault, or at least a significant part of it, on her cell phone.
There is a large part of this story that is yet shrouded in mystery, but it has been stated that the conflict amongst the long-standing friends came to a head after the April 16th Day of Silence event, which has been promoted by gay activist groups as a means of protesting harassment of gay students at public schools. Of course, the event, which was originated at the University of Virginia back in the mid-nineties, is a controversial one, with some conservative and religious organizations demanding that their children be allowed to take the day off school, or otherwise protesting the event. It should be pointed out, however, that the Day of Silence is purely voluntary. It entails a commitment from students to refrain from speaking during that day, while yet otherwise participating in class room activities and class assignments in order to not disrupt the learning environment (such as it may be).
It is also unclear as to how long Miss Williams has been "out of the closet" insofar as her sexuality in concerned, and whether or not there was any previous controversy regarding this between her and her former friends.
Additionally, it is unknown as to what degree the perpetrators of the assault were influenced by their religious beliefs, but one of the students at the school, in commenting on the case in an interview for Lexington Ky television news WLEX, made the statement that the students in question were Holiness, or Pentecostal.
If this is in fact the case, I have to wonder whether they truly intended to kill Miss Williams, or whether instead they might have been attempting to "save her soul" in a form of bizarre exorcism ritual involving forcing her to turn to God and be saved by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It so happens that Pentecostal beliefs about homosexuality is pretty explicit. They think it is a sin, and that those who commit it or are homosexual have offended God-but they do nevertheless hold that a gay person can be "saved"-and do note this does not mean merely that God will forgive them of their sins and accept them into His heavenly kingdom. It means that God will literally change them by turning them into straight people.
This beings us back full circle to my statement about the need for adult supervision when it comes to religious indoctrination. It's one thing to believe that a gay person can "change". I personally think its possible, but unlikely, for the simple reason that a person who is attracted to the same sex-regardless of what the reason for that might be-is quite simply unlikely to want to change, even if it were possible. This brings us to the main point that children brought up in religious households need to have proper guidance. Unfortunately, the adults responsible for their religious training (not just parents, but pastors, priests, and rabbis as well) have been lacking in this regard in all too many cases, this being a preeminent example.
Put simply and succinctly, regardless of the worthiness or viability of your own personal belief systems, your beliefs are not, nor hopefully will they ever be, the law of the land. The laws of your nation might be abhorrent to your way of thinking or beliefs, but they are still the law. Moreover, regardless of what you might think about homosexuals, they have a constitutional right to equal protection under the law. I might also point out that it doesn't matter whether or not homosexuality is a sin, or whether or not a person can stop being gay if he turns to God. Even if that were all true, an individual person has the right to be gay if he or she so chooses to be gay-assuming just for the sake of argument that it is a matter of choice to begin with.
Nobody has to believe in your God regardless of what you think, or to practice your particular faith or believe anything you believe. You sure as hell don't have the right to throw them off a cliff if they do not. Stories like this are easily picked up by the Left and utilized as proof of the bigotry of the right, or at least of the religious right, but I want to point out that this kind of thing is not conservative, not under any legitimate definition of the term.
This is the exact same kind of mindset that would pass laws against gay marriage at the national level, or would outlaw abortion at the national level, in effect giving powers to the federal government that it was never intended to have over each individual state's sovereignty in such matters-not one iota better or worse than guaranteeing abortion rights or the right to gay marriage at the federal level over the rights of the states to decide such matters-matters which were never in any fashion elucidated in the constitution as belonging to the domain of the federal government. Because such is the road to a tyranny of the federal government over the people. That such might be accomplished in the name of supposed conservative values does not make it any less leftist or intrusive. It is even more dangerous to support such views in the name of some supposed deity.
There are times when people who suppose they are acting out of republican (small r) or conservative values of freedom and liberty act at cross-purposes due to a supposed threat to their values from the left, and they tend to overreact at the antics of leftist organizations such as GLSEN, and others who promote such things as the Day of Silence in public schools, and other things which might be not so worthwhile or positive.
I would point out to them that there are numerous gay conservatives, and for that matter, it is even possible to be a Gay Patriot.
More to the point, though, is that while you have a right to your own religious beliefs and the right to teach those beliefs to your children, you have the obligation and responsibility to monitor your child's activities and insure that they are adequately counseled as to what is appropriate, and what might be going over the line (or over a cliff in this case).
It doesn't matter whether the crime they committed, and attempted to commit, was a hate crime, or a desperate act of misguided love meant to save the soul of a friend from hellfire. Something like this should never happen, and if these three teens are punished to the fullest extent of the law, it would be right and appropriate. No one would have a legitimate right to cry about leftist discriminatory policies against Christian beliefs-well, unless those who might do so only want to look even more ridiculous than they already do.