White Christian Suburban Kids: Where’s Mine?

Let’s get the easy stuff about this story out of the wayt:

Jamison Liang came out to his family members one at a time. A Homewood-Flossmoor High School senior, varsity tennis player and the youngest of four children, he told them each he has known he was gay “forever.”

On Tuesday Liang comes out to a much wider audience: the Homewood-Flossmoor community. As part of a daylong awareness campaign, he and as many as 225 other students could wear T-shirts to school that say: “gay? fine by me.”

“I feel like I’m ready for it,” said Liang, who will enter Washington University in St. Louis this fall. “I mean, I’m confident in who I am. There’s no sense in hiding it.”

But the T-shirt campaign, which made a quiet debut last year, is meeting opposition from some of the school’s Christian students. In what will amount to a schoolyard battle of messages, a couple hundred other students are expected to wear shirts citing “crimes against God,” namely “discrimination against … my 10 Commandments, my prayers, my values, my faith, my God.”

Those shirts, printed by the Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park, also include the 1st Amendment, which begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech …”

Jacques Jacobs, a youth minister at Family Harvest Church, said his church is “not fighting anybody, we are only standing up for the rights of the Christian student.”

The fact that the school allowed this, even after it was clear it was going to become a press gang bang, is pretty incredible. What a great lesson for the kids at this school. Want to wear a shirt? Wear a shirt. Stick up for what you believe in, and face the consequences. Learn that not everyone in the world will agree with you, and that sometimes your friends won’t agree with you, and learn how to deal with that. Kudos to school authorities for, for once, not acting like their kids are delicate little flowers that should be shielded from the harsh realities in which we live.

Though my level of Had It with the constant moaning and groaning of the poor persecuted suburban white kids is reaching an all-time high this week.

Just once, I’d like people who talk about “crimes against God” and the supposed “assault on faith” to provide me examples of times when they have actually been witness to such a crime. Folding your hands at lunch and saying a prayer over your PB&J? Show me the teacher who stopped you. I’ll write her a letter telling her why that’s a stupid idea. Pleading with the Lord to let you score the winning three-pointer during a basketball game? Give me the name of the coach who called time-out to berate you. Somebody stop you in the airport and make you take out your rosary so they could X-ray it? Harass you because they heard you speaking Latin? Herded into the “Christian” bathroom, made to drink from the “Christian” water fountain, kicked out of your apartment because you nailed a crucifix to the wall? Denied more than a thousand federal benefits because you stood at an altar and spoke to one another briefly? Let’s have the stories, complete with documentation.

And don’t give me that “well, THEY say” or “well, everybody just KNOWS.” If you’re asking, as the fundies seem to be, for the equivalent of a complete overhaul of civil rights legislation to make Christians a protected class in this country, owed special rights and increased consideration in matters of housing and employment, then you’d damn well better have data. Something your mother’s cousin’s bridge partner kinda sorta thinks he overheard at the casino on Wayne Newton Night doesn’t count.

But that’s always the case with these types of complaints, isn’t it? You grasp for the details, and they turn out to be nothing but smoke, and your fingers pass right through.

A.