Anyone up for brainwashing LGBT teens and imprisoning them too?

This is far too infuriating for words so I’ll let Egalia of Tennessee Guerilla Women and others handle this. But hey, it’s all about the “love” ultra-conservative Christians have for those who are LGBT.

Memphis Gay Kid Imprisoned in Gay Brainwashing Camp: Save Zack

Mike Ditto has the story. You can read Zack’s blog here – the 16-year-old is being held against his will and hasn’t blogged since being imprisoned in the camp a few days ago.

This place is sinister. So, of course, they call it: Love in Action.

Ditto says the following is from the guy who runs the camp:

I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery.

We need to raise a stink about this one. It sounds like Zack will be lucky to get out of there with only psychological trauma.

Apparently protests are being held outside the Memphis camp. If you’re in the area, you might want to join them. Or better yet, find a way to break this kid out. Call the media. Save Zack.

Via Talkleft

Here are some of the camp’s rules via Mike Ditto again…

Kids in the program are not allowed to speak to anyone, not even their parents, for at least the first two days.

Kids are not allowed to go anywhere unless they are accompanied by at least two other participants, one of which has to have at least 8 weeks of prior indoctrination.

Kids are not allowed to keep a journal or a diary

Kids are not allowed to discuss what goes on in the program with anyone, not even their parents

Kids are not allowed to have contact with any family members other than parents, who also go through the program

Kids are not allowed to have any physical contact with any human being other than a hand shake or a pat on the shoulder, and only when authorized.

Kids are not allowed outside of a small geographic area within Memphis, even if accompanied by parents, without prior written authorization

Kids are not allowed to listen to any music that is not explicitly Christian (Bach and Beethoven are specifically forbidden as being non-Christian)

Kids are not permitted to enter restaurants that serve alcohol

Kids are not allowed to speak after 9:00 p.m. under any circumstance

Kids may be placed in a state of isolation where they are not allowed to communicate with one another

Remember it’s all about the “love. ” And thus, George Orwell’s room 101 is a reality thanks to these people. Hate is indeed fast becoming a “moral family value” of the far conservative Christian Rightwing. Once again, save Zack!

This entry posted in Conservative zaniness, right-wingers, etc., Homophobic zaniness/more LGBTQ issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

59 Responses to Anyone up for brainwashing LGBT teens and imprisoning them too?

  1. 1
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Holy crap, PA, thanks for bringing this one to our attention. I followed the links you provided and read ‘Zack’s blog’ and was stunned. One of the most horrid things is that this kid seems otherwise well adjusted and kind, but due to the stress of all this, and the treatment his mother is putting him through, he’s fantasizing about killing himself or her.

  2. 2
    Anna in Cairo says:

    Bach is not considered Christian? That is news to me. Wasn’t he the church organist of his town? Wasn’t most of his music written for the church?

  3. 3
    Kristjan Wager says:

    How the f***? can this be legal? I know they are minors, but aren’t there laws against mistreatment in the US?

  4. 4
    noodles says:

    Jeez, and I thought this kind of thing was only an artistic license from the script writers of Desperate Housewives…

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    One of the commenters on Zach’s blog posted contact info on all the elected officials and media contacts in the area. I have posted it on my blog, along with the largely positive comments from local TV coverage, here.

  6. 6
    Susan says:

    The proper agency here would be Child Protective Services, but one doubts that they would act.

    Hmmm. I’m wondering if some crusading (hopefully gay) lawyer in Tennessee could be talked into bringing a Writ of Mandate against CPS? (That Writ exists to provide a formal, legal way to demand that a public official or agency do its job properly where that is not happening.)

    Anyone have any legal contacts in Memphis? Maybe through the gay community?

  7. wow, and on my b’day no less … honestly, this is what happens when you let fundamentalists any kind of fucking reign … this is hideous and child abuse (regardless of the legal definition) at it’s core. This is simply a denial of humanity. I’m only thankful that my parents didn’t know this back when I came out …

    Anyway, thanks for doing this PS, I’d marry you if I could *smile*

    I’ve followed through a bunch of links and found (they are on my blog too):

    I really like Pam’s (House Blend) couple posts on the issue:
    http://www.pamspaulding.com/weblog/2005/06/why-ex-gay-programs-like-love-in.html
    http://www.pamspaulding.com/weblog/2005/06/follow-up-to-love-in-actions-ex-gay-re.html

    but there are others too:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/11/185930/220
    http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/2005/06/memphis-gay-kid-imprisoned-in-gay.html
    http://talkleft.com/new_archives/011068.html
    http://www.mikeditto.com/archives/kudos_to_queer_action_coalition
    http://www.atypicaljoe.com/archives/2005/06/no_refuge_for_g.php
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/06/11.html#a3400
    http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2005/06/the_rules_of_re.html
    http://www.iammattthomas.com/journal/camp
    http://rivercitymud.blogspot.com/2005/06/wheres-zach.html
    http://thepeskyfly.blogspot.com/2005/06/christians-dig-torture_04.html

    here is the local tv station’s coverage of the group (warning: open’s Windows Media Player).

    Here is the group organising the protest:
    http://www.fightinghomophobia.blogspot.com/

    Finally, here is the kid’s blog, where he covered everything up to the point where he got thrown in.

    oh, and here he lists the ‘rules’ (abuse) for the camp.

    If anything, this is why we need to win, and kick these arsehole’s butts. We are the reality based community.

  8. 8
    Robert says:

    It would be difficult to show that CPS (or whomever) wasn’t doing its job. Nothing in this program is negligent or abusive to a level that overrides parental prerogative.

  9. 9
    Susan says:

    To have the desired effect, such a suit need not win . If it were merely brought, with appropriate publicity, it might serve as an alert.

  10. 10
    mythago says:

    Assuming there are no anti-SLAAP laws and the Tennessee bar doesn’t care about frivolous lawsuits, anyway.

    Robert is, sadly, correct–parents have a legal right to do this to their kids. Where are Zack’s parents?

  11. 11
    João Carlos says:

    You know something?… When I was a kid, I had a third-worlder awe for United Satates: “the land of free and the home of the brave”… and such.

    Now I thank God I never went there. Your country is awfull, your average citizen is incredibly idiot (with the ususal exceptions, of course) and hipocritical, and your “democracy”, a fake. The only liberty you have is the one the French sent you, and you never let her in (she stands on an island, just some miles away from New York).

    As for “justice”, your simbol couldn’t be any better: a hammer.

  12. 12
    noodles says:

    Well Joao, come on, don’t be so harsh, you have to admire the business spirit at play here. The people who set up “Love in Action INC. International” manage to convince parents to pay a company to abuse and brainwash their children, when they, the parents, could do it themselves for free, like so many other parents do. That takes some powerful marketing, dude! Like it or not, you have to be in awe.

  13. 13
    trey says:

    i’d disagree with you Jaoa on just about everything you said about this country and its citizens.. but i won’t hijack the subject of this thread…

    what this poor boy is going through is horrendous, I know from first hand experience the emotional (and physical) trauma these sort of ‘programs’ subject a kid too.

    Frankly, though his parents “think” they are doing him good there are doing nothing but causing him great emotional and psycological pain and probably losing the love of their son.

    This is tragic.

  14. 14
    Amanda Marcotte says:

    A commenter on my blog left illuminating information.

    Some of these facilities have a laundry list of complaints against them, up to and including rape and manslaughter. Parents who are so desperate to make their kids conform need to know what they are signing up for so they can reconsider their decision.

  15. 15
    Amanda Marcotte says:

    The “confidentiality” agreements the kids are forced to sign strike me as something that might be illegal–how can parents lose their right to know what other adults are doing to their child?

  16. 16
    Kyra says:

    A few years ago I read about a similar “camp” or “school” or “program” or whatever they call it, for re-education (brainwashing) of troubled teens into Southern Baptists—and now this. This is one of very few things that truly horrify me, especially what the misbegotten progeny of the Book of Leviticus and High Inquisitor Torquemada said about preferring Zack (and presumably others) commit suicide rather than live free of this sick excuse for religious doctrine.

    Has anybody talked to the ACLU? This would be a good excuse to argue for the constitutional rights of minors to be respected, such as the freedom of conscience mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, or a complaint that he is being forced to live by the rules of a religion he does not share (if these people are the same religion as liberal Christians, Hugh Hefner is the Pope). Not to mention cruel & unusual punishments for something that isn’t a crime, and if the government allows a religion to expand its domain over someone who does not hold those beliefs, that is a violation of both the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

    I think the mother should be deemed an unfit, neglectful, and possibly abusive parent (what kind of loving parent would put their child somewhere when the child is forbidden to tell them what is done to him? aren’t parents supposed to safeguard their children from abuse, not turn a blind eye to it? and if she had suspicions about their methods and put him there in spite of *or because of* that, she is at least an accessory to abuse because she made it possible), and Zack should file a lawsuit against this place.

    This is utterly nasty. I wouldn’t know whether to fake a conversion (to get out) or deny the monstrosity they call a god, and the other monstrosity they call a religion, forever and ever, suicide or not, gay or not (to deny them what they want), or to pray loudly to Isis and Amun Re, demand my constitutional right to practice my religion and that I be furnished with the necessary tools, as prisoners have a right to recieve (to annoy them), or just keep quiet and try to steal a cell phone from one of the guards (to call the ACLU, Amnesty International, Child Protection Services, and anyone else who might be of use). Then, of course, there’s the option of resorting to violence, which might result in a move to a real prison in which prisoners have their rights respected.

    It pains me to see that the Land of the Free, isn’t. Unpopular minorities are safer in Canada. Or Britain. Or various other places.

    Yes, this is tragic. So is the fact that there are people who inflict these horrors on other people. May the Gods forgive them. Someone ought to.

  17. 17
    Amanda Marcotte says:

    I’d fake the conversion. Fuck this place–they haven’t shown they deserve honesty from their “clients”.

  18. 18
    Kyra says:

    Upon reading this again:

    No BACH?!?!?! WHAT THE FUCK! He’s Christian! Not to mention he’s my absolute favorite, and I would blow up like a volcano at these people who are trying to ban him if they were not several states away. Lucky for me, I’ve got much of his work memorized, so if someone were to forbid ME to listen to him, they’d fail; I’d just listen to the memories.

    Da-da-Da Da-da-Da Da-da-Da Da-da-Da Da-da-Da Da-da-da Dum Dum (dadadada . . .) . . . *continues remembering Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G Major. Flawlessly. Ban that, assholes.*

  19. 19
    Virginia says:

    *sigh* My parents wanted to send me to Love in Action when I first came out to them. I just sent them links to stories from folks who had escapred LIA. It didn’t make them turn around and embrace my sexual orientation, but it got them to back off the whole idea of shipping me off there. Luckily I waited until I was old enough that they couldn’t send me there against my will anyway.

  20. 20
    flea says:

    “I think the mother should be deemed an unfit, neglectful, and possibly abusive parent.”

    But Zach’s father is what – a helluva guy? Since we’re talking about Christian fundamentalists, where women’s submission to their husband runs a very close second to making sure you don’t have any gay children, you might want to rethink your desire to condemn the mother alone.

  21. 21
    AndiF says:

    No BACH?!?!?! WHAT THE FUCK! He’s Christian!

    Yeah, this just floors me. I’m not a Christian and I still think that ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ is one of the most moving pieces of music ever written. If I had any doubts about what a corrupt organization this was, this alone would be enough. Of course, it isn’t needed since their rules alone would probably get a kids removed by CPS if this was a parent instead of an organization.

  22. 22
    Robert says:

    I suspect that they mean they only allow contemporary Christian music; i.e., no classical.

  23. 23
    Tarn says:

    I can’t find the link on the Guardian’s website, but about a year ago they ran a story about this sort of camp- the twist being that they focused on the organisations that set up camps outside the US, in jurisdictions where the laws on what you could do to the children “attending” were considerably less humane than in the US. The whole industry of camps and the weird sub-industry of people who escort kids to those camps is just horrific, particularly in the context of what constitutes the sort of behaviour that makes parents ship their children off to these sorts of places.
    Oh, and without the article it’s kind of anecdotal, but as far as I remember it, it was normally the father’s who were the prime movers in sending their children away, often based on the idea that they were the ones responsible for discipline in the family and some perceived idea that the kid’s “transgressions” were a challenge to the father’s identity and authority.

  24. 24
    Amanda Marcotte says:

    PA–it’s been brought to my attention that as this young man is a minor and not able to get out of his situation, we should de-link his blog so that the camp doesn’t find out that he’s been bad-mouthing him and escalate their abuse in retaliation. I posted on this but took down identifying information.

  25. 25
    Jimmy Ho says:

    Kip Manley posted about a similar camp (located in Jamaica, if I recall correctly) some time, maybe two years, ago. Unfortunately, I’ve had problems accessing Long Story, Short Pier for more than a month now.

  26. 26
    Jimmy Ho says:

    So, Manley’s site’s been friendly this time: turns out the post was about Tranquility Bay.

  27. 27
    BStu says:

    I’m stunned that they actually seem to regard Bach and Beethoven as negative influences. I know they’ve got a ton of other obvious faults and it seems almost silly to keep coming back to Bach and Beethoven, but it is illuminating because of how obviously inoffensive they are. We’ve grown accostumed to fundies wanting to roll back the clock on Rock ‘n’ Roll, but they are targeted the Baroque period, too? Bach was devoutly religious. Not even a papist if that’s what they are worried about. Do they allow his sacred cantatas but not his secular ones? Because they really expect kids to know German that well? And since when is the Brandenburg Concerto music of the gay. Is it because classical music is so well populated by the gays that they figure better safe than sorry?

    I’ve kinda gone back and forth on this. The camp disgusts me, but I don’t think government can micromanage parenting so how do I draw a line that forbids this withou infringing on parent’s rights. I’m just not sure. Children generally have the card of “You can’t make me” to use in this kind of scenario. Really, its pretty accurate, but parent’s still generally win that game of chicken anyway. The bottom line is that he still needs to live with his parents. Its wrong, but how can it be changed? The best thing might just be publicity so other parents think twice and continuing to try to educate parents about accepting their children.

    In the meantime, I hope Zack is okay and he doesn’t mind his new quasi-celebrity status when he gets out. Aside from inflicting a lot of emotional abuse, I suspect the camp doesn’t really create many converts. Judging from the rules, its clear what the obvious eventualities of gathering up a lot of repressed gay teens into one place are.

  28. 28
    Hilary says:

    It should be noted that many of the rules listed aren’t much different from the rules in a youth psych ward, with the exception of all the secretiveness (which seems to me highly suspicious, as I can see no justification for it whatsoever that makes sense within the context of wanting to help people).

    In my experience, such imprisonments mostly just make you extremely grateful when you get out… and that much more determined to die before ever going back. I’ve yet to meet anyone who was genuinely converted by their time imprisoned like that.

  29. 29
    mythago says:

    We’re pretty glad you never came here either, Joao.

    Hilary, I wondered about that, but the secretiveness is very very weird.

  30. 30
    noodles says:

    I have a question to everyone else who is shocked by this – what do you find most shocking about it:

    a) that the programme is directed at gays (equating it with drug & alcohol addiction)
    b) the nature of the “rules” of the programme
    c) the very existence of places where minors – who haven’t committed any crime – can be shipped against their will and are not free to leave?

    For me it’s all three together, but I’d say c) is the strongest. So I’m wondering, shouldn’t there be objections and protests against all sorts of ‘privately-owned facilities for juveniles’ as theyre called on the ISAC link that Amanda posted, even if they may have a less immediately shocking intent?

  31. 31
    noodles says:

    Bstu – The camp disgusts me, but I don’t think government can micromanage parenting so how do I draw a line that forbids this withou infringing on parent’s rights.

    See, I don’t understand that. I’ve heard from family and friends in the US of examples of social services intervening and even removing kids from their family for far less than this. You had a story posted here on this very blog a few months back where a child was removed from their family because the mother didn’t speak English. (Do I remember correctly?)
    So how can it be that sending your kids to a detainment centre is within ‘parent’s rights’?

  32. 32
    inge says:

    Re: Bach

    I have been wondering about that, as Bach and Haendel are the only people who can make me re-lapse into theism… But the very beauty and complexity of the music might be a consolation for those in distress, might allow their minds rest from the hate and shame heaped upon them and make them remember that christianity can be about beauty and a loving and just God. So, there seem to be very good reasons to disallow Bach in a re-education camp.

    I wonder about Wagner, though…

  33. 33
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    BStu, one possible standard might be that teenagers have Geneva convention rights.

  34. 34
    Lizzybeth says:

    Wow, it’s “But I’m a Cheerleader!” in real life.. I fully expected the rules list to indicate simulated heterosexual intercourse as the final exam…

  35. 35
    Richard Bellamy says:

    Yeah. Has anyone considered getting an out-of-drag RuPaul to infiltrate as an “ex-gay”?

  36. 36
    Lee says:

    As Tarn pointed out, a lot of these types of camps are not in the U.S., but they can be more expensive than the home-grown ones. One of my parents’ neighbors sent their son to a camp in Haiti in an effort to “straighten him out.” It just criminalized him in addition to not “fixing” him to his parents’ satisfaction. He is now in federal prison for kidnapping and murder. The rules overall look pretty awful, but most of them also appear to be based on rules I’ve seen posted for drug-treatment facilities. Maybe that was their starting point?

  37. 37
    DarSax says:

    http://www.asafeplace.org/default.aspx?pid=6

    It’s the place’s official website, it surprisingly took a long time to find, found at guerillawomen. “Contact us,” anyone?

  38. 38
    DarSax says:

    If this is awaiting moderation, and is possible, edit the above post to include this. If not, I’m sorry.

    I tried to contact the program, and it came up with a page not found. Either they’re deadbeats, or word has already gotten around, and they are so flooded with complaints that they took it down.

  39. 39
    hooper says:

    I’m not a Christian and I still think that ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ is one of the most moving pieces of music ever written

    well, c’mon. that’s clearly the gayest song title ever. THAT SONG IS ABOUT HOMOSEXUAL LUST AND IS SINNNNNFUL.

    -hx

  40. 40
    MC says:

    I remember regular Christian camp as the best place to get laid. This place sounds far, far more oppressive, of course, but to look at the silver lining– this kid is surrounded by other sexually-charged queer teens. With a bit of luck and creativity, he could possibly find a bit of fun.

    I don’t mean to minimize the degree of horrible nastyness that this experience will inevitably bring to his life, though. My thoughts are with him.

  41. 41
    Freddok1 says:

    This is just plain sick. The rules; the Orwellian viewpoint, the loss of contact, the loss of humanity, the loss of compassion (wasn’t Jesus compassionate towards the downtrodden of His Time?), and the sheer mindlessness of their thought, especially on music, since Bach and Beethoven wrote tons of material with Christian content, and how could anyone hate all rock music, especially something like “All You Need is Love”? If anyone put me in such a place, I’d commit suicide. Somehow something has to be done to get this kid out of there before something happens to him. Also, if these people really want to get their kid to believe in God, they have chosen the one thing that will ensure he never wants to hear about God again!

    I just feel…sick…

  42. 42
    Elliott Kenny says:

    So their just and loving God hates gay sex but is completely cool with psychological and emotional toture.
    I wish I could still muster some feeling of surprise. All I can manage is tired cynicism.

  43. 43
    Aaron V. says:

    I just reported the whole incident, along with the URL of Zach’s blog (changed to http://tinyurl.com/agopp for dictation to the intake personnel) to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, specifically telling them that I believe that Zach is being held against his will and that the conditions there, particularly the isolation, consitutes psychological abuse.

    You can also file a report at 1-877-237-0004. Hopefully the outcry over this will shut those abusive Christofascists down.

  44. 44
    Pheonix says:

    This just goes to show that closed minded individuals will be the ones to destroy this world. I give big Kudos to everyone who is against this. You have my support. It is wrong, immoral and inhuman to do this to anyone, especially a child.

  45. 45
    Lucio says:

    Hey, you’d be surprised at what is considered legal treatment if a child in the U.S. Let me just give you an idea-you could do some of these same things to a convicted felon and get life in prison, whereas if it was done to a child, they almost always take the side of the abuser. Outrageously unfair, aint it? So is this administration. They don’t give a shit-take from a 15-year-old transgender.

    And Bach and Beethoven are immoral my eye. If Hell is the farthest away I can get from the sick-ass entity that these people consider a God worthy of respect, then you can bet that is where Id go in a heartbeat!

  46. 46
    Nick says:

    That’s just sick, but sadly, not surprising. The government gives way too much slack to religious organizations and institutions. For example, they are tax-exempt. If the government taxed the Catholic Church alone, there’d be an end to the whole “Let’s save social security” riff. Also, practices that were taken out of public schools decades earlier took until my mom’s generation to leave private and parochial schools. This shit just makes me think about how radical Islamic groups that the media is obsessed with, like the Taliban, and the Moral Majority only differ in the resistance they recieve, and that difference seems to be quickly vanishing. As a non-Christian, I urge everyone to do everything, anything to keep up dissent, even at the accusation of sedition. If we’re traitors,

  47. 47
    Diana says:

    if we could get someone really big to talk about this, something might be done to stop that place

  48. 48
    Franklin Jennings says:

    I can only hope we’re all equally incensed about the fat camps and rehab clinics kids get shipped off to all over the country.

    Otherwise, it just sounds like a lot of people here want to impose their notions of healthy vs. unhealthy on everyone else, rather than an actual sincere concern about personal freedom.

  49. 49
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    I can see the fat camp comparison, not sure if I can see the rehab clinic comparison though. There is definitely something unhealthy about drug addiction. The other two issues are far more subjective.

  50. 50
    mythago says:

    I can only hope we’re all equally incensed about the fat camps and rehab clinics kids get shipped off to all over the country.

    Well, duh.

  51. 51
    Justin says:

    If I lived nearby I’d definitely be helping in breaking all of those kids out. That is ridiculous and certainly against the law.

  52. 52
    maureen says:

    The International Convention on the Rights of the Child would have offered poor Zach considerable protection, including respect for his sexuality. Sadly, the US has not ratified it – though it agreed to do so in 1989.

  53. 53
    Robert says:

    Sadly, the US has not ratified it – though it agreed to do so in 1989.

    How is that possible?

    This isnt a rhetorical question, I really don’t know.

    The President controls foreign policy. Whatever treaty he or she signs is then submitted to the Senate. The Senate then votes to accept or reject it.

    Did the President submit the treaty to the Senate and then they just sat on it, or something?

  54. 54
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    The ratification of CRC and CEDAW have been an issue long in dispute. Here’s a link for you to read more, Robert:

    Pathfinder on CEDAW

  55. 55
    maureen says:

    Robert,

    As far as I know the Convention has never been to the Senate. There’s the appropriate US signature on the document itself – usually understood as an intention to ratify – then no further action.

    Somalia is the only other nation which has not ratified and it has the explantion/excuse that it has not had a government for all that time. Not well enough informed to give you a “why” for the US.

    Text of the Convention is here -

    http://www.unicef.org/crc/crc.htm

  56. 56
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Ahh, another link as to why the US has refused to ratify CRC:

    http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol6/v6n36childsoj_body.html

  57. 57
    Richard Bellamy says:

    Zack’s father has spoken to the media (if the Christian Broadcasting Network counts as a “medium”).

    We felt very good about Zach coming here because… to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future, and to give him some options that society doesn’t give him today,” Stark told CBN. “Knowing that your son… statistics say that by the age of 30 he could either have AIDS or be dead.”

    I am aghast that the apparently leftwing-fascist nuthouse of Bartlett, TN is a society that did not even give Zach the OPTION of heterosexuality. What is this world coming to?

    I also love those talking statistics. They whisper such comforting percentages into my ears every night.

    “You could be dead by the time your 30,” statistics whispered to me last night.

    “I’m over 30 already,” I responded.

    “You could have AIDS, then,” statistics said.

    “Unlikely. I’m pretty low risk, and I had a complete physical last month.”

    “But it could be true! I often say that New Jersey has a very high AIDS rate.”

    “Shut up, statistics,” I replied. “It’s after midnight.”

    “Wait . . . wait . . . don’t you want to hear about your chances of heart disease? Hello? “

  58. 58
    Phil Ryan says:

    How dare they do this! How can people who claim to love one another feel that they are allowed to imprison minors? Being gay myself, I find this to be a monstrosity. Noöne should feel that they have a right to do this. I’ve given up on religion because of this. If Christianity says, “Love one as thyself,” obviously these people are goddamn hypocrites who wouldn’t give a shit about the safety and wellbeing of a child.

    There is one large reason for this – religion in the United States. Second only to Ireland, the US is the most religious modernised country in the world. Statistics report that 47% of the population attends religious services at least once a week. Compare this to the 7% of people in the UK that do the same thing. If this country were secular, Zach would never be in this hell. Being gay is not a disease, it is a normal part of the range of human sexuality. Would you imprison the two gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo? I don’t think so. So why would you do it to a teenager? He has done nothing wrong, and is just himelf. The church is not the head of this country (although Bush is, and it’s basically the same thing). If we were required to live by the Bible, we would like in a theocracy. This isn’t The United States of God, nor is it The United States of the Bible. It’s the United States of America, but sadly that has gone out of favour. Our motto is now officially, “In God We Trust.” Well I don’t trust God, so you know what, fuck that. I don’t think that people should be banned from practising religion, but they should never enforce it on someone who does not share the same beliefs. The ACLU needs to get in touch. I would hate to see a once-good nation plummet into a hellhole of fucking religious beliefs.

    -Phil

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