Thursday, April 21, 2011
LGBT students blamed for their own deaths
Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber who works for both Liberty University and Liberty Counsel, claims that "kids who are engaging in homosexual behavior 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."
Barber: Gay Kids Commit Suicide Because They Know It's Unnatural and Immoral
This is not a new point of view for religious school leadership. When HeartStrong first began its work in 1996, information about HeartStrong and the role anti-GLBT messages from religious school leadership was distributed to 5,000 religious schools throughout North America.
The overwhelming response from leadership in 1996 was that GLBT students bring suicide on themselves for giving in to sin and succumbing to the guilt that comes "naturally from God."
Nearly 15 years later the message is still the same. With less than a handful of exceptions, religious educational institutions are still unable to provide safe learning environments for students. With the popularity of religious education rising and parents rushing to place their children in religious schools, the work of HeartStrong remains more relevant with each passing day.
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Since founder Jerry Falwell's death, his "ministry" and schools are growing tremendously. His two sons have taken over and wiped out all debt and put the schools on track for their original growth goals.
Liberty University is now the nation's eighth-largest four-year university and the largest four-year private, nonprofit university, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. It is also the world's largest Christian university. Liberty was ranked 25th among four-year universities in 2009. In 2000, the overall enrollment was only 8,606.
Liberty currently has 64,610 students, making it the largest four-year college in Virginia. George Mason University, the second-largest college in Virginia, has 39,977 students.
Liberty University remains a anti-GLBT school as does Liberty Christian Academy. The incredible growth and popularity of these schools (like so many others) is one reason why parents place their children there. Students struggling with orientation and identity issues are thrust into an enivronment that is difficult to survive.
"[Homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven." - Jerry Falwell
(Excerpted from the Heartstrong newsletter. For more info on tracking anti-gay religious schools
and finding help from their intolerance and exclusion, contact Heartstrong at http://www.heartstrong.org/ )