Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How awful can a town be?

I've been following the story for a few weeks.  A girl in Fulton, Mississippi, Constance McMillan, is gay and wanted to bring her girlfriend to the prom.  The school freaked out and instead of dealing with this apparently novel issue (for them) in a mature fashion, canceled the prom.  Many outside people stepped up, offering to host a prom for the school, but the school parents set up an alternate prom.

In the meantime, a lawsuit was brought and the judge found that the Constance's civil rights were infringed, but, since an alternate prom was happening, there was no need for any further action.  Great.  That prom happened last weekend.

It was a fake.

The parents and nearly all the students set up a fake prom which Constance, her date, and only five other students, two of whom were mentally disabled, attended. The school and the parents set up a prom for the undesirables to keep them away from the rest of their classmates.  The "real" prom was held in another town and was attended by everyone else.

This is indescribably hateful.  It's just plain evil.  The people involved should be ashamed and mortified, but of course they'll say they're just good Christians just following their Bible.

Are there NO decent students at the school who would step up to protest?  How about teachers and administrators?  No parents felt this was wrong and spoke up?

I am outraged and the only consolation is that this is going to unleash a FIRESTORM of criticism on that town and those awful people.  In the end, I'm sure they'll wish they had just let Constance attend with her girlfriend like they should have all along.


Eric Haas said...

Didn’t several groups donate money to help pay for that prom? What happened to that money?

Ipecac said...

The town turned down all offers for outside parties to host the prom. Apparently, the prom the Candace attended was the "official" one sponsored by the school. Everyone else went to the secret private prom.

Jason said...

That's not just cruel, that's outright segregation. I'm pretty sure that's not legal any more.

lil1inblue said...

I cannot believe how poorly everyone involved in this story behaved. Except for Candace, of course. She is an amazing young woman to be able to stand up to this cruelty. The ONLY good thing that can be said of this story is that it didn't have a more tragic end.

Anonymous said...

Wow, How crazy. I agree that this town is way out of line but how do you get that these are Christians just following their Bible?
The Bible doesn't teach that. The word Christians comes from the person of Christ and he spent much of his time with people just like Candace. Maybe I missed something in the article I read.

Ipecac said...

Well, I think it's extremely likely that Fulton, Mississippi, is overwhelmingly Christian.

And while I agree that they SHOULDN'T behave like that,and that the Bible shouldn't teach that, that's not the reality. The Bible advocates death for homosexuals. Many Christians in America are fixated on it and engage in all sorts of bad behavior, justified by their religion, to that end.

Anonymous said...

No that is not accurate the Bible does not say to kill homosexuals. The Bible shows everyone in the same boat. It says we are all sinners and only those who accept Gods son will gain eternity with him. You may believe or reject that, it is your choice but don't misquote or assume something to make your point better. It actually backfires and makes you look goofy

Ipecac said...

Leviticus 20:13

Eric Haas said...

And, if you need a New Testament reference, Romans 1:26-32 gives a list of sins which, according to God’s decree, those who practice such things deserve to die. Homosexuality is one of the first sins listed.

Anonymous said...

Well Ipecac and Eric, at least you were able to give some references for your points. Unfortunately your missing what really happened.
The Leviticus reference is in the Old Testament and if you read from verse 1-13 you will see that many sins were listed as death sentences. The reason the New Testament was written was to introduce Jesus and to abolish the old law and introduce the new.
When Jesus came on to the scene one of His biggest problems were the Pharisee's (keepers of the old law).He constantly dealt with them to try and get them to look at their hearts and not the old law. If you read John 8:1-11 You will see that Jesus was dealing with the pharasee's about a woman caught in adultery. The end result is that not only did Jesus NOT condemn her but he actually saved her from being stoned. Read it, it shows Jesus heart and also how he came to change the Old to the New. As far as the Romans passage, saying that deserving death is the same as advocating death is a real stretch. The whole premise of the Bible is for people to see that all sin deserves death. Why?because God is holy and sinless. Jesus came to bridge the gap created by sin and to reconcile man to God. If you read the new testament you will see time after time where Jesus physically and spiritually healed those in need and Im sure many of them were homosexuals. Sorry to be so long but I thought I should explain what the Bible really states. Oh and please dont lump all "Christians" together. The word is used quite loosely these days.

Eric Haas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Haas said...

The reason the New Testament was written was to introduce Jesus and to abolish the old law and introduce the new.

Not according to Matthew 5:17-19.

Ipecac said...

I'm all in favor of Christians who reject the more barbaric portions of the Bible. Most Christians do and that's a good thing. If that describes you, then great.

But you don't really need to rationalize it through convoluted and selective readings. The reason that most Christians don't advocate putting homosexuals to death these days is because they recognize that it's barbarous, *regardless* of what the Bible says. Same reason they'll eat lobster without worrying about going to hell.

But you CANNOT deny that among people who can't abide homosexuality, who would discriminate against homosexuals, or disparage them, they will almost universally justify it with religion. Gay marriage, gay adoption, gay rights are opposed using religious arguments. Why? Because there really are no rational, secular reasons to be against those things.

You can say that they're "Not True Christians" but they are. In fact, since they are taking the Bible literally, they can argue that they're more Christian than the moderates.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected Eric, the word abolish is incorrect. My point was that Jesus dealt with sin differently than God did in the old testament. And Ipecac I agree with alot of what you are saying except that just because someone says they are a Christian does not mean they are. The proof is in their actions. That being said we all make mistakes but a true Christian loves God and loves people. Again this is why Jesus had such trouble with the Pharisee's they said one thing and did another. If these people are true Christians I would expect the spirtit of God to convict them of their sin and hopefully they will repent.

Ipecac said...

As an atheist, I don't see much value in repentance without action towards the people they've wronged. I hope they will realize how awful they've acted and not only apologize, but do everything they can to make it up to these kids.

There's still an opportunity for good to come of this, but it will require some introspection and growth by the people of Fulton.

Marc said...


No offense to you because I think your heart is clearly in the right place, but it's a bit disingenous to claim that people claiming to be Christians aren't Christians because their interpretation differs from the "correct" interpretation. It's a bit like saying "Germans" weren't responsible for the Holocause because "real" Germans wouldn't do that. The fact is, I am sure most of these people think they are Christians and act on what they believe are Christian beliefs.

I will say this, however. I think it's also a bit disingenuous to express shock and surprise that people in a small Mississippi town would think and act like this. As someone that grew up in the South (albeit a long time ago), this kid (and her parents) shouldn't have been that surprised. If I had gone to Nazi Germany in 1938, it would have been sort of ridiculous for me to say, "I can't believe there is anti-semitism here." The best advice I could give the girl and her parents would be to get the hell out of Mississippi.

As for it being illegal, it's not. First, the school didn't discriminate by canceling the prom for everyone; it would have been different if they had simply refused to let the girl attend. The parents aren't subject to any kind of prohibition because they aren't part of government--they can give a party for whomever they please so long as it's not on public property and not endorsed by a governmental institution. In addition, it's not clear to me that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation would necessarily be unconstitutional as the Supreme Court has yet to hold it as a suspect classification.

I agree with Ipecac. What's the point of "repenting" if you don't actually make amends to the person you have harmed. In Judaism there is a concept that, on the Day of Atonement, God will forgive you for sins committed against God, but, for sins committed against other people you must make amends to be forgiven. While I don't much buy religion, this concept makes a lot more sense to me that simply saying, I feel bad about this in my heart and going on with everyday life. As a matter of fact, I think this is what a lot of southerners did during the Jim Crow days; they may have felt badly about how blacks were treated but they didn't do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ipecac as well, they should fix this with those offended. My point about being Christian is something discussed even in the Bible. Not everyone who says they are Christian is a Christian. If you read Matthew 7 you will see what I'm talking about. This isn't a race or nationality but rather a lifestyle more directly a Christ centered lifestyle. If you look at Westboro Baptist Church you can see they are not acting like Christ. They claim to be little Christs but they are not producing Christ likeness with their actions. I certainly know that you can interpret Scripture differently but If you read the Holy Bible in any version you will find that Christ did not spew hatred towards anyone. He said tough things and things that challenged relgion and many years of traditions but always did things out of love. In the case of the prom, I am not saying they aren't Christian but I am saying they did not act like a Christian as defined by Christ. The Bible says you will know them by their fruit. You would'nt say that all Muslim's hate Americans you would define the ones that hate differently and that is how we should handle Christians as well. True Christians love God and love people. This is the greatest commandment.

ahtitan said...

Let me paraphrase Anonymous, for clarity:

"These people aren't REAL Christians because they don't read one book the same way I do, and my way is right. Nothing you say will sway me from this line of thinking. God is great!"

Hope that helps.