Truth and Error: A Necessary Collision"But the peculiar evil in silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation: those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." From John Stuart Mill's On Liberty
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If this isn’t a stark reminder of why this country needs to keep the health care bill intact—no, in fact, enhance it, then nothing is. Another writer with hopes and dreams and a big heart. A heart that needed medical attention.
What a fun way to spend a free snow day! There’s a few more of The Daily Horse entries here.
(Continued from Original Post)
Another bullied teenager committed suicide early Friday morning, 5 November 2010. Brandon Bitner, a 14 year old boy from Mount Pleasant Mills, PA, walked several miles from his home around 2 a.m. to a busy intersection, where he walked in front of a moving tractor trailer. Brandon left a suicide note at his home and several audio recordings for his closest friends. His note was not full of resentment and hate, but of love and hope. Brandon explained in the note that he was constantly bullied at Midd West High School in Middleburg, PA, where he was a freshman. Bullies called Brandon gay, girly, fag, and geek. He stated in the note that a humiliating event in school this past week was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
In the first part of the note, Brandon made it clear that he does not want this outcome for anyone else in the world. He said he wants his family and friends to fight to bring awareness to the bullying issues in today’s society. He told his friends in the audio recording and in the note that he wants them to have fulfilled lives and the strength to follow their dreams. Brandon was a gifted violinist and artist.
The foregoing information is from the memorial website for Brandon, which includes a full obituary.
This video (soundtrack, really–listen to the lyrics of the entire song) goes with a FABULOUS post by Peterr over at Firedoglake. His post is as moving as the song sung by the all-gay a cappella group The Flirtations. Recalling a concert he saw in the 1990′s, Peterr says:
Then at the end came the most powerful moment of the evening, which is indelibly printed in my memory. After the applause died down following a song, the Flirts told the crowd that we were coming to the end of the concert.
“BOOOO!!!! NOOOO!!!!” replied the audience.
“Yes,” said the Flirts, “Yes, we are.”
You could almost see people going back into their closets or back into their battles being out, putting on the armor they had taken off as the concert progressed. People were anticipating going into the night air, back to their homes, their jobs, and everything else, and it hurt. It had been such an incredible night, filled with joy and camaraderie and pride . . . and now it was almost over. Damn.
“Yes, we are,” said the Flirts, “but we want to leave you with a lullaby. Imagine how different you might be — how different the world might be — if more parents sang lullabys like this to their children.”
Then, in the stillness of the night, to an audience that almost dreaded leaving, they sang . . .
An excerpt from a writer to Dan Savage’s column Savage Love:
If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man.
To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive.
An excerpt from Dan’s answer:
I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.
No, wait. I’m not. Gay kids are dying. So let’s try to keep things in perspective: Fuck your feelings.
And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.