The recent media coverage of gay teen suicides (that have been happening all along and normally go unreported), one would think, would raise some compassion in the folks who aren't usually on the side of reason. And that probably happened for some people - our suffering, and making our suffering known, is one of the few ways we have to get people to actually care about the ugly effects of homophobia and transphobia.
But seeing someone else's suffering causes guilt. Some people have wonderfully developed defense mechanisms do protect themselves from feeling any pain, even the pain of guilt for one's actions. That's how I'm reading this column from Mike Adams at TownHall, quite possibly the single most "offensive for the sake of being offensive" piece of writing on gay issues I've read in a long while (via Shakesville):
Officials on college campuses across the nation are alarmed at a wave of recent suicides involving Christians who have been harassed by homosexual activists. The main stream media isn't covering the story so, as usual, I have taken it upon myself to do their jobs for them. None of the following eight cases have been covered by any of the three major news networks.
The eight situations he describes are generally unbelievable, and some I've read about or posted about here on Bilerico and he did a great job of transforming those stories from "Conservative Christian expected to act like a decent person" to "Oppressed Christian kills him/herself." But that doesn't matter, since after describing those eight cases Adams writes:
These eight cases are all true except for one thing: The Christians who were bullied by gays and gay activists are all still alive. Not a single one has committed suicide. That is because they have centered their lives around Jesus Christ, rather than their sexual identity. And no amount of bullying can change my mind about that.
Because everyone knows that no Christian has ever committed suicide. And that there are no gay Christians. And that it's not completely douchey to say that some people killed themselves, then say: "Psych! They would have if they were lame homos, losers, but they're too cool for suicide!" (What would you expect from someone who wrote a whole book in a 1950's-husband-belittling-his-wife-in-public tone where a chapter is actually called "When Feminists Cry Rape"?)
The worst part is this:
It isn't pleasant to be forced to deal with tragedy, especially tragedy that can be prevented by changing one's own actions. And blaming the people who committed suicide, as illogical as that is, lets them off the hook.
With victimhood being central to conservative Christian identity, they're searching for a way to think that they're the victims of these events more than anyone else. I wouldn't be surprised if they start saying that gay teens get together and decide to commit suicide just to make homophobes look bad. The victim-blaming is about not taking responsibility for one's own actions and looking for someone else to blame. Life's easier if you can just blame someone else's poor lot in life on themselves, and, since this is America, people are much more likely to look for someone to blame than they are to look for solutions.
Mike Adams isn't going to be opening up his heart and examining his character and his actions any time soon; he gets too big of a pay-off from his emotional immaturity, especially financially. I'm more worried about the people who read his column, people who could have been reached who have been wondering if maybe their actions are leading others to places of despair, but were then relieved to find an excuse to not feel compassion.