An Exodus media spotlight acknowledges and opposes antigay violence in U.S. schools. That’s a good thing; religious-right organizations regularly deny the existence of antigay violence and discrimination, so it’s encouraging to see an ex-gay organization acknowledge violence after it happens.

Here’s a suggestion: It’s all too easy for advocacy groups of all kinds to say they’re against something after the fact. But what are they for? How do they intend to prevent injustice? Whether the topic is bullying, the war against Iraq, or nuclear power, advocacy groups tend to be better at saying they are against something than at offering a practical solution.

Violence in schools happens when no one tries to stop it. Exodus, in particular, has not endorsed (to my knowledge) any specific efforts to reduce antigay violence in schools. The organization leaves it to individual teachers, coaches, and students to decide whether an act that they observe or commit constitutes violence or justifiable punishment against homosexuality.

Exodus seems reluctant for educators to be instructed in discerning which actions by faculty and students against gay, confused, butch or effeminate youth are permissible, and which actions are impermissible.

Unless violence is explicitly defined and actively prevented, saying one is against violence is a little like closing the proverbial barn door after the horses have escaped.

Or, expressed another way: Words opposing violence are indeed valuable. But Jesus of Nazareth called for a bit more than that.

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