The mark of a good wingnut is to never take responsibility for the harm their cohort inflicts on society. It really doesn’t matter what the bodycount is, or how close to home it is. For them, the ideology is all that matters, even if [as it so often is] their ideology is not only rotten but also easily disproven by a semi-literate child.

Tennessee is a prime example. After the suicide of a gay teen named Jacob Rogers, some wingnuts are doing their best to blame the deceased child, and his sexuality, for his death. Why? Because they care more about their beliefs than they care about this child, or any child:

Anti-gay conservatives are working overtime to explain away the suicide of young Jacob Rogers. They dismiss all the name-calling and bullying at his high school. Instead, they claim it was Jacob’s own fault somehow. In its latest radio report, David Fowler’s F.A.C.T. concedes “it’s wrong to bully people because of their sexual practices”

You know, there’s a Southern expression that’s fairly appropriate here, Mr. Fowler…

but blames Jacob’s death on his own alcohol and drug abuse and eating disorder.

But of course! And not only that:

According to F.A.C.T., it’s all “the rotten fruit of the all-about-me individualist culture that comes when we deny the existence of God and his image in us.”

Don’t blame the people who feed anti-gay discourse into society [people like F.A.C.T.], blame liberals! Blame everybody else!

In correspondence with the Tennessee Equality Project, the state’s main gay rights group, state Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, claimed gay people commit suicide at a higher rate than others and suggested Jacob’s sexuality itself drove him to kill himself. Ragan asked whether the suicide could have had “more to do with his own proclivities and behavior than anything to do with schoolmate bullies …”

Rep. Ragan: product of the Tennessee public school system right here. Also gay. The fact that you have a position of power is part of the reason the rest of the developed world makes fun of places like Tennessee. The fact that you would suggest, based on absolutely no factual knowledge of your own, that Jacob’s “proclivities and behavior” led him to suicide, essentially that you would blame Jacob’s sexuality, something he had absolutely no control over, for his death, is the epitome of callousness and petulant Southern hick ignorance, sir. While this is behavior I fully expect from members of Tennessee’s legislative body — I mean, come on, we’re not exactly known as a first world state — it’s particularly saddening, in an age where we all have Google and iPhones, that you remain so blissfully unaware of the world around you, and that you value your own bigotry more than you value Tennessee’s children.

Yes, it is true that Jacob was bullied for being gay, which led to his suicide, but let me draw you a picture* of the chicken and the egg in this situation.

trickle down bigotry

So, that is how it works, Rep. Ragan. Plan your future statements and actions on this issue accordingly.

Oh wait, you won’t, because, as the piece points out, kids like Jacob aren’t what you’re trying to protect.

Blaming the victim is necessary to prevent Jacob’s death from damaging chances for passage of F.A.C.T.’s 2012 state legislative priority—a bill to make it easier for young bigots to bully gay schoolkids. This legislation brought by conservative Christians who oppose special protections for gay people actually gives special protections to homophobic bullies.

*This is why we have a graphic designer. So that I don’t play with my Paint program very often…