Dispatches from the Creation Wars

AFA Stupidity on the Day of Silence

As this year’s Day of Silence approaches (it’s April 18th), the religious right is increasingly losing its mind over the idea that thousands of high school kids around the country will, in a peaceful and civil manner, stand up for the right of gays and lesbians not to be bullied and abused. That thought seems to be driving them insane (admittedly a short trip for the Donald Wildmons of the world). Now the American Family Association is telling parents to keep their kids home from school that day, lest they discover that some of their friends don’t hate gays as much as their parents want them to.

The Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA) is warning parents across the U.S. to keep their children home from public schools on April 18, as a nationwide pro-homosexual observance takes place. That Wednesday marks this year’s “Day of Silence,” an event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN; but an official with AFA says public school children should not be subjected to pro-homosexual rhetoric during the so-called Day of Silence.


I love that – “pro-homosexual” rhetoric. You’d think that the kids participating in the Day of Silence were handing out cards that said, “Wouldn’t you really rather be having anal sex with someone of the same gender right now?” But of course, that’s not true. What they’re protesting is prejudice and bigotry aimed at homosexuals, particularly at the bullying and abuse that so many gay teenagers have to face in schools every day. Only someone who thinks that kind of bullying is okay would equate that with “pro-homosexual” rhetoric.

And now the flagrant lies begin:

For the yearly pro-homosexual observance, students in many U.S. public schools are asked to remain silent that day to express support for the homosexual agenda or to hand out pro-homosexual literature. But AFA Special Projects Director Randy Sharp is encouraging parents and concerned citizens whose community schools are taking part in the “Day of Silence” to take pro-family action in response to the event.

“What American Family Association is recommending is for, number one, parents to write their school administrator and tell them they oppose the administration giving free rein to homosexual activist groups,” Sharp says. “And, number two,” he adds, “we recommend that if your school is participating in the ‘Day of Silence,’ that you simply keep your child home from school that day.”

Reading that one would think that kids are “asked to remain silent” by school administrations catering to “homosexual activist groups”; that is a flat out lie. It is the students themselves who choose to participate and that has nothing to do with whether the school is okay with it or not. Schools themselves do not participate in the event, students at schools participate (and so do some teachers, if they choose to).

The AFA spokesman feels the “Day of Silence” showcases a double-standard evident throughout society and many schools. “You’ve got two factions,” he observes. “You have these who choose to remain silent to promote their agenda; and you have those who are forced to remain silent, because if they speak out against the ‘Day of Silence,’ they’ll be labeled as homophobes, as bigots, as being intolerant.”

Nonsense. In fact, groups like the AFA already have organized a response to the Day of Silence, called the Day of Truth. And while a few school administrators who are ignorant of the law have tried to prevent it from happening, the courts have generally ruled in favor of the students, as they should. Students can and do participate in precisely the same kind of protest on the other side if they choose to. In fact, irony of ironies, the very next article on the Christian news service that this press release says:

A spokesman for the organization that launched the annual nationwide “Day of Truth” for high schools says it’s expecting more than 4,000 students from hundreds of schools to participate in 2007 — based on past involvement counts and significantly increased registration already this year.

It sure would be nice if they’d get their story straight. Are thousands of kids going to participate or are they going to be prevented from participating? Pick a horse and ride it, folks. And it would be nice if these demagogues and frauds would stop equating a protest against anti-gay bullying with being “pro-homosexual.” The only way that makes sense is if you’re in favor of gay teenagers getting beaten up and bullied. And if that’s what you’re for, come right out and say it.

Comments

  1. #1 Roger
    April 8, 2007

    Having your children stay home so that they don’t learn about some people approve of homosexuality being given equal rights is a good way to help your children learn that there are actually different points of view. So, sure, if some people want to keep their children home so they don’t learn about the day of silence, let them go ahead. The message will be received, even if it’s not the message the parents intended.

  2. #2 Stuart Coleman
    April 8, 2007

    I don’t understand why these people make up such ridiculous assertions. Do they really believe the things they say? I guess if they also believe the earth is 6000 years old then they’ll believe pretty much anything.

  3. #3 ed
    April 8, 2007

    So much for hate the sin love the sinner!Morons.

  4. #4 The Ridger
    April 8, 2007

    What are the parents to tell the children about why they’re being kept home from school that day? “Well, some of the kids in your school are demonstrating in favor of special rights for homosexuals and we don’t want you to see it?”

  5. #5 kehrsam
    April 8, 2007

    What are the parents to tell the children about why they’re being kept home from school that day?

    Simple: “Ted Haggard attended school on a day like that, and you see what happened? It took weeks of therapy to make him straight again.”

    And Stuart, no one is stupid enough to believe the earth is only 6000 years old. It will be 6011 come October.

  6. #6 Russell Miller
    April 8, 2007

    The Ridger:

    Pretty much. I was raised in an extreme conservative Christian environment, and that’s almost word for word what my parents would have told me.

    And I would have said “oh, good, I don’t want any part of that”, and I would have stayed home, and all would have been happy.

    What you are missing is that there actually *are* children who go along with this wholeheartedly – not every child is rebelling against their parents and only paying it lip service. I’m not saying that the parents didn’t brainwash them – but they *are* brainwashed.

    It takes years to destroy that kind of brainwashing. Trust me, I know.

  7. #7 KevinC
    April 8, 2007

    A,

    Dealing with animosities is what it is all about. Do you want kids to grow up without knowing how to deal with issues that could have passionate advocates? What age should people start dealing with charged issues? If one treats and talks to kids like kids they will grow up to be big kids, sort of like a lot of the people in the US today.

  8. #8 David Harmon
    April 8, 2007

    Well, yeah. One of the basic rules for stigmatizing anything is that “the only thing worse than X, is an X-sympathizer”. The success of drumming up hate against somebody depends critically on whether you can isolate and undercut their supporters. After all, nothing spoils a nice fag-burning like a visit from the cops (and fire department).

  9. #9 MR
    April 8, 2007

    Wait, it isn’t pro-homosexual? Oh snap, I probably shouldn’t have rented those assless chaps…

  10. #10 khan
    April 8, 2007

    Well, yeah. One of the basic rules for stigmatizing anything is that “the only thing worse than X, is an X-sympathizer”.

    Back in the ‘good old days’ white people were sometimes referred to as “n—– lovers”.

  11. #11 Paul Schofield
    April 8, 2007

    Anyone else get the irony of his plugging both the Creationist museum and Mammoth Cave, where the kids can then learn that on this 6000 year old earth, there are 10 million year old caves?

  12. #12 Paul Schofield
    April 8, 2007

    Opps, commented in the wrong thread. Sorry.

  13. #13 waldteufel
    April 9, 2007

    Christianity, as practiced by the kooks at AFA, FRC, AiG, etc, seems to be based on bigotry, ignorance, homophobia, and hatred of women.

    Happy Easter!

    Ugh . . . ..

  14. #14 Coin
    April 9, 2007

    I’ve never seen people go to such elaborate lengths to avoid hearing silence

  15. #15 Lynn
    April 9, 2007

    There’s something really strange about the whine, “public school children should not be subjected to pro-homosexual rhetoric during the so-called Day of Silence.”

    Maybe he should look up the meaning of “rhetoric.”

    Lynn

  16. #16 Liz Ditz
    April 9, 2007

    Oh snap, I probably shouldn’t have rented those assless chaps…

    Oops, MR, all chaps are assless, otherwise they’re just leather pants…but I digress

    Don’t forget the “Day of Truth” the Alliance Defense Fund is promoting. Forget that the Day of Silence is about bullying and intimidation, the “Day of Truth” speaks to the sin of homosexuality.

    http://www.dayoftruth.org/resources/default.aspx?cid=3559

    Feh. What happened to love thy neighbor?

  17. #17 Ed Brayton
    April 9, 2007

    Okay, do we all want to know how Liz Ditz knows that all chaps are assless? Oh wait, I know; she’s an expert on riding horses. I’d forgotten about that. And the explanation I invented in my head was so much more fun. :)