Longtime Dispatches reader Skemono reports on uber-bigot Ken Hutcherson’s protest against the Day of Silence at his daughter’s school in the Seattle area. As usual, Hutcherson is terminally clueless in his perception of the event:
Hutcherson, who had called for 1,000 “prayer warriors” to join him in protesting a national day to call attention to the harassment of lesbian and gay students, said his group was not against homosexuals or the Day of Silence.
“We’re against giving an entire school day to one club to push an agenda that is not about education,” he said.
Except that one is “giving an entire school day” to any agenda. Some students at the school chose to participate in the Day of Silence by remaining silent for the day. That’s it. No one forced anyone to do it, the school didn’t sponsor the event, and it was entirely up to each student whether to take part in it. And the only thing they controlled was their own actions, not those of others. So what exactly was Hutcherson protesting? He was protesting the very idea that other people might not hate gays as much as he does. Gee, I feel so bad for him.
Hutcherson’s flock didn’t seem to be any more in touch with reality than he is:
The pastor led his group in prayer and song. One Antioch member, Marvin Jones, said the GSA “doesn’t have the right to come into schools and impose an agenda on students.”
GSA clubs are formed by students within a school. No one comes in from the outside to form them. They’re already in the school. Nor are they imposing any agenda on anyone else, they are engaging in their own form of silent protest that affects no one else. And here’s the ultimate irony in the whole thing. We keep hearing from the anti-gay bigots that the Day of Silence shouldn’t be allowed because it disrupts the school.
So what is their response to it? To tell their followers to skip school that day to avoid having to acknowledge that other people might not agree with them. And it works:
Almost one-third of students didn’t attend classes. Principal Randy Taylor said 495 out of a student body of 1,410 weren’t at school, including 85 athletes whose parents asked that they be excused because of their personal beliefs.
One-third of the students skipped school solely because they did not want to be exposed to the fact that some of their fellow students believe in the radical idea that gays and lesbians are human beings. Talk about disrupting the educational mission of the school in service of one’s political agenda! There appears to be no limit to just how ridiculous and hypocritical the religious right can be.