How dare they introduce their message on the Day of Silence! As expressed in 2004 by gay activist Kevin Jennings, founder of GLSEN and most recently President Obama’s Safe School Czar, “Ex-gay messages have no place in our nation’s public schools. A line has been drawn. There is no ‘other side’ when you’re talking about lesbian, gay and bisexual students.” Ah yes, the voice of tolerance speaks once again.
What about the Day of Dialogue, sponsored by the evangelical Christian organization Focus on the Family, and scheduled this year for April 19th, the day before the Day of Silence? This event encourages “student-initiated conversations about the fact that God cares about our lives, our relationships and our sexuality. . . . [Jesus’] example calls us to stand up for those being harmed or bullied while offering the light of what God’s word says.”
Surely this event will be welcomed, right? Not a chance. As expressed by a professing Christian woman with a self-described “hair-trigger sensitivity for the protection of LGBT youth,” the Day of Dialogue has something “very rotten” at its core. She writes (on LGBTQNATION.com), “Allowing Focus on the Family to export their historical and counter-productive sacred discrimination of the LGBT community to Christian youth is a mistake.” To repeat the words of Kevin Jennings, “There is no ‘other side’ when you’re talking about lesbian, gay and bisexual students.”
Last week an elementary school teacher from Florida called into my radio program, identifying himself as a black male but not wanting to give any specifics about the grade he taught at school. He was concerned that his job could be in jeopardy if he dared speak out against the Day of Silence. (Other elementary school teachers have told me privately that they dare not speak out against the overt homosexual activism they see on a regular basis in their schools – remember, we’re talking about elementary schools – for fear of losing their jobs.)
Although the Day of Silence had not yet been introduced to this gentleman’s school in Florida, the faculty members were discussing strategies for its future implementation, with explicit instructions to present this as a civil rights issue. (Needless to say, this black American also did not approve of equating gay activism with the civil rights movement.) And what should the teacher do if a student raised a religious or moral objection to homosexuality? The conversation, he was told, should immediately be turned back to gay civil rights, and no religious or moral objections should be entertained.
Yes, the Day of Silence has become the Day of Silencing – unless parents and educators and students determine to let their voices be heard. Now would be a good time to start.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.