April 16, 2009
Should Christians Participate in the Day of Silence?
That's the question Warren Throckmorton and Laurie Higgins are grappling with on their websites. Tomorrow is the Day of Silence, when students in middle schools and high schools are urged to take a vow of silence in support of gay students who experience discrimination.
Throckmorton, who is a psychology professor at Grove City College, says yay:
Without altering convictions about sexuality, I propose that evangelicals should have something more to contribute than a protest toward the elimination of hostility and aggression against gay people and other people who are viewed as different. Indeed, we should be leading the way to make schools safe and build bridges to those who often equate "Christian" with condemnation.
Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute says nay:
If parents leave their children in school on the Day of Silence as Dr. Throckmorton recommends, they become complicit in the exploitation of the classroom for partisan political purposes. Dr. Throckmorton's misguided effort does nothing to restore political neutrality to public education. In fact, his effort will help to further institutionalize GLSEN efforts to use public education to undermine orthodox Christian beliefs on the complex and emotionally charged issue of homosexuality.
Throckmorton wants Christians students to carry cards referencing the Golden Rule: "I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated. 'Do to others as you would have them do to you.'" Higgins wants a walkout.
Another group, the Alliance Defense Fund, advocates for the Day of Truth. On April 20 students are asked to wear T-shirts and pass out cards that tell gay students they can alter their sexual orientation. The cards will say:
I'm speaking the Truth to break the silence.
True tolerance means that people with differing -- even opposing -- viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other.
It's time for an honest conversation about homosexuality.
There's freedom to change if you want to.