Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Friday Is the National Day of Silence

This Friday, the 25th, will be the National Day of Silence. People who choose to participate in this event can download a pdf file to print and cut down to make a card which reads:
Silent for Lawrence King

Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year-old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.

DAY of SILENCE

What are you going to do to end the Silence?

Download that document HERE for a nice-looking printed card.

It's just a little thing, one day of being quiet. It can't hurt anybody, being quiet, but it can be dramatic.

The website DayOfSilence.org has a page of explanation. I'm cutting out the in-between stuff, but they make these four major points:
1) The Day of Silence’s purpose is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment and effective responses.

2) Hundreds of thousands of students of all beliefs, backgrounds and sexual orientations participate in the Day of Silence.

3) Day of Silence participants encourage schools to implement proven solutions to address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.

4) The day is a positive educational experience.

Not surprisingly, the Agents of Darkness try to exert their forces against this sort of peaceful, positive activity. The Alliance Defense Fund, which is an organization that has joined local agitators in trying to re-legalize discrimination against transgender people in Montgomery County, has a web site for what they call the "Day of Truth," which will be Monday. I don't know what they plan to do, talk I guess. You can buy t-shirts and posters from them.

Isn't it interesting how "those people" use the word truth? I think most of us would consider a truth to be either a proposition about something that has been observed directly or something that has been proven logically. Yet for the ADF-type folks "truth" is an assertion without evidence or support, something you believe on faith. The absence of evidence can even be twisted around to be a kind of proof of this kind of truth -- it is only through faith that you can know truth, you don't find it in material things. For them, a day of "truth" is a day to say bad things about gay people, because they believe there is something wrong with homosexuality, without evidence or logical support; they believe it on faith, therefore it is truth.

Until a few years ago I was one of those people who never gave a thought to issues facing sexual minorities. GLBT, or LGBT, was not an acronym I recognized, it seemed like gay people did a lot of squawking, and I ignored the whole can of worms. But in 2004 a group of radicals tried to remove our county's school board from office, basing their attack on an anti-gay propaganda platform. The schools had just adopted a new sex-ed curriculum that talked about sexual orientation, and these people were going to use that fact to recall the school board and replace it with a panel of nuts like themselves. Some of us were alarmed at this development, and at least for me it was an eye-opener, because in order to fight them I had to listen to their case and examine the evidence for and against it. Their agenda was incredibly ignorant and hateful, every fact was a lie and every conclusion was decided before the logical argument was developed. They opposed gay people and that was that, anything that gave gay folks an equal chance was "pro-homosexual" (to use Peter Sprigg's tired cliche). I had thought gay people were squawking about nothing, because I figured everybody was like me, more or less apathetic about the whole thing, but it turned out there are people -- we heard a politician say this a month or two ago -- who think gay people are worse than terrorists. These idiots make life miserable for some who just want to live and love in peace, and so they have to fight -- they have to squawk -- just to be treated like anybody else.

Even though the school district ended up putting a curriculum into place that talked about sexual orientation, the final product was barely sufficient to introduce the topic, teachers have to read the classes from a script, and the schools still send home anti-gay materials in students' backpacks. It was considered a gigantic breakthrough to allow teachers to tell their classes that homosexuality is not a disease. The new curriculum is an important step forward, but the silence surrounding the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity is enormous, and the Day of Silence is an excellent dramatization of that fact.

If you have a kid in school, the National Day of Silence should be a good opportunity to talk to them about these issues. Print out that card for them. The big point is that gay and transgender people are just people, they deserve the same respect as everyone else. This can be a growing experience for you and your child, and a chance for them to set an example for others.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Derrick said...

The "Day of Truth" only leads to religious-based hate language and non-scientific lies. Once again, going against what should be taught in the U.S. public sector.

Ensuring that students are not being offensive to one another is NOT a violation of the First Amdt.

"Day of Truth" most certainly should not be carried out in public schools. It's unconstitutional.

On another note...This year's Day of Silence is in remembrance of L. King and how he was murdered by one of AnonFreak's friends during class in a middle school. It's inhuman to not want to stop the kind of hatred that leads to murder. Shame on the ADF for this.
They most certainly do NOT have the safety of our children in mind. Absolutely unacceptable.

April 23, 2008 2:15 PM  
Blogger The said...

If only I could participate. I have a job answering phones. :(

April 23, 2008 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Monday, students from across the country will stand together on the fourth annual Day of Truth to support honest discussions about homosexuality.

The event comes three days after GLSEN's (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Day of Silence, which disrupts class by encouraging students to remain silent throughout the day in honor of homosexual people who feel silenced.

Mike Ensley, youth analyst for Exodus International, said the Day of Truth is about opening dialogue.

“I would encourage Christian students to brainstorm what they want to do, how they want to respond,” he said. “It’s not about being adversarial to the gay-identified students or organizations on campus. It’s about helping people understand what their attitude really is towards their fellow students.”

April 23, 2008 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

AnonFreak-

As I mentioned previously, ensuring that students are not doing anything offensive is NOT a violation of the 1st Amdt. right.
It's just like students should say the "n" word word anymore or wear shirts that say "White Power".

Do you also think that students should celebrate "Stone-your-wife-for-being insubordinate" day? You're an extremist who only wants to use the oppressed (GLBT in this case) as the oppressor for the "Christian Right's" hate-based and ANTI-CHRISTIAN theocratic agenda. This is not what Jesus says Christianity is.

Your post reminds me of the Westboro Baptist Church, once again. Do you Phelps get together to re-write the Bible face-to-face or over the phone?

JESUS IS LOVE, NOT HATE. I'm not sure what Bible you've been reading...but STOP using mine for hate.

April 24, 2008 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

One more thing---

Do you feel that bullying is OKAY in schools, AnonFreak? It's apparent that you do not have the safety of our students in mind.

Your idiots are calling...go back to Westboro.

April 24, 2008 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Don't give Anon too much credit, Derrick. She didn't write the piece about protesting the Day of Silence, Dobson's Citizens Link newsletter wrote it.

It's ironic Anon would post something about an event supposedly advocating truth because she is incapable of telling the truth, even about the authorship of her comments.

And of course, Dobson's drivel is completely wrong. The Day of Silence isn't just about people who feel silenced; it's about remembering and honoring people who have been silenced by the "truth" of anti-gay violence.

April 24, 2008 7:05 AM  
Blogger Queers United said...

im not in class tomorrow but im gonna try to observe the national day of silence.

http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

April 24, 2008 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Oh, Please MN anon- "Day of Truth"- Day of Bigotry is more like it We already know the attitude of anyone who would participate in this Day of Hate.

Gee, this can only spur other fine organizations to have their "Day of Truth" to support racism, anti-semitism, and other similar bigotries to promote hatred in our schools.

April 24, 2008 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous"
You are obviously not a teacher when you say: "The event comes three days after GLSEN's (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Day of Silence, which disrupts class by encouraging students to remain silent throughout the day in honor of homosexual people who feel silenced."
Silence never disrupts a class!!!!!! Good teachers often seek silence from their students in order to create a contemplative atmosphere to deal with questions that deserve some silent thinking. This line, that DOS is a disruptive activity, is a bunch of horse puckey...I cannot believe that you would be so stupid as to buy into that ignorant, illogical, right-wing "Christian" mind-control thinking. But then, on second thought, you are the mouthpiece for CRC/CRG and we have come to accept that from you.
RT

April 24, 2008 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

And the Anti-gay bigots continue to fall out of the closet, this time closer to home! These self-loathing bigots are the reason it is so hard to get equal rights in this country... They project their self-hated on the lives of others as they continue lying to themselves and everyone who voted for them (just one more lie from the Christian fascists). SO WRONG!


WASHINGTON -- The mayor of District Heights, Md., was arrested in northwest D.C. early Thursday morning and charged with solicitation for lewd and immoral purposes, sources told News4.

James L. Walls Jr., 30, was arrested at Sixth and F streets at about 12:30 a.m., News4's Derrick Ward reported. Sources said he allegedly solicited a male prostitute who was actually an undercover officer.

District Heights Vice Mayor Eddie Martin told News4's Jackie Bensen that Walls told him he is innocent and that the truth will come out in court. Martin added that Walls has never lied to him.

District Heights released a statement Thursday saying, "The Commission is awaiting additional information as to which course of action to take as it relates to Mayor Walls' office."

"As to his office, the commission here has been made aware of the charges, and they are monitoring the situation," said District Heights Police Chief Jeff Dahn. "They have not taken any action as to whether or not he will remain in office, but they're looking at all the facts and they're continuing to monitor the situation."

When he was elected in May 2006, Walls became the youngest mayor in the city's history. He had already been the youngest person to serve on the District Heights City Commission or as vice mayor.

According to the District Heights Web site, Walls is a licensed and ordained Baptist minister who formerly served as assistant pastor of Greater Light Missionary Baptist Church and has served as associate pastor at Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church.

Walls is scheduled to appear in court on May 15.

Stay with News4 and nbc4.com for more information.

April 24, 2008 5:38 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

More interesting than that is the fact that Mr. Walls is Associate Pastor at the church where Senator Anthony Muse serves as senior pastor.

April 24, 2008 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Yes, Dana, very interesting in deed!

April 24, 2008 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
He was probably just trying to bring the male prostitute the message of PFOX. I'm pretty sure that was what Ted Haggard was doing. I am looking forward to his "explanation"

April 24, 2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

Stunning said…
"On Monday, students from across the country will stand together on the fourth annual Day of Truth to support honest discussions about homosexuality.

Mike Ensley, youth analyst for Exodus International, said the Day of Truth is about opening dialogue."

--
From the Day of Truth’s "What If I‘m Still Struggling" article, penned by Mike Ensley:

"As a single guy who continues to experience h same-sex attractions, these questions matter a heck of a lot to me. The world around me would say, "You're still gay and nothing can change it! Accepting it is the only thing that will make you happy." But, my faith in God's Word-as well as my conviction and my personal experience-tell me otherwise."

Mike Ensley of Exodus repeats the above admission in the Exodus Youth DVD called "Truth and Tolerance":

"Do I still feel, homosexual attractions? Um, yeah. What do I think that means though? A lot of people would say, that means you’re still gay, that means you haven’t changed. Um, I don’t think that’s true, I think that is simply the result of, you know, I had a lot of pain in my life, and a lot of unmet needs that became sexualized, during really crucial formative years in my life, and, that isn’t just undone, in a therapy session, or in a week long retreat, and there’s no magic words for that. It’s just, I’m going to feel that to some degree, for a long time."
--
Shifting gears now; Under "Hostile questions about Day of Truth":

"4. Why are you focusing on this sin and ignoring all the others?

There is no irrelevant sin in the Bible. All sins are wicked in the eyes of God. The Bible is clear in its condemnation of adultery, false witness, theft, and murder, to name just a few. We are all sinners who deserve condemnation, and it is only because of the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ that we can be reconciled to our Father and have eternal life.

However, there is no organized activist movement that exists worldwide today to legalize and encourage theft, adultery, or lying. But there is a mobilized movement that challenges God’s truth on a daily basis with regard to homosexual behavior. That is why we are responding to yesterday’s “Day of Silence” to counter attempts to legitimize and promote homosexual behavior."

--
So one of the “Christian” goals of those who participate in the Day of Truth is to teach that LGBT students are the equivalent of liars, thieves, murderers, and those who cheat on their spouses. Overlooking, of course, the fact that "God’s truth" defines the already legally-celebrated "sin" of remarriage as being adulterous.

"Day of truthiness" is more like it.

April 24, 2008 8:46 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I know it's too late for his year's Day of Silence. Please do *not* send your child out with one of those cards. This is not a parent-led movement or a school-led movement. It's a student-led movment. And too, there's a small but real risk to standing up for non-privileged people's rights.

If this isn't the year for your child, then it isn't.

May 24, 2008 3:33 AM  

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