National Day Of Silence: April 17, 2009

This past weekend, I wrote about a blogger who had misrepresented the purpose of the National Day of Silence.

Despite bogus claims and outright lies being promoted by various people, the Day of Silence is not about “promoting homosexuality”. It began 12 years ago when University of Virginia students wanted to find a way to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment on campus. This year, it was held in memory of Lawrence King, an 8th grade student who was murdered because of his sexual orientation.

Contrary to claims by groups like the American Family Association and the various individuals riding its coat-tails, this kind of bullying and harassment is a serious problem in schools. The purpose of the Day of Silence is to bring awareness of anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment, and to promote effective responses to it. It is not about allowing gay students to disrupt class for the day to promote a “homosexual agenda”, as the AFA would have people believe. Students of all beliefs, backgrounds and sexual orientations participate in the Day of Silence.

There is nothing on the DoS website that says everyone, or indeed anyone, is required to participate. It’s not necessarily observed throughout the entire day, and some schools only participate during lunch to avoid “disrupting” class. There is no single way to participate and no one is ever forced into participation. And yet, many people, often in the name of a superior moral agency, promote lies and misinformation about the purpose of this event, claiming that it is some kind of conspiracy to promote a “homosexual lifestyle” in public schools.

Saying that it’s not OK to bully, harass or murder someone because of his or her sexual orientation is not the same thing as promoting or honoring that sexual orientation. There is no reason that I can see to oppose the Day of Silence, other than ignorance, bigotry, and the desire to cause harm to a vulnerable group. And yet, opponents of this non-violent demonstration deluge schools with floods of angry letters and phone calls, threatening to keep their children home from school if the Day of Silence goes ahead.

This is just another form of bullying, a disgusting attempt to silence those whose opinions they dislike.

Public schools lose funding for each child that doesn’t attend school on any given day. The more students who are absent, the more funding the schools lose. This strong-arm tactic serves one purpose: to bully schools into calling off the event by threatening their funding.

The author of Mom Loves Being At Home said this in comments at her blog:

I wouldn’t expect everyone in the public school system to have a day where they honored my God if that wasn’t what they believed.

First of all, atheist students across the United States are required to participate, every single day, in a school-sponsored moment of silence, which is nothing more than a substitute for prayer. Do you oppose this ritual as well, Mom?

Most importantly, though, if bullying and harassing students because of their religious beliefs, Christian or otherwise, were a problem in our public schools, I would certainly not oppose efforts to bring awareness to the issue. In fact, I would join the effort myself and encourage my son to participate as well.

I do not approve of the Christian lifestyle. 1 I believe that it largely promotes intolerance, ignorance and bigotry; it certainly violates many of my personally-held values and principles. But it is not OK to mistreat people whose lifestyles I disapprove of, and I would fight alongside them to put a stop to it.

If your school or your child’s school is organizing a Day of Silence on April 17, 2009, I urge you to participate. Call the school or send a letter thanking them and assuring them that your child(ren) will be in attendance that day. If there is no event scheduled at your school, please read the Day of Silence FAQ to find out how you can help.


1Although I believe that Christianity largely promotes intolerance, ignorance and bigotry, I realize that not all Christians are ignorant, intolerant bigots, and I appreciate those who are educated, caring and tolerant.


Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

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12 responses to “National Day Of Silence: April 17, 2009

  • Postman

    Are you sure? Because my left ankle, spleen and a small spot on my right shoulder blade are feeling kind of gay just from reading this. If it spreads, I could be singing show tunes by end of day!

  • Lottie

    ::sigh:: I might as well confess now. I’m a member of the EQC (Evil Queer Conspiracy). This post is part of a campaign to seek, convert and destroy all non-queers.

    I’m delighted to hear that it’s working. Mwahahahaha…. 😈

  • Postman

    The EQC… arch-nemesis of all Real Christians! You may have won this round, but… “Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry…” Gaghhh!

  • truthwalker

    Egads. I working my way through the whole “Obama 2012” file the Focus on the Family put out (from your other post) I mean… even when I was a King James carrying, died in the wool (pun intended) fundie, Jimmy Dobson freaked me out, but the layers of lies, half truths, misrepresentations, manipulation and plain ole’ run of the mill hate that the AFA is spewing out is amazing. I’ll post it this Friday I think. Does this mean I can be an honorary (straight) member of the EQC?

  • Lottie

    Postman: Oh, I’ll keep winning. I always win. 😈

    And don’t forget, I have a Friend in high places.

    Truthwalker: Absolutely! Anyone can join. You just have to be willing to promote the EQC’s sinister hidden agenda.
    . 😆

  • Selena

    I agree with you 100%! 🙂

  • shadowman

    AFA = American Fascist Association

  • Micahel

    While I support the idea of peaceful demonstration and certainly support the idea of allowing the young people of America to participate in an exercise of their constitutional freedoms, let us not forget that the opposition to DOS has the same constitutional liberties. The author who started this thread stated that some parents are “threatening to keep their children home from school if the Day of Silence goes ahead.

    This is just another form of bullying, a disgusting attempt to silence those whose opinions they dislike.”

    To refer to this as just another form of bullying, is resorting to name calling in its own right. Those parent and children have the constitutional right and frankly obligation to protest in a peaceful method if they feel the need to do so. Keeping a child at home on April 17th does not “bully” anyone, it is merely another form of protest.

    Let us not be too quick to label the opposition, as that only changes who the name callers and bullys are. Embrace the fact that they also wish to practice their rights. My father taught me many years ago that my attitude should be, “While I may not agree with principle someone believe, I should be willing to fight to the death to allow them to express those principles.”

    Freedom is fundamental to DOS being allowed to occur, but those freedoms are universal to all citizens of our great nation.

  • Lottie

    “While I may not agree with principle someone believe, I should be willing to fight to the death to allow them to express those principles.”

    I completely agree with this, and your entire point is well taken. Thank you for your contribution.

    That said, I think it’s important to point out that the reasons many people give for objecting to the DOS completely misrepresent the event and its purpose. That’s not to say that people can’t object for any reason at all, and we are all entitled to our agendas. Spreading lies and propaganda to further those agendas, however, is something I find reprehensible. And people should at least know what they’re protesting against. Perhaps I will focus more on that in my next post on the subject.

    Thanks again for commenting.

  • Song

    Micahel, I agree with you on the point that people should be allowed to state their opinions without fear of censorship, regardless of who disagrees; however, the intent of the DOS walkout, as Lottie stated in the original post, is not only to make a statement, but to cause the schools’ funds to be cut, so that they have to cancel the Day- silencing the DOS protesters. As far as DOS protesting goes, a better alternative is the Day of Truth (www.dayoftruth.org) which encourages Christian students to engage their peers in conversation about the Day, allowing them to speak their minds without silencing others.

  • Lottie

    That’s another good point. Thank you for commenting, Song, and for the link. I’ll check it out a little later when I’m fully awake.

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