Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Us Versus Them?

This April 25th (and it appears to be an annual event) there is going to be a nationwide Day of Silence in participating government schools and colleges.  Protesting the harassment and “silencing” of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered) community, participants will remain silent for the entire day wearing or passing out cards describing why they are doing so.  The cards challenge the reader to “think about the voices you are not hearing today.  What are you going to do to end the silence?”

 

Of course one way to react to this would be the approach the American Family Association is taking.  Try to create a fear-based emotional response to this protest in an attempt to silence this segment of society.  But this sort of reaction is exactly what these students are protesting.  It draws the kind of lines that Jesus avoided —us, the pious and faithful against them, the wicked sinners.

 

Perhaps a better tack is that taken by the Allied Defense Fund in sponsoring the counter-protest, the Day of Truth.  Students wear signs or hand out cards similar to those of the Day of Silence, but with an entirely different message:

 

I’m speaking the Truth to break the silence.

True tolerance means that people with different—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.

Let’s talk.

 

Josh R.

2 comments:

Liz said...

wow - that's a powerful response

Ron Giesecke said...

I like the second response, but I also understand the nature of the first one. It's merely an economic leverage against the school. Schools don't like kids not showing up because they are then treated to pro-rated funds based on the child absences--sickness notwithstanding.

I don't see anything really "fear-based" about it, though. Morality-based is closer to the truth.

But I do think the second response would be a true test of
"tolerance" on the school's part, because they'd truly have to tolerate a sign even as passive as the one you posted.

In the end, even the angels will ducking for cover in this nation--the way they had to bunker down at Lot's house.

-R