TrueTolerance: Christians Against the Day of Silence

In honor of the Day of Silence today, conservative Christian groups are trying to make their case for “True Tolerance” (i.e. gay-bashing should be allowed.)

Focus on the Family has begun a website, TrueTolerance:

Concerned about the pro-gay agenda in your child’s public school? It’s sad, but many public schools have, in the name of “tolerance,” stifled free speech and true diversity by silencing students of faith, and those with conservative perspectives.

This isn’t true tolerance. True Tolerance means a free and respectful exchange of ideas.

Of course, no one is stifling Christians from speaking their mind. The people in charge of this just have a persecution complex. They love to play the victim, and they love it even moreso on days when real victims are supposed to be in the spotlight.

They also are using the DoS to spread inaccurate information about what the day is all about:

… it’s irresponsible for public schools to allow students to be pushed by outside national groups to embrace a sexual lifestyle. They should at least allow students to make informed decisions by letting them hear both sides of the story.

Apparently, GLSEN is telling everyone they should be engaging in sodomy. I don’t remember getting that memo.

Where are all the Christians who disagree? What are they doing to call these people out for hijacking their faith? Why are they not opposing these actions more vocally?

Maybe one solution is for Christians to participate in the Day of Silence, and send letters to the Illinois Family Institute and other conservative Christian groups telling them what a positive experience it was for them.

No one should be stifling the homophobes’ right to free speech. But everyone can say they’re acting ridiculous and doing more harm than good. There’s a reason the Illinois Family Institute — the group behind the Day of Silence Walkout — is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Christians who actually care about gay people (like most claim they do) should not be keeping silent about this.

  • http://geekyatheist.com Geeky Atheist

    If I were still a Christian, I would be opposing it :)

  • David D.G.

    It’s sad, but many public schools have, in the name of “tolerance,” stifled free speech and true diversity by silencing students of faith, and those with conservative perspectives.

    And freedom is slavery, etc.

    Sheesh, how do these people function, when they consistently perceive reality as exactly the opposite of what it is? I know, part of it is that they’re simply lying — but on some level, they also believe their own lies. It just boggles the rational mind.

    ~David D.G.

  • Daryle

    Homosexuality is explicitly condemned in the Bible. And regardless of whether or not you accept it as such, the Bible is the Word of God and if it says that homosexuality is a sin, then it is a sin and is not to be “accepted” and certainly not to be promoted. Also, if the Bible says it is a sin then it is because it is harmful. Perhaps not directly to the individual while on earth, but to society, or in some other way that we may not even see coming. And certainly it is harmful spiritually if only for the reason that engaging in homosexual behaviour is being disobedient to God, and that severs any relationship you might have with Him, or prevents a relationship from forming. So yes, there is a real threat to our children by promoting this in the establishment that is going to decide their thought patterns for the rest of their life.

    That said, we are all sinners. Even mature Christians for whom sinning has become the exception, rather than the rule (if such a thing even exists), are not special. They were deprived and living in darkness just like the homosexual is, just like the prostitute is, just like the clergy man who lies or swears or does other things they are known for is, just like I am and just like you are. We are not to promote sin, but we are also not to sin in our anger, whether we think it righteous or not. If they have been saved from the consequences of their sin, it is not by anything they have done themselves, so they have no right to brag about it, or mistreat those who have not yet found their way to God. I cringe to think of the people who might have come to God had “Christians” not gotten in the way.

    I think the proper attitude toward homosexuality is acceptance that it is a reality in our world, tolerance of those who are trapped in it (willfully or otherwise), and a willingness to help those that want out. No one should be afraid to leave their house or go to school for any reason. And if a person decides that they don’t want out, that’s between them and God.

    The thing that I find the most disgusting about this issue is when people ridicule homosexuals that are trying to be free of it, or who have gotten free of it. These people are discriminated against viciously by the people who claim they are being tolerant and promoting personal choice. It is blatant hypocrisy and for me, it just suggests that whatever those people have to say is irrelevant because they don’t really have the interest if the other person at heart.

  • anonymouse

    maybe Christians should stop trolling atheist blogs and actually be decent human being instead of condemning people and acting superior. It’s incredibly smug and does NOTHING for your cause to state that gay people are “trapped in a lifestyle”.

  • Shane

    Daryle: “the Bible is the Word of God”. Citation needed. This is why there is no challenge arguing with Christians. Their entire case is based upon an initial false assertion, and so the entire thing can be dismissed in its entirety.

    Homosexuals that have become “free of it” are just brainwashed propaganda tools. Put down the Bible and pick up a few books about the psychology of sexuality so you can understand where our concern comes from. People don’t become homosexual due to a queer friendly atmosphere in a school. If you suppress natural sexuality, people just tend to commit suicide or snap in some other way.

    Interestingly enough, Daryle’s attitude toward homosexuality in the last couple paragraphs is almost exactly my attitude toward Christianity or any other religion.

  • Shannon

    You know what the hilarious thing about either side of this debate and countless others that have to do with religion?

    THE PEOPLE. Who seem to forget that those they ridicule, regardless of which side, are guess what, HUMAN BEINGS.

    Whether homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, black, white, purple, Chinese, mentally handicapped, genius, Mexican, fat, short, tall, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, cult member, there’s one thing they all have in common, they are HUMANS.

    They have feelings, they bleed red, just like you and me. They are not dogs, aliens or weirdos. They feel anger, hate, happiness, sadness, exclusion from anyone who doesn’t just accept them as they are.

    Why criticize someone who is just like you except for a label, a lifestyle difference?

    Until someone can answer that for me, I guess the discrimination (and I point out that it comes from both sides of the coin) will continue and people will keep getting hurt because of their decisions or their nature.

  • Angie

    Being a Lesbian Atheist I was greatly offended by Daryle’s comments. You don’t seem to have dragged yourself into the 21st century. People don’t choose to be homosexual, and because of people like you, who stand ready to judge others based on thier sexual preference, class them as deviants, sinners, less than human, at least 33% of homosexual teens attempt suicide at least once.

    It is not easy to be homosexual in this society, and the only way we will save young lives (that are just as worthy as yours, gay or not) is to educate people without the muddying veil of religion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not offended by the idea of faith, I am intelligent enough to realise that religion will always exist and it’s pointless to bicker about such matters…But when it comes to stirring up intollerence and hate towards any human being in the name of God or whatever you call it, I see no benefit from it whatsoever.

    Believe it or not, Homosexual people are human beings, they love like you, they hurt like you, they want to be free to live their lives without having to hide away or feel bad for who they are.

    Until you can begin to see people without getting whipped up with their so-called sin I suggest you stay indoors, and perhaps focus on your short comings with regards to acceptance and love.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Daryle: And regardless of whether or not you accept it as such, the Bible is the Word of God and if it says that insects have four legs, then insects have four legs, and contrary information is not to be “accepted” and certainly not to be promoted…

    Hope you don’t mind, I made a slight substitution.

  • llewelly

    Daryle:

    Homosexuality is explicitly condemned in the Bible. And regardless of whether or not you accept it as such, the Bible is the Word of God and if it says that homosexuality is a sin, then it is a sin and is not to be “accepted” and certainly not to be promoted.

    I think the proper attitude toward homosexuality is acceptance that it is a reality in our world, tolerance of those who are trapped in it (willfully or otherwise), and a willingness to help those that want out.

    (Emphasis mine.)
    Having trouble making up your mind? Or just trying to Humpty-Dumpty your words?

  • Brooks

    Daryle, what evidence do you have the bible is the word of God? Unless you can prove the bible is the word of God, you do not have the right to force other people to live according to your prejudices. And no, you can’t use the bible to prove the bible is true. That’s called circular logic and it’s intellectually dishonest. The bible explicitly states that slavery is ok, so why don’t you try to get slavery legalized when Jesus said you’re supposed to beat your slaves in Luke 12:47-48? The bible is an out-dated collection of ancient mythology written by sexist bigoted and homophobic humans from the bronze age. What makes you think a dead man from the first century knows more about science and sexuality than people with advanced technology in the 21st century? To quote Bill Maher from Religulous, “can you name anything else we cling to from the bronze age?”

    You know what the hilarious thing about either side of this debate and countless others that have to do with religion?

    Frankly, I think the most ridiculous part about this debate is that we’re still expected to show respect to a bunch of bigoted homophobes that are living their lives based on ancient mythological bronze age books.

    Who seem to forget that those they ridicule, regardless of which side, are guess what, HUMAN BEINGS.

    Why is it that black people are not expected to show respect to racist people but we shouldn’t be allowed to ridicule homophobes? Since when does ridiculing = discrimination?

    Why criticize someone who is just like you except for a label, a lifestyle difference?

    Last I checked, I still had a right to criticize homophobes who tried to force their homophobia on me using government law. If the poor homophobes don’t want me to make fun of them, then they can stop trying to force their bigotry on me, but I have every right to criticize people. In fact, I think we should have more people criticizing fundamentalists.

    Until someone can answer that for me, I guess the discrimination (and I point out that it comes from both sides of the coin) will continue and people will keep getting hurt because of their decisions or their nature.

    Where are these poor defenseless homophobic Chrisitans being discriminated against? I’m not aware of any. Last I checked, they were the ones discriminating against us and I have every right to ridicule them if I want. It’s an oxymoron to tell me to respect bigotry and the one thing I will not tolerate is intolerance. I will respect their right to be intolerant bigots, but I will not stay silent either and to say that I should not criticize them makes you sound like the gay version of an Uncle Tom to be frank.

  • David D.G.

    Daryle wrote:

    Homosexuality is explicitly condemned in the Bible.

    So what? The Bible has no more authority than The Iliad.

    And regardless of whether or not you accept it as such, the Bible is the Word of God…

    As said previously: Citation seriously freakin’ needed. You people keep repeating that as if it means something. Either back it up with evidence or go away.

    …and if it says that homosexuality is a sin, then it is a sin and is not to be “accepted” and certainly not to be promoted.

    Other “sins” the Bible vilifies every bit as powerfully include eating shellfish, cutting one’s hair, and wearing mixed fabrics. That’s not a list of sins; it’s just a list of things that somebody wanted to control about other people (probably a homophobic, shrimp-allergic wool merchant who was afraid of scissors). I’d say this taints the credibility of the criticism for homosexuality.

    Also, if the Bible says it is a sin then it is because it is harmful.

    The only harm resulting from homosexuality is inflicted by anti-gay bigots such as yourself.

    ———–

    If anyone feels like fisking the rest of this guy’s rant, feel free. I can’t be bothered to inflict any more of it on myself.

    ~David D.G.

  • Brooks

    I should point out that by ridiculing I don’t mean bullying, but like with movies such as Religulous that parody fundies. I don’t see how movies and stuff like that which fundies complain about on a regular basis is somehow discrimination.

  • adventuresofj

    I teach. I had two of my more talkative students participate in the Day of Silence. They found the cause on their own (they are 12), wore signs on their uniforms telling people why they were not speaking, and did a wonderful job demonstrating self control. I was so proud of my kids.

  • http://www.myspace.com/youreundoingmybeltwronghun Tim D.

    I’d like to thank Christians like this for making me realize the futility of the word “True” in a philosophical debate.

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    True Tolerance means a free and respectful exchange of ideas.

    Too bad they think “a free and respectful exchange of ideas” means you let them rant about how gays are evil, sinful perverts who deserve to die and burn in hell forever, shouldn’t have any legal rights and don’t deserve to be called families. Your part of that dialogue is to remain silent because otherwise you’re “advocating the homosexual agenda and pushing for children to embrace homosexuality”.

    Daryle,

    What do Ra and Uranus think of my orientation? Or Cthulhu for that matter? Certainly their perspectives are of grave importance here.

    The Bible is irrelevant, and claiming homosexuality is a “sin” or otherwise bad based on anything in the Bible is meaningless. To you the Bible is “the word of god”. To me and countless other atheists it is just another work of fiction that’s used to abuse humankind in the name of non-existent deities.

  • nunya

    I spoke all day long. Why should I keep silent because a group of people decide they want to go against nature?

    If, as some of you claim, homosexuality is natural, then why is heterosexual sex the only means of reproduction? Gay men should have wombs in their colons, and lesbians should have testes under their tongues if that sort of behavior were natural.

    As far as I’m concerned, the only people who have a legitimate bitch, about being born “that way”, are hermaphrodites.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    I spoke all day long. Why should I keep silent because a group of people decide they want to go against nature?

    No one asked you to be silent. I spoke all day, too. That’s not the point.

    If, as some of you claim, homosexuality is natural, then why is heterosexual sex the only means of reproduction? Gay men should have wombs in their colons, and lesbians should have testes under their tongues if that sort of behavior were natural.

    I am *so* going to use that quotation at some point in the near future…

  • Indigo

    I spoke all day long. Why should I keep silent because a group of people decide they want to go against nature?
    So somebody must have walked up and ordered you to be silent, right? Because the way you’ve written it, it sounds like some people did this thing and you disagreed with it, and now you’re raising a huge fuss just because, and that’s plainly ridiculous, right?

  • Gerard Priori

    I cringe to think of the people who might have come to God had “Christians” not gotten in the way.

    Like you, for instance, Daryle?

  • AnonyMouse

    “Natural” does not necessarily mean “useful”. Mutation is a two-way street; sometimes it has a beneficial effect, but nine times out of ten it has a harmful effect. The effects that prevent an individual from breeding – or at any rate reduce their chances – may not further the species, but they are every bit as natural as the effects that promote reproduction.

    Besides that, homosexual behavior is seen in many areas of the natural world, and while it does not enable the individuals to reproduce, it has many other social benefits. Bonobo chimpanzees frequently engage in lesbian sex as a way of strengthening relationships. Dolphins do it just for the sheer enjoyment.

    Finally, gays and lesbians do not choose to be homosexual. If you don’t believe me, then try it. Go on, make yourself homosexual right now. Look at an attractive person of the same gender and get turned on without fantasizing about someone of the opposite gender. I can find you some lovely photographs of Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale, or Ioan Gruffudd and Joe Flanigan if you’re a dude. After all, how can you know it’s a choice if you didn’t choose?

  • Brooks

    As far as I’m concerned, the only people who have a legitimate bitch, about being born “that way”, are hermaphrodites.

    If humans are created in the image of God and hermaphrodites were created, does this mean God is a hermaphrodite?

  • Natalie

    I’m a Christian and I don’t think homosexuality is a sin. I believe that the Bible is the word of God but I haven’t figured out why certain scriptures say what they do. The fact that I believe that homosexuality is genetic doesn’t water down the Bible for me AT ALL.

    I’m really sorry for my brothers and sisters who feel that they can legislate morality (in the case of wanting to outlaw abortion) or categorize homosexuals as a group of “super-sinners.”

    I’m thinking that somehow the scriptures were not translated in the manner that they were meant, they don’t actually say what was intended. I did study the New Testament in college and I believe that Jesus commanded us to love one another…I’m not a Bible scholar, I am an educated medical profession whose seen too many strange chromosomal anomalies to ignore what seems to be what’s behind homosexuality.

    I don’t talk about my beliefs unless it’s warranted because the peer pressure to go along is so strong and so in my opinion really blind. I do however tell people when the subject comes up and I ask they respect my beliefs. I love all my brothers and sisters and that’s what Jesus asked us to do.

    I believe that God is using Ted Haggard to begin to change how Christians think about homosexuality. Not every Christian follows the pack blindly. I’m a moderate Democrat for example who never voted for Bush, I’m pro-life but I’m against over-ruling Roe vs. Wade (I don’t believe that outlawing abortion is going to bring people to salvation), I’m anti-war, and I’m for gay marriage.


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