Religious Right Group Tells Kids Bullying Isn’t OK, but Neither Is Being Gay

“Have you wished you could find a simple flyer for your older grade school or middle school children about homosexuality?”

That’s how the conservative Christian group Mission: America introduces its handy brochure called “Questions and Answers for Kids about Homosexuality.” While there are a few pieces of useful advice (“Always speak up and help someone who is being bullied”), it’s not quite as “anti-bullying” as the group wants you to think.

A screenshot from Mission: America’s “Questions and Answers for Kids,” complete with terrible clipart.

Mission: America’s brochure explains (in simplistic terms meant for older kids) that, while bullying and name-calling aren’t nice things to do, being gay isn’t a good thing, either:

Sometimes, kids will use the word “gay” as an insult. All insults are wrong and hurt people. Friends should never be unkind to each other. So… does that mean that being “gay” is right? Well, the simple answer is, no.

After all, kiddos, by now we all know that God hates gay people — even if your church leader says otherwise! It’s common sense!

So if you hear that everyone thinks being “gay” is okay, don’t believe it — even if that person is a grown-up, or even if he leads a church. There are many, many people who still follow God’s teachings, still believe their common sense, and believe that romance, dating and marriage are for a boy and girl, a man and woman.

There are many, many people who believe the world is 6,000 years old, too. It doesn’t make it right.

But what should you do if your friend is called “gay” (as an insult)?

If the bully uses bad words or makes up false stories that someone is “gay,” or calls a boy names like “sissy,” or worse, that’s horrible! Always speak up and help someone who is being bullied. BUT… it’s not right to tell someone that being homosexual is okay. The person may be feeling sad because of being bullied, but never try to make him or her feel better by saying “gay” is okay.

I can see it now…: “I’m sorry that mean bully was calling you gay as if that were a bad thing! I just came here to tell you that he was totally right.”

The only thing keeping this document out of the Anti-Gay Brochure Hall of Fame is an awful analogy…

Kids who are overweight are sometimes bullied, too. And we might want to make that person feel better. But it would be a mistake to say that overeating is a good thing, right? So tell your friends, in a nice way, that no one needs to be “gay” or pretend to be the other gender. It’s not the right thing to do.

Ding ding ding! There you have it. Don’t let your friends be bullied. Or gay. Or overweight. It’s not the right thing to do.

Thanks for the lesson, Mission: America. We’re clearly all better human beings thanks to your intervention…

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at

  • J. K. King

    So are the people on here against bullying? Then where was the friendliness of atheists and agnostics when I was having a miserable time in school? 

    J. K. King author of the website

  • MargueriteF

    “So tell your friends, in a nice way, that no one needs to be ‘gay’…”

    When you tell people they’re going to hell, always make sure you do it in a nice way!

  • smrnda

    I can’t recall at what age I was accepting of homosexuality, but it had to be pretty young and was heavily influenced by the shitty way homosexuals like Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing were treated. The tone of this pamphlet is just incredibly condescending and patronizing, and exactly why should anyone listen to this pamphlet? It’s basing it’s authority out of thin air.

    The overweight analogy falls flat too. People have unrealistic body image standards so that people who are perfectly healthy can be convinced they need to lose weight or work out more not because of any real health reasons, but just because society instills idiotic prejudices in people. If anything, the use of the analogy helps show how their confusing something that some people in society say is ‘bad’ with something that is actually bad for a real reason.

  • David Benjamin Patton

    Hitler had the right idea but instead of the Jews, political dissidents and homosexuals he should have gone after the christians and muslims then we’d all would have been much better off.

  • vexorian

     Do you really think so?

    Forcing stuff like that never brings any good.

  • vexorian


    It is like the red heads.

    When I was bullied in school no red head helped me. Thus red heads must all be pro-bullying . And I hope no red head comes with cheap excuses such as reminding me there were no red heads at my school.

    Great interesting site sporting the title of your book o_O. Can we expect any more samples of crazy troll logic in it?

    But I am optimistic. For example, your post may at first serve no purpose. But I think that it is the perfect example on why disqus should have an “unlike” button or at least a “report for spam” button. You might have as well helped us all improve disqus.

  • Sven

    So you were bullied by atheists and agnostics?  Or are you just blaming them for it?

    K. Svenson, author of a number of websites that I won’t advertise for free on another man’s blog.

  • julie

    Wow, seriously?
    That whole hating/killing people who disagree with you? Leave that to religion. It has no place here.

  • Rich Wilson

    It’s unfortunate that you were having a miserable time in school.  Assuming it was in the USA, I have to assume that the school was probably at least 75-80% Christian, and perhaps a few percent atheist/agnostic.  I find it curious that you could have (as you seem to imply) a miserable time at the hands of a few atheists/agnostics, and no Christians from the vast majority to support you.

    I will say, your understanding of DNA is poor

    That’s because one strand of each child’s DNA double helix is always exactly identical to one side of the mother’s double helix, and  
    the other side of that child’s double helix is always exactly identical to half of the father’s double helix. Therefore, for a “gay” person to have a “gay gene”, one parent would have to be predominantly homosexual, or both parents would have homosexual tendencies.

    You are correct that we get half of our DNA from each parent, but it’s not ‘one strand’ from each.  The two strands are mirror images of each other,  A on one matches T on the other, C to G and vice versa.

    And homosexuality could certainly be a heritable trait, and not require gay parents to have kids.  If there is a genetic link, it’s a lot more complex than the cleft of your chin, or the color of your hair.

    Oh, then I read chapter 4.  Ya, um, Sorry you had a miserable time in school.  Mine wasn’t so great either, and neither homosexuality nor religion had anything to do with it.  But what you experienced in school doesn’t have much relation to the people on this blog.  We don’t have a TARDIS to go help you out.

  • Elly Pemberton

    “Or pretend to be the other gender”

    First of all, they clearly don’t understand the distinction between sex and gender. Also ‘pretend’? This whole thing is totally offensive. One of the things I dislike most about religion is the brainwashing of children.

  • PsiCop

    You know, I’ve been following all this anti-gay yammering for years now, and I’m still left scratching my head, asking this one important — yet unanswered — question: “Why is it anyone else’s business if someone is gay?”

    Seriously, I don’t get it. Who gave this “Mission America” outfit the power to decide if someone should be gay or not? Why are they claiming that authority? Who granted it to them, and why?

    I just don’t see why someone being gay has to be anyone else’s concern.

  • coyotenose

     I’m not going to bother with his site (you seem to be a paragon of patience, and I salute you for it). It seems from what you write that he’s completely uninformed about things like gene activation and other elements of epigenetics. They always are…

    J.K., do some actual research and don’t depend on really old and tremendously incomplete ideas of biology and genetics like Creationists are in the habit of doing*. A few Google searches on those terms shows that the evidence for sexual orientation being inborn is extremely well-supported. Not to mention that it wouldn’t even be relevant to civil rights if it weren’t, but that’s tangential.

    The claim for homosexuality being a “choice” is ENTIRELY rooted in Christian thinking, essentially: If gays have no choice, then it would be immoral to judge them for being gay, and the Bible would be wrong. Therefore, I as a Christian have to pretend to be psychic and to know what they’re “really” thinking, and condemn, bully and harm them based on my magic knowledge, in order to mitigate my cognitive dissonance.

    *Seriously, Creationists are literally using arguments disproven prior to 1850. Don’t be like them.

  • Richard Wade

    You’re a blogwhore with a silly, illogical argument.

    Richard Wade, author of the comment “You’re a Blogwhore With a Silly, Illogical Argument.”

  • Joshua Zelinsky

    One of the primary ways humanity has progressed over time is that we’re less willing to kill simply over disagreements. This has done a very good job reducing the amount of wars over religion, ideology and nationalism. It may seem like we live in a violent time, but things are peaceful compared to previous centuries and a major reason for that is that people are less willing to do the sort of thing you are advocating. 

  • Richard Wade

    You don’t want to sell us death sticks. You want to go home and rethink your life. 

  • David Benjamin Patton

    No, not seriously. That comment was made in part from being fed up with these religious pricks having a forum to constantly fuck with people. I was also curious to see what kind of shit storm that comment might generate. 

  • David Benjamin Patton

    Yeah like we have enough on our plate with the xtians and the muslims forcing their stuff on us all the time, trust me I know.

  • David Benjamin Patton


  • David Benjamin Patton

    I’m not advocating, I was venting. There is a difference between the two.

  • Helanna

    Exactly. “Being gay isn’t ok” . . . .why? “Because God said so?” Well sorry, even if I believed in God, ‘because he said so’ isn’t a good enough answer. God said a lot of crazy shit in the Bible. 

    Being a thief isn’t ok, because you’re actively taking from someone else. Being a cheater isn’t ok, because you’re taking credit for other people’s work and being deceitful. Assault isn’t ok because you are harming others. Being gay isn’t ok because . . . ? 

    If you can’t answer that reasonably,  then shut the hell up and mind your own business.

  • Richard Wade

    So… does that mean that being “gay” is right? Well, the simple answer is, no.

    You’re not giving a simple answer because you’re talking to a child. You’re giving a simple answer because you are a child. It doesn’t matter how verbose or complex  your answer to an adult might be, it doesn’t matter how much you might pretend to know about human sexuality, or how much you quote from your ancient book of magic spells. All your more “grown up” answers boil down to just two arguments: “It’s wrong because Daddy said so,” and “It’s icky.”

  • Richelle McCullough-

    So it’s okay to call a girl a “sissy” but not a boy? Or are all girls inherently sissy and so it’s just speaking the truth?

  • Drew M.

     You are braver than I. One quick read through the table of contents was enough to cause me to back away slowly.

  • Dats3

    So the message is, don’t bully because it’s wrong. However, it’s okay to make others feel bad for being themselves.  Isn’t that bullying?

  • Chris

    Christians see someone else being gay as their business because they could be damned to hell for all eternity for failing to save a gay person from burning in hell for being gay. Its a natural extension of witnessing and proseletyzing.

  • PJB863

    A word about Mission America.  Mission America and its leader, Linda Harvey, are listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  

    I wouldn’t take anything they say on the matter very seriously.  Also, Linda Harvey makes Laurie Higgins of Illinois Family Institute (another SPLC listed anti-gay hate group) look like an intellectual.  They have the same initials too….

  • GloomCookie613

    Sorry, I was too busy not knowing you and protecting myself from all the Christian Love™ being dished at me.

  • nakedanthropologist

    I see what you did there – and I love it!

  • Baby_Raptor

    A strawman used by someone who only really wants hits on their blog. That’s gotta be worth a decent amount of points.

  • Baby_Raptor

    More fundies pretending they have any idea how the world works, and that they even deserve to breathe. What’s new?

  • Miriam Mogilevsky

    Right, because people go through stuff like transphobia and difficult transitions for the sake of make-believe. That totally makes sense.

  • Miriam Mogilevsky

    That’s called “trolling.” Don’t do it, it’s immature and pointless.

  • Anna

    There are many, many people who still follow God’s teachings, still believe their common sense, and believe that romance, dating and marriage are for a boy and girl, a man and woman.

    What’s really sad is that it isn’t “common sense” at all. Children aren’t born homophobic. When children are kept away from LGBT people and are told that homosexuality is wrong, that’s when they start to develop negative attitudes about it. You’re not going to find three and four year olds who spontaneously start believing that there’s something wrong with being gay. Young children don’t care about sexual orientation. They will accept the people around them as normal and natural, unless they are indoctrinated to believe otherwise.

  • John McCready

    Why not take the stupidity of this uh, “educational material” to the next IL-logical extreme, and just blurt out the TRUE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MORONS WHO PUBLISH THIS CRAP:  “Being gay is a SIN, and all SINNERS MUST DIE, so if you associate with gay people, or are gay yourself, YOU WILL DIE” With the love of Jesus, Amen!” 

  • Dbaker13

    Woah. Can I use this, Richard? That was awesome!

  • Richard Wade

    Be my guest.

  • PietPuk


  • RobertoTheChi

    I do understand your anger and realize you’re just venting, but it may sound to some like something the religious kooks would say about killing those they hate. I totally understand how frustrating it is hearing shit like this from the religious wrong. I too get furious when I hear about the craziness they spout off, but we’re all better than that and we shouldn’t stoop to their level.

  • MargueriteF

    Having glanced at the Mission:America site, they seem to equate gayness with pedophilia. They think the “gay agenda” is all about letting pedophiles have access to kids, apparently. Nasty stuff on that site *shudders*.

  • eonL5

    Damn I KNOW that line… where’s it from? I can see and hear the response… but just… can’t… place it. Please?

    [Edit] Oh… I’m thinking now… Episode 2?

  • Baal

     Friends don’t let friends use violent rhetoric.

  • Rich Wilson
  • Pisk_A_Dausen

    There is a “flag as inappropriate” function, the little flag next to the number of likes or the time stamp (if there are no likes). Only visible when you hold your mouse over the post, though.

  • Sindigo

    I think you’re giving them too much credit. I think they simply see it as “icky” to a such degree that homosexuality actually offends them

    Either that or they’re afraid that if they were to try it, they might actually enjoy it…

  • Barbara

    LMAO at this flyer and its lack of reasoning behind their answer. Brainstorming isn’t a Christian strength, is it? 

  • Barbara

    Richard, I wish my husband would take some lessons from you. He’s one of those people who frown on gayness simply out of religious obligation. Slowly but surely, I will break him of that nonsense. 

  • Barbara

    I did some digging, too. That Linda Harvey founder sounds like a real piece of work. I feel so sorry for her children, having to live with her twisted ideas. We can only hope her kids are smart enough to figure out that being gay is just a sexual preference, not a sin.

  • ganner

    “It’s for the children!”

    Premise 1: Being gay is a choice
    Premise 1a (optional): Being gay is a tempting choice to me
    Premise 2: If society acts like gay is ok, my children might choose to be gay
    Premise 3: If my children choose to be gay, they’ll go to hell!
    Conclusion: We must lash out against the gays to protect our children from hell!

  • ganner

    I became accepting of homosexuality when I had gay friends in high school. First real exposure to it, and I saw that it was normal and part of who they are, and the abuse they took over it from peers and from their families sickened me.

  • Michael David Barber

    Why don’t these kids stand up and say they have had enough fairy tales and to get to the real parts of their lives that they need to know about like birth control, keeping their dicks clean, avoiding HIV, learning competitive job skills and finding a job to support themselves.  The rest is just bullshit.a few seconds ago · Like

  • Michael David Barber

    If anyone got in my face with that crap, they would get the whole buybull back in one fell swoop starting with  “Your degenerate deity… and ending with “get the fuck out of my face before I call my attorney and have you arrested for assault.”

  • Michael David Barber

    What’s really bad is that these people are part of a HATE NETWORK that includes the American Family Association (with over 1 million members), the Family Research Council (which produces pseudo-science lies and obfuscation for lobbying stupid legislators), and a host of other RCC and SBC entities as well as the Church of Latter Day Saints with their millions upon millions of dollars.  All this adds up to A COMPLETE ASSAULT on the anti-gay bullying laws across the US that have been legislated in the last few years.  Please, please ensure that you talk to your state and national legislators about this assault and that you are against it and for keeping the laws as they are WITHOUT RELIGIOUS CARVE OUTS.

  • Anna

    That about sums it up. I think many of these Christians are honestly convinced that straight people can be persuaded to “turn” gay, and that if children are taught that homosexuality is okay they’ll become gay themselves.
    What I don’t get is how they can believe this in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. I suppose they have to make themselves believe it, because if homosexuality isn’t a choice/temptation from the devil/result of evil influence, then that would mean that their god created people to be gay, and they can’t have that.

  • Richard Wade

    I wish both you and your husband well. Stay loving.

  • Anon

    Also if they can ‘turn’ gay then they can be ‘turned’ back heterosexual if you just pray hard enough and discriminate against gay people.

  • Brian Scott

    This is going to sound strange, but I think you’re being unfair to children. Children can be bright and have a very sharp mind. Obviously they lack experience, but children are able to pick up on complex issues, at least somewhat.

    The writer(s) of the pamphlet is/are just plain simple.

  • Faggers

    So you’re niggering right now and you poopsnipple

  • J. K. King

     Thank you fellow bloggers, for your interesting comments and amusing stabs at me.

    Maybe I should have worded my comment: Christian believers have been noticeably friendlier than non-religious people towards me throughout the years.    

    Red-headed people (less than 1%) is an insufficient comparison, while atheists/agnostics comprise 20%?

  • J. K. King

     Rich Wilson: Thank you for your comments, time and effort.
    I will alter my DNA analysis in next year’s update to say it mirrors………

    But please don’t assume my school was 75-80% Christian. I find that repulsive. Famous atheist Matthew Chapman publicly announced that he’d  love to give claimants to Christianity a polygraph test, expecting that most would prove to be liars; they do not believe. Even if they did believe, belief is cheap.  More accurately a Christian is a follower of Christ.  Topping it off, I always attended secular public school, never religious private school.

    Coyotenose: Thank you for your comments. As far as me using Creationists arguments that were dis-proven prior to 1850, you are welcome to attempt to catch me with my pants down by showing that I am using a dis-proven argument. I believe that the results will surprise you.

  • Elaine Ellis

    Things like this make me so sad. Why is it that, no matter the belief system, a large majority of people succumb to the horrors of complete ignorance?
    It baffles me utterly that some people cannot see the hypocrisy in what they say. Or, perhaps I am the naive one? It may be that they FULLY see the hypocrisy – they simply don’t care!

    I am not religious. I will admit that I remain uncertain as to whether there is a “God”, or not. I do not find myself affected by concerns as to what will happen to me when I die, or whether I shall go to “Heaven” or “Hell”. Again, I do not really know, or care, if they exist. I believe firmly that I have the ability to be a good person, and take full responsibility for my moral and ethical standards, and for my personal integrity. I believe that I was born self-aware, and with an ability to learn. On that basis, I interact with the world in a way that attempts to take accont of other people’s individual differences, and to be tolerant.

    However, I accept that some individuals have different beliefs, and firmly wish to practice a particular religion. That is their business. I am happy to accept that some people are religious, provided their personal belief is not forced down my throat.

    And herein lies the problem. I tend to get the impression that some (not all) religious people want to force their beliefs onto others – to “convert” the unbelievers, as it were. I had the misfortune of being sent to a religious school, by parents who were “lapsed” Catholics. There, I suffered years of bullying, due to my perceived “loss of faith” (I never had faith in the first place). Shockingly, this bullying was lead by teachers, and not by pupils. Much of it was focussed upon attempts to “shame” me for not being christened or baptised. I was made to sit separately from religious classmates during morning Assembly. I was thrown out of an R.E. class for not havig been christened! Once my fellow pupils realised what was going on, and that I had been singled out as “odd”, this was a licence for them to bully me, too.

    It disturbs me that some people wish to subvert beliefs to their own means. The acts of being religious, or being an atheist, or agnostic, per-se, are not a problem. The problem lies in people who PROFESS to being one thing or another, but who actualy have a hidden agenda. Nobody has a right to try to force their beliefs onto another person.

    This issue concerning so-called “religious” aversion to homosexuality and lesbianism is upsetting and disturbing. Who gets to say what is wrong, or right, for that matter? WE are all just human, so each of us is fallible; each of us may have traits that aother person might not like. So be it! Besides, IF we are to believe that “God” DOES exist, then we MUST ask one very simple question…

    IF “God” is the creator of everything, then WHY did “God” create lesbians and homosexuals, if they are so bad? Surely “God” would not have done that?

    PERSONAL disgust at somebody else’s behaviour and beliefs does NOT give anyone the right to hide behind “religion” and to claim that “religion” says a particular behaviour or belief is bad or wrong. After all, even I, as an “unbeliever” am aware that the Bible says…

    “We are all created in the image of God”.

    Surely, then, this means lesbians and homosexuals, too? LIVE, AND LET LIVE.

  • Elaine Ellis

    Seeing as though you so “kindly” included the title of your book in your comment, I thought that it might be good to peruse it.

    O.K.! So, I get the picture. YOU’RE RELIGIOUS. And very pro-religion. Well, good for you.

    But, be careful. YOUR beliefs are just that… YOURS. Not everyone else’s. You argue that religion helped you through bullying at school. Well, I have a different perspective, as it was religious people that BULLIED me at school!

    Each of us is different, and we all experience different things in life. These things do, admittedly, shape and influence our beliefs. But that does NOT mean that our beliefs, and our beliefs alone, are correct.

    I am perfectly content to accept that some religious people do good, and that their belief assists them in this. But, then, there are some non-religious people who do good, and lead good lives, and their lack of belief does not negate this fact.

    We cannot “judge” a person, or the validity of their belief system, on mere “religious” or “non-religious” assumptions. There is far more to it than that. Nuances. Subtleties. Perhaps it cuts more to the heart of the matter when one begins to evaluate the basis of those beliefs, and what a person uses them for, or applies them to. It is also important to understand whether a person’s beliefs ring true, or whether they have been subverted, to allow the inclusion of many (sometimes inaccurate) beliefs that originate with that person, and that person alone. Someone can claim their beliefs are “religion”, when, if closely scrutinised, they are NOT.

    As someone who has worked in the Mental Health services as a Social Worker, and is currently a postgraduate Psychology student, I am fascinated by what you write about the mental health professions (namely Psychiatry and Psychology). True, they don’t always get things right. True, some of the theories may still be questionable, and require more research to prove, or disprove. True, some theories are downright outdated!

    Still, you cannot hold the whole profession to blame, as you do. It is down to the individual practitioner to decide which theories they base their work on. Individual practitioners also have control over whether they incorporate additional beliefs into their practice – ideally, they should recognise and acknowledge human diversity, and their work should reflect this. Practitioners should tailor their work to suit the needs of a patient, and should be aware of a patient’s beliefs, social support, sexuality, ability level, etc.

    Remember that life is all about interaction between people, leading to exchange of information and ideas. Mental Health work has to take account of this, and move with the times. Common sense would stipulate that outdated, or unacceptable, notions be rejected, and that ongoing work incorporates systems of belief that are relevant to our modern, and multicultural, society. This includes understanding of individual beliefs, faiths, cultural practices, etc.

    Do not be so quick to condemn all. Just as there may be people working in the Mental Health professions who get things wrong, so there are religious people who get things wrong. Remember, wars have been waged over religious beliefs. Religious people burned so-called “witches”, or drowned them on ducking stools. “Honour killings” have taken place in religious communities. Some religions force “arranged marriages”.

    All of these things, and many more, are carried out by people in the name of religion. They are no les cruel, and evil than the act of excessively medicating a schizophrenic person, or locking somebody in an Asylum. Humans have committed MANY wrongs over the course of time. And, as is your experience, and mine, some people suffer as a result.

    It is NOT the belief at fault, per-se. It is the HUMAN. Whatever we believe, we are all sentient, thinking and feeling beings. Surely, on the basis of that alone, we can know what is wright and what is wrong? Surely, on the basis of that alone – religion and belief aside – we can strive to get things right?

  • sowercream

    first thing first God does not hate people who are gay infact God the God of the Bible loves them so very much that He sent His only Son to suffer and die for all of us that includes people who are gay and well every single person on this planet. God loves us all. Yes the Bible does say being gay is wrong but it is just another sin in the long line of sins. The amazing thing though is that I dont have to worry about anything I do, yes I live my life the best I can and try my hardest to not sin but here is the thing I dont commit sins you dont commit sins we are sin. Everything about us everything we do is sin so being gay isnt going to damn someone to hell its just another sin in the long line of sins we commit. Yet God loves us and sees us as being absolutly and completly perfect. I dont care that youre gay I care that you turned away from the word of God and that you deny it. Nothing else matters. Nothing you do matters, becuase Gods got you. PS I became a Christian later in life by my own choice so no I was not brainwashed from a young age to be this way

  • Feminerd

    Holy run-on sentences, Batman! You might get more traction if you learned basic English grammar. Punctuation is your friend.

    That said, I am not sin. I am not evil. I require neither “saving” nor forgiveness for the mere fact of my existence. I am not tainted by some fairy-tale woman who talked to a snake and ate a piece of fruit. I make mistakes, but I don’t sin. And if God sees us as perfect, then why does he send anyone to Hell? If I’m perfect as I am in God’s eyes, then I can just go on being my rational, logical, atheist self. By your logic, God applauds me being an atheist because “God loves us and sees us as being absolutly[sic] and completly[sic] perfect”.

  • Feminerd

    I went to secular public school too! And guess what? I knew of 1 Muslim girl in my year, I was the only Jewish kid in my year, there was a Jewish boy two years ahead of me and a Jewish boy two years behind me. There were 2-4 skeptics/atheists in my class as well, though I got the feeling a lot of that was a rebellious pose. Average class size started at about 600, graduating class was about 420.

    Let’s be generous and call it 20 non-Christians of all stripes. Most of those were probably NOT atheist/agnostic but other forms of theism/deism/supernatural believers. Still 20/420 is just under 5% of the graduating class, assuming all the non-Christians graduated.

    My point is not that your public school was really Christian. I have no way of knowing, though it seems likely based on the demographics of the US. My point is that public schools reflect the people around them and their demographics vary considerably as a result. I was consistently proselytized to by my classmates, though I’ll freely admit I started it a few times to take down some of the dumber arguments. I would never use that experience to argue that all public schools are like the one I went to.