Christian Group: Keep Your Kids Out of School Before They Catch the Gay

When it’s the Day of Silence, the Illinois Family Institute and other conservative groups encourage Christian parents to pull their children out of school for the day. Because keep your kids from getting an education is the best way to fight back against wicked tolerance…

Now, the American Family Association is urging parents to keep their kids home for another reason: Mix It Up at Lunch Day, a day when students are encouraged to break free from their usual social circles and have lunch with students they don’t normally associate with.

Why is that so wrong? Because, to the AFA, sitting at lunch with kids who are from different faith backgrounds, or different cultures, or different races, or different sexual orientations is all part of a grand scheme to treat everyone with respect.

Can’t have that now, can we?

On, Tuesday, October 30, over two thousand schools across the nation will be observing “Mix It Up” (MIT) day. MIT is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools. A strong focus is directed specifically to elementary and junior high grades.

AFA is joining other family-oriented groups in urging parents to keep their children at home that day if their local school is sponsoring the “Mix It Up” project.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is using this project to bully-push its gay agenda, and at the same time, intimidate and silence students who have a Biblical view of homosexuality.

Who knew that encouraging students to talk to each other was secretly a plot to bully and silence conservative Christians?

(Also, how did Mix It Up turn into MIT? I guess that’s what happens when you stay home from school one too many days…)

I would love to know how AFA staffers function in the real world. Really, I would. Do they flip out when teachers put students into groups to work on problems? Can they handle the fact that some of the people they have to associate with on a daily basis — teachers, cashiers, cops — are gay or non-religious or of a different race? Do they really want to live in a world where being kind and respectful to other people is something worth protesting?

On a personal note, I think the “Mix It Up” idea is fantastic. When I was in high school, I remember a project a few students from a humanities class did. They hung signs above the lunch tables in our cafeteria that read: “Jocks,” “Nerds,” “Band kids,” “Cheerleaders,” etc. The point was that all students had a reputation (for better or worse), they all sat in the same locations every day, everyone knew who they were, and they rarely strayed from their cliques.

Anything that messes with the middle school and high school social hierarchy, even temporarily, is a teachable moment. There’s no reason to fear it. Just because kids show respect to other people doesn’t mean you’ll somehow get any less of it.

(via Joe. My. God.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keithacollyer Keith Collyer

    these really are hateful bastards

    • jimm58

      Please don’t denigrate bastards like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1487387826 Tenley Horton

    I wish they would have had a Mix It Up day when I was in junior high/high school…the earlier kids can learn that different doesn’t mean bad, doesn’t mean you’re better than them, and that we can learn SO much from those raised differently than us, the sooner we can live in a peaceful world!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    And they wonder why they get labeled as a hate group

  • Sindigo

    And taking your kids out of school on that day will now get them labelled as people who hate. Well done on getting your kids singled out.

  • MargueriteF

    Wow, when I looked this day up online, it seemed to be about tolerance in general, and there was nothing to suggest it was “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle.” How fortunate that we have the AFA to tell us these things, and to highlight those sneaky homosexual activists and their sneaky homosexual agenda! Otherwise we might just take these events at face value, and fail to see the underlying evil purpose, and its horrific effect on the children of America!

    • anonymous coward

       But you know – when a jock starts to get to know the band geeks and the auto shop guys start talking to the drama club … that’s a step on the slippery slope to tolerance.

      And tolerance is the root of all evil.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Hell, at my high school, those of us who didn’t fit in anywhere ended up forming our own little group of misfits.

  • NickDB

    But But But W.W.J.D????? He never hung out with those different to him either, oh wait, it’s do what we say with cherry picked verses to support out own bias and not do the whole love one another part with that lot.

    • Archaeopteryx1861

      Asking them what Jesus would do no longer seems to work. During an comment debate to a news story, I asked one particularly bigoted “Christian” if he would ever show Jesus’ love by hugging a gay man. Of course, the declared that he would rather die (lots of caps and exclamation points), and that he spreads love by letting everyone know that God hates sins. When I pointed out that Jesus hung out with sinners, he didn’t reply. Sad when you can’t show love without including hate…

      • Sue Blue

        If Jesus showed up today and went around hanging out with prostitutes and poor people, preaching love and tolerance, driving out the money-changers – these assholes would gun the “leftist liberal socialist queer-lovin’ hairball hippy” down in a flash.

  • Fargofan

    I’m surprised the AFA doesn’t see this as a welcome opportunity for the Christian kids to proselytize.

  • Martin

    “and at the same time, intimidate and silence students who have a Biblical view of homosexuality.” 
    But… but…  taking the students who have a ‘Biblical view of homosexuality’ out of the class for the event is silencing them for us.  

    • Neal Fournier

      I saw this sentence as well, and my immediate reaction was “…fucking DUH. Isn’t this the whole reason for the event?!”

      • MartinRC

        Yeah, I see the event as giving everyone a voice so no one is silenced, but somehow whatever (insert the word family in the name to make it sound like they legitimately care) groups sees giving everyone a voice as persecution by taking away their louder voice.

  • Tainda

    This is a great idea for kids!  Too bad the morons hate everyone different.  Oh well, they are becoming fewer (I hope).

    And MIT (Medical Information Technology) is the department I work in and that’s what I think of when I see it lol

    • raerants

      I’m Jane Average Citizen, and I immediately think of Massachusetts Institute of Technology when I see MIT. (Thanks, TV commercials!)

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    It doesn’t surprise me that they think a day set aside for students to have lunch with students they don’t normally associate with is someone an insidious plot to make the students accept lgbt people.

    Why is it that they always assume when people say you should learn about other cultures and people that it means: teh gays? I have to wonder if they think any culture that is not WASE or RWSM is trying to make everyone gay. 

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, Blonde

       answer a: because they are grifters of the first order and they have long since realized that the fastest way to blue hair cash is harping on the Insidious Gaii Menace, at every turn. even to the point of sending out scare leaflets about things like “gay teletubbies” or how Obama is a secret queer.

      answer b: many of them are total self hating closet cases.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      WASE? RWSM?

      Plz explain?

      • Raising_Rlyeh

        RWSM: rich white straight male
        WASE: white anglo-saxon evangelical

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Thankees! *kitty-grin*

  • TiltedHorizon

    Christian parents should keep their kids home that day. ‘Heaven forbid’ their children put their parent’s bigotry to the test and discover it to be unfounded. It may result in snowball questions, like: “What else did they lie about?”

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, Blonde

       Molly Ivins had a fantastic personal story about just that, and how she stopped being someone who thought of herself as a natural republican. apparently it happened when she was pretty young, and she got to know a black person well. she realized that everything she’d been told as a texan and white woman on the subject of race was actually bullshit. she just sort of ran with it from there, and eventually embraced most progressive and logic/science based ideas relating to all political issues.

  • Mandocommando23

    How are they getting that encouraging kids to reach other to those they normally don’t talk to is a bad thing? And furthermore, what the heck does that have to do with homosexuality? Has anyone else googled this topic and noticed that some fundies are calling it “Homosexual Mix It Up Day?” WTF? 

  • RobertoTheChi

    It’s times like this that I wish it physically hurt to be so fucking ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

    Anyone else hear that slapping sound? I just facepalmed so hard I think I broke my nose.

  • ortcutt

    I’m starting to think that the preferred child rearing environment for Christian conservatives would be if they kids were locked in a closet with a Bible and Ken Ham videos until they were 65.  They’ve become insular and paranoid.

  • Baal

    I get the feeling that the IFI knows they lose children (to normalcy) if they get outside of the carefully constructed and protected xtian bubble.  Also, “What is bully-push”.  Yes, Alex, I’ll take intentional projection for 800.

  • Gus Snarp

    Mix it Up day sounds like a great idea!

  • observer

    We need to get into the effort of getting explanations from these people, and ask how these things happen. I’m sure the process of how kids from different backgrounds, ethnics, religions, etc. getting together and talking with each other is going to somehow cause all the kids to be attracted to the same gender, and cause all of the anti-gay Christian students (as opposed to other anti-gay non-Christian students) to become excluded is as BS, yet hilarious, as we could imagine.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt E

    MIT – it’s Disney cockney. “Mix I’ Tup, Guv’nor.” I can just hear Dick Van Dyke in a chimney sweep costume.

    • raerants

      I read it as Mix IT-up, ‘cuz, y’know, bad hyphenation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Am I the only one that thinks this is an incredibly lame idea? You can’t make kids be cool with each other just by having them sit together for a single lunch period. It’s just awkward, and the prejudice kids aren’t going to get into deep reasonable conversation with those they dislike just because they’re encouraged to.

    • http://www.atheistliving.com/ Susan

      That was my first thought, too. However, I still think it’s a good idea even if the kids don’t go along with it. Through raising two teenagers, I’ve found that it’s best to keep making the effort even when they roll their eyes or don’t seem to be listening. More of the message gets through than it appears.

    • Edmond

      Cynical much?  How about we TRY it first, and save the critique for AFTER it has failed or succeeded?

      I say, if it reaches just ONE kid, and encourages them to be more outgoing and inclusive, then hey, education happened.

      Sure, it’s not going to reach EVERYONE, some kids will think it’s “lame” or “awkward”, but there will be some who embrace it.

  • hillary@yahoo.com

    Go here, study and understand that your rallying around this rediculous “cause” is an engineered response that is in no way shape or form for your good or that of your children.  You will in the end get what you “fight” for.  The problem is you cannot see the truth. 
      http://celticrebel.wordpress.com/initiation/

    • RobMcCune

       Care to be more specific with your craziness? Or will the satellites be able to track you if you make a coherent argument or post a relevant link?

    • Tainda

      Ridiculous

    • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

      Crazy talk

    • Coyotenose

      *hands over a roll of tinfoil and goes back to what he was doing*

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        *watches the shiny go by, tail twitching*

  • Mwaldick

    I once caught the gay, but the slippery bugger got away and went on to score the winning touchdown…true story Bro.

  • http://twitter.com/ylaenna M. Elaine

    I’ve mixed it up with all kinds of people and I still haven’t caught teh gay. What am I doing wrong? :’(

    • Chris S.

      You’ve done nothing wrong!  You may have mistakenly been given the Hetero-sure shot instead of the Cootie shot.  You are immune from catching/carrying gay, but you are still at risk of cooties.  See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6ylxWcwkUM for proper administration.

      • http://twitter.com/ylaenna M. Elaine

        “All I did was trade Lunchables…”  Haha, thanks for that!

  • hillary@yahoo.com

    oh oh!  only comments that agree with you will remain…  wow, that’s pretty gay

    • Coyotenose

       Your lies are an excellent substitute for reality.

    • amycas

       Actually, this site is mostly un-moderated. The only time I haven’t been able to see a comment is because a LOT of people flagged it for being inappropriate. But, even in those cases, you can still see that a comment was made. Perhaps you’re having user difficulties in posting.

  • Phil

    If these parents keep taking their kids out of school because something causes them to clutch their pearls and head for the fainting couch, their churches and political groups are going to end up being the go-to people for recruiters looking for low-skill, low-paying employees.

    It warmed my heart to see my alma mater, Manning Elementary in Westmont, IL listed as a Model School for Mix-It-Up Day.

  • Heatherdouglas

    Wow! Seems like the politically correct thing these days means that Christians can’t have our right to free speech but everyone else can. My children are not elementary or middle school age anymore. If they were I would not want them participating in this if they were not allowed to speak about biblical values. U see, tolerance should be on both sides. Therefore, it is a parents right to not allow their children to take part in such things. Come on…..r we really talking about these things with elementary children?? They shouldn’t have any clue about sexuality, let alone homosexuality.

    • Edmond

      How are Christians’ right to free speech being infringed here?  The whole point of this exercise is to INCREASE the discourse of ideas.  Christian kids SHOULD consider this an opportunity to talk about what they believe, with people who may have never heard their point of view.  They should also listen thoughtfully to alternative points of view.

      If anything, Christian parents who pull their kids from school are infringing on their OWN right to free speech, by refusing to take part in an event where various types of speech are exchanged.  If they want to exercise their right to free speech, then they should participate and SPEAK.

      And despite the propaganda from the AFA, there isn’t ANYTHING about this designed to “promote” homosexuality, or sexuality of any kind.  It’s about encouraging people to go out of their way to meet and speak with people they might otherwise avoid.  Kids in school are notoriously clique-oriented, and this can teach them to be less insular. 

      However, some kids MIGHT talk about their own homosexuality, in hopes of helping others to understand something which they might not.  THEY ought to have a right to free speech as well, yes?

      And, it’s remarkably naive to believe that kids have “no clue” about sexuality, and that they don’t ALREADY discuss it amongst themselves.  Besides, deliberatly keeping kids in the dark about the subject (or ANY subject) is counterintuitive to the purposes of education.

      I certainly understand that some subjects are “age-appropriate”, or should be presented in a sensitive way for youngsters.  However, I’d wager that you would see nothing wrong with teaching elementary-school age children that “men and women fall in love”, so it’s hardly a great leap to add “some men fall in love with men, and some women fall in love with women”.  This is a truism about the world, and it will not destroy children (nor turn them gay) to learn it.  It will open them to the idea that the world runs on variety, and that ALL people deserve to be heard.

      • Politically incorrect

        Edmond,
        Funny, I bet u do not have any children……
        I could only imagine your bedtime stories to your children if u had them. Lets tell our small children the story of Cinderella kissing her princess? Or how about changeing the interpretation of the bible. God took rib from Adam and made Steve for him?
        Sorry if this makes u angry, just excising my right! Guess its not politically correct.

        • Edmond

          It doesn’t make me angry, though it confuses me that you’ve changed this discussion to the telling of fairy tales, rather than addressing anything that I spoke of.

          No, I don’t have any children of my own, but I’ve babysat many.  I would never try to limit dialogue with others simply because I was worried that it would make telling fairy tales inconvenient.

          Have you missed my point that this is not about promoting homosexuality?  It’s about promoting conversation between people who might not converse otherwise.  Doesn’t that seem like a good thing?  Shouldn’t the “jocks” get to know the “nerds” a little bit better?  Wouldn’t the cheerleaders and the drama kids benefit from exposure to each other’s worlds?

          I’m not sure what you object to about this event.  You said that Christians were having their free speech infringed upon, and I asked if you could explain how that’s true.  You didn’t answer.  Could you elaborate on where you think the problem lies?

  • Alinanancy

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  • FrankR

    I can’t wait to see what they say about the biblical view of slavery!


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