Christian Group Wants Parents to Call Their Kids Out of School on ‘Day of Silence’

Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute is putting out her annual call for parents to remove their children from their public schools during next month’s “Day of Silence” (a student-run initiative during which volunteers don’t speak on behalf of the members of the LGBT community who have been forced to be silent about their sexual identities):

A coalition of pro-family groups is urging parents to keep their children home from school on the “Day of Silence,” if your school is allowing students to refuse to speak in class.

When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take action. If they don’t, the politicization of the classroom and curricula will increase.

It is unconscionable that conservative parents remain silent, acquiescent, fearful non-participants in our public schools while homosexuals and their ideological allies engage continuously in vociferous, vigorous, and bold action.

Conservatives need to start acting and speaking as if we think our moral beliefs are objectively true. Conservative teachers need to create activities that require students to speak on the Day of Silence, and conservative parents need to teach their children by example to take a stand for truth.

Please call your children out of school if your administration permits students to refuse to speak on the Day of Silence.

Besides the fact that it’s a dick move to have teachers go out of their way to make students speak on that day, this is nothing we haven’t heard before from groups like IFI.

The core of their argument, they say, is that the Day of Silence “politicizes” the classroom. And if that’s all this was, I might not have a huge problem with it…

But it turns out conservative Christians already have their own event — modeled after the Day of Silence — where kids stay silent on behalf of aborted babies and affirm their anti-choice beliefs. It’s called the “Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.”

It’s a student-led event, it’s perfectly legal, and it’s also taking a political issue and bringing it inside the classroom.

No atheist or civil liberties group has ever tried to put a stop to it nor have they ever urged parents to remove their children from the classroom as a result of it.

And the Illinois Family Institute has never, ever, ever, ever issued any statement condemning the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.

In fact, there’s not even a mention of the event on their website.

Do you really need any more evidence that groups like these preach hate more than anything else? If they really cared about students “politicizing” the classroom, they would have denounced the pro-life event in a heartbeat. But they never have.

As I wrote last fall:

[Groups like IFI will] keep their kids home if there’s anything going on at school that blatantly or “secretly” suggests that LGBT students should be treated respectfully. But they remain completely silent when it comes to the pro-life event that operates in the exact same way.

These Christians are hypocrites, pure and simple.

They don’t give a damn about “politicizing” the classroom as long as it promotes their personal agenda.

We need more people pointing out that hypocrisy.

We need more people contacting IFI to ask why they were silent last fall (and many falls before that) when the pro-life event was going on.

We need more people — Christians especially — to realize they’re being used by groups like IFI who care only about their own bigoted agendas and not about what in children’s best interests.

Because high school students are fully aware that there’s nothing “wrong” or “immoral” about their gay and lesbian friends. They know the Day of Silence is just one way to stand up for the students at their schools who are bullied by “loving” Christians. They know groups like IFI don’t get it andd they’re brave enough to take a stand, even if it’s unpopular, because it’s the right thing to do.

They’re not scared of empty threats made by cowardly Christians who think an invisible protest is needed in the face of “more tolerance.”

Higgins could learn a lot from them if she weren’t so busy trying to make life harder for LGBT teenagers.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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