Day of Silence, Golden Rule Pledge roundup

Today is the Day of Silence, where students attempt to remain silent for parts of the school day to bring attention to anti-gay bullying. This year has been much quieter than the first two years for the supportive Golden Rule Pledge. I am aware of students in a dozen or so communities who planned to pass out GRP cards, either while joining in the silence or indenpendently of it.

I have looked in on the Day of Silence twitter account a couple of times and this retweet caught my eye:

Today has been awful. Verbal and physical bullying. This is why we do this.

This pains me. I wish she had written that some kids were pledging the Golden Rule and standing up to the bullies. Maybe next time?

I have posted this song before but it seems fitting again. After the vid/song, check out the few news articles which mention the Golden Rule Pledge.

Charisma covered the GRP as part of a story on the Day of Truth, the walkout, and the Day of Silence. Christian Post took a similar line in this story.

Here is a link to a Crosswalk.com article I wrote a year ago, called “That’s So Gay” – The deadly consequences of bullying.

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  • Tim

    Speaking of bullying, Peter LaBarbera has made available the archives of his radio show on the AFTAH website. In keeping with the professional standards of the site, almost all of the links don’t work. However, links to PL’s interview with Michael Glatze do work. Feeling masochistic, I listened to it.

    Warren, you might be interested to learn that you were a topic of interest. In particular, it seems that you: 1) offer a false gospel, 2) do work that pleases Satan, and 3) became hostile and overbearing toward Glatze after his piece on WND.

    I’m sure that, in Christian love, PL will invite you on as a guest so that you can present your side.

    http://americansfortruth.com/uploads/2010/04/Michael-Glatze-4-10-10-Segment-4.mp3

  • David Blakeslee

    FOTC as “haters.”

    But when the directive was issued, Solmonese, currently stuck in London because of volcanic ash, says he couldn’t fully give himself over to joy, because he knew it would be followed by strong critical reaction.

    He’s not talking about conservative groups such as Focus on the Family. Solmonese is not talking about the haters. He’s talking about the furious: Gay activists and bloggers who think well-heeled nonprofits like HRC are too appeasing, too accepting of incremental change, too insidery. They have coined a term for their derision: “Gay Inc.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/19/AR2010041904944_pf.html

    Names…names…names.

  • David Blakeslee

    oops: FOTF

  • Timothy Kincaid

    David,

    Unless I’m mistaken, the author is not calling FotF “haters”. Rather he is noting that Solmonese’s target is neither conservative groups or haters.

    Would you not agree that haters exist?

    Or is the word “haters” always and ever “calling names”?

  • David Blakeslee

    Timothy,

    A plausible reframe…I don’t think it fits the flow…but, could be.

    But to be even more precise…Salmonese is not even using the term “haters”…it is Parker, the author of the article.

    Salmonese’s language may be more precise and less inflammatory.

  • David Blakeslee

    Care to create a definition for “hater,” I cannot find one which fits the sentence used by the author…they all have to do with negativity, jealousy and being nit-picky about another’s accomplishments?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    David,

    I certainly agree that Parker could have been clearer.

    I’ve been thinking about doing a pair of commentaries about love and hate on BTB to discuss what they mean, what they look like, and that most Christians don’t really love or hate gay folk. This is not completely gelled, but let me run part of it by you.

    First, I do not think that most Christians hate gay folk. Hate is a pretty strong word, and I just don’t think it fits most of the time. Additionally, I think that someone can engage in hateful behavior from time to time without being a hater (just as one can occasionally lapse in telling the truth without being a big ol’ liar).

    And I think there are varying levels of animus that range from prejudice to distrust to dislike to contemptiousness and right on to hatred.

    I recently heard San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders discuss his change in attitude over same-sex civil marriage. He explained that he used to think that civil unions were good enough, they provided enough rights, but that marriage was reserved for straights. Not because he hated anyone, he didn’t. And not because he consciously thought of heterosexuals as superior. But simply because he had prejudices about which he wasn’t even aware – pre-developed attitudes that shaded his thinking.

    I think that all of us have prejudices, assumptions that go unsaid or unthought about. Most of us – even the best intentioned – grew up with some form of racial prejudices that come from culture, media, comments overheard.

    And I think that most Americans – including Christians – have prejudices towards gay people. They have images and stereotypes and assumptions that are on a deep and often unconscious level.

    That isn’t hate.

    And I know that many conservative Christians have religious beliefs about what God expects of us and in that context they have objections to certain sexual acts. That isn’t hate.

    I also think that prejudices can shade the response of Christians such that their social, political, and societal expectations of gay sinners is far far different from their expectations of straight sinners.

    And while that is discrimination based in prejudice, it is not hate.

    And then there are those who would be uncomfortable having coffee with a gay person. They would not want “one of those” to move into the neighborhood or to be able to come into contact with them.

    That is usually a combination of prejudice, ignorance, and fear (and can sometime dissipate through exposure to gay folk). It is bigotry. But, yet still, it is not hate.

    But there are definitely some people who profess the name of Christ who engage in hatred. And here’s what I think that hatred looks like:

    It assumes the worst about others and looks for confirmation.

    It delights in the tragedy of others.

    It delights in the sadness of others.

    It dehumanizes others.

    It demeans and demonizes others.

    To apply this specifically to anti-gay hatred (though I think it works for any hatred):

    It assumes the worst about others and looks for confirmation. It sees the misbehavior of one gay person as indicative of all gay people, and denies or ignores the good behavior of another. Further, it attributes the misbehavior to being gay, ie it assumes that he misbehaved because he was gay.

    It delights in the tragedy of others. It sees any ill that comes to gay folk as an evidence of God’s condemnation or judgment.

    It delights in the sadness of others. It sees any political frustration or difficulties in functioning in life as amusing or a reason to celebrate. If gay folk lose a civil right or are denied a measure of equality in society, hatred laughs at their pain.

    It dehumanizes others. It sees gay people only as “radical, militant, homosexual activists”, which is defined as anyone who wants to be treated equally.

    It demeans and demonizes others. It spreads or seeks to encourage the belief in falsehoods, exaggerations, and lies so as cause those who are not informed to think ill of gay folk. (Incidentally, this is the standard used by the Southern Poverty Law Center to identify the 12 organizations in the US that it has labeled an anti-gay hate group).

    And a hater is one who not only engages occasionally in these acts and attitudes, but makes it a way of life.

    Some people we would agree on as haters: I’m sure we both know that Fred Phelps brags about his hatred. But there are others who we may not agree about.

    This is not entirely thought through, but I think it gives a rough outline of how I define a hater.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Now I’m off to go see Chicago at the Pantages. I’ll hope my comments didn’t razzle dazzle you and look forward to your thoughts and all that jazz tomorrow.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Timothy,

    Enjoy Chicago…the women in that play terrify me.

    and

    I also think that prejudices can shade the response of Christians such that their social, political, and societal expectations of gay sinners is far far different from their expectations of straight sinners.

    Beyond true…but I have argued that Christians are equal opportunity sexual killjoys. I believe there is much less hypocracy than you see;

    I think some in the GLBT rights movement imagine that Christians endorse all sorts of heterosexual families and forbid homosexual families…I think they are confused here. Western culture, with it’s Christian influences, has learned to accomodate all sorts of heterosexual couplings and families; in part under the rubric of tolerance. But Christianity, per se, has not changed in its version of what is proscribed sexual behavior.

    More:

    And here’s what I think that hatred looks like:

    It assumes the worst about others and looks for confirmation.

    It delights in the tragedy of others.

    It delights in the sadness of others.

    It dehumanizes others.

    It demeans and demonizes others.

    To apply this specifically to anti-gay hatred (though I think it works for any hatred):

    It assumes the worst about others and looks for confirmation. It sees the misbehavior of one gay person as indicative of all gay people, and denies or ignores the good behavior of another. Further, it attributes the misbehavior to being gay, ie it assumes that he misbehaved because he was gay.

    It delights in the tragedy of others. It sees any ill that comes to gay folk as an evidence of God’s condemnation or judgment.

    It delights in the sadness of others. It sees any political frustration or difficulties in functioning in life as amusing or a reason to celebrate. If gay folk lose a civil right or are denied a measure of equality in society, hatred laughs at their pain.

    Agreed…I believe this is symptomatic of narcissistic relating…and can be found in the way some people view Christians…now, but especially Christians in minority cultures.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ Jarred

    Timothy, I love what you said about what hatred looks like. I’d slightly modify this one point, however:

    It assumes the worst about others and looks for confirmation, and might even manufacture confirming evidence.

    I’ve seen some people try to twist and reinterpret other people’s experiences to fit their preconceived notions of what gay people are like.

  • Eddy

    Totally agree with the elaborations on what hatred looks like…regardless of who is doing the hating and who the hated is.

    We all tend to see it more clearly when our side is the victim.

    Sad part is when we get caught in that trap of “my hate is justified because THEY hate too!”…and everyone defends their personal right to hate.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Jarred,

    Kind of like “confirmation bias.”

  • Timothy Kincaid

    David

    I’m glad we found areas of agreement. And you are quite correct that many gay folk misunderstand Christian doctrine and that hate can go both ways.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Jarred,

    Thanks. I was trying to include the manufacturing of “evidence” under the demeans and demonizes point. But as you and David point out, confirmation bias is a part of assuming the worst.

  • David Blakeslee

    When I was in graduate school, at Pepperdine, I had a heated disagreement with a great professor.

    Near the end of it, she said, “I feel like you are putting me in a box, and I don’t like it.”

    I reassured her, “I am putting you in a big box.”

    I don’t think it made her feel any better.

    Names are like boxes…the most accusatory are the smallest of all.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    David,

    I think that we have resolved that there is such a thing as a hater.

    But now it seems to me that we have not resolved the second issue: whether adjectives can be used in discussion.

    I recognize that some people dislike “labels” and “boxes” and “names”. But I am uncertain how to communicate differences without using adjectives or adjective-based nouns.

    I have heard some people say, “well, everyone is an individual”. And that is true. But we need some form of language to differentiate between the individuals who engage in anti-Christian activities and those who go get along with their Christian neighbors.

    This is an essential aspect of language.

  • David Blakeslee

    Keeping it light…

    How was Chicago?

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    I think some in the GLBT rights movement imagine that Christians endorse all sorts of heterosexual families and forbid homosexual families…I think they are confused here. Western culture, with it’s Christian influences, has learned to accomodate all sorts of heterosexual couplings and families; in part under the rubric of tolerance. But Christianity, per se, has not changed in its version of what is proscribed sexual behavior.

    The difference I here David is that you don’t see conservative Christian folk out drumming up or sanctioning legislation to forbid certain heterosexuals and certain heterosexual couples from marrying – not really. I haven’t seen any legislation that prevents heterosexuals from having drive through marriage chapels, etc. Yet you do have legislation that prevents homosexual couples who are likely to be tax-paying, law-abiding citizens, who contribute to their community, who may have been in a committed relationship for years, and who may have children, from being allowed to marry in the eyes of the SECULAR state – Gay couples all over the place can have religious ceremonies/marriages, that’s not as much an issue anymore, but one you think would be more of a problem for some Christians, but no.

    But Christianity, per se, has not changed in its version of what is proscribed sexual behavior.

    That really depends on which Christian group you talk to and what sexual behavior you’re talking about

  • Timothy Kincaid

    David,

    Chicago was a lot of fun. I had only ever seen the movie before and a stage play always has more connection. Interestingly, the feels of the show was quite different from the movie.

    The movie was a story in which the songs illustrate the plot. The stage musical was a series of character studies and the plot is more of a frame on which the social commentary is displayed (the original play was written in the 20′s and based on real events).


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