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Theocrats Mad About Pro-LGBT, Anti-Bullying Day of Silence in Schools

Speaking of protecting our LGB neighbors from discrimination, the Family Heritage Alliance is really mad that political special interests are using the public schools to push their sexual ethics.

HAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Ooooo-hee-hee-hee-ha-ha-ha!

O.K., wipe your tears, and let’s hear FHA out. They get word that Sioux Falls Lincoln students will be participating in the “Day of Silence” pro-LGBT anti-bullying protest on Friday. FHA posts a warning from American Family Alliance president Tim Wildmon that the student-run Day of Silence is really “organized behind the scenes by adults with the enthusiastic cooperation of school officials” receiving “materials and instructions from a national homosexual activist group” (also known as the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network). Wildmon exhorts (really, exhorts, in bold print) FHA followers to “actively oppose this hijacking of the classroom for political purposes and help de-politicize the learning environment by calling your child out of school if your child’s school participates, promotes or allows ‘Day of Silence’ activities.

FHA links to the Illinois Family Institute, which includes this complaint in a sample letter for parents to excuse letting their kids be truant to protest the Day of Silence:

The administration errs when it allows the classroom to be disrupted and politicized by granting students permission to remain silent throughout an entire day. The protesters have a captive audience, many of whom disagree with and are made uncomfortable by the politicization of their classroom. How many political protests will the school allow, and who decides which political issue will be permitted to disrupt the educational process? [Illinois Family Institute, sample letter for parents, downloaded 2016.04.16]

Shoe, meet other foot. Theocrats want to be able to use public resources to hand out their religious materialsteach their creation myths, and hold ostentatious prayers in front of captive audiences to affirm their specific religion. But when a group organizes students to engage in First Amendment exercises that don’t affirm an Angry God, FHA suddenly rails against outside groups “hijacking” the classroom and subjecting their vulnerable children to dastardly acts of silence.

Heck, I wish FHA would get that mad about Pepsi, Coke, and other corporations hijacking our classrooms with their commercial propaganda, turning our kids into craving materialists.

And double heck, as a teacher, there’s part of me that says to GLSEN, “Oh, you want to encourage kids to be quiet for a day? O.K.!”

Students have a constitutional right to free speech. They can pray before their algebra test. They can keep silent to protest anti-trans bullying. But the ACLU reminds you, kids, that your right to remain silent applies only to non-instructional time: if a teacher asks you a question in class, you should respond. If you are in speech class and Friday is your day to give a speech, you’d better be ready to break your silence and give your speech.

If FHA wants promote Godly speech in the public sphere, it has to tolerate other forms of Constitutional expression. When they demand the floor for their prayers and readings of Genesis but threaten to walk out if anyone offers an opposing view, they lose their moral authority to pronounce on First Amendment issues.


  1. Troy 2016-04-14 10:18


    Does this day of silence include not a pledge of not responding in class?

  2. mike from iowa 2016-04-14 10:36

    To balance the ledger, bring in Jerry Fatwell’s corpse and let him remain silent for the day. That should satisfy Wildmon’s wasted whackos.

  3. bearcreekbat 2016-04-14 10:53

    FHA might “lose their moral authority to pronounce on First Amendment issues.” Huh? What moral authority does this or any other religious group have to encourage children and adults to engage in bigotry and bullying?

  4. Jenny 2016-04-14 11:21

    Bullying of any kind is not a political issue.

  5. Steve Sibson 2016-04-14 11:28

    ” What moral authority does this or any other religious group have to encourage children and adults to engage in bigotry and bullying?”

    That statement should also include pagans whose religion is about rebelling against God. What the pro-family movement fails to understand is that the promotion of gays is evidence that God has already turned America over. Taking dominion in order to prevent it is not only too late, but is not biblical.

  6. Jenny 2016-04-14 11:40

    I’d lock your door at night Steve, and keep the gun close by.

  7. mike from iowa 2016-04-14 12:14

    What the pro-family movement fails to understand is that the promotion of gays is evidence that God has already turned America over.

    Yup,dog approves of Gays. He flopped ‘murrica on its face to show them where the appendage goes. Whose dog are you referring to,Sibby?

  8. Roger Cornelius 2016-04-14 13:45

    Sibson is a pagan of the worse kind.

  9. happy camper 2016-04-15 07:02

    They also just tried to make The Bible Tennessee’s official book but was vetoed by their Governor (R). You can’t make this stuff up.

    “The governor of Tennessee vetoed legislation on Thursday that would have made the Christian Bible the state’s official book, saying it would violate the U.S. Constitution, but lawmakers vowed to hold a vote to overrule his decision.”

  10. O 2016-04-15 09:57

    Steve: “. . . the promotion of gays. . .”

    Really, the “promotion” of gays? That is a stretch of what is happening in this context. This is about the tolerance of others and the rejection of bullying. It is specific to GLBT because that group seems to be the “other” that is most singled out for bullying and abuse.

    Again with the substitution of bombast for argument.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-04-15 18:24

    Troy, the online pledge form from GLSEN simply says, “I pledge to be silent to bring attention to anti‑LGBT name‑calling, bullying and harassment in schools.”

    You could read that as an absolute, applying to the entire day, to every situation. But the ACLU advice makes clear a student cannot sustain that pledge in the classroom if requested to speak by a teacher.

    GLSEN includes advice on their Resources page suggesting they recognize the pledge is not an absolute and that students wishing to keep silent all day, in class and out, should discuss their desires with their teachers ahead of time. If a student came to me with such a request, I would cite the ACLU advice and inform the student that I would expect her to participate normally in planned classroom activities.

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