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Day of Truth Miraculously Transformed Into Day of Dialogue

Ah, yes, spring is in the air. Easter candy is in the stores, New England is seeing snow on the first day of spring (wow, I'm sick of snow this year), as well as the first signs of the upcoming Boston Marathon…and both sides are preparing once again for the school holy wars: the pro-gay "Day of Silence" versus the homophobic "Day of Truth." (That statement should make it clear where my sentiments lie in this topic. I've always considered myself "straight but not narrow." My interest in the morality wars over Those Godless Homosexuals has mostly been from the entertainment that comes from watching religious bigots preach how Satanic homosexuality is turning our Innocent Children away from Jesus Christ and into a Sinful Lifestyle that is Against God.)

Every April, gay rights groups campaign for a "Day of Silence" in schools, in which kids who support gay rights remain completely silent throughout the school day, not speaking a word. This, naturally, causes a lot of trouble, because it means teachers either respect the kids' decision to remain silent (and thus support the cause themselves), or they don't and end up getting the kids in trouble (thus causing a media-worthy incident and giving PR to gay-rights groups).

The Homosexuality-Is-A-Godless-Sinful-Lifestyle crowd, on the other hand, each year has organized a "Day of Truth" that takes place the day after the Day of Silence. Except this year, in 2011, Focus on the Family is calling it the "Day of Dialogue" instead. On the surface, at least, this is a PR move that evidently backs away from the hateful message of the Day of Truth – which had always been about spreading the "truth" about homosexuality. The "truth," of course, was that homosexuality was evil, sinful, disgusting, against God, and that the hidden agenda of the Day of Silence was to "recruit" innocent children into the ranks of Those Godless Homosexuals. The bigotry displayed in the Day of Truth was clearly displayed in last year's press release promoting the event, which stated outright: “we do not support any effort to end bullying that involves normalizing disordered and dangerous behaviors.” [1] (Translation: “We do not support any effort to end beating the gay out of gay kids.") Evidently this tactic hasn't been very successful, because the "Day of Dialogue" goes out of its way not to use the word "homosexuality" on its Web site. Instead, it's putting more of an emphasis on God, Jesus, and the religious aspect of Focus on the Family and its efforts to bring Jesus Christ into public schools. The exact words now state:

"This year, Focus on the Family became the new sponsor of the event once known as the Day of Truth. Now it will boast a new name, while maintaining the same goal it’s always had since its founding—encouraging honest and respectful conversation among students about God’s design for sexuality." While they still praise Day of Truth co-founders Exodus International (the sponsors of the so-called "ex-gay iPhone app" that's getting a lot of flames on the iTunes store), they do seem to be backing away from attacking gay kids, and instead using the event to promote religion in schools. There's even a link to a "Q&A on Students' Rights to Religious Expression in Public Schools," published by the Alliance Defense Fund.

It's possible to note the irony of the "Day of Dialogue," which is likely to completely escape the notice of its founders. It could be said that by changing "Truth" to "Dialogue," Focus on the Family is backing away from "the Truth" into an agenda that is much more blatantly obvious…and, by attempting to force religion into secular public schools, more likely to be prone to legal challenges from secular groups. In this respect, the "Day of Dialogue" is actually more truthful than the "Day of Truth" ever was.

So this year there will be less confrontation against gay kids in particular, and more efforts to put Jesus in the classrooms. This, I suspect, is an indication that Focus on the Family is panicking – they're more afraid of losing their OWN "recruits" in schools, so much so that they'd rather get more of their own than worry about kids being recruited by Those Godless Homosexuals. Maybe this is a sign that the Day of Silence is "winning" – except that kids are still being bullied and driven to suicide. As long as that is happening, they're still a long way from "winning." So this year on April 15th, if you see a kid taking part in the Day of Silence, buy him (or her) a Coke or something. It's not easy for a kid to keep his mouth shut all day long.

(The Day of Silence is still here: )