Day of Truth / Silence – More from Brian

Another excellent piece by Brian Pengelly. Absolutely necessary reading.

There is the “Day of Truth” where Christian students are encouraged to gather and have events that talk about what the Bible says about homosexuality. Still other Christian groups are additionally planning counter-events and in some cases protests. While it would seem those who are organizing these events are well intentioned, I think Christians trying to hold counter events both distract from the important goal of stopping bullying, violence and harassment against LGBT students and gives the appearance that Christians support or don’t care that such discrimination occurs.

In some cases Christian groups have even implied or directly stated that bullying of LGBT students is not really an issue. I understand that some Christian groups are wary of statistics and stories coming from GLSEN or other gay organization, but using that as an excuse to pretend that this isn’t an issue is unacceptable.

The truth is that when I was a student questioning my own sexual identity in grade 9 I was beat up because of my orientation.

The truth is that I was lucky, because compared to many of my gay friends, I got off easy.

The truth is that I have talked to hundreds of youth across North America who have been called names like “fag”, “homo”, “sissy”, “dyke” and “lesbo” every single day.

The truth is that often teachers and administrators see this happen and do nothing about it.

The truth is that many students (like me) will never report the harassment and violence they face because they are scared and ashamed. So even if and when school administration will listen, they often don’t hear about the extent of it.

The truth is that it can often be Christians who perpetrate the bullying and name-calling.
I went to a Christian school. It happened there.

This is not just my experience. This is SO common. I have seen it in schools. I have seen it in churches, I have seen it in youth groups. I have talked to HUNDREDS of young people who have told me their stories.

This is REAL.

And when Christians pretend like it isn’t, we bring shame on the name of the Lord who we claim to follow.

11 Comments on “Day of Truth / Silence – More from Brian

  1. Just thought I’d comment to say ‘hear, hear’ rather than my usual disagreement :)

    in friendship, Blair

  2. A few quotes for you:

    “It makes sense for her, as a lesbian, to attack traditional family values.”( comment on Dr Ragdale – but generalised to all lesbians.)

    “To bisexuals, one is good, but two or more is better.”

    “The committed gay relationship is a myth.”

    ” Sodomy advocates should not be allowed near kids.”

    ” perversion” (a term used to describe Matthew Sheppard’s orientation.)

    “narcissim” (used to describe gay relationships in general)

    “failing to rise to the challenge” ( of heterosexuality)

    …and …

    ” the gay-as- victim mythology works its magic every time.”

    ( All taken from articles published on Anglican Mainstream)

    Finally two quotes from the Pengelly article that I do have to endorse:

    ” The truth is it can often be Christians who perpetrate bullying and name calling.”


    ” When we pretend it isn’t, we bring shame on the Lord we aim to follow.”

    Also in friendship.


    • Hi again Sue,

      just in case I need to say this… I was saying ‘hear, hear’ both to Peter’s drawing attention to Brian Pengelly’s article, and to his article itself.

      Interested (but not surprised!) to see the quotes you culled from Anglican Mainstream. Some time back, I e-mailed them (Lisa Severine Nolland in fact, as she is open enough to put an e-mail address on the site) to challenge the kinds of articles they post on gay-related matters and suggest that maybe they could at least link to sites or articles giving a different view. Lisa SN was not persuaded, unsurprisingly you may say – it seems that AM feels beleaguered by what it would call ‘the gay agenda’. Was e-mailing at the time they were advertising a conference called ‘Time for truth: is gay real?’ and suggesting that if it is time for truth, then perhaps perspectives other than solely AM’s should be heard and sifted.

      in friendship, Blair

      • Hi Blair ( feel I’m quite getting to know you!)

        I also thought “hear, hear” to the Pengelly article and am glad Peter posted it. I did, however, want to draw attention to the irony of such an article appearing on a site connected to AM. I am glad you e-mailed Lisa as the “Lisa’s Lookout” articles are so often offensive and innaccurate. I think you are right to use the term “beleagured”, I often hear a note of panic and desperation, which I can kind of understand. I don’t know whether there are any answers to bridging the gulf between liberal and conservative perspectives ( although personally I would describe myself as radical rather than liberal.)I suppose I think respecting and listening are crucial, but not always easy and listening and respecting can feel like condoning or colluding to both “sides.”

  3. One’s reaction to the Day of Silence rather depends on whether you think it is a genuine anti-bullying campaign, or whether you regard it as a front for promoting a radical homosexual agenda with all its ramifications (its effect on marriage, etc.)

    I think it is the latter, and so, I imagine, do the people who have organised the Day of Truth and other campaigns. If it were a sincere attempt to prevent bullying, it would include ALL bullying, for whatever reason.

    It is my view that a single-issue campaign such as the Day of Silence, focusing solely on GLBT, will be perceived as demanding special treatment over and above other sufferers of bullying (fat kids, kids who wear glasses, kids with ginger hair) and will result in worse, not better, treatment for themselves. Who are they to think they suffer more than other victimised groups? This can only stir up resentment.

    The Day of Silence is in itself a form of bullying. ‘You go along with it otherwise you are a bigot and a homophobe and your card will be marked’. I see that the makers of one of these ‘Walkout’ videos are themselves getting threatened and intimidated. Where’s the tolerance now?

    Please, a little honesty here.

    Adolescents are sometimes unsure of their ‘sexuality’, and do not actually need to be pushed into a little box marked ‘gay’ when they might later discover that they are nothing of the sort.

    One of my daughters was so badly bullied at school that I had to take her out after two years and find a new school. The reason? She is a Christian!

  4. All forms of bullying are wrong whether it is because we are gay, fat, disabled,shy, clever, Christian, Muslim – whatever it is that is perceived as “difference”. If you look at my post, I do say that respecting and listening are crucial but not always easy. If you look at your own comments, though, you talk of the day of silence being a “front” to “promote an agenda” and “attack marriage” and not a genuine attempt to confront bullying. to me , at least , this seems fearful- as though there is some sinister conspiracy and not real individuals who do suffer from very damaging bullying and negative stereotyping. All bullying must be challenged but there are specific problems with homophobic bullying in schools, although there I have noticed a sea change over the last decade and there is now a lot more tolerance. I teach high school and have seen this in effect.
    You also say adolescents are often unsure about their sexuality. This is true, I work with young people and always tell them, you don’t have to sleep with a man, you don’t have to sleep with a woman, take your time, respect yourself and others. However it is true many more gay people find themselves “pushed into a box labelled straight” than the other way round. This is happening less and less of course and this can only be good for marriage, rather than having a damaging effect on marriage. In 1993 police reported that over half of men picked up cruising for sex with men were married. Many of these men would have married as a front to cover their true sexuality ( to the misery of both partners) or because they believed they could change.
    Finally, LGBT people respect and value the marriages of their heterosexual friends, some LGBT people ARE married, due to pressures cited above or because of Christian conviction, and some, though not all, have stayed faithful to those marriages. Morality is about how we treat others ( and ourselves) not what our orientation is.

  5. Yes, Jill, you have a point there. The Day of Silence could itself be seen as a kind of bullying. After all, it’s liable to make people who bully others because they are (or are imagined to be) LGBT, and those who condone such bullying, feel intimidated into stopping it, or at least liable to make them feel guilty about it. And we really can’t have that, now can we? Think of the baneful effect that it could have on marriage, and of the number of kids who will allow themselves to be pushed into a little box marked ‘gay’ if anti-gay bullying is stamped out.

    And of course, as a former teacher of many years experience, I know how the bullying of fat kids, kids who wear glasses, and kids with ginger hair is routinely condoned in schools and even subtly encouraged by not a few teachers and parents.

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