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‘Day of Truth’ gives students way to counter homosexual agenda

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–For the second year in a row, students across the nation this spring will join together to oppose the promotion of homosexuality in schools and to stand up for biblical values.

The second annual Day of Truth, sponsored by the Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund, will take place April 27 — the day after the Day of Silence, which is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. While the Day of Silence requires teens to remain silent to promote the homosexual agenda and protest what organizers perceive as “anti-gay” discrimination, the Day of Truth simply asks junior high, high school and college students to wear a T-shirt and to pass out cards which say, in part, “I am speaking the Truth to break the silence.” The cards are passed out outside of class time.

“What [the Day of Truth] does is it provides an opportunity to participating students to express a different perspective from the Day of Silence,” ADF attorney Delia Van Loenen told Baptist Press. “The reason that’s so important is because students can’t be expected to make good decisions if they’re only being told part of the story — if they’re only getting information from the Day of Silence.”

The first Day of Truth saw students from 350 schools participate, and ADF organizers hope to have twice that number this year. By comparison, the Day of Silence — which started at the University of Virginia — had students from less than 100 colleges and high schools participate in the first year it went national, and didn’t pass the 300 mark until its third year.

But much to the consternation of Christian conservatives, the Day of Silence has grown, and supporters expect students from some 4,000 schools to take part this year. It has received the backing of a few politicians along the way, including former California Gov. Gray Davis, who issued a proclamation naming April 10, 2002, the National Day of Silence. In some schools, the Day of Silence has had the support of teachers and administration.

A student in California helped inspire the creation of the Day of Truth. In 2004 Chase Harper, a San Diego-area high school student, protested his school’s participation in the Day of Silence by wearing a homemade T-shirt that read on the front, “Be Ashamed” and “Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned,” and on the back read, “Homosexuality is Shameful” and “Romans 1:27.” He was suspended, and the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on his behalf. ADF said school administrations participated in the Day of Silence, putting pressure on students to do the same.

“If they know that there is an option … and they see our love and see that there is a choice, that’s the only way that they’re going to be set free,” Harper says on a Day of Truth video about teens struggling with homosexuality.

All Day of Truth resources are designed to fall within constitutional limits. The T-shirts have a “Day of Truth” logo on the front and say “The Truth cannot be silenced” on the back. The cards, which are designed to be given to friends, say, “I am speaking the Truth to break the silence. Silence isn’t freedom. It’s a constraint. Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed. By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved.”

Said Van Loenen, “Our truth is based on Christian love, and that’s the message that is promoted with the Day of Truth. Unfortunately, a lot of Day of Silence supporters forget the fact that the First Amendment protects these students’ right not only to have that perspective but to share that perspective….

“They claim to be about tolerance, but what they’re really about is intolerance to opposing viewpoints,” Van Loenen added. “The Day of Truth is all about tolerance for that opposing viewpoint. All we’re trying to do is promote an honest and open and respectful discussion between students.”

Day of Truth kits, which cost $10, include a T-shirt, a stack of 25 cards and a DVD. Financial assistance is available for those who need it. The kits can be ordered online at www.DayOfTruth.org or by calling 1-800-Tell-ADF.

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust