Christian students across the nation will participate Monday in the “Day of Truth” to openly voice their views about sexuality.
Held each year since 2005, the Day of Truth was established to “counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and [express] an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective,” according to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the Christian legal group that sponsors the annual event.
The Day of Truth purposely comes at the heels of the annual “Day of Silence” – a day when students vow silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment against gays and lesbians.
Both events are student run, organized and supported.
"The Day of Truth is a powerful opportunity for young people to courageously and compassionately share biblical truth with fellow students – many of whom are longing for real answers to complex questions about faith and sexuality," says Scott Davis of Exodus International, which this year teamed up with ADF to foster ongoing dialogue between students with diverse beliefs about faith and sexuality.
"Authentic tolerance is exercised when every student can express their views and every student is treated with respect and dignity," he adds.
Students who plan to participate in the Day of Truth will do so in a variety of ways, including wearing shirts with the Day of Truth logo, handing out Christian literature to other students, holding events that support the biblical perspective of homosexuality, and initiating media coverage to gain exposure for the movement.
ADF explains that a positive aspect of the activism is that it does not include techniques that disrupt class or other school activities, which the organization suggests the Day of Silence does.
The Day of Silence, which has been held each year in April since 1996 and was held just this past Friday, encourages students to take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBT students and their supporters.
Christian conservatives, however, argue that the event politicizes the classroom to support the belief that homosexuality is moral and forces propaganda and acceptance of high-risk behavior into schools with little – if any – room for opposing views.
Pro-family group Capitol Resource Institute recently released a video report questioning whether the Day of Silence is "really about preventing name-calling, bullying, and harassment ... or silencing different viewpoints."
"We believe that respectful dialogue is important when people discuss disagreements on social issues,” said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute.
“Unfortunately, we are not seeing that respect extended to us by Day of Silence supporters," she added after her group posted audio clips of threatening voicemails that were far from tolerant.
Capitol Resource Institute this year was among some 20 Christian-based conservative groups that called for a massive student walkout from middle and high schools participating last Friday’s Day of Silience.
Though the new response to GLSEN’s annual event involved prominent groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Liberty Council, it wasn’t widely accepted by the general Christian population – many of whom felt the walkout was not productive.
"How can we get anything accomplished if we leave the field?" posed Dr. Warren Throckmorton, professor of Psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, on his blog on Crosswalk.com.
Like promoters of the Day of Truth, Throckmorton, an expert in sexuality issues, has been encouraging believers to respond to Day of Silence supporters in a positive manner and to pave the way for constructive dialogue.
Many of the students participating in the Day of Truth on Monday will be passing out cards during school hours – but outside of class time – with the following message:
I'm speaking the Truth to break the silence.
True tolerance means that people with differing – even opposing – viewpoints can freely
exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other.
It's time for an honest conversation about homosexuality.
There's freedom to change if you want to.
According to Exodus International, nearly 5,000 students will be participating in this year’s Day of Truth.