A high school student from Colorado won first place in Focus on the Family's Day of Dialogue blog contest for her effort to answer the question, "Does God really care?"
The national contest was held in conjunction with the family ministry's sponsored event earlier this year that encouraged students to talk to their friends about God's love and design for marriage and sexuality.
Katie, 17, whose last name was withheld by FOTF, wrote that "God always has something new to teach us … Especially throughout high school, hormones are running rampant. Relationships become a big deal. Our dreams fade and change. We face drama with friends, teachers, boyfriends, girlfriends… It's a lot to deal with for someone who hasn't even lived two decades yet."
Gay activists voiced their displeasure about the event on websites such as ThinkProgress. Despite protests from the LGBT community that the Day of Dialogue (held on April 19, the day before the Day of Silence) is "blatant in-school evangelism" and meant to promote "harassment and shame" of students, Katie did not address homosexuality in her post.
Instead, she focused on the fact that regardless whether someone is Christian or not, people cannot afford to "leave God in the background."
She wrote, "He should be in the forefront of our lives, because He's the one we're living for! The truth is, His word will always give us the hope and peace we need, even if it comes in the form of something less than pleasant at first.
"Knowing this, why wouldn't we want to share His truth with everyone?"
The second place winner was Charlie from Ohio, also 17. In his post, "Speaking Up for Biblical Values," he discussed the importance for Christians to no longer remain silent on controversial issues.
"Students are now realizing that being quiet about a serious issue is not going to solve it at all," he wrote. "The Day of Dialogue has made it clear that we can show love and kindness toward people who are confused and hurting without being silent about it. We can talk about God's design for marriage, sexuality, and gender and address the causes and solutions to bullying at the same time.
"The truth will flow forth when we can freely and deeply speak about God's law and His design for human nature," he continued.
Charlie predicted that the Day of Dialogue will "emerge as a monumental grassroots initiative that brings Judeo-Christian morals and traditional family ethics back to our nation that God has so blessed."
He concluded, "Rather than be confused about marriage and sexuality, young people can look to spread the gospel that has proven to be the foundation of American law and social values. The fate of a civil and prosperous society depends on these ideals."
For Focus on the Family's announcement of the winners and to read both blog posts, click here.