Golden Rule Pledge 2010

NOTE: The most recent posts begin after this introduction to the Golden Rule Pledge. Scroll down for more…

 

Don’t walkout, walk along side and be a hero. Don’t preach at gay kids and call it conversation. Instead, walk along side and listen.

The Day of Silence is being observed on Friday, April 16 this year.

On the Day of Silence, many young people around the nation will remain silent at school in order to bring attention to name-calling, bullying and harassment of gay and lesbian students in schools. When other students ask about the reason for their silence, many will hand out a card with the following message:

Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.

DAY of SILENCE – What are you going to do to end the Silence?

We believe these students are asking for and should receive an answer to their question. We believe the answer should be a commitment to mutual respect and safety. The Golden Rule Pledge provides an way to communicate that pledge of respect. In reply to the question asked on the Day of Silence card, students can offer a verbal pledge to treat others with respect and/or a silent reply with a Golden Rule Pledge card.

Some Christian and conservative groups called for a boycott of the Day of Silence in 2008 and 2009, in some cases leading to loud protests. Many of the same groups are calling for a similar boycott this year. Still others are organizing what they call a “Day or Truth.” The DOT event seeks to inform gay students that Christianity does not approve of homosexual behavior via the wearing of T-shirts and passing out of cards. This year this event is being held on April 15, the day before the Day of Silence. We believe this event builds more walls than bridges.

We seek a different approach. The Golden Rule Pledgers will show up at school on both the 15th and 16th and live out the teaching of Christ to treat others as they want to be treated. Rather than engage in debates over beliefs about homosexuality, we advocate a pledge to live by the Golden Rule. This can be offered verbally and/or by giving out a Golden Rule Pledge card.

Please use the contact form to get involved…

Fill out this survey here…

Join the Facebook group here…

Golden Rule Pledge endorsements

DOWNLOAD THE PLEDGE CARDS BY CLICKING THIS LINK

The Golden Rule Pledge has been endorsed by several evangelical leaders. Here are just three…

Andrew Marin, president of the Marin Foundation and author of the new book, Love is an Orientation, recently wrote to endorse the Golden Rule Pledge. Marin said:

I am a full believer in the Golden Rule Pledge. Instead of taking our kids out of school, we have a unique, and wonderful opportunity to be able to teach the next generation of Christians what it means to peacefully and productively build bridges with our gay and lesbian neighbors.

Bob Stith is the National Strategist for Gender Issues with the Southern Baptist Convention. Bob wrote:

Several years ago I stood outside a church which was being picketed by two very vocal and rabid “Christian” groups. Standing on the sidewalk were also some young lesbians doing their own picketing. The first group became more and more vocal in their opposition and insults. They began telling the young women how despicable they were and how God despised them.

At that point I walked over and told the girls, “I am a Christian and I do believe the Bible says homosexual behavior is sin. But I want you to know what these people are saying is wrong. I want to apologize to you and tell God does love you very much. Don’t ever let anyone convince you He doesn’t.”

I have long thought Christians were missing a great opportunity by not being more vocal in helping to make our schools safe places for all kids. It doesn’t require that we compromise our beliefs. Indeed it can give us a great opportunity that we might not otherwise have.

What a wonderful opportunity to express our convictions in a way that is positive, loving and redemptive. What a wonderful opportunity to train our children to care about all people, to model the example of Jesus and the woman at the well.

Who knows but what this could even be the beginning of a movement that will turn the tide of school shootings and violence in the hallways.

Wayne Jacobsen is the publisher of the best-selling book, The Shack. Recently on his Lifestream blog, he wrote:

…many public school students will observe a Day of Silence as a means to protest harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been going on for almost a decade and many parents who are against ‘the gay agenda’ feel the need to keep their kids home that day, or participate in a Day of Truth that makes sure everyone in their district knows they consider homosexuality to be immoral. Is this the way Jesus would respond.

Perhaps a better way to encourage faith-based students to respond would be to adopt the Golden Rule Pledge. “I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated.” It allows a pro-active response to sharing the burden to increase mutual respect for all, regardless of our differing points of view.

While she did not endorse the GRP official, Eliza Byard of GLSEN, a sponsor of the Day of Silence, said this about the Goldren Rule Pledge:

The Day of Silence embodies a commitment to everyone being treated with respect — people treating each other as they wish to be treated themselves — and highlights a crucial area of school climate where we currently fall short of that goal. We welcome participation in the Day of Silence of students of all backgrounds and beliefs who recognize and acknowledge this common commitment, and feel that your identification of that common ground is a step forward.

Golden Rule Pledge 2009

The Day of Silence is being observed on Friday, April 17 this year.

The Golden Rule Pledge remains an option for students who do not feel a part of the Day of Silence event to engage in a positive and safe response. Some Christian and conservative groups called for a boycott of the Day of Silence in 2008, in some cases leading to loud protests. We seek a different approach. The Golden Rule Pledgers will show up at school and live out the teaching of Christ to treat others as they want to be treated.

Please use the contact form to get involved…

Also fill out this survey here…

Golden Rule Pledge on the Day of Silence: University of North Carolina-Greensboro

Meryl P. is a youth leader, student at UNC-G and a singer-songwriter. She wrote to me here her experience on the Day of Silence (4/25/08). She also helped some of her youth group to pledge the Golden Rule. These reports will come in a separate post.

For me, it was an incredible day. The Lord speaks in silence, and that’s what he did for me. Through my prayer about showing love to others, the Lord really revealed His love for me. I had the opportunity to pass out several flyers and I could tell our actions made people think. I had a few people from the community, many homosexual themselves, tell me what an impact it made to see christians participating on their behalf. One of them commented that they “aren’t seeking approval, just kindness.”

Read the rest of Meryl’s report here…

Day of Silence and Golden Rule Pledge at Appalachian State University

I want to share one very early report of efforts on the Day of from J. K. (name removed at the request of the student), a student at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

J. was an early supporter of the Golden Rule Pledge and as you will see, used it as a springboard to mobilize Christian groups on her campus for outreach. She wrote to me today (Saturday, the 26th) with her experiences of the day. It is long but well worth the read. Read the whole article by clicking the link below…

Yesterday was the Day of Silence. A national event where students on their campuses are silent for the entire day to bring awareness to the silencing of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) students. This community has been daily silenced by the name-calling, bullying, and harassment simply because of their sexuality. Many Christians are confused about how to respond to this day because they do not agree with homosexuality, but they do agree that hatred based on it is not acceptable.

This year I decided to get involved. I went to Campus Crusade for Christ as well as Intervarsity Fellowship to present the idea of participating. They both said they wanted to participate but I was absolutely astonished when Campus Crusade said that not only did they want to support it as individuals, but as a ministry. When I heard this, my heart was pounding- it was a prayer come true.

I can’t give you a count of how many students from the ministries actually participated. It might have been one, or many. But to me, it was their sincere desire to do something that really hit me hard. I have long been frustrated with the Christian community’s response to the GLBT group. When Crusade called me, a little piece of anger towards the church was cast away.

To read the rest, go here…

Join the Golden Rule Pledge and Prayer Event

If you have a Facebook.com account, you can join us tomorrow as we pray for the Golden Rule objectives. If you don’t you can join us right here.

Here is the Facebook page.

If you do not join Facebook, check out the following and signal your willingness to join us by leaving a comment.

We want to join with thousands of students nationally who seek safe schools for all students. On the Day of Silence, the focus is on making schools safe for GLBT identified students.

Many GLBT people do not believe conservative Christians care about them as individuals and we would like to change that situation.

Today and every day we pledge to honor the Golden Rule and specifically commit to treat our GLBT peers with respect and dignity.

We pray for the safety of all students and specifically today for the safety of GLBT peers.

We ask for help in loving others the way we have been loved by God.

We are seeking people to commit to pray for these objectives in time slots of various lengths from 6pm (EST), Thursday, April 24 until 6pm (EST), Friday, April 25. Please message Warren Throckmorton to let us know when you can set aside this time to pray.