NEWS: Scroll to the bottom for downloadable graphics you can use to communicate the Golden Rule Pledge.
To signal your participation, click here.
On the Day of Silence, (April 25, 2008) thousands of students in high school and college will attempt to remain silent for an entire school day to bring awareness to bullying and harassment of transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexually identified students.
Many straight Christian and conservative students are conflicted about this day. They do not affirm homosexual behavior but they also loathe disrespect, harassment or violence toward any one, including their GLBT peers. Some conservative Christian groups call for parents to keep their kids home on the Day of Silence.
This group supports a different option. We believe the teaching of Christ in the Golden Rule should guide our actions and attitudes regarding all. We also believe that we should work to make school a safe place for all students.
Thus, we advocate students spread a message like this on the Day of Silence:
This is what I’m doing:
I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated.
Will you join me in this pledge?
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31).
Because the Day of Silence participants will be passing out cards describing why they are silent and what the Day means to them, we advocate exchanging a card or paper in return. Write or type the Golden Rule pledge on pieces of paper or an index card and pass it out at your school if the Day of Silence is being observed. We also have .pdf files with the group logo that can be used for the same purpose.
The Day of Silence cards passed out by the students observing the event will ask, “What are you going to do to end the silence?” meaning what will you do to help secure a safe environment for GLBT identified students. This group advocates that we answer that question with a commitment to their safety and the safety of all based on the teachings of Christ.
A safe zone is where the teachings of Christ are truly observed. GLBT students and peers as well as other who appear different have been the target of harassment, violence and scorn. We believe this is wrong. The church should lead the way in combatting violence and harassment in schools. A variety of options exist on the DOS, including silence. Whatever option one chooses, we do not encourage protests, divisive actions or criticism of others. One way to live out our faith is to treat others fairly and with respect.
If you have a Facebook account, you can join the Facebook group here.
Please let us know what you plan to do on the Day of Silence via this online survey (just click the link).
You may download graphics files of cards which can be used to communicate the Golden Rule pledge. Just print them out, preferably on card stock, cut them out and they are ready to use.
Statement of Bob Stith, National Strategist for Gender Issues, Southern Baptist Convention regarding the Golden Rule Pledge:
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.