The Nation's Pulse

The Curious Rationale for a “Day of Silence”

Across the nation today, youngsters will protest "the silencing that gays and lesbians experience in their daily lives."

By 4.26.06

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Here and there, across the nation, students will observe a "Day of Silence" today, recognizing "the silencing that gays and lesbians experience in their daily lives." It's sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLESN), which predicts wishfully a half-million participants at 4,000 schools. As usual, Manhattan's Chapin School will fall in line with the program. Still, some of the parents aren't thrilled with the policy, particularly as it extends to the girls at the K end of K-12, and Chapin has sent a letter meant to justify the school's complicity with GLESN. Not surprisingly, the letter is unimpressive, as are other rationales for this "Day of Silence." Here are some obvious flaws with Chapin's policy and explanation:

1. Preachy silence is not sufficient for the school. The "silent" students will be given a platform for "sharing their reflections" verbally in a required chapel.

2. Far from being silenced, gays in our society are given every imaginable media and political platform to air their convictions. And totally neglected is the possibility that gays are silenced by their own sense of compassion for their families and by their shame, informed by conscience.

3. Critics of the day are patronized, and their substantive objections demeaned by psychobabble, with talk of their unfortunate "anxiety, "uneasiness," "apprehension," and "disquiet."

4. The school speaks of making itself a "safe" place for gays, as if they were in danger there. If anyone is in "danger" in that school, it is the dissenter from the program of homosexual normalization. The school proudly proclaims its openness and respect for diversity, but it is virtually inconceivable that Chapin would prove equally open and respectful toward faith traditions denouncing homosexuality and promoting sexual purity.

5. Though claiming to "prepare women to thrive and lead in an increasingly complex world," the school is preparing women to make spectacles of themselves in a world where billions of people of many faiths and cultures understand homosexuality to be aberrant. How, for instance, will Chapin girls who admire homosexuality relate to the millions of Hispanic immigrants who find such thinking odd at best? And if Chapin thinks it is helping girls by providing a place where "no one is afraid to be themselves," then it fails to understand that much of the world has little patience for people whose selves are addled morally.

6. Concerned that some small children might have picked up derogatory language, the school elects to begin its brainwashing in kindergarten, spreading the message of breezy sexuality to many for whom sexuality is not yet an issue. Thus, it further robs these girls of their childhood.

7. The letter speaks warmly of the school's efforts to guarantee appreciation for "different kinds of loving family structures," including, no doubt, gay marriage. In this school, it is difficult to hold traditional marriage in highest esteem and to suggest that the students should move in that direction.

8. While trumpeting its eagerness to "tackle topics and issues that cause discomfort" and to promote "thoughtful discussions," the school shows its lockstep devotion to pro-homosexuality indoctrination. The school motto is "Bravely and Rightly," but the school practice is "Politically Correct and Wrongly So."

You expect this sort of silliness on college campuses, but, as the Chapin case shows, it's found its way into grade schools, to the children's -- and our society's -- misfortune.

Mark Coppenger is managing editor of the Kairos Journal.

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Mark Coppenger is managing editor of the Kairos Journal.