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Monday, October 15, 2012

Schools Cancel Anti-Bullying Event Amid Controversy

It was supposed to be a day to bring kids together. But instead, the nationwide “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” is causing controversy after a Christian evangelical group claimed it was a way to promote a gay agenda.

American Family Association, said the project is a way to promote “the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.” The group is urging parents to keep their children home from school for the Oct. 30th event.

About 200 schools have already canceled activities planned around the day.

The program was started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and they say Mix-It-Up At Lunch is aimed at breaking up cliques and stopping bullying.

The law center recently added the American Family Association to its national list of active hate groups.

But the group’s director, Bryan Fischer, denied that charge to the the New York Times:

“The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the association. “We tell the truth about homosexual behavior.”

Guest:

  • Kim Severson, New York Times

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  • J__o__h__n

    Not that we needed any more proof the American Family Association is awful.

    • aknman49

      Indeed.
      Learning tolerance…  gee, how “un-Christian”
      It seriously makes you wonder if AFA and other groups ever actually read the words and teachings of Jesus.  He was, presumably, the guy who set the standard they allegedly follow.

      • Chiatrollll

        Luke 14:16 “if anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” Tolerance for your own family that doesn’t believe in him

        John 14:6 “and that anyone that dies without having believed in Him, will be sent to eternal hell” Tolerance for other religions

        Matthew 15:22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Jesus being a bigot

        I could go on all year. the guy was frequently a jerk and if you are often a jerk you can follow his teachings too.

        • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

          27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
          28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.I’m an anti-theist, dude.  No need to deliberately mislead and decontextualize a parable to prove your point. I hoped that we’d moved past that.

        • aknman49

          Yeah, yeah…  
          Far be it from me to be an apologist for any religion.
          But since you couldn’t contain yourself:

          Luke 6:27 -31 “…to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

          If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

          Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

          That’s what I was talking about.

  • Kathy

    If the American Family Association doesn’t want to be called a hate group, maybe they should find some purpose other than encouraging hate. This is a group that has equated gay people with nazis and terrorists, that has called for our children to be kidnapped from us. Groups that exist for the sole purpose of encouraging hatred of another group are hate groups.

  • Sky8226

    I would hope to see the schools push back against any suggestion that they are encouraging discrimination with their anti-bullying, anti-discrimination programs.  Efforts to expand people’s thinking must be defended.  We cannot slide into knee-jerk responses to loud, nasty voices that practice hate.  Groups like the American Family Association are not due special attention or deference just because they are willing to be the loud, crazy demanding voice in the room.  Say no to social discrimination and hatred.  Our behavior teaches children that hatred is wrong or it teaches that we can be counted on to knuckle under to bullying.

  • AF_Whigs

    What’s most disappointing is that 200 schools have cancelled their events – in response to this group?  Who knows.  As a society we should not give power to hate mongerers and those who seek to obfuscate the truth for their own ends.  What would have happened if those 200 schools had refused to cancel their events and instead stood up to the bullies?  Nothing, other than all those kids would’ve been able to experience something (hopefully) positive.   Small fringe groups should not be given the power to control what goes on in our society.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amy-Lubchansky/503387280 Amy Lubchansky

    Why does a religious group have any say whatsoever in our public schools?

  • Maria

    Christian evangelical groups should focus on instilling solid and unbreakable values in their children. They should trust our education system. I’m a christian, and I want my children to be well rounded individuals that are capable of making their own decisions—I am confident that my values will carry through in the lunch table. But I am also happy that daughter’s school is participating in this effort, this will give my daughter much needed exposure to other clicks, cultures, ethnicities, languages, music, art, sports, hobbies, and yes…sexualities.
    Whether you’re a Christian, Catholic, Mormon, or a Jehovah Witness parent, you are never guaranteed that your son/daughter will never bully someone. So please allow children to mingle….who knows maybe they’ll learn something new….better yet, maybe your values will carry through and they will be able to influence a troubled soul/child.

  • Carrie

    It sounds like schools promoting anti-bullying were bullied into stopping their events.  What is that teaching our kids? 

    • Vanessa D

      Possibly it teaches that so-called Faith groups have far too much power in  this country. Too bad the schools caved instead of standing up; that would have been a proper lesson.

  • nandibee

    Mix It Up sounds like a wonderful idea, and if carefully implemented could be way richer than math drills and test prep.  The kids might need some conditioning and coaching in the attitude and approach to take with their interaction.  Apparently the program was started 11 years ago.  I wish a journalist would interview kids who “mixed it up”.  I would be very curious to know what actual students have to say about the actual experience.

  • June

    I think the bottom line is that, if these Christian parents want their kids to treat school as their mission field, they will need to (a) associate with all kinds of peers and (b) remember that the only way Jesus changed anyone was to blow them away with love, acceptance and forgiveness. Sorry folks, your kids need to exit the “bubble” in order to obey the Great Commission.

  • http://twitter.com/jadecarter_ J

     Cowards. – fin.

  • Sam

    If any of these religious groups wish to dictate policies, they need to start paying their fair share of taxes.

  • Stephanie

    This angers me. There is a distinct difference between an anti-bullying event and a GSA. It seems like these angry “Christian” parents support the elitism of high school cliques and the inter-subcultural prejudice. That is disgusting. I agree with Vanessa and Amy, that they do have too much power in this country. The school could have said no; religion should not have authority when it comes to education. And then they were pansycakes and gave these people power over them. If their community is so homophobic, they can have a gathering in their church involving an anti-gay rant. But that has no place in our schools, and that is not a value we would like our children to develop or internalize. Bullying HURTS. Children are dying because of such hateful phenomenon. That’s okay with them?

    Gaga would not be proud.

  • http://www.t-f-m.co.uk/ Digital marketing seminar

    Outstanding work yet again! I am excited for your forthcoming post!
     

  • Hollie Farnbach

    I’m still really confused about whhat made that gay at all…

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