Thursday, April 15, 2010

    CULTURE WATCH: The Dayof Silence

    April 16, 2010 will be a day of silence in many high schools across the United States as students make a silent witness against the oppression of teens whose orientation is not heterosexual. 

     It is not unusual to hear Christians speak out against this silent demonstration of solidarity, claiming it to be some attempt to force an agenda or make a political statement. And I suppose this is as should be expected. In most cultures, those with the most power often try to silence minorities who dare to demand simple dignity and respect.  In our heterocentrist culture, it is perhaps difficult for many to even understand what GLBT youth endure on a daily basis in schools where intolerance is often given a pass by school administrators and teachers (and I say this as a former public school teacher). 

    We cannot ignore, however, the sinful way in which the Church has treated these individuals. Proof of this has been reflected in several recent national surveys which show that the exodus of most young adults from our churches is due in part to what they perceive as the abject intolerance of Christianity as it is practiced today.  While the Church often argues against homosexuality by noting how many GLBT persons are depressed and conflicted, they fail to see that it is their own oppression of these individuals which adds fuel to the fire of their mistreatment.  What would happen tomorrow if the Church repented of its sin of marginalizing these teens and instead embraced them as fellow children of God?  Perhaps you read recently that Christian singer Jennifer Knapp is gay. In an interview with Christianity Today she states: 

    It never occurred to me that I was in something that should be labeled as a "struggle." The struggle I've had has been with the church, acknowledging me as a human being, trying to live the spiritual life that I've been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I've always approached my faith. I still consider my hope to be a whole human being, to be a person of love and grace. So it's difficult for me to say that I've struggled within myself, because I haven't. I've struggled with other people. I've struggled with what that means in my own faith. I have struggled with how that perception of me will affect the way I feel about myself.

    Ultimately, the Day of Silence is not about what you or I as Christains think about sexual orientation or sin. It is about standing with the marginalized and oppressed and demanding simply dignity and care for all young people.

    If you and I were to walk onto a high school campus tomorrow and see one group standing on the sidewalk with signs protesting against homosexuality and perversion and another group sitting in silence, hand-in-hand as GLBT youth and straight allies, which group do you think Jesus would go and join? I have no doubt in my mind.



    andyhartfield said...

    Maybe He wouldn't join a group at all? Maybe He would have something to say to both groups. Maybe He'd stoop down and write something in the sand. Maybe He'd start His own group.

    I wish I knew what He would do. My WWJD bracelet isn't helping me with this one ;)

    Brian said...

    Thanks, Andy. Good thoughts.

    Audrey said...

    thanks for posting on this.

    Trinity Youth said...

    I created a facebook group called "We love Jennifer Knapp" - become a fan here if you want to show your support...