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October 6th, 2010
05:37 PM ET

Christian group pulls support for event challenging homosexuality

CNN's Dan Gilgoff filed this report:

A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group's president told CNN on Wednesday.

"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.

Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The Day of Truth, held on the same day as the Day of Silence, "was established to counter the promotion of homosexual behavior and to express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective," according to a manual for this year's event published by Exodus International.

On the Day of Silence, students take a "a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools," according to a web site run by the event's sponsor, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The Day of Silence began in 1996. The Day of Truth started in 2005 and attracted the participation of 6,000 students nationwide this year, Chambers said.

"I thank Exodus for making this very important step," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard on Wednesday after hearing of Exodus' decision. "The Day of Truth was an effort to push a very specific set of opinions about homosexuality into schools in a way that was inappropriate and divisive."

On the Day of Truth, middle and high school students are encouraged to wear Day of Truth T-shirts and to distribute cards that say "It's time for an honest conversation about the biblical truth for sexuality," according to Exodus' manual for this year's event.

"I don't think it's necessary anymore," Chambers said of the event on Wednesday. "We want to help the church to be respectful of all its neighbors, to help those who want help and to be compassionate toward people who may hold a different worldview from us."

Chambers said that Exodus International - which promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," according to its website - has not changed its position on homosexuality but has reevaluated how best to communicate its message.

An expert in evangelical responses to homosexuality says Exodus' decision is likely to be criticized by some conservatives.

"This is a very significant move, a very real break," said Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College. "Some will say that simply naming sexual orientation provides legitimacy for homosexuality."

At least one major Christian group, Focus on the Family, stood by the Day of Truth on Wednesday.

"Without question, Day of Truth is a loving and redemptive way students of faith can express their views positively in response to GLSEN's Day of Silence which only presents one point of view," Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, said in a statement.

"In contrast to the whole idea of 'silence,' Day of Truth has encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights and have an open dialogue while respectfully listening to others," Cushman said.

The Day of Truth was started by the conservative group Alliance Defense Fund, Chambers said, but the group transferred primary responsibility for the event to Exodus this year.

Chambers said he contacted Alliance Defense Fund last week about his decision and that it's unclear whether that group will continue to sponsor the Day of Truth.

"As the organization leading the event, Exodus International is free to make decisions they deem best regarding the event," the Alliance Defense Fund said in a statement Wednesday.

"Contrary to comments by GLSEN falsely labeling the Day of Truth as 'inappropriate and divisive,' the event was always about the right of students to peacefully express their point of view on the subject of homosexual behavior," the statement said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Homosexuality • Schools

soundoff (930 Responses)
  1. lolomgsh

    I'm a Christian. If you seek an honest life, and you seek the truth, and you seek the way of love, then you are already seeking my God. His name is Jesus, he is the way, the truth, and the life. You dont have to call him by his name Yeshua, you just have to seek him. 🙂 Gay or not, anyone can do it 🙂

    October 7, 2010 at 2:35 am |
    • vim - no vigor

      Jesus may have been gay.
      Yeshua, Emmanuel, Nazarene, King of the Jews, Messiah, IXOYE, Christ, Blessed Lamb, Truth, Way, Life, Light of the World, Lord, Son of Man, Son of God, God the Son, ....whatever. This Yeshua thing you've got is pretty weird.

      If anyone can seek him, what about him? Can't he just speak up a bit? Let us all know what's what?
      When death grabs ahold of you and shuts down your brain, what makes you think any of your thoughts and beliefs will survive the death of your brain?
      Do you think and believe with your soul or not?

      October 7, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  2. sedreck fields

    TOO FEAR THE LORD IS THE BEGINING OF WISDOM!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:35 am |
  3. Mark 6311

    "This not peaceful?" "it's war?" You obviously have absolutely no idea about any of Jesus Christ's teachings....

    October 7, 2010 at 2:31 am |
  4. sedreck fields

    THIS NOT PEACEFUL IT's A WAR AND YOU MUST CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST OR THIS GAY LIFE STYLE!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:28 am |
    • dalis

      Are Jesus and being gay mutually exclusive? Why? Please explain.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:37 am |
  5. Jamrock

    Hebrews 12: 14, calls us as Christians to live in peace with the world, not I firmly believe that the "Day of Truth" though not intensional encourages bullying and physical confrontation and/or retaliation. As a Christian how is gay, I'm not suggesting that 'Conservatives' stop preach the 'good news' as they know it; however, I would dear say that the man which they vigorously defend and promote would in some wise be disappointed in their action and would rebuke them. You can get your point across while being peaceful.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:22 am |
    • Marleny

      Jehosh27 on October 20, 2011 Well, the contest is over now, but I think The Last Samurai would be great. You start off with a gun, and know next to nhniotg about swords. (how about the indian raid for the tutorial?) and as the game progresses, factions come into view, and you can side with whomever you want. Multiple, alternate endings, and even alternate fighting styles. Maybe Algren fights AGAINST the samurai at the end? it would be a very fun game, I think, especially if Bioware made it.

      March 4, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  6. watch therefore,

    society needs to stop protecting the rights of gays and lesbians and should focus on our mere extinction if we dont repent, and hed to the words of CHRIST, we should not be spending even a minute talking about gays, bc the main story is how ignorant and stupid society has become, KNOW THIS, IF YOU REMOVE THE WORDS CHRIST FROM CHRISTMAS AND DECIDE THAT IS NO LONGER A STORY ABOUT A BABY FROM BETHLEHEN AND NOW ITS ABOUT SANTA CLAUS, AND PEOPLE ARE LEARNING TO ACCEPT OTHER RELIGIONS MOVING TO NY THEN YOU CAN EXPECT EVIL AND DISOBIENCE TO PROVAIL how can any group of people who blantenly marry in a church before GOD ALMIGHTY and demand that society accept them, have any place NEXT TO A HOLY GOD IN HEAVEN , WHO IS WITH OUT SIN, ACCEPT THEIR SIN. I TELL YOU THE TRUTH,

    October 7, 2010 at 2:14 am |
    • peace2all

      @watch therefore,

      Thank you for your 'opinion'..... You said ..."I tell you the truth." No, you are stating your personal 'beliefs.'

      Which in this case, as in a lot of cases... beliefs do not = *absolute fact..or truth*

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:19 am |
    • Mark 6311

      Your rational here astounds me, your only motivation for Christ as your Lord and Saviour is because you fear Hell? Really? What ever happened to love and compassion? Does "And they know we are Christians by our love" ring a bell? "God loves you, no matter who you are or what you've done" sounds much better than "you're gonna burn in a lake of fire if you don't change your evil ways!"

      October 7, 2010 at 2:30 am |
    • peace2all

      @Mark 6311

      Yeah.... I prefer that approach as well, even if I am not a 'believer'.... but, I would rather see people preaching acceptance, love and kindness to all, then hell/fire and brimstone version.

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  7. sedreck fields

    Very Very soon I will SEE THE KING!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:01 am |
    • peace2all

      @sedreck fields

      Why wait........ If you go to the article on this blog with the ti-tle of: "CANCER PATIENT: I SEE 'JESUS' IN MY MRI." You can see the King right now...!!!!

      Unless you are talking about 'ELVIS' of course.... the other King... 🙂

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:15 am |
    • tweakurnose

      @peace2all

      Oh no...you didn't...(gasp)...actually mean that about....(gasp)...ELVIS?!?

      (gasp!)

      October 7, 2010 at 2:28 am |
    • peace2all

      @tweakurnose

      Yeah... I sure did...!!! It's late, and I thought a bit of humor, even if I was the only one laughing, was appropriate.

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:38 am |
  8. sedreck fields

    One day very soon WE WILL ALL SEE THIS GOD AND HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • Mark 6311

      I do not quite understand why this opinion is relevant to the discussion. This may be true for you, but please, just let people live in their ignorance. They are much happier there. Why waste this life fretting about the next?

      October 7, 2010 at 2:01 am |
  9. Ryan M

    The winner in the gay marriage fight will be the side that doesn't tire first.

    And the gay marriage proponents will win because they are fighting for actual, tangible rights, whereas gay marriage opponents are fighting for a mere concept: the idea that marriage should be between a man and woman. Proponents stand to gain a lot, while the opponents stand to lose very little.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:49 am |
    • You are so-oooo wrong

      Ga ymarriage is a man-made novelty.
      Since creation ma rriage has been around, it was no creat Ed by men or the church. Every creature and species abide by these same principles of male tofe male. Get it straight, Maggie!

      October 7, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  10. Truth Seeker

    You defenders of religion keep some interesting company: Osama Bin LLaden, Iraninan Mullahs, Saudi Wahabists (who will cut your head off in public if you preach anything but Islam), Joe Smith who preached that black people did not have souls (the church changed it mind after the civil rights act and are now bigotted against gay people), the Taliban, the pope and his child rapists, ignorant & stupid evangelicals who think that revelations is a roadmap to the future. Nice company you keep.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:49 am |
  11. Jessy

    1. Love Thy Neighbor.
    2. Thou shall not kill.

    If only every OTHER religious Christian and Catholic would remember these two commandments. And last time I checked, every follower of God must conform to all of the commandments to the letter.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • Mark 6311

      Finally! <3!!!

      October 7, 2010 at 1:55 am |
    • Gladys

      Mrdaveg140 on October 24, 2011 lovely reeviw video video!! Gotta Love the Ipad 2. Personally, I think this tablet is the best on the market and this reeviw is even better. Nice Review! as far as I got my iPad 2 for free, I can't complain:) Just Google for: freeipad2tablet.infoI'm typing using my iPad 2 right now

      March 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Diego

      nicknock100 on October 20, 2011 i think that No rocntuy for old men' would be cool just so long as you play as the bad guy with the MEATY shotgun cuz well watch the film, i think its very good AND the bad guy doesn't die so the Game has an ending to it without the player going through all the effort just to find out he dies anywaybtw, the shotgun is AWESOME!!!!!!

      March 4, 2012 at 2:44 am |
  12. sedreck fields

    Let's see can I spell this write IF YOU DONOT LIVE FOR JESUS CHRIST YOU WILL ALL GO TOO HELL!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:42 am |
    • Jessy

      True followers of Christ are those who willfully and "gladly" accept him into their lives. Not only that, threatening non-followers was never part of the brochure.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:46 am |
  13. Kathleen

    You can always count on a Christian to do the right thing - 10 years after everyone else already has.
    Isn't that religion dead yet?

    October 7, 2010 at 1:29 am |
    • MikelB2010

      No our "belief" is very much alive through Christ Jesus. It is eternal and will outlast any backhanded comment.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:37 am |
    • dalis

      @ MikelB2010 Why is being gay a sin? What exactly is the objection to it?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:48 am |
    • peace2all

      @dalis

      Hello dalis..!

      Just curious...... Has 'anyone' actually responded to your question yet....? If so, what were their answers, as it is getting late, and I am toooooo tired to go back through each and every post.

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:25 am |
    • Riley

      @peace2all

      It is one of the unwritten laws that such questions will rarely, if ever, be answered honestly in a CNN blog.

      pppppppp

      October 7, 2010 at 2:31 am |
    • dalis

      @ peace2all Honestly, I haven't gotten a single response.

      I'm not sure if they're intentionally trying not to engage, or if they think I'm messing with them. But, I'm completely serious. The question at the crux of this whole issue. If it's a sin to be gay, any Christian ought to be able to explain this. People's souls depend on it. If it's not a sin, well, this whole fight is over nothing.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:43 am |
    • peace2all

      @Riley

      Really..? Well, I have posted literally thousands of posts since the beginning of these Belief Blogs.... posting virtually every day.

      Didn't know it there was an unwritten rule.... I was curious as to his findings, as I would like to challenge anyone who is out to bash gays or anyone else for that matter.

      Thanks for responding @Riley

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:45 am |
  14. watch therefore,

    christ was beaten and cruxified on a cross bc he preached of being the SON OF MAN, and the only wAY to get to heaven but gays who are living in sin and refuse to repent are accepted at work and everywhere they go and society cheers them on when they get married or when a state recongizes them, and anytime they are killed society comes to their defense, but i say to you, they will not be JUDGED BY MAN, they will be judged by an ALMIGHTY GOD, WHOSE WORD CONDEMNS SIN, im am NOT condemning the person but the sin as christ preached,

    October 7, 2010 at 1:28 am |
  15. sedreck fields

    Sin is always with us until Jesus Christ comes Back!!! But I will say this IF YOU ALIVE RIGHT NOW YOU ARE BLESS!!! Because all the evil you spoke about It very well can be YOU!!!!! But it really donot matter if you think GOD is real or not BECAUSE WHEN HE GETS HERE YOU CAN ASK HIM ALL THOSE THINKS YOU JUST ASK ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ON YOUR JUDGEMENT DAY!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:24 am |
    • Robert

      Posted on Plato goes on to exlapin that the perfectly good individual, like the perfectly good city, is wise, courageous, moderate and just. He is wise, because his reason rules him. He is courageous because his spirit is the loyal ally of his reason. He is moderate because his desires obey the dictates of reason. He is just because each part of his soul “minds its own business.” The just man “arranges himself, becomes his own friend, and harmonizes the three parts, (reason, spirit, and desire) exactly like three notes in a harmonic scale.”

      March 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  16. watch therefore,

    christ was beaten and cruxified on a cross bc he preached of being the SON OF MAN, the only what to get to heaven but gays who are living in sin and refuse to repent are accepted at work and everywhere they go and society cheers them on when they get married or when a state recongizes them, and anytime they are killed society comes to their defense, but i say to you, is will not be man that will judge them iw till

    October 7, 2010 at 1:16 am |
    • dalis

      @ watch therefore ... In what way are gays "living in sin"?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:25 am |
    • peace2all

      @watch therefore,

      Truthfully, your spelling and grammar was so confusing to me, that I don't really have any idea as to what you were attempting to say.

      Please try again.....

      Thank you @watch therefore,

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 1:30 am |
  17. Ed Dumas

    "To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day." -President Boyd K. Packer

    October 7, 2010 at 1:11 am |
  18. Nathan

    Exodus is a Christian organization which engages in brainwashing Christians to think they like women. I don't applaud them for backing out, because I don't believe in their overall mission. Screw them! As for those of you saying gays are going to hell and whatnot, believe what you want to. I personally don't believe in anyone parting the seas, healing the sick, coming back to life, or any of that nonsense. To each their own.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  19. therealbluenote

    Oh my GOD, don't you people ever get tired of this crap? Look: Here is a question to every Christian who reads this post, and I would like an answer that makes sense... What is it, exactly, that your God does? You say he loves you, but he never shows it. You say he protects us all, but unspeakably horrible things happen to thousands, perhaps millions of people every single day. You attempt to say that it was 'His Will' when these things happen, but that's just a cop out. Where was God when Hitler was running Germany? Where was God when Mussolini was in charge in Italy, or Stalin in Russia? Where the h*ll was God when that girl got kidnapped, and disappeared for what, 15 years? Where was God when that drunk driver killed that entire family? Was that his will, too? It all HAD to be Gods will, according to Christian logic (two words that should NEVER be used together). So, if we take the belief that most Christians have, and expound upon it a little, we are left with a bit of a dillemma. That is to say, you preach that God gave us all free will, but you ALSO say that everything that happens is Gods will. Do you not see how there might, perhaps, be a little bit of a Logic Disconnect there? Please, help me. I don't want to disrespect you, but you make it difficult sometimes.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:04 am |
    • worthlessbling

      Everything that happens is not Gods will (as you suggested). Murder, divorce, genocide is not "God's will"
      People have their free will because only a God of love would do that for his creation. The bible does say however, that God will work all things together (bad and good) for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes. God did not say it would be easy...he said he would be with us.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:15 am |
    • Mark 6311

      Actually no, that's right...well with what I remember from Catholic doctrine. Even all of the crappy things that happen are God's Will, not because He creates bad things or people, but because He ALLOWS them to happen. He's not just some kid with an ant farm doing some sick experiments either. We are His creation with the gift and curse to make decisions for ourselves. I don't represent this as a Christian opinion on a whole, but its just the teaching I grew up with.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:09 am |
  20. CattleProd

    Was Jesus gay? It might explain why so many people find it hard to actually follow his so-called "way".
    And why he was such a nice gay – I mean guy.
    Taking off that towel to be a nekkid foot polisher? Sounds pretty gay and fetishy.
    That woman rubbed "nard" on his feet with her hair.

    The game is a-foot Watson! And it might be gay!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:01 am |
    • Truth Seeker

      don't know about jesus (if he even existed), but most preachers who rail against gay people seem to turn out to abuse young boys and men eventuallly.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:38 am |
    • Mohammad

      djmaster69 on October 24, 2011 I just got my iPad 2 and I am alttloy blown away. My MacBook pro is sitting in the corner and I haven not missed a beat Glad I haven not bought it and got it For FREE, my cousin received his ipad 2 for free too lol. The web address, if I remember correctly, was: freeipad2giveaways.info

      March 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.