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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. ed

    I am just glad I am saved and not going to Hell for I am trusting in The LORD Jesus Christ. I repented of my sin and placed my faith in the death and shed blood of God incarnate (Jesus Christ). I hope others will do the same before it is too late. http://www.carm.org

    October 7, 2010 at 3:59 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      Hel is the bottom station of the Celtic cross. The Celtic cross predates christ by untold years. the Celtic cross depicts the tree of life or "Yegdrassil" also known as the tree of knowledge. In the Celtic culture, the apple was symbolic of the womb. the snake was symbolic of the mans penis. The roman satyrs co-opted the symbol of "Yegdrassil" to form the perverse torture devise called the "cross" and used it as a cynical way to kill muses of the old ways.

      I am the way, the truth and the light. Do NOT live in darkness, lest ye be damned.

      Jeshua Christos

      October 7, 2010 at 4:17 am |
  2. Jeshua Christos

    Horus was born of a virgin, lived 35 years, was crucified and resurected after 3 day this happened 3000 years before the roman empire, in Egypt. this popular story was rewritten many times, with many new "leading characters" over many millenia. The "Christian Millenia" of 1000 years ended 1010 years ago. GET OVER IT.

    Jeshua Christos

    October 7, 2010 at 3:53 am |
    • Serutan

      Maybe you should change your name to Horace.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:16 am |
  3. sedreck fields

    BURN BURN!!!! THAT'S ALL I SEE!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:49 am |
  4. Gah!TheStupidty!

    Where did Jesus tell people to condemn gay folks? I think he would slap the s&@t out of many who call themselves 'christians'.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:45 am |
  5. DNA

    Jesus was gay. He never had a girlfriend and hung around with all those dudes. Just look at that painting of the boys only party... GAY!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:44 am |
    • slickster

      DNA, I would ask you to consider this. If you met him face to face, would you say the same thing to him? This Jesus was whipped, stoned, beaten and nailed to a cross to die for any sin you would ever commit just so that you could meet God Almighty someday. Don't you ever want to do that? I mean just to walk and talk with and ask questions and get answers from? Why call him gay?

      October 7, 2010 at 3:51 am |
    • Serutan

      @Slickster

      You have no proof that any of those things actually happened. Going to see that Mel Gibson psycho-film was a really, really stupid thing to do.
      And if he is real, then you are underestimating him so much that it is surely some sort of sin. You have so little faith in what you say about him. You want to do all the judging yourself, that much is plain.
      And if he existed, he might have actually been gay. What would you say to him if he told you it was true? Wouldn't you feel incredibly stupid for not being able to consider the possibility?
      But I suppose he'd forgive you, right?

      The only thing slick about you is your line of BS. Real slick stuff there. Heard it before. I don't think it's really working, do you?

      October 7, 2010 at 4:07 am |
    • peace2all

      @Serutan

      Well said...

      Peace...

      October 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  6. sedreck fields

    There is a SIN THAT CANNOT BE FORGIVEN THAT'S WHEN SOMEBODY TALKS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT THEN YOU CANNOT BE FORGIVEN THANK YOU!!!!!! P.S I'AM FILL WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT SO ALL OF Y'ALL TALKING BAD ABOUT ME IS GOING TOO HELL!!!! AND THAT'S THE REAL TRUE!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:43 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      you seem to be "fill with air".

      October 7, 2010 at 3:58 am |
    • Tell_Me

      One thing we can say about you saidwreck, you write better than Jesus - he was totally unable to write - you are semi-able it looks like... almost readable in some parts (just barely).

      October 7, 2010 at 4:12 am |
  7. krzkt

    Yes you did!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:22 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      perhaps you are quoting the writings of others. i wrote no such things.

      Jeshua Christos

      October 7, 2010 at 3:25 am |
  8. sedreck fields

    Jesus Christ said He will give you REST!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:18 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      No i didn't

      Jeshua Christos

      October 7, 2010 at 3:20 am |
    • Mark 6311

      😀 ❤

      October 7, 2010 at 3:23 am |
    • Xamin

      And I say, give it a rest!

      October 7, 2010 at 3:29 am |
    • Serutan

      @Jeshua Christos

      Uh, I don't think he was talking about you, "Jeshua".

      October 7, 2010 at 3:34 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      Horus was born of a virgin, lived 35 years, was crucified and resurected after 3 day this happened 3000 years before the roman empire, in Egypt. this popular story was rewritten many times, with many new "leading characters" over many millenia. The "Christian Millenia" of 1000 years ended 1010 years ago. GET OVER IT.

      Jeshua Christos

      October 7, 2010 at 3:50 am |
  9. slickster

    Since folks are throwing around the name of Jesus and the Bible, lets look at what he actually did and what it says, 1. Christ died for each and every one of us, without regard for what our sins were. 2. We are told "judge not lest we be judged.
    So, while we may see wrong in our fellow man, it is not our place to deal with sin. We are not judges. We are to obey. Others will or won't. It is not our place to injure them for their belief or non-belief. God loves them too. To injure them is to injure those who God loves. Let them reconcile their sin in private as we reconcile ours. God is capable of dealing with sin. Leave it up to him.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:16 am |
    • Serutan

      We can't actually look at what he "actually" did because he may not have even existed as such. And your Bible was thrown together by a bunch of self-serving, self-proclaimed "priests".
      And if you intend to "leave things to God", then why the heII are you being such a troll about it all? Why can't you just relax and let those good vibes flow outward?
      You are so typically Christian.
      You spout a bunch of nonsense that you immediately contradict and oppose even as you are saying it.
      I seem to recall "Jesus" getting really pi-ssed off about hypocrites.
      Sound like anyone you know?

      October 7, 2010 at 3:54 am |
  10. O sedrick you poor poor child

    Sedrick, do you have any religious "authority" to make these statements and judgments against your fellow human beings?

    I didn't think so.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:15 am |
  11. sedreck fields

    Ok Jesus Christ said that no man can see God with out HIM!!!! So if you donot need Jesus Christ then you must BURN!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:12 am |
    • slickster

      Christ said, "No man cometh unto the father but by the son." Belief in his crucifixion and resurrection.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:20 am |
  12. Jeshua Christos

    All truth lies within your heart. Love and love only will free you. Let no thing of man, graven or printed nor spoken stand between you and your true experience of the great oneness. I have spoken and my truth is the one path to god. Doubt me not.

    Jeshua Christos

    October 7, 2010 at 3:01 am |
    • What lovely nonsense u have Grandpa

      Love for truth demands that I doubt what you say. The truth, if it's really the truth, should have no fear of being examined, doubted, tested, and earnestly sought.

      Put that in yer pipe and smoke it, Jeshua Christos.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:12 am |
    • Jeshua Christos

      truth has no capacity for fear

      Jeshua Christos

      October 7, 2010 at 3:18 am |
    • Xamin

      @ What lovely nonsense u have Grandpa

      Well said.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:20 am |
    • Xamin

      Jeshua, if that were the case then religious authorities wouldn't spend so much time trying to control information, trying to pass off their beliefs as scientific, or attempting to misinform the public on genuine scientific explanations that happen to contradict those beliefs. Religious truth is all about fear. It embodies it. It radiates it. Without fear of contradiction irrational religious beliefs would simply go extinct. In fact, that's happening anyway, despite these fear-driven acts. The REAL truth.. the truth that is objective and questionable and invites scrutiny.. is just too darned powerful for religion.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:27 am |
    • Serutan

      So then I shouldn't let those words you just "printed" to stand in my way. Fine. Thanks for not making sense, troll.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:39 am |
  13. Mark 6311

    I'm just saying from a psychological point of view, your is argument is incredibly ineffective. You are sending a message to people, such as myself, who aren't afraid in eternal damnation, simply because we don't believe in it. If you're trying to convert, you should focus on the positive, not try and scare people into a hypothetical horror story. I never claimed to be Christian, nor do I ever want to, since doing so usually puts me on the same pedestal as ignorant individuals such as yourself, sedreck. And concerning my comments about the teachings of Jesus Christ, I wasnt talking about hell, I was talking about your reference to "war and not peace", that does NOT sound very Christian.....

    October 7, 2010 at 3:01 am |
  14. sedreck fields

    NO GAYS IS GOING TOO HEAVEN!!! BECAUSE YOU WILL BE CALLING GOD A LAIR!!! AND GOD DON'T LIE!! SORRY NO GAYS IN HEAVEN!!! HELL ONLY!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! GOD CANNOT LIE!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:01 am |
    • krzkt

      Still can't get that caps lock unstuck? No one calls God a liar. But if what you say is true than, you too are going to hell. Again, sin is not rated on a 1-10 scale. All sin counts, one teensy tiny sin counts enough to doom you to hell without God's grace. Also remember that we are to judge not lest we be judged. You are walking a fine line perhaps? Condemning so many other's to hell when your own righteousness is a filthy rag seems like you are living on the edge...tempting God. Perhaps even mocking God? Daring him to judge you as you judge others? I'm wondering if I should be afraid of you or in awe of you. One this is for certain, no way I'd stand next to you in a lightening storm.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:15 am |
    • Brian

      It sound to me that you are suffering from delusions and are caught up in some kind of sick religious frenzy. IF there is a hell, it is certainly not you who will decide who goes there. It is people like you who have turned many of us off to religion. Jesus preached love for your fellow human beings and his message was very simple. I don't believe I will go to hell because I am gay, God made me the way I am and he gave me a loving heart, one that allows me to forgive you for your hatred and bigotry.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  15. Serutan the Inimical

    @sedreck fields

    If God is Love, then why would He send anyone to a "hell"?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:54 am |
    • slickster

      You send yourself to hell by choice. God is love...true. If you choose not to acknowledge his demonstration of love for you (Jesus' sacrifice) then, what do you expect. You have ignored the love that would have saved you from hell. Choose Christ, tell others to do the same. No sin is too big to be forgiven. That is HIS promise to all mankind.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:35 am |
    • Serutan

      @Slickster

      You are so full of it. How can I "send" myself to a place that makes no sense? Only deluded people could have thought of such a thing.
      Examine your religious doctrine thoroughly if you dare, and if you know how to do so honestly. Those words were written by men, not a "God".
      And it really shows.
      Your religious beliefs are a completely tangled mess of contradictions that make no sense, including your historically "recent" notions of a "hell".
      I do not fear for my "soul" no matter how damaged your brain may be. If I have a choice, then it must be made freely, which you are not allowing me to do – therefore I have no choice to make and have nothing to worry about, as any "God" would have foreseen anyway.
      You really don't understand anything about the concept of "free-will", do you?

      October 7, 2010 at 3:47 am |
    • slickster

      Hey pal, read my last again. I'll go slow for you. Your "free will" choice not to believe in Christ is what sends yourself to hell. YOU decide with your free will to pay the creator for your own sin, instead of accepting your free pass through Christ. Read the bible and see for yourself if that is not what it says. I don't make the rules. I don't stop you from anything.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:00 am |
    • Serutan

      @Slackster

      Why am I trying to reason with someone who denies reason? Who refuses truth? Who deliberately refuses to acknowledge his own words?
      You are a Christian. Okayyyy.
      You are somehow assuming that I am not.
      See, you just love to assume things you have no proof of, no knowledge of, and no way of grasping them with your lack of cognitive abilities.

      Logic and reason and truth, oh my!
      I think I just may have more faith in "God" and "Jesus" than you do, from the way you are posting.
      My "God" makes SENSE, uses LOGIC, and does what he does.
      If Jesus exists, I fully expect him to understand even if YOU DON'T.
      And I'll bet he's better at understanding, perceiving, discerning, and judging than you are.
      I don't expect to be going to any "heII", since I expect everything to make sense.
      You don't.
      That's the problem with Christians like you. You don't expect anything to make sense.
      And you always absolutely insist that the universe somehow fit within your incredibly narrow religion.

      Why don't you see how well your religion fits into the universe? Didn't "God" make the whole thing after all?
      What makes you so sure that your Bible is actually the "word" of "God" when it makes no sense in relation to the universe that "God" made?

      Or am I using too much logic for you?

      October 7, 2010 at 4:34 am |
    • :D

      I think that sound was Slickster's head exploding in a puff of logic and greasy smoke.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:55 am |
  16. Vince

    Please remember on the DAY of JUDGMENT, all this won't matter because those promoting peace and tolerance will be the ones getting into heaven - including these gay people. GOD is not a hating or indifferent person - God loves all those created in his image. Day of Truth followers will go to hell... let's make that clear. They will go to hell on God's biblical principles.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:53 am |
  17. sedreck fields

    Too all you so call CHRISTIANS MY KINH JESUS CHRIST TALKED ABOUT HELL MORE THEN ANYBODY SO WHAT BIBLE ARE YOU READING!!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:50 am |
    • slickster

      I have read the Bible and would not agree with your statistics. But even if they were accurate, His discussions on hell were in effort to keep folks out of it. Warn people about the dangers of it. Not to give us a whip to use against those who we see in disobediance to what the Bible says.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:47 am |
    • The Word of God

      It is a two-edge sword that divides kin against kin and cuts against the bone and marrow. Christians are not whipping those in disobedience...they are defending the innocent and the ignorant who are scandalized by the errors by those who reject obedience
      and choose a life of rebellion. It is a spiritual work of mercy and charity to admonish the sinner.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  18. krzkt

    I'm nearly dumbstruck- but not quite. This is one of the first things I've read about a major church event of any kind that wasn't totally horrid. I am impressed! Tolerance and love? Honesty? What next? This is terrific. Thank you to those responsible for making this decision. If there were more people like you, I might be able to attend a church without feeling like I'd fallen into a pit of hateful vipers. Seriously, I am grateful and impressed! Spread the word of love and you might be surprised what power lies in that rather than the usual "us" vs "them" that I've seen for the last 20 years.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:48 am |
  19. sedreck fields

    GOING TOO HELL FOREVER IS NOT CLUELESS!!!!!!!

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

      Is your caps lock permanently stuck down? Spill something on your keyboard or a lunatic? Don't forget, god is love. He's not hate, and your sins are no better than mine or anyone else's. You are saved by grace, not by screaming at strangers on the internet. Sin isn't on a sliding scale- all sins doom you to hell. Including judging others or thinking too highly of oneself. Your brand of Christianity makes people see Christ as a screaming nutcase who hates us all. Is that the face that Christ presented to you when you first accepted him? You will keep me and many others from ever wanting to be a part of anything associated with church and makes pretty much anything look more intriguing.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:56 am |
  20. Riley

    There's a gay lifestyle? Really? Does it include Catholics? Because I hear they are wrapped around each other's fingers if you know what I mean....
    Or are you really that clueless?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:38 am |
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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.