If you ask one of the roughly 90 percent of school-aged children in the U.S. who attend public school how often they discuss sensitive topics like homosexuality, transgenderism and same-sex marriage in class, you might be surprised at how often they say it occurs.
Part of it can’t be avoided – these topics dominate the news and popular culture. But in many of our schools, the conversations are one-sided. Christian students who hold to a biblical view of sexuality often feel their perspective is shunned or disparaged.
That’s why, for five years now, Focus on the Family has been helping Christian students create a safe space to express a biblical viewpoint on these types of issues through Day of Dialogue.
Day of Dialogue is a nationwide free-speech event and website for teens in public high schools and colleges. The annual event equips Christian students to exercise their religious freedoms and express their deeply held biblical beliefs about God’s design for marriage and sexuality in a loving and respectful manner.
Because we’re celebrating Day of Dialogue’s fifth anniversary this year, I want to share five reasons why now’s the perfect time for teens to consider joining with thousands of other Christian students in Day of Dialogue on April 14.
1. This year’s Day of Dialogue event is the first since the Supreme Court redefined marriage.
The 2015 Obergefell decision threatens student’s rights and sets up a national “tug-of-war” between religious freedom on campus and the promotion of same-sex marriage in the classroom. That’s why students who lead Day of Dialogue activities aren’t just sharing their views – they’re helping safeguard students’ First Amendment rights.
2. Gender confusion is on the rise.
Sexual activism in schools has shifted into high gear post-Obergefell. The federal government is using financial pressure to force public schools to recognize transgenderism. As a result, schools are mandating that children and teens share bathrooms and locker rooms with students who are not anatomically the same. An event like Day of Dialogue helps students share their concerns on issues like these.
3. Students’ voices are increasingly being ignored in the name of political correctness.
Here’s one example: the University of Nebraska at Kearney is ignoring the results of a vote where students overwhelmingly chose Chick-fil-A as the new restaurant for their student union. Why? Because a vocal minority, including the school’s Queer Straight Alliance, objected that Chick-fil-A’s CEO supports traditional marriage.
4. Millennial support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high.
But we know that the light of God’s love shines the brightest when darkness increases. Day of Dialogue helps Christian students realize they have nothing to be ashamed of in respectfully expressing their deeply held religious convictions. Participating in the event gives them confidence and boldness in sharing their beliefs about God’s redemptive plan for humanity.
5. Schools are actively promoting a one-sided view of “tolerance” that curtails freedom of speech.
Karen, a mom from Massachusetts, shared that during Diversity Week classroom discussion at her kids’ school, one student asked, “Isn’t there another perspective that is not being presented?” The teacher replied, “What other perspective – you mean the KKK?” I think you’ll understand why Karen called Day of Dialogue “an answer to prayer.”
“Christians have every right and responsibility to share our perspective in a peaceful, loving, respectful manner,” she said. “It is possible to disagree without disrespecting; to have meaningful conversation without confrontation.”
Day of Dialogue helps students have those important conversations by equipping them to respond to the heavy promotion of sexual experimentation they hear at school. At the website, students will find “Conversation Starter” cards, posters and everything else they will need to hold a Day of Dialogue at their schools.
Please pray for the thousands of students who will engage with their teachers and peers on April 14. And if you know a Christian teen who attends a public school or university, please encourage them to visit www.dayofdialogue.com or to visit Day of Dialogue on Facebook or Twitter.