Issue Date: March/April 2007
A federal judge has placed a preliminary injunction against a North Carolina public school district stating that they cannot prohibit biblical literature distribution by the students. The case came out of a situation where students were countering the homosexual "day of silence" with a "Day of Truth."
The "day of silence" is an annual event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in protest against perceived harassment of homosexual students. Students are encouraged to remain silent all day and not respond to teachers or administrators to show their sympathy with the homosexual agenda.
GLSEN has planted over 2500 homosexual clubs called Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) in public schools and colleges overseen by 40 regional chapters nation wide. Thousands of students have been enlisted in the "day of silence" event which occurs in April each year in hundreds of schools and colleges.
The Christian students, who saw this event as a promotion of a sinful, unbiblical lifestyle, began their own "Day of Truth" and handed out cards and wore T-shirts with biblical messages containing the truth about homosexuality. School administrators, who were actively promoting the GLSEN agenda, moved to stop the Christians, declaring that their event was illegal promotion of religion.
The Christians appealed to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal organization dedicated to protecting freedom of speech. ADF filed suit and won the injunction on behalf of the students. They have won several cases where students were denied their rights to freedom of viewpoint expression.
This decision by a federal judge in favor of the students` rights to observe a "Day of Truth", is a landmark case. It clarifies the rights of students, not only to speak against the sin of homosexuality, but to promote the gospel through discussion with other students and distribution of literature during non-class periods.
The ADF now sponsors the "Day of Truth" annual event and hosts a web site at www.dayoftruth.org for anyone who wishes to become involved. The next "day of silence" is scheduled by GLSEN for April 19. ADF has set the "Day of Truth" for the next day.
Joe Infranco, senior attorney for ADF said there are a couple of reasons for the choice of the day. "We wanted to be respectful and permit the other side to express their message. We`re not afraid to have the Gospel compete in the marketplace of ideas."
Also, if the school permits the "day of silence," then it is legally bound to allow the Day of Truth. "For a school to allow the former and not the latter would be viewpoint discrimination, which is impermissible under any circumstances. The courts have unanimously struck down any restrictions based on viewpoint discrimination," Infranco said.
Cases such as this strengthen the cause for freedom of speech. Some schools and institutions have attempted to curtail students from expressing their viewpoint in gospel tracts. In the past, other courts have found that "student`s free speech rights do not stop at the school house door."
Soul winners should be glad for these cases. The truth of the gospel will set men free, but sometimes it makes people miserable in the process. Because of this, some try to make laws against witnessing. America`s founding fathers wisely foresaw that and gave us freedom of speech. But we have to keep reminding people of that. And we need to get the gospel to as many as we can while we have that freedom.