On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to.
The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500 schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying.
But this year, the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” and is urging parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 30, the day most of the schools plan to participate this year…
Kind of warms the cockles of your heart to hear these so-called Christians would rather aid bullies by doing nothing than to welcome gay students who have been bullied. Doesn’t sound very Christian to me. Or does it?
“I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is,” said Maureen Costello, the director of the center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program. “It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”
The swirl around Mix It Up at Lunch Day reflects a deeper battle between the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights group founded 41 years ago in Montgomery, Ala., and the American Family Association, a Bible-based cultural watchdog organization in Tupelo, Miss. The association says its mission is to fight what it calls the “increasing ungodliness” in America.
The program is not about sexual orientation but rather about breaking up social cliques, which are especially evident in a school cafeteria, Ms. Costello said.
In some schools, cliques are socioeconomic. In others they are ethnic or religious or based on sexual orientation. By giving students a way to mix with other students, self-imposed social barriers can be broken down and bullying can be curbed, she said.
“Many of the targets of bullying are kids who are either gay or are perceived as gay,” she said…But the idea that the program is intended as homosexual indoctrination is simply wrong, Ms. Costello added…
This is not especially different from the lunatic fringe of professional Christians who used their “holiness” to protest previous civil rights-based issues. The same sort of nutballs who claimed civil rights assemblies were brainwashing white students into being race-mixing subversives – or equal rights for women would have their wannabe Dollywood daughters burning their training bras.