The AFA Is Not a Hate Group. Honest. I’m Serious! Quit Laughing.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day is an anti-bullying event started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  It encourages students to socialize outside their established cliques at lunch, hoping that exposure to people different from themselves could help stop bullying.  Sounds like a nice event, although I’m not sure how helpful it is, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

But one group has a serious problem with Mix It Up Day.  Because there is nowhere the American Family Association can look where they can’t find the ebil gay agenda!  From the New York Times: (Obviously a wing of those ebil homosexuals!)

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.

The charges, raised in an e-mail to supporters earlier this month, have caused a handful of schools to cancel this year’s event and has caught organizers off guard.

“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.”

But the AFA’s Bryan Fischer knows the gay when he sees it!  (And believe me, he sees it everywhere.  So much in fact that I have to wonder a little about Bryan…..)

“The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the association. “We tell the truth about homosexual behavior.”

Although the suggested activities for Mix It Up at Lunch Day do not expressly address gay and lesbian students, the law center itself promotes equal treatment for gays and lesbians and that philosophy then informs the school program, he said.

“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Mr. Fischer said. “It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”

Some schools are standing firm even in the face of complaints from parents, and strangely it seems that once the day is honestly explained to parents, they don’t have much of a problem with it.

Although parents did complain to Kevin Brady, the head of the Avon Grove Charter School in rural Pennsylvania, the school is still planning to hold Mix it Up at Lunch Day for its 1,600 students.

Students will each be assigned a number and then paired up by school officials. The school has a large population of special-needs students who can feel isolated and thus benefit greatly from the program, Mr. Brady said.

The school started it a few years ago, inspired, in part, by the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and examples of bully-related violence that surfaced in schools around the country.

He said the e-mail sent by the association described a program that had “absolutely no resemblance to what we do.” Once parents understood how the program worked, they decided not keep their children home that day, he said.

“I think they feel they have been taken for a bit of a ride,” he said.

Come on, Bryan.  If you keep seeing the ebil gay agenda under every rock that gets lifted, soon even the bigots aren’t going to take you seriously.

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