"Day of Truth" chalked up record numbers last week as seven times more high school students participated in this year’s event compared to its initial start two years ago.
Reaching its third year, "Day of Truth" recorded 6,954 high school students from around the nation who wanted to voice their disapproval of homosexuality one day after the pro-homosexual "Day of Silence."
"Christian students should be allowed to express their viewpoint just like any other student," said Mike Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), in a statement. ADF, which sponsored last Thursday’s event, is a legal organization that aims to defend the right to speak the "Truth."
"The Day of Truth provides students the opportunity to present a different viewpoint than the one expressed by students participating in Day of Silence," Johnson added.
The "Day of Truth" was created to counter the "Day of Silence," an event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and held in response to the harassment shown towards gay students at school. On the "Day of Silence," students and teachers remain silent for one day to point out the bigotry against homosexuals.
Organizers of "Day of Truth" have argued that the "Day of Silence" does more than stand against prejudice, however. It also normalizes homosexual behavior on campus as well as supports the "homosexual agenda." In addition, it targets those students who are unclear about their sexuality.
So supporters of the "Day of Truth" want equal rights to share their viewpoint on homosexuality. ADF explained that Christian peers are often stopped for sharing their religious perspective or even ridiculed.
"For quite some time now, students have been hearing only one side of the story on this issue," added Johnson. "But the truth emerges when both sides of issues are presented. We are thrilled to see that the Day of Truth, in three short years, has taken off this way."
Students last week participated in the "Day of Truth" through a variety of activities including wearing shirts with the "Day of Truth" logo on them, handing out Christian literature to other students, holding events that support the Biblical perspective of homosexuality, and initiating media coverage to gain exposure for the movement.
Several students also gave away cards that said, “I am speaking the Truth to break the silence. Silence isn’t freedom. It’s a constraint. Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed. By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved.”
Several schools, including some in Danbury, Conn., and Bel Air, Md., had banned students from participating in the event initially, but allowed students to partake after ADF attorneys intervened.
"Day of Truth supporters work to encourage an open and honest discussion," stated Johnson. "Allowing the communication of one viewpoint and claiming it’s the only viewpoint is advocating, not educating."
At some other schools, meanwhile, students not part of "Day of Truth" chose to protest the "Day of Silence" directly.
A group of high school students from Sacramento, Calif., were suspended when they refused to remove their shirts that read "Sodomy is sin" during the "Day of Silence." The students, who were from Rio Linda High School, also staged an after-school protest. During the protest they held up signs that said, "School bans free speech," "School censors Bible," and "Don't silence Christians."
Many prefer that students support the "Day of Truth" rather than boycotting the "Day of Silence" as it promotes activities that do not disrupt class or school activities.
Last year, around 2,800 Christian students participated in "Day of Truth," while about 1,100 were a part of its first year.