Linda Harvey’s Dishonesty about the Day of Silence
May 22nd, 2008
- She claims that “Child molestation is an everyday occurrence because of the increased access homosexuals have to our children” and advocates banning gay people from teaching (a position so radical that Ronald Reagan opposed it in 1978).
- She claims that the vast majority of gay people are only employed sporadically due to their instability.
- She believes that HIV is “almost exclusively a homosexual male and drug addict epidemic” and advocates that “gay social establishments should close until HIV rates are seriously reduced”.
- She claims that for a Pastor to believe that gay persons can be Christian “is deliberate rebellion against God’s word and His created order of male/female genders and marriage.”
In short, Linda is a woman driven by her objection to anything gay and she’ll not hesitate to say anything to advance her goal of changing America into a nation that conforms to her religious ideals. Honesty, integrity, empathy, or the Golden Rule seem not to be particularly important to this quest.
Linda through her organization Mission:America was a leader in the anti-gay opposition to the Day of Silence. Linda compiled and distributed a list of grievances which sought to portray the Day of Silence as an aggressive act against Christians. Some of these listed abuses seem almost impossible to believe.
In fact, they were so extreme that Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a conservative psychology professor with interest in sexual orientation issues, decided to check up on a few of Linda’s stories. Not surprisingly, what he found did not square with what Linda said.
For example, Linda said
Kirksville, Mo.: A parent reported that the Kirksville High School principal and superintendent laughed when she asked if her child could be excused from participating in the school’s Day of Silence. According to Mission America, she said, “They called me a narrow-minded bigot and refused to give excused absences.”
Dr. Throckmorton did not find that to be confirmed.
Curious, I called the Kirksville High School Superintendent of schools, Pat Williams about the allegation of name-calling. When I read the account to him, he said, “That’s absolutely false. I did not use that language with any parent or in response to any inquiry.”
Throckmorton also spoke with the principal of the school and found that while absences were not excused, the school also allowed the Day of Truth and did not allow either event to disrupt the teaching process.
I emailed Linda Harvey at Mission America to see if I could interview the parent involved but she declined to provide more information or contact the person who made the allegation. The Kirksville administrators were not aware of any allegations surrounding the Day of Silence until I called. In my opinion, the the information provided by Mr. Williams and Mr. Michael and the fact that the school district also allowed the Day of Truth detract from the credibility of the anonymous allegation.
Throckmorton also found out that claims Harvey made about an event in Mesa, AZ, were materially different from police reports. He concludes
And those were just the first two bulletpoints. I guess you can’t believe everything you read.
Dr. Throckmorton and I differ strongly about the appropriate theological, social, and legal responses to persons who are same-sex attracted. But we agree that dishonesty should never be a tool used in the debate over social policy about homosexuality.
Sadly, too many anti-gays (and too many pro-gays) are willing to make any claim that advances their cause. And for what? Ultimately the truth comes out and then what has one gained in exchange for their integrity?
If conservative Christians worried about their religious freedoms want to have their concerns taken seriously, they need to rid their movement of liars, extremist, and haters. Then perhaps we can find common ground where the rights of all can be respected.