Brush with Intolerance

, Tony Perkins, Leave a comment

Rhode Island is a small state with a big censorship problem. Last week, high school junior Liz Bierendy was putting the finishing touches on a sketch for the hallway mural when an assistant principal stopped her. The design was too controversial, he insisted, because it included the picture of a married man and woman. According to the school officials, the image was offensive because it “may not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School.” Liz’s idea was to show the life journey of a young boy to adulthood, ending with the scene of a husband, wife, and son with wedding rings over their heads. After the complaint of a single student, administrators ordered a custodian to paint over the offending section of Liz’s mural until she could find “alternative ways” to show the progression to adulthood.

The 17-year-old artist was as surprised as anyone by the school’s overreaction. “I hope I didn’t offend anyone,” she told local reporters. “I didn’t want to make anyone mad.” On the contrary, most parents are speaking out in Bierendy’s defense. “Political correctness is ruining America,” said one father. Even the local newscasters shook their heads and asked, “What isn’t offensive these days?”

Of course, the irony is that modern art has been the license for dung on the Virgin Mary, ants crawling on Jesus’s face, defecating nativities, Barbies dismembered in blenders—and traditional marriage is what shocks some people? Even more outrageous, those “alternative” unions the principal recommended aren’t even legal in Rhode Island! Liz’s representation of marriage was completely aligned with state law, which is what makes this incident so alarming. If this kind of viewpoint discrimination is tolerated now—in states that don’t even recognize homosexual relationships—imagine the censorship of an entire nation with same-sex “marriage!”

People wonder how the homosexual agenda could possibly affect them? Well, this is a perfect illustration. Americans are free to “love” whom they choose, but the freedom of religion, of expression, and speech cannot coexist in a culture that forces the public affirmation of homosexuality. Something has to give—and all too often, that something is traditional values. Fortunately for Liz, Superintendent Peter Horoschak felt enough blowback from the local community to step in. He overruled the school’s administrators and said it was time to let Bierendy “finish her vision.”

Unfortunately for Connecticut Pastor James Loomer, protecting students wasn’t on his school district’s agenda. This week, at a meeting of the Milford School Board, members denied his request to stop the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) national “Day of Silence.” At past events, GLSEN was caught distributing pamphlets that promote everything from child sex to pornography. “If parents [knew] the inappropriateness of the materials, they’d be enraged,” Pastor Loomer said. Still, the Board wouldn’t budge. They insist on moving forward with the event on April 20 in the name of “tolerance.”

Is your child’s school marking the “Day of Silence?” Follow Pastor Loomer’s example and find out. You might be surprised at how quickly this agenda is being advanced in your kids’ classrooms. For more information on how you can get involved in stopping the indoctrination, check out Peter Sprigg’s pamphlet, “Homosexuality in Your Child’s School.” Also, check out this clip about GLSEN from FRC’s latest documentary, The Problem with Same-Sex Marriage, to see what the other side is trying to hide.

Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.

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