Don't let a hate group hijack anti-bullying in schools.

Amanda ToddDon't let a hate group hijack faith to undermine efforts to stop bullying in schools.

We can't believe we have to defend anti-bullying in schools, but we do.

This week The New York Times reports that the American Family Association, a religious extremist group, has called an anti-bullying initiative, called Mix It Up at Lunch Day, “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.” Even worse, they're telling parents to keep their children home from school on Mix It Up at Lunch Day, October 30th.

Already 200 schools have canceled the event. We have to speak up.

We will share your petitions with Teaching Tolerance, the Southern Poverty Law Center initiative putting on Mix It Up at Lunch Day, and directly with the American Family Association, showing that people from diverse faiths and moral traditions stand together in bold collective action for our children.

Petition Text:

It doesn't matter who you are, who you love, or where you come from. No one deserves to be bullied.

As people of diverse faith and backgrounds, we practice the simple moral truth: love your neighbor as yourself. As people of conscience, we support "Mix It Up at Lunch Day" so our children can inherit a world where acceptance and respect trump fear and hate.

Add your name:

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Our stories:

It doesn't matter your color, religion, sexual preference, or what you eat for breakfast. NO ONE deserves to be bullied. Diversity is what makes America great, and embracing the right we all have to be different rather than bullying people for it is what we should be doing. Loving everyone as a person is what's important, not why they're different than you. "as I have loved you love one another." This is the fundamental structure of being a Christian-no where in the bible does Christ say 'unless you're gay, black, white, purple, or otherwise different from me." Love everyone as you love yourself and remember that everyone is someone's child, parent, sibling, or relative. Treat them how you would want others to treat your loved ones. Plain and simple.

K, Utah

l'll never forget being bullied in elementary school for my dark skin, or my cousin for his turban. Nor will I forget the tragic death of Amanda Todd and the anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death last week.

V, New Haven

Bullying violates one of the most basic tenets of Jewish law, my personal faith ... Kavod Haberiyot ... respect for the dignity that all of us have as human beings created in the image of God.

J, New York

I spent my professional career as a public high school principal, and sadly, I was able to first hand see signs of either outright bullying, or more frequently, the sadness of individuals who were friendless. It always killed me to see a student eating alone in the school cafeteria. We always encouraged our students to reach out to others---particularly those outside their own social group. And while we had some success at this, things often settled back into the routine unless a continued emphasis was placed on such activities. Therefore, I am happy to support the concept of "Mix It Up at Lunch Day". To see schools canceling this is simply nonsense---and about as anti-Christian as one can be.

D, Washington

I was bullied in school over 40 years ago. No one stood up for me. My parents told me to suck it up. It is never okay to bully. It must stop. We as adults can make that happen.

D, Colorado

As a mother of a lone Sikh boy (with turban) in his school system, I have faced and fought bullies in schools for years, as if in the first hand. When on the earth will we all figure out that we all belong to the same family?

G, Roswell

I am appalled that communities are trying to stop this campaign. I was bullied in 7th grade and it was devastating. My child was bullied last year in 6th grade. For us, it was not an "obvious" reason, such as race, religion, sexual orientation. We are a family that is against bullying, against racism, sexism or any form of bigotry based on a person's sexuality. We believe in gay rights, equality and justice. It breaks my heart to see children being bullied. I was a teacher at an international school where we were all obviously different from one another, different races, from different countries and cultures. But, we teachers and administration were actively engaging the issue of bullying, we absolutely did not stand for it. Jesus was there for the downtrodden, for the poor and disenfranchised. He would love all people no matter what and he would want Christians to do the same. You don't "catch" being gay by sitting next to a gay person. There is no need for all of this fear.

M, Washington

Bullying is soul-scarring. Bullying is harmful not only to the bullied, but to the bullies and to society as a whole. BULLYING IS ANTI-CHRISTIAN.

D, Pennsylvania

I was bullied throughout school. When I grew up ( in the 50's ) it was just assumed that "being teased" was a part of growing up. Anti bullying programs would have made a huge difference in my life.

S, Arizona

I was bullied in middle school by a bunch of guys who thought that it wasn't OK to be a tomboy. That's why I think Mix it Up Day is a great idea. Sitting with someone you don't normally sit with doesn't promote a homosexual agenda and isn't a punishment. It's a learning experience that can be used to teach children to accept (not just tolerate) one another!

I, Miami

Please don't forget children with disabilities who may feel excluded or worse everyday. Mix it up at lunch, say 'hi,' pay attention, smile, step into one's shoes, do the right thing, it matters.

B, Wisconsin

The liberation of gay and lesbian people is the work of the Holy Spirit. Homophobic "Christianity" is false Christianity; it's adherents need to start over from the very beginning, for they have not yet met the Christ and stand in need of salvation.

C, West Virginia

I support Mix it Up at Lunch Day, and this program certainly does not promote any kind of homosexual agenda. We have to do what we can to stop bullying. This falls within the themes of Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Solidarity, Call to Community, and Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.

J, Wisconsin

Bullying is form of xenophobia, and having grown up as an Army brat in post-war Germany, England and Japan, I learned early on that people all over the world have the same hopes, dreams and worries.

M, Colorado

Bullying another human being is totally unacceptable and never should be tolerated in any circumstance. Every person deserves respect. Any individual who bullies, is basically a coward, who has an inability to accept another individual because he/she is different from him/her. How very sad. If we all took time to better understand one another's differences, and celebrate the diversity that each of us brings to life, then the fear and cowardice that fuels bullying would cease.

J, Rochester

We didn't even talk about bullying when I was growing up. We accepted it as a part of life. I wish we had Mix It Up at Lunch Day! I am so happy it's a new era and I'm excited for future generations.

J, Sacramento

I support anti-bullying because I was bullied in school for being gay. It took many years for those scars to heal and mostly after realizing I wasn't alone, that this was happening everywhere. My message to everyone: even if we look or act different on the outside, we are the same on the inside.

C, Atlanta

How many young lives have to be ruined or scared for life before people listen - these kids are screaming for help and they have no one.

R, Michigan

Bullying is the single most preventable thing in schools. Teachers, janitors, everyone needs to be aware of the problem and deal with it. Acceptance of others for their differences is a basic necessity for our survival.

K, Connecticut

I was bullied for everything, even things that didn't apply to me. There is no excuse for this cruel behaviour and this new wave of bullying apologists sickens me. Anyone who thinks bullying is Christian doesn't know anything about Jesus!

K, Texas

Bullying has been around for a very long time. When I was a little girl and I was chubby, until I reached the age of 14 years old. I was bullied all the time by the Barbie shape girls in school all the way to high school, and it is time it is stopped. This kind of behavior can and does warp a child and ruin their self-confidence and can end up causing them to commit suicide and the perpetrator usually gets off free, to do it again to someone else. This has got to end and in the school is where most of it starts. I'm now 61 years old and yes, for a long time it work on my self-confidence, when I should have known I was just as good as any of them.

S, Alabama

I was teased in school due to my disability and shyness. Fortunately, I also had friends who DID sit with me at lunch and encouraged me to come out of my shell. They stood up for me and helped me gain the confidence to stand up for myself.

K, Virginia

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