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Tomorrow Is Another 'Day'

Competing celebrations: the next battle for your brain

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The looming artificial-holiday glut begins with deceptive quiet this week, as the 10th annual Day of Silence gets underway on April 26, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. In America’s high schools and colleges, gay students and their allies will try to speak loudly by abstaining from the conversation.

Then, when the sun rises again, it’s time for the second annual Day of Truth, created by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Phoenix law firm specializing in “the legal defense and advocacy of religious freedom,” mainly by speaking truth to the powerless. It calls for students in those very same schools to counter the Day of Silence by decrying gay people’s right to be gay — in the name of a loving God.

You have nine days to recover.

Then on May 7, America will wake up to a dueling pair of “first annual” holidays destined to make people forget the war on Christmas. It’s Ten Commandments Day versus Ten Amendments Day.

Commandments Day is brought to you by the self-selected Ten Commandments Commission, dedicated to the idea that all laws are not created equal. Ten Amendments Day is the brainchild of the Council for Secular Humanism, dedicated to the idea that all men are not created.

The Day of Silence predicts tens of thousands of participants this year, including many Pittsburghers, while the Truth-ites claim more than 1,000 kids took part last year, yet refuse to divulge the name of a single local participant, despite my repeated requests. Lord knows who will participate in the Decalogue blowout, although organizers have the backing of many religious groups. The Bill of Rights pushers have a pathetic two events scheduled so far: a panel discussion in Indianapolis and a speaker in — wait for it — Hollywood.

Perplexed? Unsure what to wear, how to celebrate, or which present to get for that special someone with whom you share nothing but a life-defining ideological bond?

Fret no longer. You can avoid the embarrassment of sending the wrong card or form e-mail by using this handy guide to the Days of our lives:

Greeting cards:
Silence: “Cel-e-brate Hushed Times — Come On!”
Truth: “May the Truth Set You Free, Or May You Enjoy Being Set Upon By Us.”
Commandments: “Because Celebrating Once a Week Isn’t Enough.”
Amendments: “Let’s Love the Second Amendment, Just for Today.”

Celebratory venues: Silence: School auditorium
Truth: Local preacher’s living room
Commandments: Pay-per-view rally with inflammatory sermonettes
Amendments: Solo chat-room attendance

Chief rituals:
Silence: Meeting bigotry with a more eloquent silence than usual
Truth: Meeting silence with a more eloquent bigotry than usual
Commandments: Defend the Tenth Commandment by making sure you don’t covet your neighbor’s house.
Amendments: Defending the Third Amendment by making sure there are no soldiers in your neighbor’s house.

Ritual chants:
Silence: “We’re here, we’re queer, don’t get used to the quiet act.”
Truth: “Jesus loves you, yes I know; what are you going to do about it?”
Commandments: “Two, Four, Six, Eight — those are the numbers of some of the Commandments”
Amendments: “What do we want? When do we want it?”

Holiday attire:
Silence: Official T-shirts with slogan: “If You’re Questioning, I’ll Have the Answer in a Few Hours.”
Truth: Official T-shirts with slogan: “We Know This Much Is True.”
Commandments: Clerical garb over official T-shirts with slogan: “We Put the ‘Try’ in Zealotry.”
Amendments: Official T-shirts with faux Latin conjugation of “amend.”

Gifts:
Silence: Personal-size chalk board, pastel chalk and dust-free erasers
Truth: Sword, shield
Commandments: Board game — “Smite the Idol Worshipper”
Amendments: Free membership in the planning committee for Rest of the Amendments Day

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