For 10 years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has sponsored Mix It Up at Lunch Day, an anti-bullying initiative in which school children are encouraged to break out of their normal social cliques and eat lunch with someone they might not normally sit next to. The program is designed to lessen bullying by making kids familiar with different types of people. Over 2,500 schools now participate in the program. Surely that's something everyone can agree is a good thing, right?

Nope. The collection of loons and bigots known as the American Family Association disagree, saying the SPLC's program is a "nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools," according to AFA's spokesperson Bryan Fischer.

"Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same," Mr. Fischer said. "It's just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized."

Of course, gay bullying is not the only type of bullying targeted by the program, according to Maureen Costello, a director at the SPLC.

"Many of the targets of bullying are kids who are either gay or are perceived as gay," she said.

But the idea that the program is intended as homosexual indoctrination is simply wrong, Ms. Costello added.

"We've become used to the idea of lunatic fringe attacks," she said, "but this one was complete misrepresentation."

The AFA is asking parents to boycott the October 30 event. From a statement on their webpage:

"Mix It Up" day is an entry-level "diversity" program designed specifically by SPLC to establish the acceptance of homosexuality into public schools, including elementary and junior high schools.

It's worth nothing that both groups consider the other a hate group, with the AFA saying the SPLC discriminates against Christian groups as well as groups that oppose homosexuality. This is obviously bullshit, the sort of predictable victim-playing you'd expect from paranoid, delusional fringe groups. The Southern Law Poverty Center's case against the AFA is a bit more substantial. From their webpage:

  • "Homosexuality is a poor and dangerous choice, and has been proven to lead to a litany of health hazards to not only the individuals but also society as a whole."
    –AFA Action Alert, July 20, 2012
  • "[Islam] is, in fact, a religion of war, violence, intolerance, and physical persecution of non-Muslims."
    –Tim Wildmon, March 6, 2012
  • "The homosexual movement is a progressive outgrowth of the sexual revolution of the past 40 years and will lead to the normalization of even more deviant behavior."
    – Don Wildmon, AFA website, 1999 (still posted as of 2011).
  • "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."
    – Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issue analysis for government and public policy, 2010
  • "If President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and homosexual activists get their wish, your son or daughter may be forced to share military showers and barracks with active and open homosexuals who may very well view them with sexual interest."
    – AFA press release, February 2010
  • "Homosexuality is not only harmful to homosexuals themselves, but also to children and to society."
    – Stephen Bennett, AFA writer, 2004
  • "As with smoking, homosexual behavior's ‘second hand' effects threaten public health….Thus, individuals who choose to engage in homosexual behavior threaten not only their own lives, but the lives of the general population."
    – Gary Glenn, president of Michigan chapter of AFA, 2001
  • "[T]he homosexual lifestyle is characterized by anonymous sexual encounters and celebration of sexual obsession and perversion unparalleled in any other social group."
    – Richard Howe, "Homosexuality in America," AFA publication, 1994

As of Friday afternoon, roughly 200 schools had cancelled the program, although the reasons weren't immediately clear.

[Image via Shutterstock]