David Benham organized a prayer rally in Charlotte to coincide with the opening of the Democratic National Convention called Charlotte 714, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, along with groups like the North Carolina Values Coalition and Operation Save America, which is led by his father Flip Benham.
While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about the prayer rally, Benham said that Charlotte was chosen not only because it is the site of the DNC but also because the city was one of the few areas to vote against Amendment One, the same-sex marriage ban voters passed in May. Benham called Charlotte’s vote against anti-gay discrimination a sign of the “very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country,” requiring “a citywide church service of repentance.”
Later, Benham told Mefferd that America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating abortion rights, no-fault divorce, legal pornography, “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation” and the “demonic ideologies” that he says have taken over the education system.
In North Carolina you know we just fought for Amendment One which was a constitutional amendment that simply said, this is exactly what the amendment said is the only legal marriage in North Carolina was between a man and a woman. We received—it was such a battle in North Carolina it blew me away. I already knew in my heart as most all of us Christians in America know that we are in a very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country but it really hit home during Amendment One, so much so that when Amendment One passed I realized the only three counties in North Carolina that actually voted against the amendment were Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville, our three cities. So we had all the rural areas and all the suburban areas but we lost all the cities. So I felt like, OK it’s time that we have a citywide church service of repentance and that’s the reason that we decided to do it right in the heart of Charlotte the night before the DNC.
We will always finger point but we don’t realize that OK if 87% of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery; we have all of the things; we even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches. We are so complacent, we are so apathetic and we are very hypocritical in the church, that’s why the Bible says judgment begins in the house of God. So when we prayed at 714 we asked God and our city to forgive us for allowing these things in the house of God.
Peter LaBarbera today posted yet another interview with his new best friend, Patrick Wooden along with John Kirkwood, pastor of Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville, Illinois, discussing the recent passage of the marriage amendment in North Carolina.
During the discussion, the three men tackled a wide array of related topics, including President Obama's statement of support for marriage equality. It was Obama's citation of the Golden Rule in explaining his views that seemed particularly offensive to them, prompting Wooden to offer up a truly incoherent statement that "most people don't invite strangers to their family reunions" while Kirkwood simply compared Obama's citation of Scripture to Satan:
LaBarbera: Talk about this use of the Golden Rule that Obama cited to justify his new support of the so-called homosexual marriage.
Wooden: It's funny, he's quoting Scripture to debunk Scripture. Amazing. But I agree with the President on the Golden Rule, I think we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us ... I don't that that I should aid anyone in entering into anything that does apply to them or does not appertain to them. Words still have meaning and the word "marriage" means something, it means the union between a man and a woman. So I don't know how he's applying the Golden Rule but I think we should treat people the way we want to be treated. But if a person wants to do something that doesn't apply to them, then I don't think we should help them do it.
Most people don't invite strangers to their family reunions. Most people don't allow perfect strangers to come into their house and sit at the dinner table and dine with them. And we shouldn't, under the Golden Rule, allow people who are not to participate in marriage to be invited into the union in the name of treating people the way we want to be treated. It makes no sense.
LaBarbera: And John, also, four years ago or long, dismissed Romans 1 to justify his support for homosexuality. So talk about this.
Kirkwood: Yeah, I don't think he holds The Word with a great deal of esteem. There was another guy in Matthew 4 who quoted The Word to rebuke The Word. It's not going to work out so well for him.
Matthew 4, for those who may not know, is when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan.
After Ohio passed a marriage amendment in 2004, which not only enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s Constitution but also barred legal recognition of any union outside of opposite-sex marriage “that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage,” a judge struck down part of the state’s domestic violence law because it “recognizes the relationship between an unmarried offender and victim as one ‘approximating the significance or effect of marriage.’”
Like in Ohio, North Carolina’s Amendment One similarly prohibits the state from recognizing any union besides opposite-sex marriage and could potentially have a devastating impact on domestic violence laws. Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jordan Lorence is out today with a column defending Amendment One, which voters will decide on today, and arguing that banning same-sex marriages and protections for unmarried couples, gay or straight, “would help promote” the goal of stopping domestic violence:
The distorted, fear-mongering claim that the marriage amendment will protect those who batter their unmarried partners from criminal prosecution is simply false and has been effectively refuted. This claim has not come true in any of the 30 states that have approved marriage amendments. Anyone who beats up another he lives with should be prosecuted criminally.
But there is a bigger issue here: multiple studies show that women in unmarried relationships and their children are more likely to suffer domestic violence than women married to the biological father of their children. We as a compassionate people need to warn our neighbors about living arrangements that expose them to physical harm. State authorities must prosecute batterers, but prevention is better. Approving the North Carolina marriage amendment would help promote this goal.
In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Republican state legislator Paul Stam said the ADF “overruled” an effort to pass “a more narrowly worded amendment.”
North Carolina voters today are casting their ballots on Amendment One, an extreme measure that would write discrimination into the state’s consitution and potentially take away important protections for all unmarried couples, gay and straight.
The amendment states that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic union that shall be valid or recognized” in North Carolina. It would not only deal another blow to gay and lesbian couples in the state, who are already prohibited by law from marrying, but endangers protections for all unmarried couples, including domestic violence protections and health insurance coverage.
The Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families is running a handful of powerful ads showing Amendment One’s potential devastating impact. Here are a couple:
President Bill Clinton also recorded a robocall on behalf of the anti-Amendment One campaign. You can listen to it here.
North Carolina voters can find your polling place here.
As North Carolina voters go to the polls on May 8th to decide the fate of Amendment One, which would enshrine a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the constitution, radio host Steve Noble has been working with the leaders of the Amendment One campaign Tami Fitzgerald and Patrick Wooden. Following in the footsteps of Wooden, Noble appeared on Americans for Truth about Homosexuality Radio Hour with Peter LaBarbera, where LaBarbera likened gays and lesbians to murderers and drug addicts and Noble said the gay community is trying “to attack the entire world” and “the word of God”
LaBarbera: This idea that’s coming out of the emergent church or the liberal evangelicals in which we don’t want to talk about ex-gays and people who’ve left the lifestyle, you know nobody has a problem that Jesus cold change murderers, drug addicts, and yet somehow homosexuals, people practicing homosexuality, that is held up as something ‘oh no that’s verboten, can’t talk about that.’
Noble: The homosexual lifestyle is not an orientation it’s just a temptation, we all face that, but they’re the ones, that’s the only group of sinners that’s chosen to try to attack the entire world, let alone the word of God, to say ‘no, no, we’re going to keep fighting until you all agree with us that this thing that we know as a sin, isn’t.’
LaBarbera: Right, there are other sins but we don’t see adultery pride parades every June.
As Jeremy Hooper noted, Noble’s comments continued to devolve, and he even alleged that gays and lesbians are living in “the playground of Satan”:
LaBarbera: You’re talking about the spiritual significance of attaching that name—marriage—to the sin of homosexuality.
Noble: Right, when you refuse to repent the only option you have left is to redefine. You say, ‘I’m just going to take this sin right out of the Bible by redefining it and I’m going to get rid of it.’ That’s why when you do that and this is the really sad spiritual underbelly of the whole thing for me as I look at this situation, I’m looking at people, men and women, caught up in their sin, enslaved by their sin, it’s the playground of Satan and the evil forces against God’s way, and they are so broken and so angry at the world telling them and pointing out to them ‘there’s something wrong with you, your lifestyle is messed up, it’s deviant,’ all the things that get said, these are broken people who desperately want to feel whole but they are not willing to repent.
Earlier today we noted that the North Carolina Values Coalition teamed-up with the Southern Baptist Convention for a panel to marshal support for Amendment One, a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages and civil unions, which are already banned by statute. Following a speech by Richard Land, panelist Tim Wilkins made the case for why gays and lesbians should not have rights equal to those of their straight counterparts. Wilkins began his remarks by describing how he is “ashamed” of his “past homosexuality.”
Wilkins in fact, is a professional “ex-gay” activist whose ministry “stems from his own freedom from homosexuality some thirty years ago.” He is also a member of NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and organizes a conference that “addresses such topics as If a Friend Says ‘I’m gay’, Debunking the ‘Gay Gene’, ‘What’s a Parent to Do?’, Untwisting ‘Gay Theology’, Counseling the Homosexual, Preventing Homosexuality, and A Biblical Bridge Out of Homosexuality.’”
He maintained that a same-sex relationship is inherently “unequal” and actually “lacks the very diversity it seeks to promote,” urging audience members not to treat homosexuality as a sexual orientation but instead as a “temptation.” Wilkins argued that homosexuality should be reduced to a “temptation” just as Pluto was relegated from its status as a planet to dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union.
North Carolina activists pushing Amendment One, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state, met at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where Richard Land said that the referendum “is not about gay rights” but about whether marriage will “be transformed by the whims of a minority,” i.e. gays and lesbians. Land tied marriage equality for gays and lesbians to growing rates of single motherhood, and said that North Carolina vote would influence a potential Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage. Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition, the group behind the campaign in favor of Amendment One, added that “gay marriage is the beginning of the end for religious freedom,” and the seminar professor Daniel Heimbach said marriage equality “will harm everybody by harming social stability”:
"If the people speak in North Carolina, and also in other states, to affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman, it will tip the balance of the Supreme Court to reject trying to foist by judicial imperialism same-sex marriage on a populous that is clearly opposed to it," Land said at the March 28 forum.
Land went on to say that the federal government spends $700 billion in domestic programs to support women and children due largely to the absence of fathers. The epidemic of fatherlessness has been "catastrophic" on America's landscape, Land mentioned. The issue, Land said, "is not about gay rights," but instead "about the basic building block of human society" -- and "whether we'll allow it to be transformed by the whims of a minority."
The issue of religious liberty was also discussed as gay rights groups throughout the United States have pursued legal action against Christian owned-companies and religiously affiliated adoption agencies, forcing compensatory damages and even closure. "This is not a question of sexual freedom, but of religious freedom," Land said. "The agenda of the homosexual community is to have their behavior and their lifestyle normalized and have same-sex marriage normalized and to have those who disagree with it to be ostracized."
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of North Carolina Values Coalition, said that "when marriage is redefined as genderless, there are legal consequences for anyone who disagree with it."
"Everything from inheritance laws to property rights must then change," she said. "If you disagree with this, you're treated as a racist and as a bigot."
"Gay marriage is the beginning of the end for religious freedom," she said.
With upcoming votes on gay "marriage" in other states, Land said, the future of marriage could be settled in the next 18 months. No state has, by popular vote, chosen to create same-sex "marriage," Land said.
Gay marriage proponents insist that the proposed amendment is unnecessary, discriminatory and unfairly targets gay persons. Daniel Heimbach, an ethics professor at Southeastern Seminary, said gay "marriage" is not about equality.
"The harm of legalizing gay marriage will radically change marriage in a way that it will then deny all fixed structures," Heimbach said. "It will de-institutionalize marriage as an institution.
"It will harm everybody by harming social stability."
When it comes to the Religious Right, seemingly nothing can prevent the movement from willingly and endlessly repeating a known falsehood.
Case in point: several weeks ago we wrote a post about a situation in North Carolina where a preschool student had her homemade lunch confiscated by government bureaucrats who forced her to eat the less healthy lunch provided by the school.
That was, at least, the Religious Right's version of what happened ... and that version was, of course, utterly untrue.
But, as we said, untruth has never been much of an impediment to the Religious Right, which eagerly repeats these sorts of myths ad nauseum until they have become an accepted part of the narrative.
So it comes as no surprise to see that John Hagee has recorded a special message to voice his outrage about it, citing it as proof of this country has finally fully descended into socialism:
Now comes the federal government telling a mother in North Carolina that her child must eat a chicken nugget dish approved by the Federal Government. The mother was told that her child could not eat what her mother had prepared for that child and the child was forced to eat what the government mandated what the child must eat. Ladies and gentlemen, this is socialism at its ultimate pinnacle, telling you what you can eat and taking from you your basic freedoms of decision.
For the record, not one thing that Hagee said in this statement is even remotely true ... but that doesn't matter since Hagee's primary objective is to mobilize viewers to vote against President Obama, which explains why the video ends with Hagee declaring that "November 2012 will be the opportunity for you to express yourself" in opposition to just this sort of "robbery of America's freedom."
North Carolina Voters Reject Resegregation; African American Ministers Applaud Commitment to Diversity
The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.