Yesterday, Trinity Broadcasting Network recorded its flagship Praise the Lord program from a waterfront resort in the Bahamas. Among those who joined the broadcast were Religious Right activist Samuel Rodriguez and anti-gay “ex-gay” singer Donnie McClurkin. TBN’s visit to the Bahamas came shortly after a gay pride event scheduled for this past weekend at a private resort in the Bahamas was cut short in response to a backlash that reportedly included death threats and vitriol on local talk shows.
Among those who slammed the pride event and the LGBT movement in general was Dr. Myles Munroe, who heads Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Munroe has hosted shows on TBN in the past and been a guest on some of the network’s major shows. Over the weekend he put out a six-page statement attacking the LGBT rights movement and saying it has “hijacked” and “raped” the civil rights movement. He called the gay pride event a “celebration of insanity.”
“I think the attempt to equate the historical civil rights movement with the demands for the right to dignify, glorify and accept as normal the practice of a lifestyle that could render the human race, for which they sacrificed, extinct is illogical, dishonest, and is the abuse of the blood and imprisonment of many.
“It’s a hijacking of the gains paid for by the blood of honorable men and women for an unnatural, human-destroying behavior.”
A story this morning quotes a spokesperson for the resort advertised as the site of the pride event denying that any event had been booked.
The Ministry of Tourism and Manager for Religious Tourism celebrated the TBN visit. A Ministry of Tourism update in the Bahamas Weekly said that Grand Bahamas “remains the choice destination for repeat International religious events such as Dr. Myles Munroe’s Global Leadership Summit and Angela Pipersburgh’s International Womens Summit.”
Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber is on high alert after a federal judge issued a final ruling striking down Utah’s ban on polygamous relationships, and joined Janet Mefferd yesterday to discuss the ruling, which he said was just the latest sign that support for same-sex marriage took a “sledgehammer” to our society and will send it all “tumbling down.”
Barber lamented that Americans are too busy to do the careful analysis that would lead them to agree with him and instead are buying into the gay rights movement’s “propaganda.”
“Unfortunately, much of America right now is — you know, we’re all busy, people don’t have time to actually engage the process of analysis on these things and look that A leads to B that leads to C, and take it all the way down to Z, which is disastrous — they don’t have time for that, and people buy into the propaganda,” he said.
“I just hope that people will recognize that when we deviate and try to redefine something that cannot be redefined — particularly when that thing, we’re talking about marriage here, is a fundamental cornerstone of any society — if we take a sledgehammer to that cornerstone, the results are disastrous and everything comes tumbling down.”
A World Congress of Families event in Melbourne this week was supposed to feature speeches by three Australian government officials, including social services minister Kevin Andrews. Instead, all three have backed out in the face of criticism of the Illinois-based group’s promotion of harsh anti-gay and anti-choice laws around the world.
In addition, the Australian politicians had come under fire for the conference’s sponsorship by Catch the Fire ministries, a group run by far-right politician Danny Nalliah who has blamed wildfires on abortion rights and frequently lashes out against "multiculturalism." (Nalliah also happens to be an ally of bizarre birther WND columnist and RWW favorite Lord Monckton).
Andrews’ decision to back out of the WCF event is especially galling since the group had been planning to present him with its “Natural Family Man of the Year” award. In a somewhat confusing statement, Andrews criticized those asking him to back out of trying to “shut down debate” while agreeing with them that the WCF summit represented “intolerance.” The Sydney Morning Herald:
Mr Andrews issued a statement on Friday announcing he had decided not to attend the conference after learning it would be hosted by the far-right Catch the Fire Ministries.
"Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy like Australia. It was for this reason that I intended to address the World Congress of Families meeting in Melbourne tomorrow," Mr Andrews said in the statement.
"The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left - instead of arguing their case in the public arena they seek to shut down debate."
"Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend."
The World Congress of Families will be holding its next big conference in Salt Lake City next year. It will be interesting to see whether American politicians also choose to stay away.
Ex-gay activist David Kyle Foster joined Kevin Swanson on “Generations Radio” today, which inevitably led to a discussion of how God will punish America for homosexuality.
“I’ve wondered if the opening of the Pandora’s box of the 1960s and 70s and the free sex movement that led to the shacking up, the fornication, the massive increase in the availability of pornography, etc. etc….I wonder if the incredible opening up of all these things has led to the next step, and that is homosexuality?” Swanson asked Foster.
Foster agreed that “sexual immorality” such as homosexuality amounts to “idolatry” because it involves “worshipping the creature rather than the creator.”
“Homosexuality in our culture is another step in the degeneration of a culture that practices idolatry,” he concluded.
On her “Mission America” radio program yesterday, Linda Harvey weighed in on the National Organization for Marriage’s boycott of Target in response to the company’s filing of a court brief in support of marriage equality.
Harvey echoed NOM in taking particular issue with Target’s characterization of same-sex marriage bans as “bans” and “discrimination.”
“Have you noticed how this is how headlines often read these days?” Harvey said. “They talk about laws on natural marriage as being ‘bans’ on same-sex so-called marriage. And that’s incorrect because people who are male can still marry people who are female. The only obstacle for a few people is the presence of unnatural desires. Those desires can change with a different mind and heart.”
Later in the broadcast, Harvey read from a response she received from Target, in which the company expressed support for the “LGBT community.”
“So where’s the inclusivity for traditional values families? Target also thinks there’s an LGBT community, but what about a Christian morals community? Do they get the fact that most people have had it up to here with pushing deviance and perversion into everyone’s lives in America? That most Americans don’t accept the idea of two men or two women being married when they are obviously not?”
In the days since British Christian singer Vicky Beeching came out as a lesbian, anti-gay pastor Scott Lively has been on full alert, confronting Beeching on TV and issuing a pamphlet warning churches that “a dangerous modern heresy called 'gay theology' is infiltrating the Christian church at an alarming pace.”
Lively continued his anti-Beeching crusade in an interview with WorldNetDaily this weekend, in which he warned that the singer represents “the drawing back of the tide before a tsunami” consisting of “attacks on Christians in America like we’ve never seen before.”
An evangelical Christian worship singer who has been urging churches to change their doctrine on homosexual behavior since announcing she is a lesbian is at the forefront of a coming tidal wave of “infiltration” of the church by promoters of the “gay” agenda, contends evangelical attorney, evangelist and activist Scott Lively.
Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, said that with insiders on the offensive such as Vicky Beeching, a British-born artist who has become popular among evangelicals in the U.S., he expects “attacks on Christians in America like we’ve never seen before.”
He explained that after the Stonewall riots in 1969, homosexual activists banded together to oppose every American institution that did not fully accept and promote homosexual behavior.
The first victory was over the American Psychiatric Association, and within 40 years, every other group had been conquered, he said. The Boy Scouts were the latest to fall, just a year ago.
Now, the only organization left is the church, he said.
“All of their battle-hardened activists and enormous resources are all directed at the church,” he said.
The problem is that church leaders haven’t been preparing for such a fight, Lively said, and don’t really know what the movement is about.
Beeching revealed she is a lesbian in an interview last week with the Independent newspaper of London.
“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people,” she said.
Lively, however, said Beeching represents “the drawing back of the tide before a tsunami” and an indicator of “how bad this is going to get.”
In a WorldNetDaily column today, Joseph Farah came up with a creative argument for exempting businesses that deny services to gay couples from nondiscrimination laws. Opposing same-sex marriage, Farah argues, is itself a “sexual orientation” and therefore a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually discriminatory against the sexual orientation of marriage equality opponents.
Let me pose a hypothetical intellectual challenge: The law that forms the basis for the action against the Giffords in New York is a provision that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet, isn’t that precisely what is happening to the Giffords? Are they not being coerced to accept and approve someone else’s sexual orientation? Are they not permitted to hold their own sexual orientation, one that acknowledges their God’s definition that marriage is a union of one man and one woman?
The Giffords are not campaigning to prevent other people from following their own conscience as to their sexual choices and activities. It’s just the opposite. They are being coerced by the state to take part in the sexual choices and activities of others.
Isn’t that obvious?
Farah finishes things up on more familiar ground, attempting to tie together the gay rights movement and Islamic radicals.
When “non-discrimination” becomes victimization of those with different religious and moral convictions, we literally have the establishment of a state religion and, effectively, the repeal of the First Amendment.
Who wants that?
It’s not Christians.
It’s not Jews.
Just look around and see for yourself.
Some people are trying to get the state to force those with different values, morals and religious idea to serve them in ways that violate their consciences.
I only see that kind of coercion demanded among two groups of people today – those who believe in the unlimited power of the state as their “god” and others who believe their god wants them to kill or subjugate all “infidels.”
Today, the American Family Associaton’s OneNewsNow interviews Brian Camenker of the Massachusetts anti-gay group MassResistance, who warns that when a high school student comes out as gay it is all part of a strategy carefully orchestrated by gay rights activists “seeking to draw susceptible students into their ranks”:
A Massachusetts family values advocate says it's no accident that so many students announce that they are homosexuals.
Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance says these incidents of students “coming out” are the result of a carefully calculated strategy by homosexual activists. He says, historically, school administrators eagerly work with activists who are seeking to draw susceptible students into their ranks.
“We saw one situation at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts, where the principal actually participated in an assembly where they encouraged kids to announce that they were coming out,” he tells OneNewsNow.
He says the activists prey on pupils who are the most vulnerable.
Camenker says it's not just in Massachusetts - this is happening all across the nation. He says parents need to know about these recruitment programs and demand that they be kept out of their children’s schools.
In a blog post yesterday, American Family Association research director Ed Vitigliano reacted to the news that Christian singer Vicky Beeching came out as a lesbian by trying to provide an empathetic explanation of homosexuality, and failing utterly.
“I think most men would think that Vicky was a very pretty lady,” he wrote, which “makes the subject of sexual orientation rather difficult to understand at times.” After explaining how he has always liked women, Vitigliano wrote that to gay people, being gay “must have appeared just that natural.”
But, he cautioned, gay people are “broken” like the blind and paralyzed and “in order to be Christians they will have to accept that their ‘orientation’ is a manifestation of brokenness, not wholeness.”
I was disappointed to read about yet another Christian artist who has “come out” as a homosexual and claimed that God had a hand in the process. In other words, she stated that God (1) made her a lesbian and (2) led her to declare it unashamedly to all who would listen.
I think most men would think that Vicky was a very pretty lady, and those sorts of appraisals are usually made without thinking. This makes the subject of sexual orientation rather difficult to understand at times.
Since I was five years old I’ve noticed girls. I had my first crush on a neighborhood girl and actually had a dream that I married her! I can remember my second crush in the first grade when I was six: Jill Drowns. Brown eyes, blond hair in braided pigtails. As for my wife of 33 years, well, she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen – and still is.
I don’t know what it’s like to feel that way toward a man. I don’t know what it must have been like to feel that way toward another boy in first grade.
So I feel compassion toward homosexuals. I don’t believe most of them woke up one day and decided they’d be attracted to same sex people. Neither do I believe they’re born that way. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.
What causes homosexuality? I think there’s probably a web of causes – some apply to this group, some to that, etc. I believe that some homosexuals have endured sexual abuse or other trauma; others suffer from a deficit of some sort that turned them toward the same sex side of the aisle in an attempt to heal.
At this point I realize I have offended most of the homosexuals reading this. So let me even the score and offend some Christians: I believe some percentage of homosexuals (I have no idea how large or small) simply grew up just like me – only different. Instead of having a crush on an opposite sex person, they experienced a crush on a same sex person. To them it appeared just that natural.
But if there’s a God who designed us – and I believe there is – then we obviously aren’t designed to be attracted to the same sex. With my apologies to the Vicky Beechings of the world, the human race is clearly designed as male and female, with sexually complementary equipment. We are obviously intended to grow through childhood and enter puberty attracted to the opposite sex – because that’s the only thing that makes sense of the biological design inherent in humankind.
So for Vicky and Ray and Jennifer and Clay – how do we explain the fact that their attraction developed in complete disregard for design? Here’s the short answer: They’re broken. Why is that so hard to say? Sexual and romantic attraction was supposed to develop one way and it developed another. Maybe it was because of something that was done to them or around them; maybe it wasn’t. But it is different.
Are we not all broken in small and large ways? As a fallen race, isn't there a web of characteristics about us all that doesn’t reflect the way God designed us? If a child is born blind, does that mean God approves? Isn't it a sign that something is not as intended? Eyes were created to see. To not see is not the same as being able to see. The blind are still human, but their brokenness is still brokenness. But isn't that what we’re doing with homosexuality? Aren't we denying the obvious – that there’s a disconnect between design and operation in the homosexual? Aren’t we applauding as courageous those who declare their brokenness to be wholeness?
Only God can make a broken person whole. Sometimes it is done as a miracle, as when Jesus healed a blind or lame or paralyzed person. Sometimes we must wait for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven, when all brokenness is finally healed. I believe God can make homosexuals whole in this life. Despite the ridicule that follows such a statement, I believe that does happen. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says so. However, for many – or even most – homosexuals, in order to be Christians they will have to accept that their “orientation” is a manifestation of brokenness, not wholeness. Like the rest of us who are broken in some way, they will have to reject that lameness and give it to God. They will hobble through life learning to love Him more and more – and yes, learning to obey Him.
In a speech to the Stanford Anscombe Society last month, anti-gay activist Robert Oscar Lopez explained that he would support marriage equality…if it didn’t come with protections for children raised by same-sex parents.
“I supported marriage for a long time,” Lopez said, “but the problem is that the people who have supported gay marriage have chosen to yoke gay marriage and gay parenting together.”
“That put me in the horrible situation where I have to oppose gay marriage, because it ultimately means that in order to protect the sexual relationship between two adults, you have to shatter the relationship between a child and either his father or his mother,” he continued.
“A lot of the people who I might have disagreed with ten years ago, who kept on warning that gay marriage was a portal to new things, unfortunately those people were right and gay marriage became this tidal wave that then swept up children,” he said.
Protesters throughout the nation have come out to march and peacefully protest the unjust criminal system that led to Michael Brown being gunned down in Missouri on August 9, including members of the People For the American Way Foundation family.
In Missouri, two members of PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network have taken key roles speaking out for justice. State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal and Alderman Antonio French were both part of the protests in Ferguson; Chappelle-Nadal was tear-gassed, and French was arrested. Other members of the YEO Network have also been organizing national petitions, marching, buying food and water for protestors, trying to dissuade looting, among other things.
Chappelle-Nadal, elected in 2010, represents part of St. Louis County in the Missouri Senate. She has been vocal in her criticism of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and his response to the crisis in her community.
“I never expected to represent a war zone,” she tweeted Thursday.
French, on the other hand, has been documenting the protests through “advocacy journalism.” Born and raised in O’Fallon, French has dedicated his time in public service to improving the quality of life in north St. Louis, often working in conjunction with police to create safer spaces.
During the protests last Wednesday, French was arrested and then released early Thursday, but the reason behind the arrest remained unclear. His arrest, along with his work documenting the protests, have made him a “national voice against the militarization of police.”
In Miami, another PFAW Foundation voice joined the protests. Young People For alum Phillip Agnew, founder of the Dream Defenders, organized a similar demonstration to protest how “police departments around the country will continue to use black and brown bodies for target practice.”
Many Americans are appalled at the actions taken by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri this month. PFAW Foundation is proud of the work being done by members of our leadership networks to build a more equal America.
This weekend, Linda Harvey welcomed to her radio show Molly Smith, the Cleveland anti-choice activist who’s heading up a new national splinter group that thinks that the major anti-choice groups aren’t extreme enough. One of the issues that separates Smith from the major anti-choice groups is her insistence on linking anti-gay and anti-choice activism, a divide that came to a head when she was rebuked by National Right to Life Committee for attacking anti-choice advocate Sen. Rob Portman when he came out in favor of marriage equality.
Smith and Harvey discussed the Gay Games, which took place over the weekend in Cleveland and which Smith contended were “not gay” but in fact “very melancholy” because they featured participants in a “sad and destructive lifestyle.”
Later in the interview, Smith lashed out at the Cuyahoga County GOP for officially welcoming the Gay Games, saying that opposition to LGBT rights must always be paired with anti-choice activism because homosexuality is an “anti-family lifestyle.”
An unarmed teenager gunned down in the street. Peaceful protesters attacked in a military-style assault. Journalists tear-gassed and arrested to prevent them from covering the actions of government officials. This is not the America to which we aspire.
Many Americans are both angry and appalled at the actions taken by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. These actions do not reflect a commitment to the Constitution or to the principles of equal justice under the law and freedom of the press. We applaud the Department of Justice for undertaking an investigation into the violence, and we are grateful that state officials have stepped in to institute a more sensible law enforcement presence. We encourage state and federal officials to continue monitoring the situation and to intervene as necessary to prevent further civil rights violations.
At the center of this controversy is a dead teenager and a grieving family. We recognize that the pain and outrage felt by so many people is grounded in the fact that this kind of killing of young men of color happens far too often. Part of the tragedy is that a killing like this is not surprising. If our commitment to equality and human dignity is to have real meaning, we cannot continue to tolerate conditions that require so many parents to teach their children how to live through a chance encounter with law enforcement.
In the long run, our elected officials must grapple with many complex policy questions, including racial disparities in the administration of justice. Today we support community leaders who are demanding accountability.
The following is a guest post by Roeland Park Councilwoman Megan England, member of People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
Before a city council vote last week in Roeland Park, Kansas, it was legal in our town to refuse or terminate housing, services, or employment for someone on the basis of who they are or who they love. I didn’t believe that our community would tolerate this kind of treatment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender neighbors and friends. As a councilmember, I felt the obligation to ensure that everyone — regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or military status — has the opportunity to live, work, and contribute here.
This spring, Councilwoman Jennifer Gunby and I introduced a non-discrimination ordinance providing protections for the LGBT community and others. This seemed like the right thing to do for many reasons. First, it’s fair and just. It shows that our town, like so many others, values diversity and inclusion. It highlights the shared values of our community. It’s good for our economy, since it attracts businesses and visitors who want to feel that everyone is welcome in our town. It supports a strong and productive workforce and happier, healthier communities. What’s more, many of our neighboring towns were already a few steps ahead of us. Cities like Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri have had similar non-discrimination protections for over 20 years. In every corner of the country, cities and towns are increasingly understanding the importance of passing laws that prevent discrimination. And we were thrilled last week when Roeland Park finally did, too.
However, we still face an uphill battle in the larger fight for equality. In my work on this ordinance, I’ve learned that many people — even members of the press — are still unaware of the lack of federal protections in place for the LGBT community. There’s no end in sight to congressional gridlock in Washington, and it may be a while before our state of Kansas has the leadership necessary to wipe discrimination from the books. My hope is that other local elected officials will realize, like I did, that they have the power to make a simple but profound change in the lives of those they are sworn to represent. While change may be slow nationally, at the local level we have a tremendous opportunity to protect and serve our constituents, and to drive progress and innovation.
When Councilwoman Gunby and I began this process, we thought change might come quickly; we didn’t expect five months of revisions, public hearings, and tense discussions. While much longer and more difficult than we imagined, I now realize the importance of that process. It reaffirmed my respect for the political process. I saw the benefits of engaging the community in a critical dialogue, and in bringing light to the issue week after week. In some of the more difficult moments, when I wasn’t sure that the ordinance would ultimately pass, I wondered if it had all been worth it. One local transgender man answered that for me by sharing the story of how speaking publicly for the first time and simply telling his personal story encouraged young trans people to reach out to him for support and guidance. It was this act of kinship, of humanity and community, that reinforced for me the importance of the process no matter the outcome.
When focused on the big picture, we sometimes fail to see the smaller impacts of our work, the daily reverberations. But now, with both the ordinance in place and many conversations started, our community is all the better for it.
On a recent episode of Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program, Mat Staver argued that marriage equality can’t be a fundamental right because it’s not “deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it,” and in fact “homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature” and “something that’s been criminalized in our culture.”
A fundamental right in constitutional law has to either be specifically articulated in an enumeration of the Constitution — so a fundamental right would be freedom of speech, freedom of religion, so it’s part of the First Amendment, it’s actually absolutely articulated — and if it’s not articulated, the court has said it has to be deeply rooted in our history such that if you were to not protect it, it would literally unravel the concept of ordered liberty that is so essential to who we are and it is so deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it. Parental rights can be something that falls within a category such as that.
Now, here, obviously, the issue is, did same-sex marriage become a fundamental right? And the answer clearly is no. If they really were honest, it’s no. And to the contrary, same-sex marriage or homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature. Instead of protection deeply rooted, it’s been something that’s been criminalized in our culture, not just in America but around the world.
Later in the program Staver discussed the recent appeals court decision striking down Virginia’s marriage equality ban with Liberty University Law School’s Rena Lindevaldsen. Lindevaldsen argued that because the court acknowledged that people in same-sex relationships sometimes raise children from opposite-sex relationships that it undermined the argument that being gay is a fundamental characteristic. “Now they’re saying, by the way, we can have relationships with whoever we want to and we still get this right to marriage,” she lamented.
Earlier this week, John Hagee declared that Christians (or “counterfeit Christians,” as he called them) who are pro-choice or supportive of LGBT rights are the “greatest problem” leading to America’s destruction.
David Barton picked up the theme on his “Wallbuilders Live” radio program today, rattling off statistics showing that many young Christians don’t think homosexuality and abortion are sins, and that some have even had abortions or are “active homosexuals” themselves.
“Whoa,” Barton said. “There is nothing in the Bible — nothing — that aligns with this. How can you be a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ when you don’t follow his teachings on these things?”
He concluded that it was a problem of “real biblical illiteracy” in the U.S.
Last month, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he would no longer defend the state’s marriage equality ban because "there are really no arguments left to be made."
This did not sit well with Mark Creech, executive director of the North Carolina Action League. In a Christian Post column yesterday, Creech attacked Cooper for “wimpishly” capitulating to “tyranny” and yielding to the “despotism” of “judicial totalitarians.”
By refusing to resist with every legal means possible, Cooper capitulates to a form of tyranny in our day. He abandons his post on the field of battle, throws up the white flag, stands in the very place of the state (a state that voted by 61% for the marriage amendment) and wimpishly replies to the 4th Circuit that North Carolina accepts their judgment and surrenders. Furthermore, he calls on the judges who will preside over the cases currently challenging the state's marriage amendment to stand down and yield to the despotism of two judicial totalitarians.
Televangelist John Hagee dedicated his Sunday sermon this week to asking if America can “survive until 2017,” walking through a number of issues that he feared would impede the country’s survival. The chief among these, he said, are “counterfeit Christians” who are pro-choice or support LGBT rights.
“You people who are running around calling yourselves Christians supporting abortion, you are not!” he thundered.
“Our greatest problem in this nation is counterfeit Christianity,” he explained later in the sermon, telling gay-affirming pastors, “Those of you who got on national television and endorsed homosexual lifestyle because the president did so, you are a counterfeit Christian, you are a moral coward, you are a hireling shepherd. Shame on you.”
Hagee also warned that the separation of church and state “will prove suicidal for America.”
American Family Association of Michigan president Gary Glenn won a Republican primary for a seat in the Michigan state House yesterday, making him potentially the second most virulently anti-gay GOP candidate in the country, behind Colorado demon-hunter Gordon Klingenschmitt.
Glenn was a prominent supporter of Michigan’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and was a big backer of his “very special friend” Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid. As the head of the American Family Association’s Michigan affiliate, Glenn has pushed any number of extreme anti-gay positions:
This, of course, is all run of the mill for someone associated with the American Family Association.