Campaign Targets ‘Religion-Based Bigotry Against Gay People’

CNSNews.com | Randy Hall | May 04, 2007

(CNSNews.com) – A homosexual advocacy group announced on Thursday that it is launching a five-city, six-month “Call to Courage” tour to “educate Americans about the misuse of religious teachings to discriminate and isolate gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

However, a conservative Christian leader told Cybercast News Service that the group was replacing one kind of bigotry with another — and “unfortunately, it’s against Almighty God.”

“We’re asking Americans to be courageous and to join us in a stand against discrimination in all forms,” said Mitchell Gold, founder of the organization Faith in America, during a telephone news conference on Thursday.

“As a nation, we have exhibited such courage in the past by rejecting the use of religion to sanction slavery and the subjugation of women,” Gold said, adding that people “using their biblical interpretations to justify legalized discrimination or lack of protections for any American is just plain wrong.”

Jimmy Creech, who spent 29 years as a minister in the United Methodist Church and is the organization’s executive director, asserted that “religion-based bigotry” is presently being used “to manipulate the American public to take rights and protections away from GLBT people.”

Nevertheless, “Faith in America has faith in America, in the democratic principles that underlie our constitutional government and in the authentic religious traditions in our country that move us to compassion, justice and respect for the dignity of all people,” Creech said.

The “Call to Courage” tour will be conducted in six cities, starting with a full-page advertisement in Sunday’s edition of the Tribune newspaper in Ames, Iowa.

From there, the campaign will proceed to Reno, Nev.; Greenville, S.C. (the site of Bob Jones University, a conservative Christian school); and Manchester, N.H., using a combination of grassroots organizing, direct mail and paid ads to educate the public and provide a forum for citizens to “express their sentiments about religion-based bigotry.”

Creech said that those cities were selected because they are in states with early caucus and primary votes during the 2008 presidential election and thus will attract contenders for the White House.

“We want to ask those candidates, ‘Is it OK to use your religious beliefs to make public policy that denies the full rights and protections of the Constitution to GLBT people?'” Creech said.

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Comments

  1. Michael Bauman says:

    The following quote pretty much sums up the campaign: “I believe we’ll truly be a Christ-centered nation when we no longer allow our own homophobia, our irrational fear of GLBT people, to stop us from doing what is really right,”

    I am for following the Holy Scripture which says to leave homosexuals and others in the same category (Romans 1) alone. That does not mean that I have to cease calling those sins what they are, sins. I have had a lot of friendly interaction with homosexuals throughout the course of my life and I am in no way afraid of them or their sins. As an act of Christian mercy we should care for those who experience the negative effects of their sin, just as we should do for everyone else. If done in love and with mercy, it is a Christian duty to witness to the sinfulness of the world and at times to the specific sins of those around us. Judgement, however, is left to God alone. We do not have the right to “damn people to hell” We have the responsibility to pray that they be delivered from hell if simply out of our own self-interest (as you forgive, so shall you be forgiven).

    The organizers of this campaign are calling it a “Call to Courage” It takes no courage whatsoever to acquiese to the mind of the world and the licentious nature of our culture, just the opposite. Jesus Christ specifically calls us to be at odds with the worldly approach.

    Preaching hate in the name of Christ is offensive and ought not go unchallenged but very few of those who reject the normalization of homosexuality do so out of hate or fear. Although it is not entirely irrational to be concerned about the fact that many on the pro-homosexual side wish to silence and make criminal the preaching of the Gospel.

    If one has abandoned the idea of a Creator who loves us and therefore sets the standards for our behavior and the consequences for when we breech those standards, then it makes all the sense in the world to take a pro homosexual stand, but to call it Christian is, IMO, an act of apostasy.

  2. I really believe we as Christians have lost our way and lost the true message of God that’s all about love. Just because I don’t feel homosexual feelings, doesn’t mean I have the right to condemn others or think of gay people as sinners or being gay is sinful. I just keep the main message of God is Love in mind and not allow things to get more complicated than that, because it isn’t.

    I’ve heard of a movie called God and Gays: Bridging the Gap and want to see it. There’s a website about it, http://www.godandgaysthemovie.com/documnentary.

    I just believe division and judgment and we should stand by gay folks to really demonstrate God’s unconditional love.

  3. Are we really loving our brother if we allow them to undergo spiritual death and, if we notice they are in sin, do nothing? If your brother is starving themselves (as an act of self-destruction, not fasting), would you not try to get them to eat?

  4. Michael Bauman says:

    Gentle Sarah, there is a big difference between compassion for those caught up in sin and refusing to recognize sin as such. In is important to put St. Paul’s condemnation against homosexuality and a whole host of other sins in context.

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. Romans 1-2:24

    There are three things that leap out at me from this passage: 1) Homosexuality and the other sins listed are specifically linked to idolatry and ungodliness: “worshiping the created thing more than the creator”; 2) Even though they are heinous sins not to be recognized as anything else, St. Paul is cautioning us to guard our own heart against them and not judge others, trusting in the judgment of God; 3) To acquiesce in these sins is as bad as the sins themselves “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”.

    Reading further into Romans in becomes clear that St. Paul’s message is about the mercy of God who will forgive, through repentance, even these sins. However to repent, one has to understand ways of thinking and acting are against the goodness that God has prepared for us; against our own nature. If we are not aware something is wrong or even worse told that a self-destructive behavior is just fine, how are we ever to be led to repentance? Jesus’ constantly issued the call to repent. As Christians it is incumbent upon us to both live a life of repentance and declare the necessity for repentance with gentleness and love. To do otherwise is to ignore the Gospel. Homosexual behavior is sinful, but so is adultery and fornication. By Christians lack of effective witness and participation in adultery and fornication (also listed above) we have acquiescedto them and it seems that they have become the societal norm. Normalizing licentiousness among adults has turned loose those who wish to corrupt and use our children. Our hearts have grown cold to our own sins so we refuse to recognize as sin even the grossest of behavior and even seek to normalize it. Who will God judge most harshly if we have become ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our savior?

  5. Truly, we are somewhat to blame for the state of our nation.

  6. Clearly, Christians could use some courage (like Jesus) who boldly and clearly confronted the ‘religious’ sins popular in his day. We need to love homosexual rebels enough to rebuke them and challenge them to repent of their perversion of God’s gift of sex. Let’s be clear to a sin drenched world, homosexuality, like other heterosexual perversions is something Jesus clearly addressed, “Go and sin no more.”

    Willful perversion of God’s plan was what Jesus attacked the most vigorously and probably (from rebel man’s perspective) was what got him on the ‘crucifixion’ path with the opinion shapers of his day. So be courageous and prepared for hostile reactions, Christians. The world hasn’t changed that much.