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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