Announcement of Massive Christian Rally Draws Angry Responses from the Gay Community
1,000+ Christians to Gather at Charlotte Gay Pride Event and Declare that “God Has a Better Way”
Contact: For Dr. Michael Brown, Eric McCoy: 704-701-2886; firstname.lastname@example.org; for Lou Engle, Thomas Hall: 615-260-0917 Thomashall@thecall.com.
July 23, 2009, Charlotte, North Carolina
On Saturday, July 25th, at least 1,000 Christians will join together next to Pride Charlotte, the city’s annual gay pride event, to conduct their own “God Has a Better Way” rally. Participants are expected from numerous churches in the greater Charlotte area as well as from other states.
According to Dr. Michael Brown, director of the Charlotte-based Coalition of Conscience and the organizer of the event, “Nothing like this has ever been done in conjunction with a gay pride event in any city before, and those who join together on this day will be part of history in the making.”
Brown’s event is being actively supported by Lou Engle, national director of TheCall to Action. Engle, who advocates bringing about cultural change through prayer and fasting, believes that the “God Has a Better Way” rally could be a national flash point, with the goal that homosexual activism “stops here.”
Other national family ministries are looking to Charlotte as well. In January, 2009, Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine carried a story called, “Something New in Charlotte,” highlighting the work that has been in done in Charlotte by Brown and his coalition and pointing to it as a model for other cities.
The scope of this event has drawn sharp criticism from GLBT leaders, with a spate of concerned articles appearing on major gay websites, despite the assurances of the rally organizers that their event will be entirely peaceful and non-harassing.
Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend wrote, “I don’t know what kind of radical right magnet is located in Charlotte, NC, but some of the worst homobigots . . . and religious extremists embed themselves there,” noting that “Brown will put his brand of anti-gay activism on display in Charlotte on July 25.”
According to the JoeMyGod website, “Anti-gay preachers Lou Engle . . . and Michael Brown plan to bring a thousand protesters to Charlotte Pride this weekend to scream . . . at attendees about Jeebus. Engle and Brown plan for the Charlotte event to launch a new national movement to oppress gay people.”
Brown points out that everyone participating in the “God Has a Better Way” rally must comply with the Terms of Involvement, which include: I will not engage in hate speech, name-calling, or angry rhetoric; I will seek to befriend those who oppose me; I will seek to overcome bad attitudes with good attitudes; I will seek to be a living example of Jesus; I will not violate the law.
“We have great love for the gay and lesbian community” Brown states, “and have always treated them with dignity and respect; at the same time, we take strong exception to the gay activist agenda and will be sending a message to the city and the nation that God Has a Better Way.”
Rally participants will meet at First Baptist Church, at 301 S. Davidson St., at 12:00, noon, and then will walk together to the Pride Charlotte rally, held at Gateway Village, located at Fifth and Trade Streets, where they will worship and pray until 3:00 PM.
For more information, see www.godhasabetterway.com, where Dr. Brown’s 7 ½ minute video invitation is also posted, highlighting what he refers to the as “the urgency of the hour.”
The Coalition of Conscience is a network of church and ministry leaders, business and education leaders, and Christians from every walk of life, based in the greater Charlotte area, working together for moral and cultural change through the gospel. www.coalitionofconscience.org
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