From an email sent out to the Coalition of Conscience:
Join Us This Thursday Night, Feb. 10, for a Special Night with Lou Engle at FIRE Church
We are excited to announce that our dear friend Lou Engle will be with us for one night only, Thursday, February 10th, beginning at 7:00 PM, at FIRE Church in Concord, just a half-mile from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Please join us and encourage your friends to come.
We are in the early stages of launching the Charlotte House of Prayer with a very specific focus, one that is absolutely critical for our nation and region. We’ll share more about the vision for this House of Prayer and how you can be involved on Thursday night. Before Lou speaks, we will have a time of worship and I’ll also be sharing the word the Lord gave me more than six years ago to “reach out and resist.” This will be an important night!
I’m passing on this important action announcement from our friends at the Oak Initiative.
Please read it carefully, forward it to your friends, and respond as you see fit.
Blessings and grace,
Dr. Michael Brown
Urgent: North Carolina Ready to Respond to Healthcare Bill
North Carolina Government is Listening
It is important that you read this email and respond urgently. Our government officials in North Carolina are starting to listen and we must respond immediately. There are Three Actions Listed Below.
Action 1: NC Attorney General’s office states that if enough people e-mail support to join forces with the 13 states currently filing suit against the constitutionality of the HealthCare bill it will join forces with them. Please go to http://www.ncdoj.gov/Consumer/2-2-12-File-a-Complaint.aspx and e-mail them ASAP.
Please also write or call: (Use the swiftest means available to you)
Attorney General’s Office
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001 Telephone: (919) 716-6400 Fax: (919) 716-6750
Governor Bev Perdue
Office of the Governor 919-733-2391
Action 2:This action has been requested by the head of the Department of Labor, conservative Cherri Berry. On Tuesday April 6 there will be a rally on the Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh.
Cherri Berry and Steve Troxler (Dept of agriculture) will address the crowd. They will then go into session to address the “Council of State” where the heads of all state departments will be gathered as they do each year and request that our state join the lawsuit of 13 other states against the federal government’s imposition of health care. Your phone calls and emails leading up to this event are critical.
We The People NC has arranged for buses throughout NC. Seat prices are 25.00 each. The seats are first come first served and are secured only by your payment through paypal.
All information you need and the paypal link will be updated on their website, http://wethepeoplenc.org. All inquiries go to Rick Starnes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne Hobson wrote a piece on Dr. Brown and the Coalition of Conscience for the Charlotte Baptist Examiner on the subject “Does God Hate Gays?” His series of articles looks at how various Charlotte groups view the GLBT community, and chose Dr. Brown and the COC to represent an “opposing, yet compassionate message,” comparing and contrasting our group with the approach of others that bring a hateful and arrogant tone such as Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church. Hobson writes:
We will present two views on the gay community. The first view is that of church groups and organizations in Charlotte that represent a conservatively opposing, yet compassionate message.
The second view is that of complete intolerance and rejection of the LGBT community.
Dr. Brown and the Coalition have been a strong voice of opposition to activities that to many, is a sign of moral decay in the Charlotte area. I chose Dr. Brown as a representative of the first viewpoint on the gay community because it was his group, the Coalition of Conscience, that protested the Charlotte [Gay] Pride celebration back in July.
During an interview for the article, the author asked Dr. Brown a pointed question concerning God’s emotions toward the GLBT community:
Q. How do you think God feels about the gay/lesbian community?
A. Dr. Brown: “God loves all people. He sent His Son and Jesus died for them. The same God opposes sins and calls people to repent… But we [the Church community] must do better to convey God’s love. Many gays have felt that they are rejected by the church and given no hope.. [Many gay people] have been hurt and wounded by those professing Christ. If anyone wants to do harm to them [LGBTs], they’ll have to go through me”.
“If anyone wants to do harm to them, they’ll have to go through me” is a bold declaration that shows no hint of any hatred for the LGBT community. In fact, I’ve talked to a number of gay rights opposers over the years and none of them have stated that they would protect gay people while opposing gay activities like Dr. Brown has.
Throughout our 25 or so minute conversation, I sensed no hatred or anger towards the gay community. Instead, I only sensed compassion and conviction.
“Compassion and conviction” are two adjectives that permeate the lives of Jesus followers everywhere. Let’s come out of the closet, and let the world know this is who we really are and how we really feel. Fred Phelps and his Westboro “community” may have their message, but we have ours. Let’s get that message of God’s love into our community!
CHARLOTTE, August 2, 2009: Dr. Michael Brown, leader of the Charlotte-based Coalition of Conscience, which is known for its strong differences with many of the goals of gay activism, has “categorically and unequivocally denounced” the murderous shootings that took place last night at a gay community center in Tel Aviv.
Brown, himself a Jewish follower of Jesus, says he was “shocked and saddened” to hear the news of the killings, especially in Israel. “We don’t have the details yet, but this has all the markings of an act of raw hatred, and as such it must be utterly renounced. Whatever differences any of us may have with any sector of society, be those religious differences or ideological differences, we must maintain those differences with civility and respect. The moment we resort to violence, especially in God’s name, we become agents of destruction and bring reproach to the God we claim to serve.”
Brown points to the non-violent example of Jesus who instructed his followers to put down their swords and to take up their crosses – meaning, to renounce violence and to practice self-denial – noting that it was this example that inspired the non-violent social movements of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
“True moral and cultural revolution,” Brown notes, “does not come about through hatred or intimidation or violence. It comes about through prayer and service, through influencing people’s hearts and minds, overcoming wrong ideologies with right ideologies. But violence only begets violence.”
This past Friday, Brown sat down with a lesbian leader in Charlotte to discuss their differences and to gain better appreciation for each other’s perspectives. He believes that such mutually respectful interaction can help deter the misunderstandings that all too often lead to violence.
“I have friends who received death threats simply because they worked for Proposition 8 in California, and I have received ugly threats as well. Then today, tragically, we hear of a deranged man who killed and wounded gay and lesbian young people in cold blood. This tells me that there are fanatics on all sides and in all religions, and it behooves us as leaders to set an example of civility and respect in the midst of our differences and to say, ‘The violence stops here.’”
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
CHARLOTTE, NC, Feb. 20 /Christian Newswire/ — Dr. Michael Brown, director of the Coalition of Conscience and a speaker at Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out Conference at Central Church of God in Charlotte this Saturday, February 21, claims that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has a history of “discriminatory and defamatory treatment of those who choose to leave the homosexual lifestyle.” (The HRC will be holding its annual fundraising dinner in Charlotte on Saturday night, less than one hour after the conclusion of the Love Won Out Conference.)
Over ten years ago, the HRC published a 28 page booklet designed to counteract ministries devoted to helping people come out of homosexuality, claiming that, “Most people who have been through these ministries . . . refer to their experience as psychological terrorism.” In the same publication, conservative Christian organizations were described as “religious political extremist groups.” The HRC also enthusiastically backed the recent anti-ex-gay movie, “For the Bible Tells Me So,” claiming on their website that the movie “examines how a select few biblical verses are used by right-wing extremists to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people their basic rights.”
Brown, however, questions how an organization which claims to stand for the rights of gays and lesbians can so strongly oppose the rights of those within that community who are not at peace with their same-sex attractions and who choose to pursue change.
“How,” Brown asks, “can they be called the Human Rights Campaign? What about the human rights of ex-gays? And how can the HRC call for tolerance and understanding and yet be so intolerant and bigoted in their treatment of those with unwanted same-sex attractions? Why heap scorn on ex-gays and deny their very existence? Isn’t this the height of hypocrisy for an organization ostensibly devoted to the basic rights of gay and lesbian people?”
Sponsors of this year’s HRC Carolinas Dinner include Bank of America, Wachovia, Duke Energy, Food Lion, American Express, and Audi. Despite this high level of corporate sponsorship, Brown claims that the HRC hardly represents mainstream America, noting that Joe Solmonese, president of the HRC, has stated that all Americans who believe that marriage should be defined as the union of a man and woman are “right-wing extremists.” The HRC also calls on businesses to have special bathroom accommodations for employees undergoing sex-change operations.
“Who are the real extremists?” Brown asks.
Dr. Brown will be available to speak with the media between 1:00-2:30 during the Love Won Out Conference (5301 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC). For further information, contact Eric McCoy at 704-701-2886 or email@example.com.
As gay protests to the passage of Proposition 8 take place in cities across the nation today, it is important that we know the facts. How do we respond truthfully to the statements that are being made?
“I have the right to marry the one I love!”
If that is the case, then shouldn’t Patrick and Susan S. be allowed to marry in Germany? He was adopted as a child and didn’t know he had a sister until she was 16 and he was 23. He has served a prison sentence because of his love for his sister. They have had four children together and do not want to be separated. Why should the government intervene? Patrick says, “We are like normal lovers. We want to have a family.” Susan states, “I just want to live with my family, and be left alone by the authorities and by the courts.” Their attorney argues that the law against a brother and sister marrying “is out of date and it breaches the couple’s civil rights.” Does this sound familiar? If gays should have the “civil right” to marry the ones they love, why not a blood brother and sister, separated as children and reunited later in life?
“It is an outright lie to claim that legalizing same-sex marriages will affect what children are taught in the schools.”
U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf ruled against the Parkers and Wirthlins who had requested that their children be removed from elementary school classes when homosexuality and transgenderism were being promoted. Judge Wolf argued that teaching diversity in sexual orientation was “reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy” and trumped both parental rights and their sincerely held religious beliefs. And, since same-sex marriage was legal in Massachusetts, where the Parkers and Wirthlins reside, on what basis could they ask for their children to be removed from class? Based on this ruling, the superintendent of schools in Lexington, MA, recently explained to a concerned parent that, “The court decided we are not required to inform parents in advance of teaching units that include same gender parents or required to release students when such topics are discussed.”
“This is a civil rights issue no different than segregation. We are born this way and we cannot change.”
Many black Americans are offended by this analogy and do not feel it is fair to compare the color of one’s skin with the sexual relations one chooses in private. Also, there is no such thing as “ex-black” whereas many people claim to be “ex-gay,” and recent scientific studies have confirmed that some homosexuals can, in fact, change, while other studies point to a large degree of sexual fluidity, especially among women. Even if you reject the possibility of change, however, and claim that homosexuality is inborn and immutable, how does that relate to civil rights? All of us reject pedophilia for many reasons, yet pedophiles claim that they were born that way, that they would never choose such a sexual orientation, and that they cannot change. Do we then grant them the “civil right” to their behavior because it is inborn and immutable? Or do we lower the age of consent to accommodate ephebophiles who are attracted only to young teenagers (and who also claim their orientation is inborn and immutable)? Why discriminate against them if our behavior and orientation can be justified based on being inborn and immutable?
“Children raised in same-sex households are no different than children raised in heterosexual households.”
A meta-analytical study by pro-gay researchers Stacy and Biblarz indicated that children raised in same-sex households were more prone to promiscuity, crossing gender lines, and same-sex attraction. To cite one example, they found that lesbian mothers had a feminizing effect on their sons and a masculinizing effect on their daughters. They also reported that “the adolescent and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to have been more sexually adventurous and less chaste . . . in other words, once again, children (especially girls) raised by lesbians appear to depart from traditional gender-based norms, while children raised by heterosexual mothers appear to conform to them.” On a more personal note, Dawn Stefanowicz, raised by a gay father, wrote, “What makes it so hard for a girl to grow up with a gay father is that she never gets to see him loving, honoring, or protecting the women in his life.” Children do best with a mom and dad, but same-sex marriages guarantee that this possibility will never exist for children they raise.
“In the past, the Bible was used in America to promote slavery, segregation, and the suppression of women, just as it is now being used to suppress gays and lesbians.”
It is true that the Bible was misused to promote slavery, segregation, and the suppression of women, but it was actually the proper use of the Scriptures that fueled the anti-slavery and anti-segregation movements, while there are numerous verses in the Bible that speak in glowing terms of the importance of women. In fact, anthropologist Rodney Stark pointed out that one reason that Christianity spread so rapidly in the ancient world was because it was so egalitarian and so liberating for women. In contrast, there is not a single verse in the Bible that extols homosexual behavior, to the point that even the gay-affirming biblical scholar Walter Wink noted that, “The Bible is negative toward same-sex behavior, and there is no getting around it. ” He also stated that “Paul wouldn’t accept [a nonexploitative homosexual] relationship for a minute.”
“Giving us the right to marry would not affect the rights of those who differ with us, especially the rights of people of faith.”
The Washington Blade (May 30, 2008) asked, “Apart from state- or federally funded religious programs, could the legalization of same-sex marriage in California prevent priests and ministers from preaching that homosexuality is biblically forbidden? Could churches in time risk their tax- exempt status by refusing to marry gays? That remains to be seen and will likely result in a steady stream of court battles” (my emphasis). Catholic Charities in Boston dropped out of the adoption business because they were required by the state to place children in same-sex households; Elaine Photography in New Mexico was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because of religious convictions; and a doctor in California was found guilty of refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian woman so she and her partner could have a baby, again because of religious convictions, and despite the fact that this doctor personally referred the patient to another doctor. As predicted by lesbian legal scholar Chai Feldblum, when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.” A just-released study by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has also found that over 350 separate state anti-discrimination laws would likely be affected by the legal recognition of same-sex “marriage.”
“It is a lie of the religious right that legalizing same-sex marriage will open the door to legalizing polygamy and incestuous relationships.”
Actually, polygamy involves a far less radical redefinition of marriage than does same-sex marriage, since marriage is fundamentally the union of a man and a woman more than it is the union of two people. Polygamy is also legal in much of the world and has been the accepted norm in many cultures throughout history, whereas same-sex marriage has never been the norm in any nation at any time in the past. Because same-sex marriage so radically redefines the nature of marriage, marriage certificates were changed in California after the Supreme Court’s decision in May to refer to “Partner A” and “Partner B” rather than bride and groom, while birth certificates in Spain now refer to “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” as opposed to Mother and Father. It should also be noted that pro-incest and pro-polygamy cases currently before courts in the USA and abroad are pointing to same-sex marriage rulings for support.
“There is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
The California Supreme Court, by a four-three vote, recently claimed to discover such a constitutional argument, claiming that everyone has a basic right “to establish a legally recognized family with the person of one’s choice,” yet there is not a single sentence in the Constitution that can be fairly construed to support this “right” for same-sex couples. Moreover, following the Court’s logic, there is no basis for refusing the “right” of two gay brothers to marry and “establish a legally recognized family,” and it is with good reason that justice Marvin Baxter wrote in his dissenting opinion, “I cannot join this exercise in legal jujitsu, by which the Legislature’s own weight is used against it to create a constitutional right from whole cloth, defeat the People’s will, and invalidate a statute otherwise immune from legislative interference.”
* * * * *
The bottom line is that this is not an issue of civil rights or constitutional rights; rather, it is an issue of right and wrong, and it is dangerously wrong to tamper with the historic and sacred institution of marriage, one that exists for the benefit of the family and the state, and one that forms the bedrock of human society. We do well not to tamper with our foundations! It is also a well-known fact that many gay activists have promoted same-sex marriage for years, knowing that it would be a major stepping stone for the complete normalization of homosexuality in society. The implications of this are enormous, and while we should have compassion for those who sincerely desire the “right” to same-sex marriage, we dare not alter the foundations of human society.
Finally, it is utterly hypocritical for gays and lesbians to call for tolerance, diversity, and inclusion and then to label as “hate-filled bigots” all sincere people of faith (or non-faith) who oppose same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds. Where is the tolerance, diversity, and inclusion? Why is the democratic process not enough? Could it be that those who espouse “tolerance” have the potential of being the most intolerant? Could it be that those speaking against “hate” are actually engaging in it?
It is no surprise, then, that today, as I write these words, protesters at a rally in Sacramento, California are holding up signs with slogans such as: Prop 8=American Taliban; Ban Bigots; Majority Vote Doesn’t Matter; We Won’t Go Away; 52%=Nazi; Don’t Silence the Christians, Feed Them 2 the Lions, and lastly, Your Rights are Next. We have been forewarned!
Those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus should adhere to the biblical injunction to overcome hatred with love and to conquer evil with good, reaching out to those who oppose us, sharing with them the message of forgiveness and transformation through the gospel, and standing firmly on our convictions, knowing that God’s ways are best.