Ross Murray’s article on CNN’s Religion Blog, entitled “My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors,” is the most recent in a steady stream of editorials and articles on liberal news outlets devoted to promoting a common theme: The Bible really doesn’t speak against homosexual practice and enlightened Christians are recognizing this in ever increasing numbers.
Although Murray repeats much of the standard rhetoric, he does distinguish himself by offering one of more egregious applications of a scriptural passage I have seen in nearly 40 years of studying and teaching the Scriptures. But first a word of background.
Murray is director of religion, faith and values at GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. This is a gay activist organization which would better be called the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement, glaringly demonstrated in their petition earlier this year which called on CNN to stop inviting “anti-gay” guests on their network to offer opposing viewpoints. (Yes, this is the voice of “inclusion,” “tolerance,” “equality,” and “diversity.”)
In his article, Murray argues that while “there is still a variety of scriptural interpretations, an increasing number of Christians are reading scripture and understanding that God’s design for the world includes LGBT people.” Those who with agree with his position he dubs “good Christians”; those who differ are described as “vocal anti-gay activists” who are putting forth “vocal misinformation” and becoming “more shrill.”
This is GLAAD-talk at its biased best, and to decode the language used, you are “anti-gay” if for religious, moral, social, or any other reasons you do not affirm homosexuality, no matter how much you love LGBT people; you are “vocal” if you write, say, or post anything that GLAAD does not agree with (although those on the LGBT side can write, say, or post anything they want without being “vocal”); you are spreading “misinformation” if you have any scientific, academic, or theological differences with the gay activist mantras; and you become “more shrill” if you do not capitulate to gay activist pressure.
And what is it that drives the views of the “vocal anti-gay activists” who by implication are not “good Christians”? It is “fear” and “lies,” since, in the logic of GLAAD, only fear and lies could cause a Bible-believing Christian to think that God is not giddy about homosexual practice. In contrast, LGBT Christians “build up love and break down fear.”
As for the “good [straight] Christians,” they are embracing LGBT people and their practices because they realize that “if God made them, then [they are] called to love and support them.”
But didn’t God make everyone? Didn’t He make the “vocal anti-gay activists” too? Then why does Murray disparage them? Why doesn’t he feel “called to love and support them”? And aren’t there others whom “God made” whose lifestyles or convictions Murray rejects?
Murray observes that, “Whole Christian denominations have accepted and embraced the reality of LGBT believers within their ranks and in their leadership. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, the United Church of Christ and Unitarians have formally accepted LGBT people within their denominations.”
What he fails to note is that these denominations (or the parts thereof that are gay-affirming) have also moved away from other historic biblical values and beliefs, meaning that their embrace of homosexuality should be seen as a sign of spiritual regress rather than progress.
In similar fashion, he points to the large ideological gap “between those ages 18 to 29 and those ages 65 and older . . . with younger Americans gravitating toward [LGBT] equality,” without pointing out that surveys indicate that less than one percent of these young people have a biblical worldview.
But all this is standard fare. It is his closing (mis)use of Scripture that is so troubling.
He writes, “Those who oppose equality can call it what they like, but the reality is that we are living in a society that has learned how to value LGBT people as they would others. That attitude doesn’t rely on fear or lies, but on caring relationships and trust. It lives out the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians that someday we will know fully, even as we are fully known. It is a biblically informed reality that is helping to make the world a better place.”
What does Murray mean when he speaks of “the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians”? He is referring to 1 Corinthians 13:12, which is not a “wish” but rather a prophetic anticipation of what will happen when Jesus returns. At that time, Paul writes, “I shall know fully, even as I am fully known [by God],” in contrast with our present, earthly state, in which “we see in a mirror dimly” and “know in part.”
So, the glorious hope that we will know God fully at the second coming of Christ is twisted into a wish that we will get to know LGBT people better, thereby making the apostle Paul, arguably the strongest voice in the Bible against homosexual practice, into a gay advocate.
This is what happens when GLAAD does theology. Would it be an overstatement to call this a perversion of the Scriptures?
Dr. Michael Brown is the author of A Queer Thing Happened to America and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.
Posted in Culture, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: acceptance, christianity, CNN's Religion Blog, diversity, Dr. Michael Brown, gay activism, gay agenda, glaad, Ross Murray, Scripture, tolerance
Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission.
Are you supposed to have sex at work? I guess it depends on your profession, but for most of us the answer is “no.” Why then is corporate America obsessed with training about sex?
As described in several recent columns by Mike Adams, I was fired as a vendor by Cisco for my conservative beliefs about sex and marriage even though my beliefs were never expressed on the job. When a homosexual manager found out on the Internet that I had authored a book giving evidence that maintaining our current marriage laws would be best for society, he couldn’t tolerate me and requested I be fired. An HR executive canned me within hours without ever speaking to me. This happened despite the fact that the leadership and teambuilding programs I led always received high marks (even from the homosexual manager!).
How could an experienced HR professional commit such a blatant act of discrimination unless the Cisco culture was decidedly tilted left? Why didn’t Cisco’s relentless emphasis and training on “inclusion and diversity” serve to prevent this? Maybe it’s because “inclusion and diversity” means something different to corporate elites than to normal Americans. That’s why their training didn’t prevent the problem but actually created an environment of intolerance that led to the problem.
Cisco’s chief “Inclusion and Diversity” officer, Ms. Marilyn Nagel, had trouble on the phone defining what “inclusion and diversity” actually means at Cisco, so she sent me several links from the Cisco website. As in our conversation, I found no specific definition on the website but plenty of platitudes, such as Cisco is committed to “valuing and encouraging different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas.”
If that’s the case, then why not value my “perspectives, styles, thoughts and ideas?”
Because only certain perspectives, styles, thoughts and ideas are approved, you see. “Inclusion and diversity” to corporate elites actually means exclusion for those that don’t agree with the approved views. Whoops, there goes “diversity.”
Shouldn’t the real intent of Cisco’s value of “inclusion and diversity” be to ensure that people in that diverse workforce work together cordially and professionally even when they inevitably disagree on certain political, moral or religious questions? It would seem so. In a large multicultural workforce, people need to work together despite political or religious differences. That’s a noble and necessary goal. It’s totalitarian, however, to subject people to “diversity” training and corporate sponsorships that go beyond teaching respect for people to advocacy of what they do in bed.
All employees should treat one another with kindness and respect because they are fellow human beings, not because of their sexual behavior. If people are to be respected simply on the basis of their behavior, then none of us qualify for respect because we have all behaved badly on occasion.
So instead of trying to force all employees to accept any sexual behavior—especially something as controversial as homosexuality—the inclusion and diversity police should be urging us to treat all people with respect simply because we are human beings. That’s all you need to be productive at work anyway.
But as soon as you start telling people from different religious and cultural backgrounds what they must think about homosexuality, you will offend and create conflict and resentment. As a Christian, I am commanded to respect all people. That’s what I was doing at Cisco. But don’t tell me that I have to respect and celebrate what people do in bed. Don’t tell me that I must violate my conscience or my God in order to make widgets. That’s not only immoral and un-American; it’s manipulative and stupid. How does accepting homosexual behavior have anything to do with job productivity? Are we supposed to have sex at work?
There simply is no business reason to judge my beliefs about sexual behavior or anyone else’s. And even if some corporate nanny could dream up a reason, it would not justify the assault on an employee’s conscience or religion.
Notice that Cisco did not have a problem with my behavior. My job performance was deemed excellent, and I was “inclusive and diverse” by working in a respectful manner with people of all moral, religious and political views.
Cisco had a problem with my thoughts. Although I certainly accepted homosexuals, I committed the thought crime of disagreeing with homosexual behavior and homosexual political goals. So despite all their talk about “inclusion and diversity,” Cisco deemed my thoughts about something irrelevant to the workplace as grounds for immediate exclusion. Do you think they would have excluded me if I had pro-same-sex marriage thoughts? Of course not—that’s an approved view that Cisco actually sponsors (even though they deny it).
But people who don’t accept homosexual behavior don’t have to work at Cisco then!
True, they don’t. But if Cisco or any other company wants to make it a requirement that every employee and vendor personally accept the behavior of homosexuality or homosexual political goals such as same-sex marriage, then tell us directly. Broadcast it to the world. Cisco can’t and won’t because such a requirement would be a clear violation of the religious protections codified in the Civil Rights Act, and it would result in a mass exodus of employees and customers.
Instead, they create an oppressive culture of political correctness under the false banner of “inclusion and diversity” to achieve the same ends. They tell the world that they value and encourage “different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas” while they punish or intimidate into silence people who have “different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas.” While Cisco executives would never admit this, their actions reveal this twisted truth: Cisco values homosexual behavior more than honesty, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.
Is it the same at your workplace? Are you tired of having to hide your conservative or religious beliefs as if you live in a totalitarian state rather than America? If you continue to cower in silence before an intolerant militant minority, it will only get worse. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.” It’s time to do something—speak up.
Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org.
Posted in Featured Articles, News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: cisco, discrimination, diversity, Frank Turek, homosexual activism, thought crime