The Manhattan Declaration iPhone/iPad app has been pulled from the Apple Store because gay activists had been complaining that it was ‘homophobic.’ According to the Manhattan Declaration site:
The Manhattan Declaration app was accepted by Apple and rated as a 4+, meaning it contained no objectionable material. Yet Apple pulled the app shortly after a small but very vocal protest by those who favor gay marriage and abortion. These groups claim that the Manhattan Declaration promotes “homophobia” and that its supporters are “anti-gay.”
A recent show from the Line of Fire with Dr. Michael Brown focused on the issue, and included a look into the hypocrisy of Apple’s stance. Click here to listen.
Sign the petition to Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc., to restore the Manhattan Declaration App by clicking here.
There was a time when the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was highly respected for its exposure of hate groups, such as those of the neo-Nazi and KKK brand. Today, however, it’s almost a badge of honor to get a place on the SPLC listing, be it as an official “hate” group or merely as an “anti-gay” group. After all, now that the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Family Research Council, Liberty Council, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Traditional Values Coalition qualify, it’s actually a little disconcerting to be left off the “anti-gay” list.
According to a recently released SPLC Intelligence Report (Winter 2010, Issue Number: 140), organizations are listed as hate (or, anti-gay) groups “based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities” and by their continuing “to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
And what are these “known falsehoods . . . that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities”? According to an SPLC report entitled “10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked,” they include:
Same-sex parents harm children.
People become homosexual because they were sexually abused as children or there was a deficiency in sex-role modeling by their parents.
Hate crime laws will lead to the jailing of pastors who criticize homosexuality and the legalization of practices like bestiality and necrophilia.
Allowing homosexuals to serve openly would damage the armed forces.
(Some of the other “Anti-Gay Myths” are far more controversial, such as, “Homosexuals controlled the Nazi Party and helped to orchestrate the Holocaust.”)
So, if you state that kids do best when raised by their mom and dad, you are propagating a known falsehood and are worthy of a place on the SPLC anti-gay list. If you agree with the many therapists and psychologists who argue that a child’s upbringing and early-life experiences play a major role in the development of his or her sexual orientation, you are propagating a known falsehood and are worthy of a place on the SPLC list.
The same is true if you claim that hate crime laws could lead to the arresting of pastors who criticize homosexuality (this has already happened in Sweden, England, Canada, and the United States), or if you argue that it would be detrimental to the military to have gays serving openly. Based on this “logic,” the SPLC would have to claim that many of the leaders of our Armed Forces, not to mention some of our most senior congressmen, are guilty of the “propagation of known falsehoods,” since they strongly oppose the repeal of DADT. Maybe the SPLC will next place the entire American military on their anti-gay list. Why not?
Another alleged myth that has been “thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities” is that “Homosexuals are more prone to be mentally ill and to abuse drugs and alcohol.” Yet the SPLC report actually acknowledges that “LGBT people suffer higher rates of anxiety, depression, and depression-related illnesses and behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse than the general population,” but blames it on homophobia. Of course!
Also singled out for disdain is the “known falsehood” that, “No one is born a homosexual,” yet in refuting this “myth,” the SPLC can only quote the American Psychological Association (APA) that “no evidence has emerged that would allow scientists to pinpoint the precise causes of sexual orientation.” In other words, we really don’t know exactly why people are gay. So much for science thoroughly discrediting the idea that no one is born homosexual!
The best that the SPLC could do to provide “the truth behind the propaganda” was quote the APA’s conclusion that “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation,” which is a far cry from saying that someone is born homosexual. Perhaps lesbian journalist Camille Paglia should be added to the “anti-gay” list, since she famously wrote that, “No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous.”
The last alleged myth that is “debunked” in the SPLC article is that, “Gay people can choose to leave homosexuality,” yet there is substantial scientific evidence, not to mention abundant anecdotal evidence, that some people can and do leave homosexuality. It is positively chilling, however, to realize that those who make this claim are now guilty of “hate speech” and deemed to be spreading “demonizing propaganda.”
So then, rather than debunking anti-gay myths, the SPLC has debunked itself. Who can take them seriously anymore?
Dr. Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio program, “The Line of Fire,” and author of the forthcoming book A Queer Thing Happened to America
Editor’s Note: After this article was published, the video in question was removed from YouTube by IHOP:KC
The video below is from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. It shows a young man named Jacob sharing his story of being set free from addictions to cocaine and heroine, as well as same-sex attractions:
[Link to Video]
In response to this, the gay activist organization Truth Wins Out said the following:
Behold the power of Fundamentalist Christian delusion.
Jacob, I don’t know who you are, but these people are predators. Your sexuality is part of you, and it has nothing to do with your drug addictions. And you don’t beat addiction to drugs by exchanging it for a dependency on profit-based faux-spiritual experiences proffered by people who use your life as a way to get rich.
The gay activist website Ex-Gay Watch declared the following in their post on the video:
As a former charismatic, the type of religious experience shown in this video is very familiar to me. In this kind of heady, charged atmosphere, it is very easy to suppress one’s “sin” issues and live on a “victorious” spiritual plane – that is until the trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship aren’t there or just don’t work any more, and the subject is brought down to earth with a bump.
In this video from IHOP (International House of Prayer, not to be confused with the restaurant chain International House of Pancakes), a young man claims to have been delivered from homosexual attractions he has experienced since childhood. The odd behaviour and spasmodic movements (as well as the wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter from the congregation) have been especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s, and are usually attributed directly to the Holy Spirit.
To sum up the gay activist response to this video:
No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”
Let’s look at these arguments one by one:
1. No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
This all depends on the starting point. If we come to the table believing God exists (and is more than an intellectual concept), then why would this not be entirely within the realm of possibility? If we already “know” that either there is no God or that He has nothing to do with humanity, then we will end up dismissing this out of hand. It is not clear which of these starting points the gay activist authors mentioned are coming from, but suffice it to say that if there is indeed no God, then we all have much more to worry about than this young man’s story, IHOP, or indeed the whole subject of morality and truth altogether!
If we do come with the presupposition that it is indeed possible that God exists, then is it not entirely possible that what this young man said is true? It is true that there are plenty of reports of people who claimed to have changed but really did not, but then there are plenty of reports of people who really did change. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
2. Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
It is true that one can become “hyped” up in an emotional experience that fades quickly and has no bearing on reality, but if someone genuinely has an encounter with the living God, why would we dismiss out of hand the possibility of someone really changing? (Whether it be from addictions to drugs, same-sex attraction, or whatever.) Again this comes down to the presuppositions one has. Did the blind man not walk away from Jesus truly able to see [John 9]? Did Cornelius and his house not have a genuine spiritual experience when the Spirit fell on them[Acts 10]? It is no different today.
As to whether this young man’s experience was genuine and what it will mean long-term for him, I cannot say (though I have no reason to doubt what he had to say), and we ought not judge the whole of IHOP or the charismatic movement by the way any one person’s life ends up (or in the case of John Paulk, one night of falling to temptation), but there is absolutely no reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility that someone can be changed from the inside out in a moment, if we do indeed believe that God exists and interacts with people.
3. The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
What Mr. Rattigan dismisses as a new fad in religious circles from the mid-1990’s, “odd behaviour, … spasmodic movements, … wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter,” actually have been present with followers of Jesus since the birth of the church. Who have “proffered” these “faux-spiritual experiences” through the centuries? Only the likes of Jonathan Edwards (called “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian”) who so despised emotionalism that he was known to speak in complete monotone so as not to arouse one’s emotions while he preached, while his puritanical congregations swooned, cried, and convulsed under the power of the Holy Spirit. More examples could be added here such as John Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Finney, etc… but the point is clearly made that while these manifestations are not proof of God moving in someone’s life, there is no reason to be afraid of or dismiss the possibility of these types of things happening when someone has an experience with the living God.
Must one believe that this young man was really having an experience with God? Not necessarily. But to dismiss these as “faux-spiritual experiences” is unfounded and presumptuous.
4. The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”
This accusation would be laughable if people did not really believe it. Are there some people that really get rich off unsuspecting Christians? Yes. Do they distort the gospel of Jesus for their own monetary gain? Yes. (Points which we at this ministry decry continuously). But why does this mean that everyone that’s preaching the gospel is in it to get rich? What’s the reality of the situation at IHOP (a multi-million dollar ministry)? The following was published in 2001 by News World Communications concerning the head and founder of IHOP, Mike Bickle:
“I have lived in simplicity all my adult life and love it,” he says, adding he gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income from his books and tapes. He and his wife live in a nearby duplex, and he raises about $35,000 as an annual salary from friends and supporters. Those earnings, he says, are supplemented by his wife’s earnings as a real estate agent. “I want to live as minimally as possible” he says, “to give more away.”
Does this sound like someone getting rich of this young man? The idea is laughable! And I have personal knowledge that Mr. Bickle lives the same kind of lifestyle today, even with the ministry growing exponentially since 2001 (I wonder if Wayne Besen, head of Truth Wins Out, draws this kind of salary?). This same example could be multiplied throughout the IHOP leadership team, and well into most of the charismatic movement today (again, with a few exceptions).
Rather than IHOP using this young man, they’ve simply set up an environment where people like him can come and experience the power of the living God through the gospel of Jesus Christ 24 hours a day (they have facilities open to the public around the clock with people praying continuously for America and the world). I pray that this young man builds on this experience in prayer and devotion to Jesus, yielding a life that is full of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org
The central argument in favor of same-sex marriage or overturning “Don’t ask don’t tell” contains a fatal flaw. In fact, this is the flaw at the heart of the entire gay rights movement.
Joint Chief Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen dutifully proclaimed the flaw as truth the other day when speaking in favor of ending the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. He said, “I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”
Lie about who they are?
Sorry Admiral, but as a former ROTC instructor and legal officer in the United States Navy, I helped deny entrance to potential recruits and prosecuted existing service people for all sorts of behaviors that were incompatible with unit cohesion and military readiness. As you know, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice prohibits numerous behaviors that are not criminal offenses in civilian life (including adultery, fraternization and gambling with a subordinate), yet I never once saw anyone excused for their behavior by claiming that’s who they are.
The military is essential to our survival as a nation. It’s not a social experiment and serving in it is not a right. People have to qualify and then make sacrifices. Military people must subordinate many of their individual rights to advance the national interest. Recruits must agree to give up some of the freedoms that civilians enjoy, including certain sexual freedoms and even the freedom of speech! So even if homosexual behavior is permitted in society, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be permitted in the military.
Having served, I believe that the military needs as few sexual distractions as possible, be they from men and women serving together in combat or open homosexuality. The job is too difficult and critical to be complicating matters sexually.
More could be said, but I want to zero in on the fatal flaw in most gay-rights causes, and the one the Admiral repeated. It is the failure to distinguish between desires and behavior. Having certain sexual desires—whether you were “born” with them or acquired them sometime in life—does not mean that you are being discriminated against if the law doesn’t allow the behavior you desire.
Take marriage as an example. Despite complaints by homosexual activists, every person in America already has equal marriage rights. We’re all playing by the same rules—we all have the same right to marry any non-related adult of the opposite sex. Those rules do not deny anyone “equal protection of the laws” because the qualifications to enter a marriage apply equally to everyone—every adult person has the same right to marry.
“But what about homosexuals?” you ask. The question would better be stated “what about people with homosexual desires?” Put that way, you can see the flaw. If sexual desires alone are the criteria by which we change our marriage (or military) laws to give people “equal rights,” then why not change them to include polygamy? After all, most men seem born with a desire for many women. How about those who desire their relatives? By the gay rights logic, such people don’t have “equal rights” because our marriage laws have no provision for incest. And bisexuals don’t have “equal rights” because existing marriage laws don’t allow them to marry a man and a woman.
If desires alone guarantee someone special rights, why are there no special rights for pedophiles and gay bashers? The answer is obvious—because desires, even if you were “born” with them, do not justify behavior, do not make anyone a special class, and should have no impact on our laws. (See Born Gay or a Gay Basher: No Excuse.)
Laws encourage good behavior or prevent bad behavior. Desires are irrelevant. We enact all kinds of laws in the country and military that conflict with people’s desires. In fact, that’s why we need them! We wouldn’t need any laws if people always desired to do good, which is why James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
In other words, there should be no legal class of “gay” or “straight,” just a legal class called “person.” And it doesn’t matter whether persons desire sex with the same or opposite sex, or whether they desire sex with children, parents, or farm animals. What matters is whether the behavior desired is something the country or military should prohibit, permit or promote. Those are the only three choices we have when it comes to making law.
The standard comparisons to race and interracial marriage don’t work either. Sexual behavior is always a choice, race never is. You’ll find many former homosexuals, but you’ll never find a former African American. And your race has no effect on your military readiness, but your sexual behavior often can. Likewise, race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it. Interracial couples can procreate and nurture the next generation (the overriding societal purpose of marriage), but homosexual couples cannot.
The truth is that our marriage and military laws do not discriminate against persons for “who they are”—they discriminate against the behaviors in which they engage. But so what? That’s what most laws do. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment discriminates against the behavior of some businessmen who might like to improve their profits through slavery, but it does not discriminate against those businessmen as persons. And the First Amendment’s freedom-of-religion protections discriminate against the behavior of some Muslims who want to impose Islamic law on the entire nation, but it does not discriminate against those Muslims as persons. Likewise, our marriage and military laws discriminate against the desired behaviors of homosexuals, polygamists, bigamists, and the incestuous, but they do not discriminate against them as persons.
Now some may object to my comparison of homosexuality to polygamy, incest or pedophilia. I agree that the behaviors are not the same, but the point here is that the logic used to justify homosexuality is the same. “I was born with these desires” could also be used to justify polygamy, incest, pedophilia, and even gay bashing—“Don’t blame me. I just have the anti-gay gene!”
That’s the logic reduced to the absurd. And that’s why people who want to make a case for same-sex marriage or homosexual practice in the military should use different arguments. Claiming you “are” your sexual desires, is a case of don’t ask don’t think.
Much has been said already on the Tim Tebow ad that will air during the Super Bowl this year on CBS, so I’ll just point out one interesting quote from an ABC news article published today:
Karen Middlekauff, a UF law student and the president of Outlaw, an organization for College of Law LGBT students, said she believes that Tebow is still a representative of UF, and he has chosen to represent a viewpoint that shouldn’t be associated with the university.
What is the “viewpoint” Tebow is putting forth that “shouldn’t be associated with the university”? According to People Magazine:
The spot … is expected to tell the story of Pam Tebow, who became ill during her pregnancy with Tim but refused doctor recommendations to have an abortion.
Doctors recommend the death of a child in his mother’s womb, mother refuses advice and with faith and hope goes forth with the pregnancy, child grows up to be a strong, bold leader respected everywhere. Hmmm… this is not what an LGBT leader wants her university to be associated with? What exactly is hateful or wrong with this ad? This is bizarre.
Here’s a sign that was held at a Boston Gay Marriage Protest from a few years ago:
Here’s the biblical text the sign is referencing in its entirety:
If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate.
The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.
So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
How would you respond? Here are some thoughts Dr. Brown shared on the subject:
There were certain laws that God gave to ancient Israel before Jesus came into the world in order to maintain certain standards of purity and in order to keep Israel separate from the nations. Those laws are not applicable to Christians today. There were other laws based on universal principles of morality and holiness, including the prohibition against murder, the prohibition against child sacrifice, and the prohibition against homosexual practice. Those laws are still in full force today.
Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, shared some thoughts on Dr. Brown’s recent presentation at AFTAH’s “monthly dinner-lecture” on his blog today:
Folks, Dr. Michael Brown gave an excellent presentation at AFTAH’s monthly dinner-lecture last week. We hope to post a YouTube on Dr. Brown’s succinct and compelling response to my question on the “Big Three” hostile questions thrown at Christians who defend the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual conduct:
“But Jesus Christ never said anything about homosexuality”;
“Why should we believe the Old Testament says about homosexuality when it also bans wearing polyester and eating shellfish?”; and
“You Christians are so judgmental.”
Dr. Brown, a world renowned biblical scholar, hit it out of the park. He also challenged what he calls the “celebration of ambiguity”in describing neo-evangelicals’ and the “Emergent Church’s” evasive and equivocating — and unbiblical — positioning on the issue of homosexuality.
If you can think of it, pray for Peter, as he regularly gets hammered by gay activists in horrendous ways for his work (they’ve nicknamed him “Porno Pete”).