December 8th, 2010 by Michael L. Brown

Editor’s Note: Originally published on Crosswalk.com

Writing in the On Faith blog for the Washington Post, Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach claimed that evangelical Christians have “utterly marginalized themselves with their obsession over homosexuality.” Is this true? To be sure, in the aftermath of the elections, a lively debate is taking place as to whether evangelicals have been marginalized politically or, to the contrary, have actually increased in influence. But what about our alleged obsession with homosexuality?

When Rabbi Shmuley made this accusation in a November 1st debate we had on the subject of homosexuality, I conducted an impromptu survey of the audience, which was almost exclusively evangelical, asking them to respond to four questions: How many of them heard a sermon in the last year on the importance of marriage? Virtually every hand went up. The importance of devoting time and energy to the raising of their children? Same response. The dangers of sexual sin (and/or pornography)? The same response again. A sermon about gay activism? Not a single hand.

This, however, did not impress psychologist and professor Warren Throckmorton, who wrote on his blog, “While I mean no disrespect to his audience, I am not going to trust that they are a representative sample. I certainly disagree with Brown about the obsession of some evangelicals with homosexuality,” citing other examples that allegedly backed his claim.

Are the rabbi and the psychologist correct? Was my audience not representative of evangelicals as a whole? (Bear in mind that the audience consisted of people who were interested enough in the subject of homosexuality to come to the debate, yet somehow, if Throckmorton is correct, they were less exposed to the subject than those who were not there. Go figure.)

Let’s step back and think about this in terms of day to day, evangelical life. Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of sermons preached in evangelical pulpits across America, and there are thousands of evangelical books that are published, from novels to devotionals to commentaries to sermon collections to testimonies to books on doctrine, theology, prayer, discipleship, marriage, family, childrearing, worship, education, politics, missions, abortion, social action, and more. There is an almost endless stream of evangelical radio and TV shows, with millions of hours of programming, and there are hundreds of evangelical Bible schools, ministry training centers, colleges, universities and seminaries, offering thousands of courses between them.

Of all those sermons, books, radio and TV shows, and college and seminary classes, how many are focused on homosexual issues? Less than 1% would be a fairly good estimate; less than 10% could be absolutely guaranteed. (I invite Rabbi Shmuley or Prof. Throckmorton to challenge this estimate based on a survey of any of the data just mentioned, some of which is readily available.)

What about pro-family organizations like Focus on Family? Haven’t they been obsessed with homosexuality? Actually, under the leadership of Dr. James Dobson, who stressed the importance of evangelicals being involved in the political process, less than 3% of the Focus budget was devoted to homosexual issues, including funds that were designated to help people overcome same-sex attraction. So, out of a budget that reached $130 million, less than $4 million was devoted to homosexual issues. Contrast this with the budget of an organization like the Human Rights Campaign, devoted entirely to promoting gay activism, and topping $35 million in 2010. Yet it is evangelicals who are allegedly obsessed with the issue?

As for evangelical voting in the elections, it is true that certain moral issues are important to evangelicals, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, but for better or worse, issues like the economy or the reach of the government play a much more dominant role, as seen in the recent elections. Plus, how much of our time and energy is spent voting or politicking?

The truth be told, it is actually gay activists who are obsessed with homosexuality (which is no surprise, since from their perspective, this is who they are and they are fighting a battle for equality and civil rights), and they are often joined in their obsession by an all too-willing media, which is also obsessively focused on anyone who takes a public stand against gay activism. And so, virtually every day, we hear about the move to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, or about gay teen suicides, or about the fight for same-sex marriage in the courts, or about gay-focused legislation like the Hate Crimes Bill or ENDA, or about some other gay-related story. And from another angle, as noted by Time Magazine‘s Michael Kinsley, “Kids are also exposed constantly to an entertainment culture in which gays are not merely accepted but in some ways dominant. You rarely see a reality show without a gay cast member, while Rosie O’Donnell is a coveted free agent and Ellen DeGeneres is America’s sweetheart.”

For the last two years, our president has officially recognized June as Gay Pride Month, and in 2009, he welcomed 300 gay activists to the White House to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (“This is your house,” he said to them). In the business world, 300 of the nation’s biggest companies earned perfect scores from the Human Rights Campaign by kowtowing to their demands, while on our campuses, college professors have been fired and students expelled for expressing differences with homosexual practice. Yet the moment we draw attention to today’s pervasive obsession with homosexuality or raise an objection to the queering of America, we are immediately accused of being obsessed. How convenient!

So let the truth be told. It is gay activists and their allies, not evangelicals, who are obsessed with homosexuality. We evangelicals are simply holding our moral ground.

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

Posted in News, Revolution & Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 11th, 2009 by M. French

Editor’s Note: Press Release from Flip Benham of Operation Save America regarding the Hate Crimes Bill

May 11, 2009

Using Violence to Silence the Gospel of Christ

Christian leaders from across the nation will gather in Washington, D.C., next Monday, May 18, 2009, to proclaim from the “gates of hell” (The White House, the United States Congress, and the United States Supreme Court) that Jesus Christ is still Lord of this once great nation.

The theology of the Church house will become biography in the streets of Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 18.  The enemies of Christ are using “Hate Crimes” to silence our Christian voice.

“Though our President has recently announced that America is no longer a Christian nation;  Though our Congress is presently busying itself with “Hate Crimes” legislation, in an attempt to silence the Gospel of Christ and shut the mouths of those who would proclaim it;  Though our Supreme Court has sought to decriminalize every aberrant behavior known to man;  Though the FBI, BATF, CIA, the Justice Department, et.al., consider us  terrorists; the Church of Jesus Christ will no longer remain a silent obsequious “little lamb” that has never found a cause for which it is willing to die.” Rev. Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America.

We cannot and will not allow this satanic attack on the Word of God (Hate Crimes Bill) to go unchallenged.  We will encourage our United States Senators to stand with Jesus, the Church of Jesus Christ, our Pilgrim Forefathers, and our Founding Fathers and oppose this foul piece of legislation.  It was birthed in the very pit of hell.  HR 1913, the House version of the “Hate Crimes” bill, was passed by a 249 -175 vote.  It is now coming for a vote in the Senate as S.909.  President Obama wants to sign this into law before Memorial Day.

Our children will suffer greatly if we do not stand!  Yes, they will spend years in jail for speaking from the same Bible that we are able to speak freely from today.  Is there not a cause?

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed.  If you will not fight when your victory shall be sure and not too costly.  You may come to a moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” Winston Churchill

What:             Gospel Proclamation

Where:           Washington, D.C.  (White House, Capitol, Supreme Court)

When:             Monday morning, May 18, 2009

Time:              11:00 AM

Web:               Operationsaveamerica.org

Contact:         Dr. Pat McEwen (321) 431-3962 or (321)726-0444

Posted in Law & Politics, News Tagged with: , , , , , ,

April 29th, 2009 by M. French

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (HR 1913) passed in the U.S. House of Representatives today, April 29th, in a 249-175 vote.  231 Democrats voted in favor of the bill, 17 Democrats voted against, 18 Republicans voted for the bill, and 158 Republicans voted against.

Hours of debate preceding the bill included a stirring account by Rep. Jim Jordan of his attempt to add “the unborn” to the list of protected persons on the bill, with the amendment being voted down because the unborn were “not persons.”  Contrasted with this were libelous and vacuous declarations by those for the bill, including one representative who quoted from the Ten Commandments as he accused those against the bill of “bearing false witness” in their attempts to raise warnings about the possible use of this law to muzzle and/or prosecute religious leaders when they attempt to speak negatively about homosexuality, and a declaration from another congressman that thinking the Hate Crimes Bill was about thought-crimes was like believing anti-lynching laws were about knot-tying.

Before the final vote, an attempt was made to “expand the applicability of the bill to the age, status as a current or former member of the Armed Forces, or status as a law enforcement officer beyond the scope of groups mentioned in the bill. ” [source: House Floor Summary] This was rejected however, and the bill was passed.

Following the vote, the Human Rights Campaign released a statement declaring:

“All Americans are one step closer to protection from hate violence thanks to today’s vote,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Hate crimes are a scourge on our communities and it’s time we give law enforcement the tools they need to combat this serious problem.”

Is this vote really a positive step, however? A Denver lawyer made an interesting point when he looked at the “politically correct” requirements in hate crime legislation in a guest commentary in the Denver Post:

Isn’t every criminal act that harms another person a “hate crime”? And Colorado’s law does not even begin to criminalize “hate” in general; it selects only politically correct, unacceptable categories of “hate,” only those derived from current zeitgeist that preferred minority classifications should receive extra special protection.

When a Colorado gang engaged in an initiation ritual of specifically seeking out a “white woman” to rape, the Boulder prosecutor declined to pursue “hate crime” charges. So the “hate crime” law does not apply equally, instead criminalizing only politically incorrect thoughts directed against politically incorrect victim categories.

A government powerful enough to pick and choose which thoughts to prosecute is a government too powerful.

In addition, Robert Gagnon raised fair warnings of where this Hate Crime Bill will lead in his piece:

In establishing an official “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protection category, “sexual orientation” hate laws make inevitable, so-called “employment nondiscrimination acts” for “sexual orientation” that turn out to be “employment discrimination acts” against people in the workplace who do not want to support a homosexualist agenda. Together they make inevitable the passage of legislation that mandates acceptance of “gay marriage.” It is not possible to be for a “sexual orientation thought-crime” bill and not also be for the enforcement of “gay marriage” because the former leads inevitably to the latter. That is how the courts in Massachusetts and, recently Iowa, operated. They moved from “sexual orientation” laws in “hate crime” and “employment” to treating as intrinsically discriminatory any opposition to “gay marriage.”

Look at how far things have already gone in Canada. Among those recently fined thousands of dollars are: Father Alphonse de Valk and Catholic Insight Magazine for speaking against homosexual behavior; Bill Whatcott, a Catholic activist, for producing pamphlets that called homosexual practice immoral (Whatcott was also “banned for life” from criticizing homosexuality); Stephen Boisson, a pastor, for a letter to a newspaper denouncing homosexual practice as immoral (also ordered to desist from expressing his views on homosexual practice in any public forum).

Can’t happen in the United States? Even though some high court justices have already made appeals to precedents in foreign law to support the homosexualist agenda here? Tell that to the freelance female photographer who on the grounds that it violated her Christian belief declined to photograph a lesbian wedding and, as a result, was ordered by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission to pay over $6000 to the lesbian couple.

Ought not these and other points be seriously explored before we move headlong into uncharted territory? We are seeing change, as Barack Obama promised, but is it really for the better?

Posted in Law & Politics, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

April 29th, 2009 by M. French

The following is an email sent out on Tuesday, April 28th, by Robert Gagnon, Seminary Professor and leading authority on what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.  Please consider taking his call seriously:

Dear friends who live in the United States,

(Please feel free to circulate this correspondence widely and rapidly)

This is a matter of great urgency. Please take a moment to contact your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives and express your opposition to the homosexual “hate crimes” bill (H.R. 1913) that will likely be voted on sometime tomorrow (Wednesday). Call 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 or contact your representatives through www.congress.org.

Support for a “hate” bill that enshrines “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into federal law (note that it is not yet so enshrined) does not mean merely that you oppose hateful, violent acts against persons who self-identify as homosexuals, transsexuals, and cross-dressers. Laws are already in place protecting persons who identify as homosexual or transgendered. They are the same laws that protect all of us from violent physical or verbal attacks.

Support for such a bill means, in effect, that you are in favor of the federal government taking an official, legal stance that opposition to homosexual practice and transgenderism of any sort is hatred and bigotry akin to virulent racism and liable to state prosecution. Any statement against such homosexual practice or transgenderism could be prosecuted as an “incitement” or “inducement” of others to violence, no matter how loving and rational that expression of opposition may be.

A “sexual orientation hate” crime bill does virtually all its damage in establishing “sexual orientation” as a category of being that is worth the federal government’s vigorous special protection. A person who has a problem with the behavior arising from homosexual “orientation” will be legally established as a “bigot,” even if he or she does not commit a violent crime. That status becomes codified in law. Your opposition to homosexual practice, no matter how loving and rational, puts you in the category of a virulent racist who regards African Americans as morally inferior beings.

In establishing an official “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protection category, “sexual orientation” hate laws make inevitable, so-called “employment nondiscrimination acts” for “sexual orientation” that turn out to be “employment discrimination acts” against people in the workplace who do not want to support a homosexualist agenda. Together they make inevitable the passage of legislation that mandates acceptance of “gay marriage.” It is not possible to be for a “sexual orientation thought-crime” bill and not also be for the enforcement of “gay marriage” because the former leads inevitably to the latter. That is how the courts in Massachusetts and, recently Iowa, operated. They moved from “sexual orientation” laws in “hate crime” and “employment” to treating as intrinsically discriminatory any opposition to “gay marriage.”

Look at how far things have already gone in Canada. Among those recently fined thousands of dollars are: Father Alphonse de Valk and Catholic Insight Magazine for speaking against homosexual behavior; Bill Whatcott, a Catholic activist, for producing pamphlets that called homosexual practice immoral (Whatcott was also “banned for life” from criticizing homosexuality); Stephen Boisson, a pastor, for a letter to a newspaper denouncing homosexual practice as immoral (also ordered to desist from expressing his views on homosexual practice in any public forum).

Can’t happen in the United States? Even though some high court justices have already made appeals to precedents in foreign law to support the homosexualist agenda here? Tell that to the freelance female photographer who on the grounds that it violated her Christian belief declined to photograph a lesbian wedding and, as a result, was ordered by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission to pay over $6000 to the lesbian couple.

This past year an African-American woman Crystal Dixon was removed from her position as associate vice president for human resources at the University of Toledo simply because she wrote an editorial in a newspaper saying that homosexual behavior should not be compared to being black.

Rolf Szabo, Richard Peterson, Kenneth Gee, Annie Coffey-Montes, and Albert Buonanno were all fired from their corporate or government jobs in the United States for not wanting to “celebrate” at their work station “sexual orientation” diversity.

A Christian ministry in New Jersey has been subject to state investigation for refusing to allow a lesbian civil union ceremony to be conducted on its property.

In California affirmation of homosexual practice is now mandatory for public schools from the earliest grades on up; teachers who refuse to go along are subject to termination.

Need more examples of this juggernaut of intolerance? Go to my online postings at http://www.robgagnon.net/AlleghenyCountyHomosexualBill.htm or http://www.robgagnon.net/ObamaWarOnChristians.htm.

I commend to you also an analysis by law professor Shawn Akers posted at http://americansfortruth.com/news/analysis-of-2009-hate-crimes-bill-hr-1913.html. As Akers notes,

“This bill will certainly be construed in light of existing federal law including specifically United States Code Title 18, Section 2, that says that : “Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.” (emphasis added).  This is the feared immediate nexus between the speech of a pastor or radio commentator and the actions of a deranged parishioner or listener.  Proponents of the bill argue that it clearly, under its own language, applies only to acts of violence.  This argument is misleading and naïve in that it implies that criminal liability would be available only for the person physically committing the violent act, while ignoring completely the likelihood that courts, especially ideologically driven, activist courts, will impose criminal liability on those deemed complicit in the violent act whether or not they physically contributed to the act….

“In other words, because penalties already exist for those who commit criminal acts, HR 1913 serves only to punish individuals for the beliefs, opinions, or convictions held at the time an act is committed.  As such, HR 1913 does not punish criminal intent, but criminalizes thought….

“Tellingly, in the April 23, 2009 Judiciary Committee hearings on HR 1913, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) said unequivocally that “We need to protect victims against hateful words, hateful acts and even violent acts.”

Please contact your representative in Congress now.

Thank you,

Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

Author of : The Bible and Homosexual Practice : Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon Press).

Contacting your congressional representative is really quite easy.  Below is a screenshot of me doing this myself:

Posted in Law & Politics, News Tagged with: , , ,

April 28th, 2009 by M. French

H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, was introduced in the Senate Tuesday April 28th, and is slated to reach the House floor for a vote Wednesday.  The bill would expand existing hate-crimes law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

David Limbaugh, in his TownHall article, showed cause for concern when he had this to say:

Color me, also, alarmist, but I think the main purpose of this bill is to demonize and criminalize thought, especially the politically incorrect belief that homosexual behavior is either abnormal or sinful. It is to make an emphatic societal statement that this belief constitutes “hate” and possibly to lay the groundwork for outlawing speech expressing this belief, including from the pulpit.

I hardly think I’m being hysterical here. The practice of criminalizing peaceful expression of this belief has already occurred in other nations — including Sweden, Canada and Great Britain — and even in our own Philadelphia.

New York City authorities ordered the removal of billboards — citing an anti-harassment ordinance — that displayed various biblical versions of Leviticus 18:22, such as the New International Version’s rendering, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari reportedly publicly condemned the language in the displayed verse as “mean-spirited” and “hate speech.”

Others believe the warnings being raised around the proposed bill are not warranted, Trina Hoaks of the Atheist Examiner had this to say in an April 21st article:

As is to be expected, certain evangelical Christians are focusing on the “sexual orientation” portion of the bill, which only proves their hatred and allows their true motives to shine through. They are opposing this bill and encouraging others to do so by inciting irrational fears and beliefs in people. (Sound familiar?)

They said “[they] believe prosecutors and anti-Christian groups will use loop holes in the proposed legislation to muzzle the church from speaking out on Biblical standards of morality which are shared by most Americans. Unnecessary lawsuits will bring a chilling effect to the free speech and religious liberty of our churches and of our members.” Actually, there is little chance of a “loop hole” that will permit this to come to pass.

Consider, if you will, what they fail to point out – Section 10 – The Rule of Construction (the last item of the bill) says, “Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

And, to further drive home my belief that this point is being omitted intentionally from their conversations is that when I pointed this out to one of them via the internet, my comment was promptly deleted.

Gotta love those righteous Christians!

Warnings to be taken seriously? Or fear-mongering to disguise hatred? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below.

Posted in Law & Politics, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,