December 18th, 2008 by Frank Turek

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

Why not legalize same-sex marriage?  Who could it possibly hurt?  Children and the rest of society. That’s the conclusion of David Blankenhorn, who is anything but an anti-gay “bigot.” He is a life-long, pro-gay, liberal democrat who disagrees with the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual behavior. Despite this, Blankenhorn makes a powerful case against Same-Sex marriage in his book, The Future of Marriage.

He writes, “Across history and cultures . . . marriage’s single most fundamental idea is that every child needs a mother and a father. Changing marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would nullify this principle in culture and in law.”

How so?

The law is a great teacher, and same sex marriage will teach future generations that marriage is not about children but about coupling. When marriage becomes nothing more than coupling, fewer people will get married to have children.

So what?

People will still have children, of course, but many more of them out-of wedlock. That’s a disaster for everyone. Children will be hurt because illegitimate parents (there are no illegitimate children) often never form a family, and those that “shack up” break up at a rate two to three times that of married parents. Society will be hurt because illegitimacy starts a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.

Are these just the hysterical cries of an alarmist?  No. We can see the connection between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy in Scandinavian countries. Norway, for example, has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties. In Nordland, the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly “gay” rainbow flags over their churches, out-of-wedlock births have soared—more than 80 percent of women giving birth for the first time, and nearly 70 percent of all children, are born out of wedlock! Across all of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.

Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz writes, “When we look at Nordland and Nord-Troendelag — the Vermont and Massachusetts of Norway — we are peering as far as we can into the future of marriage in a world where gay marriage is almost totally accepted. What we see is a place where marriage itself has almost totally disappeared.” He asserts that “Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.”

But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries.  International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal.

You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation!”  Yes, but often it does. Is there any doubt that liberalizing marriage laws impacts society for the worse?  You need look no further than the last 40 years of no-fault divorce laws in the United States (family disintegration destroys lives and now costs tax payers $112 billion per year!).

No-fault divorce laws began in one state, California, and then spread to rest of the country. Those liberalized divorce laws helped change our attitudes and behaviors about the permanence of marriage.  There’s no question that liberalized marriage laws   will help change our attitudes and behaviors about the purpose of marriage. The law is a great teacher, and if same-sex marriage advocates have their way, children will be expelled from the lesson on marriage.

This leads Blankenhorn to assert, “One can believe in same-sex marriage. One can believe that every child deserves a mother and a father.  One cannot believe both.”

Blankenhorn is amazed how indifferent homosexual activists are about the negative effects of same-sex marriage on children.  Many of them, he documents, say that marriage isn’t about children.

Well, if marriage isn’t about children, what institution is about children?   And if we’re going to redefine marriage into mere coupling, then why should the state endorse same-sex marriage at all?

Contrary to what homosexual activists assume, the state doesn’t endorse marriage because people have feelings for one another. The state endorses marriage primarily because of what marriage does for children and in turn society. Society gets no benefit by redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships, only harm as the connection to illegitimacy shows. But the very future of children and a civilized society depends on stable marriages between men and women. That’s why, regardless of what you think about homosexuality, the two types of relationships should never be legally equated.

That conclusion has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with what’s best for children and society.  Just ask pro-gay, liberal democrat David Blankenhorn.

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

December 16th, 2008 by M. French

Editor’s Note: Unless otherwise stated, we make no endorsements of the links, media, organizations, or people we report on.
 

The Alliance Defense Fund just released a video detailing some of what has happened in the last year with regard to marriage and religious freedom. They also call for people to donate to their cause. The video is below [Link to Video]:

Pro-Gay blogs such as Good as You, a GLBT activist site, are chiming in:

But you know what we find funny about the video? That the foremost “victory” they tout is in the arena of marriage, especially in California, when if there is any group that actually LOST in terms of marriage equality in ’08, it was the Alliance Defense Fund. In California, the ADF’s Glen Lavy was in the Supreme Court making his case for keeping gays barred. The Supreme Court, however, rejected his side’s arguments. Also, among other marriage cases: The legal beagles also tried, unsuccessfully, to stop New York state from recognizing out-of-state unions. In fact, as far as their gay nup-barring court activities are concerned, it seems to have been a pretty crummy year for this “pro-marriage” outfit. It would seem to us that the anti-gay movement succeeded DESPITE the ADF’s inability to effectively win in court, not because of it.

Don’t believe the spin. While the ADF may not win every battle they take on, they are doing much good both in the courts of law and public opinion. For a list of important cases the ADF has taken on and won this year, click here.

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

December 15th, 2008 by Michael L. Brown

Editor’s Note: This was an e-mail sent out on 12/15/08 to members of the Coalition of Conscience. For more information on how you can help with this cause, go to VOR’s home page, and click on the “Call to Action” tab.

Dear Friends,

Last week the Internet was abuzz with the release of Newsweek magazine’s feature story on the alleged religious case for same-sex “marriage.” Today, that Newsweek issue has hit newsstands across America, replete with a “Holy Bible” on the front cover, adorned with a rainbow (= gay) bookmark.

So, it is not enough to argue that homosexual men and women have the right to “marry,” but Newsweek’s Religion Editor, Lisa Miller, has now argued that the Bible itself supports same-sex “marriage.” To add insult to injury, Jon Meacham, the Managing Editor of Newsweek, has given his full support to Miller’s article.

Now that this atrocious article is out everywhere, it is essential that you know how to respond to the arguments it puts forth.

I will be devoting tonight’s Line of Fire radio broadcast (7-8 PM EST) to the Newsweek article, and you can listen to it live online if we do not yet broadcast in your area. (For station listings and information on the live online feed, go to: http://lineoffireradio.wordpress.com/. If  you miss the show, it will be posted with our Line of Fire archives at: http://lineoffireradio.wordpress.com/posts/.)

The most thorough response to Miler’s article has been written by Prof. Robert Gagnon, widely recognized as the foremost expert today on the Bible and homosexual practice. You can read and download his twenty-four page article entitled, “More than ‘Mutual Joy’: Lisa Miller of Newsweek against Scripture and Jesus” at: http://robgagnon.net/articles/homosexNewsweekMillerResp.pdf (for the HTML version, go to: http://robgagnon.net/NewsweekMillerHomosexResp.htm).

The bad news is that grossly inaccurate statements and misleading misinformation and poor interpretation of the Scriptures are everywhere. The good news is that, “we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). So let us get equipped with the truth of God’s Word and let us get filled with God’s love and Spirit, confident that, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD” (Proverbs 21:30).

For some recommended resources, see http://store.icnministries.org/videoanddvds.html and http://coalitionofconscience.org/resources.aspx

The truth will triumph!

In Him,

Dr. Michael L. Brown

Posted in Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , , , ,

December 10th, 2008 by Frank Turek

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

 
After the passage of Prop 8 in California, homosexuals are still howling that they don’t have “equal rights.”  Hopefully, the California Supreme Court will respect the equal rights of voters by affirming Prop 8 because the howls of homosexuals are false.  The truth is 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.

Homosexuals want the court to believe that because of their sexual desires they are a special class of persons that is being discriminated against. In other words, they think that sexual desires guarantee people special legal rights.

That’s a preposterous premise!  It would mean that men born with a desire for many women (i.e. most men) are having their rights violated because marriage laws provide no means for polygamy.  Likewise, it would mean that people desiring to marry their close relatives don’t have “equal rights” because our marriage laws have no provision for incest. And bisexuals could object because existing marriage laws don’t allow them to marry a man and a woman!

If desires alone guarantee someone special rights, why 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 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.”

So 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 law should prohibit, permit or promote. Those are the only three choices we have when it comes to making law.

We already permit homosexuals to pledge themselves to one another “till death do them part.” They can privately commit themselves to one another in every state, and in California domestic partnerships give them all the benefits of marriage. But that’s not enough for homosexual activists. They want homosexuality to be promoted and endorsed by getting the government to call it “marriage.” That way they can get the social approval they want and use the law as a club to beat homosexual values into our school children, businesses, and charities.

Sorry, but there is no “right” to have any sexual relationship officially called “marriage” and have it granted benefits by the state.  We have government-backed natural marriage because it benefits the country greatly, especially children, and because we voted for it!

Gay complaints of “discrimination” are bogus as well. Marriage laws do not discriminate against persons, they discriminate against behavior. That’s true of most laws. 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 Islam on the entire nation, but it does not discriminate against those Muslims as persons. Likewise, our marriage laws discriminate against the desired behaviors of homosexuals, polygamists, bigamists, adulterers, and the incestuous, but they do not discriminate against them as persons.

The nonsensical comparisons to interracial marriage don’t work either. Race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it. There is nothing wrong with interracial marriages because men and women are designed for one another and can procreate regardless of their racial background. But same-sex marriages can’t procreate or provide a mom and a dad to kids.  No law can change that or alleviate the documented health problems that result from same-sex couplings. So our marriage laws should be color blind but not gender blind.

Ironically, it’s not conservatives but homosexual activists who are acting like racists. Instead of asking the state to recognize the preexisting institution of marriage, homosexuals are asking the state to define marriage. That’s exactly what racists were trying to do to prevent interracial marriage. Racists wanted the state to define marriage as only between same-race couples, instead of having the state recognize what marriage already was—the union of a man and a woman regardless of their racial background. While racists and homosexuals may want to alter the legal definition of marriage, they can’t alter the laws of nature that helped lead to the recognition of legal marriage in the first place.

The bottom line is that we’re not discriminating against anyone with our current marriage laws.  Like most laws, we’re only discriminating for or against behavior that is good or bad for our country. So this debate really has nothing to do with equal rights, discrimination, hate or bigotry, but whether or not same-sex marriage would be good or bad for our country.  As I’ve shown in Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know It’s Bad, the evidence clearly shows same-sex marriage would be detrimental to everyone which is why we should oppose it.

If the California Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, the people who will be denied equal rights are the majority of Californians who voted for it.  The rights of more than six million voters will be denied by four judges who refuse to acknowledge a false and preposterous premise. Only democracy will be in the closet at that point.

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

December 6th, 2008 by M. French

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty released a full page ad in the New York Times today entitled No Mob Veto. It calls for an end to violence toward religious institutions that supported Proposition 8, and is signed by leaders representing various faiths. The letter is reprinted below (click on it to enable zoom):

For those that would like to show their support for the ad, you can add your name to the letter on their website NoMobVeto.org.  Be aware however, that it calls for one questionable commitment that may prevent some of you from adding your name, specifically.: “Furthermore, beginning today, we commit ourselves to exposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry – against any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason.” Is this really a commitment that authentic believers in the Messiah should promise to undertake? Why would we “commit” ourselves to “publicly shame” everyone that commits a certain act, let alone something as open-ended and all-inclusive as committing “anti-religious bigotry” (whatever that may mean) towards “any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason.” Is Satanism included?  How about death-crazed Islam? Are people like Joel Richardson of Joel’s Trumpet, who are rightfully (and non-violently) exposing this demonic manifestation of Islam guilty of “anti-religious bigotry”?

Overall, however, the Becket Fund ad should be commended for its clear and uncompromising call to end religious intimidation and violence. (For those who have signed the letter, I encourage you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.)

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT lobbying group and political action committee, posted a response to the ad on their website, reprinted below:

Demand the Truth

HRC’s Religion and Faith program launches response to untruthful NY Times ad.

Today, members of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion Council responded forcefully to a full-page ad in the New York Times that implies there is an organized attempt to foment mob intimidation and violence toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints due to its actions dehumanizing lesbian and gay people in the recent election campaign, particularly in California around passage of Proposition 8, which stripped gay families of the right to a civil marriage.  The ad was sponsored by NoMobVeto.org, a project of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

When did the LDS Church become the victim?  It’s hard to believe, but that is exactly what it is trying to convince the public of.  It is continuing to spend an excess of dollars in an attempt to mislead the public and transform its image.  But the truth is that this is the same church that conducted a national broadcast to every temple, calling on members to organize and write checks to the Prop 8 campaign.  The same church that donated more than half of the $40 million behind Prop 8, even though California Mormons represent just 2 percent of the state’s population.  Yes, it’s the same church.

Don’t allow them to replace the truth with their own version of the truth. Use our Religion Council’s message today to take action and demand the truth:

  • Click here to write a letter to the New York Times
  • Click here to send an email to the Becket Fund, the organization that paid for the misleading New York Times ad
  • Click here to share your personal story with NoMobVeto.org and let them know how the passage of Prop 8 affected your life

What HRC’s Religion Council had to say:

  • “Several signatories to the ad are generals in the culture wars,” said Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Church (Epsicopal), Pasadena, Calif.  “They lied about gay people in the campaign, and now they are lying again when they say we are in favor of mob intimidation and violence.  I personally talked legitimately angry demonstrators in California out of such action and every credible LGBT organization called for peaceful resistance to the Prop 8 travesty.  Many of the leaders cited in this ad preach hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, then look the other way when LGBT people are the victims of hate crimes.  This ad is an act of individual and corporate hypocrisy.”
  • Bishop John Selders of Amistad United Church of Christ in Hartford, Conn. commented, “As an African-American, I’ve heard this before.  A few frustrated members of a minority group respond in anger to a new indignity and the oppressor calls them anarchists.  Satan, sometimes called the Father of Lies, is at work when powerful people seek to dehumanize those who are less powerful.”
  • Rev. Dr. Miguel de la Torre of Iliff School of Theology in Denver agreed, “I am always struck that those in power, those who manipulate the truth to maintain oppressive structures, present themselves to the public as the ones being persecuted.  Make no mistake, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a powerful organization with an agenda of imposing a narrow religious view upon the rest of America.  As we Hispanics say, ‘que vergüenza’ (what a shameful act).”
  • “Calls for tolerance of certain religious viewpoints rings hollow in a world where religion often stands by tolerating violence perpetrated on God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children,” was Rev. Dr. Erin Swenson’s reply.  Dr. Swenson is a Presbyterian minister and psychotherapist in Atlanta.
  • Rev. Dr. Ken Stone of Chicago Theological Seminary said, “While I agree that violence and anti-religious bigotry need to be combated, we must also demand an end to the violence undertaken by those religious institutions that not only encourage but also fund bigotry against lesbians and gay men. Where will the Becket Fund be when we call for endorsements of hate crimes and employment protection legislation for LGBT people?”
  • Here’s what Rev. Dr. Mary A. Tolbert of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Pacific School of Religion had to say: “The ‘No Mob Veto’ ad would be more convincing as a statement of concern for civil debate over the well-organized and well-funded participation of the LDS church in the passage of Prop 8 had it not itself ended with a clear threat of intimidation toward anyone criticizing that church’s role in the election.  As the Christian gospels demonstrate in Jesus’ action of overturning the tables of money-lenders in the temple, sometimes speaking the truth to entrenched and wealthy religious leaders requires a dramatic stroke. To protest the enormous financial involvement of a religious body in stripping equal rights from California LGBT people, their families, and their children is in no way anti-religious bigotry; it is instead, like the example of Jesus in the temple, an attempt to speak the truth to those rooted in power and wealth whose actions serve to deprive other human beings of the equal respect and dignity all of God’s children deserve.”
  • Rev. Rebecca Voelkel of the Institute for Welcoming Resources of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force summed up: “As a Christian, I was taught not to ‘bear false witness.’  One of the deepest tragedies of the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign in California was its bearing false witness– more plainly stated, its lies– about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.  This ad is one more example.  In response to the passage of Proposition 8, faithful, honorable, patriotic Americans from every walk of life and of many sexual orientations and gender identities gathered to say no to lies and yes to love, truth and the American way.  To name these overwhelmingly peaceful gatherings as mobs dishonors me, my family, members of my church and so many others who participated in them.  As a Christian, my religious tradition also admonishes me to speak the truth in love.  Therefore, I prayerfully ask those who have run this ad and others like it, to stop your false witness.  Instead, and especially in these times, our country and our world need all of us, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, pagans and all people of faith, to work on behalf of the dignity of all human beings.”

The HRC’s response to the ad is fascinating because it accuses the LDS Church of conducting “a national broadcast to every temple, calling on members to organize and write checks to the Prop 8 campaign” and donating “more than half of the $40 million behind Prop 8, even though California Mormons represent just 2 percent of the state’s population.” Has encouraging people to make a difference for the cause of righteousness and authentic love now become illegal or immoral?

In addition, the HRC has somehow convinced themselves that it is virtually impossible for Mormons to ever be victims, asking: “When did the LDS Church become the victim?  It’s hard to believe, but that is exactly what it is trying to convince the public of.” The HRC needs to wake up and realize that it is indeed possible for other groups to be mistreated in this country, even organizations they believe to be “oppressors.”

As if these strange accusations and perceptions weren’t enough, next to the article on the HRC’s website, the link to the Becket Fund’s letter states “Click on the image below to read the untruthful ad”.  One wonders how the ad was untruthful, since the HRC article never makes that clear. The only direct accusation made concerning what the ad allegedly “lied about” was not found in the main HRC article but in a quote from Rev. Susan Russell who said, “They lied about gay people in the campaign, and now they are lying again when they say we are in favor of mob intimidation and violence.” Her comments, however, are highly inaccurate.  The ad never stated that the LGBT community was in favor of mob intimidation and violence – in fact, gays and lesbians were never even mentioned in the Becket Fund ad. The point they were making was that the LGBT community (without mentioning them by name) had either turned a blind eye toward or made excuses for the behavior of those who engaged in mob intimidation. Rather than accusing the writers of this ad of being “untruthful” without backing up their claims in the slightest, perhaps the HRC should consider taking the ad’s rebuke seriously and start leading the charge against religious violence and intimidation in their community.

It’s encouraging to see organizations such as the Becket Fund stand up for religious liberty and call for an end to religious violence and intimidation.  Mormons, believing Christians, and people of other faiths (or even non-faiths) have the right to let their voices be heard and to affect positive change in society.  They should not be punished for their success.

For more on the subject of the LDS Church, check out Dr. Brown’s Line of Fire show Should Evangelicals and Mormons Work Together?.

Posted in News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , , , ,

November 19th, 2008 by M. French

Editor’s Note: Unless otherwise stated, we make no endorsements of the links, media, organizations, or people we report on.

Here are some more updates with regard to the Castro story we’ve been following. A woman that was at the Castro confrontation and Lou Engle, father of the JHOP movement, share their story in the video below, taken from the IHOP-KC (International House of Prayer – Kansas City) webstream: [link to video]

Accusations are starting to be made about the JHOP – San Francisco team, and their leader, Lou Engle. For example, Joe. My. God., winner of 2007’s Best LGBT blog according to the WebLog Awards, has posted an article containing the above video, and a crude explanation of Lou Engle’s beliefs, reprinted below:

Lou Engle is a pastor with Joel’s Army, a group that demands that the United States be ruled by strict Biblical principles. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Joel’s Army believers are hard-core Christian dominionists, meaning they believe that America, along with the rest of the world, should be governed by conservative Christians and a conservative Christian interpretation of biblical law. There is no room in their doctrine for democracy or pluralism.

Dominionism’s original branch is Christian Reconstructionism, a grim, Calvinist call to theocracy that, as Reconstructionist writer Gary North describes, wants to “get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”

Notorious for endorsing the public execution by stoning of homosexuals and adulterers, the Christian Reconstructionist movement is far better known in secular America than Joel’s Army. That’s largely because Reconstructionists have made several serious forays into mainstream politics and received a fair amount of negative publicity as a result. Joel’s Army followers eschew the political system, believing the path to world domination lies in taking over churches, not election to public office.

Another key difference between the two branches of dominionism, which maintain a testy, arms-length relationship with one another, is Christian Reconstructionism’s buttoned-down image and heavy emphasis on Bible study, which contrasts sharply with Joel’s Army anti-intellectual distrust of biblical scholars and its unruly style.

Some Castro residents have described the group that was chased out of the neighborhood as “peaceful and harmless”, but their affiliation with Lou Engle and Joel’s Army is chilling indeed. Joel’s Army is a militantly dangerous group that will settle for nothing less than the complete end of secular Democracy in America.

Let’s get the facts straight.

Firstly: Lou Engle is not a “pastor with Joel’s Army”, he is a revivalist that founded The Call, and the Justice Houses of Prayer, and according to his bio page, is currently a senior leader with IHOP-KC.

Secondly: Not only is he not a “pastor with Joel’s Army”, which according to Joe. My. God.‘s sources are “hard-core Christian dominionists”, but the ministry he’s involved with has openly rejected dominionism, and has openly dealt with the Joel’s Army misunderstanding. Consider what IHOP-KC has posted on their website in their Affirmations and Denials page with regard to these “Joel’s Army” and “Dominion Theology” rumors:

Dominion Theology
WE AFFIRM that God’s purpose is for Jesus to come back to fully establish His Kingdom rule over all the Earth. After the Second Coming, the saints will rule the Earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ when He sets up His government on the Earth in the Millennial Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 5:10 and 20:3–6). We believe that believers in this age are called to serve Jesus in politics and to help establish righteousness and justice in legislation. We do NOT have the assurance that ALL laws and governments will be changed until after the Second Coming of Jesus to establish His Millennial Kingdom.

WE DENY the Church will take over all the governments of the Earth before the return of Christ.

Explanation: some teach and believe that all governments on the Earth will be transformed by the Church before the Second Coming of Jesus.

Joel’s Army
WE AFFIRM that the army in Joel 2:1–11 was an ungodly Babylonian army that destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC. We believe that this passage has a double fulfillment as it points to the Antichrist’s army that will attack Israel at the end of the age. We affirm that Joel was prophesying of the lifestyle of godly believers in Joel 2:12–17.

WE DENY Joel 2:1–11 describes the end-time church.

Explanation: The term “Joel’s Army” has been used to signify the people who walk out the principles of prayer with fasting as taught in Joel 2:12–17. The term has been used much like “Joseph Company”, “Gideon Band” or “David Company” to signify the people who embraced the godly qualities that Joel taught about prayer, fasting and wholehearted obedience. Paul Cain had a prophetic word about a “Joel’s Army in training,” referring to a group of people who would give themselves to prayer and fasting according to Joel 2:12–17. When used like this, “Joel’s Army” does not refer specifically to the destroying army mentioned in Joel 2:1–11, but to people who walk out the Joel 2:12–17 lifestyle. The misunderstanding comes from giving the title “Joel’s Army” to both the destroying army (Joel 2:1–11) and the group of people who give themselves to fasting and prayer (Joel 2:12–17).

Thirdly: Whether or not this dominionist “Joel’s Army” described in Joe.My.God.’s article really exists or not, I cannot say, but clearly since Lou Engle has rejected dominionism, there is no proof that he is callling for “the complete end of secular Democracy in America”. Neither does Joe.My.God. have any proof that Lou Engle or his ministry associates are “militant” in a physically or verbally violent way.

Joe.My.God. would do well to check on his facts before publishing such easily debunked rumors.

Posted in News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , , , ,

November 19th, 2008 by M. French

On Tuesday, we released a story about an assault on a group of Christians in the Castro District of San Francisco.  JHOP – San Francisco, the group that was confronted, has released an official statement about what happened on their website, reprinted below:

This is the official statement of what took place in the Castro in San Francisco on Friday, November 14, 2008.

November 18, 2008

Last Friday night (11.14.08) our team of thirteen people, mostly ranging from eighteen to twenty-two years old, left the house around 5:30pm to head to the Castro District as we have done for the majority of Friday nights for the past three years. Over the course of the week we had actually been out in the Castro every night, singing and worshiping in the neighborhood. This night we arrived at Castro and 18th Street, with one guitar to simply worship and bring the presence of God to the Castro District. We understood that since Proposition 8 had passed it would seem instigating to talk with people, so we decided to only play the guitar and sing rather than to engage with anyone on the streets.

Our intention was not to stir up anger, but to worship Jesus on the streets the way we had worshipped there for the past three years. As we were worshiping a man approached us and began yelling “You are haters! Get out of here!” A girl on our team simply told him “We are only here to worship God. We love you.” This man became angrier and was screaming at her using profanity and obscene language. When he noticed that we were standing in front of a memorial that had been dedicated to an AIDS/HIV activist he became even more enraged. We had stood on that particular street corner numerous times when there had been a memorial and it had never been an issue before this night. She continued to answer him “We are only here to worship God. We love you and Jesus loves you,” and eventually he left the street corner. A police officer then came and asked us how long we would be out there. We told him until nine o clock and he said “ok” and left.

Our team continued to sing as a young man approached us. He stood near by until another man joined him.  He was wearing a headdress, which led us to believe that he was affiliated with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. This man in the headdress began to surround us with a cloth and shoving us to encircle us fully with the cloth.  He wanted to do this so that people on the outside could not see us. While this was happening the other man instigated to people walking by that we were the “Yes on 8 people”. When in reality, we were only doing what we had always done at the Castro since before proposition 8 was even in sight.  This was not a proposition 8 event.

At this point our team was standing in a circle holding hands singing “Amazing Grace.”
While they were holding the cloth around us someone from the crowd threw hot coffee over the cloth and it hit our team, including splashing two of our girls in the face and one on her head going down her back. At first the girls thought it was boiling water until they smelled that it was coffee.

During the event people lunging through the crowd to get at us hit a couple of our girls in the face.

Then a man picked up one of our Bibles and started to walk away with it. A girl from our team walked out of the circle after him and said, “Excuse me that is our Bible. Could I have that back please?” He turned to her and said “no” then hit her on the head with the Bible knocking her to the ground, then began kicking her legs.  A man from the crowd pulled him off of her. A police officer then came and detained the man who hit her. One officer asked the girl on our team if she would like to press charges. She said “No. Tell him I forgive him.”

A couple of the people who were holding the cloth around our team walk up to her and said “We are sorry that happened to you.” and “He is not with us.” referring to the man that hit her. Then the man who had been responsible for making the crowd think we were there concerning Proposition 8 said to her “I’m glad to see that you’re feeling better, but let that be a lesson to you not to come here.”

At different points throughout the night one girl on our team had her camera and was able to film some of what was happening.

The crowd around began to grow as people started to scream “Shame on you! Shame on you!” over and over. They were yelling all kinds of obscenities and cursing us. That is when one of the young men who was with us called the police department to let them know what was happening. It was difficult to say how many people were surrounding us due to the chaos of the situation. We were trying to focus on worshiping rather than the masses, but we would guess anywhere from 200 to 500 people. One of the girls then stepped out to see how the girl who got hit was doing. And as she rejoined the team singing, she overheard a few men saying things like “we should grab them.”  As well as “yeah we should grab their butts.” At that point we realized that it was climaxing into a really hostile situation.

Then it seemed like out of nowhere hundreds of whistles were being blown in our ears. Around that time someone removed the cloth which enabled the crowd to enclose around us turning the situation into what resembled a mob frenzy. The people in the crowd were shoving us against the wall blowing the whistles in our ears so close that we could feel the spit from the whistles hitting our faces. Around that time we began to sing “Oh the Blood of Jesus.”  Things grew more intense and the crowd came in closer around us shoving and pushing us. Some men from the crowd began grabbing a few of the young men on our team inappropriately, sexually assaulting them and trying to take down the pants of one of them. When that began the young men with us quickly pulled all the girls into the middle so that no one could get to them.

The intensity of the mob around us grew until finally the police had to shove the crowd off of us and they made a wall between the crowd and our group. There was one moment when a man from the crowd around us pointed out Roger, the leader of our team, and said, “I’m going to kill you!” An officer overheard and said to him “What did you say!?” The man said “nothing.” And the officer replied, “I heard what you said.”

Then one officer said to Roger “Do you want to leave?” and he replied, “We would like to stay” because we knew we had the freedom to be there. A few minutes later as the crowd was growing quickly the officer said to Roger “I am sorry, but we need to get you out of here because we fear for your life, you no longer have a choice.” Roger turned to our team and explained that we were going to honor the police and follow them. The officer came back, asked us where we were parked and told us we would be moving out in five minutes. At that point there was somewhere between 15 and 25 police officers. They surrounded our team and escorted us to 20th and Eureka Street where our van was parked. As they were escorting us to our van the crowd followed our team and continued to scream and threaten us.  They even threatened to follow us all the way home. As we were being escorted out a man with a news camera showed up and began filming us. (Later we found the footage on KTVU, a local news station in the Bay Area) They had reported that we were doing a religious march regarding Proposition 8, when in all actuality we were being escorted out of the Castro.  Realizing the hostility of the people who were still following us, and their threats to “follow us all the way home” we covered our license plate with post-it notes that a guy on our team had in his wallet. We did this so that they could not identify our vehicle later. We then loaded our entire team into the van and drove home. The time when we left was 8:30.

In closing, though this event was one of the scariest moments in our individual lives, because of those who have died in America to purchase freedom, we felt in this situation we were to stand firm and not be intimidated out of our rights.  Furthermore our faith in Christ calls us to be willing to die for the sake of the gospel, and we are not to sacrifice for the sake of comfort or a false peace. Though the American church has not often been tested in this, these days seem to be upon us. We love the LGBT community and we do not believe that everyone in this community is filled with hate or anger. What happened on Friday night was different than what we have ever encountered.  We forgive those who assaulted us physically and sexually. We forgive the anger and threats of violence against us.  Our desire has always been to be a bridge to bring the love of Jesus.

Thank you,

JHOPSF team.

Posted in News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , ,

November 19th, 2008 by M. French

Editor’s Note: The YouTube account mentioned below was later taken off of the video’s site.

People have asked us how we got our information concerning the Kingdoms in Conflict: Castro District Mob Assaults Christians article we posted.  Our information came from an email from someone affiliated with JHOP containing substantially the same story that was posted on the YouTube video we linked to (the account can be seen if you click on “More Info” to the upper right). An identical version to the email we received, which was slightly different from the YouTube video account, was posted on Free Republic.  You will find all the information contained in the article we posted in the Free Republic account, reprinted below:

We wanted to write you and fill you guys in on what happened to our team here in San Francisco last night. This is what happened from Daniel’s point of view and gives a pretty good overview of the night.

I went to the Castro (the homosexual district of San Francisco) with JHOPSF (I have been with the Justice House of Prayer San Francisco since April 2008.) like we usually do on Friday nights. Normally, we sit on 18th and Castro, and someone plays the guitar, and we all worship God. Often times people will be drawn to us, even if only for curiosity of what we’re doing, so we get to talk to them, and tell them about the Love of Jesus Christ. On rare occasions, when the Holy Spirit clearly guides one of us (Usually a leader, probably Roger), one person will open-air preach for a little bit.

Sometimes a person will yell at us, or maybe a few. Sometimes people will ignore us. Sometimes people will let us pray with them. We get different responses from different people each time, but the Lord always meets us there.

This time was not a normal night. It was the first time we’d been back in the Castro to do our normal outreach since California Proposition 8, which defined marriage as “one man with one woman” was passed. Apparently, previously, someone at a no on 8 rally singled out Promised Land Fellowship (The church that we attend), and specifically the team they send out to the Castro on Friday nights (Us) as being affiliated with the yes on 8 campaign (Which is partially true. All the individuals involved with the Castro Outreach were involved with the yes on 8 campaign, but mostly in prayer. However, the Castro Outreach isn’t about Gay marriage, or politics – it’s about Jesus Christ.).

We played the guitar and sang together and worshiped the Lord. Nobody preached. Nobody even really talked to anyone except for a little bit near the beginning. After just singing and worshiping God for a while, Roger decided that we should all hold hands in a circle and continue singing. So we did.

Someone (Actually a person who came up and hugged and kissed some of us who he knew from the past and was asking us how we were doing) convinced some people that we were there to protest against the no on 8 campaign. Then some guy who was dressed up like one of the sisters (The sisters of perpetual indulgence is a group of men who dress up in drag like nuns and call themselves the spiritual authority of the Castro.) took a curtain-type thing (Which I think they use to curse people) and wrapped it around us.

Then a crowd started gathering. We began to sing “Amazing Grace”, and basically sang that song the whole night. (At some points we also sang “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” and “Oh the Blood of Jesus”.)

At first, they just shouted at us, using crude, rude, and foul language and calling us names like “haters” and “bigots”. Since it was a long night, I can’t even begin to remember all of the things that were shouted and/or chanted at us.

Then, they started throwing hot coffee, some people got it in their faces, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us. Then, a group of guys surrounded us with whistles, and blasted them inches away from our ears continually.

Then, they started getting violent and started shoving us. We just gathered in as tight as we could together and worshiped singing Amazing Grace. At one point a man tried to steal one of our Bibles. Chrisdene noticed, so she walked up to him and said “Hey, that’s not yours, can you please give it back?”. He responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her. I called the cops, and when they got there, they pulled her out of the circle and asked her if she wanted to press charges. She said “No, tell him I forgive him.” Afterwards, she didn’t rejoin us in the circle, but she made friends with one of the people in the crowd, and really connected heart to heart.

Roger got death threats. As the leader of our group, people looked him in the eyes and said “I am going to kill you.”, and they were serious. A cop heard one of them, and confronted him.

(This part is kinda graphic, so you should skip the paragraph if you don’t want to be offended.) It wasn’t long before the violence turned to perversion. They were touching and grabbing me, and trying to shove things in my butt, and even trying to take off my pants – basically trying to molest me. I used one hand to hold my pants up, while I used the other arm to hold one of the girls. The guys huddled around all the girls, and protected them.

Soon after, the cops came and stood between us and the mob. When it was getting more heated, the cops were like “You guys should leave.” because it was getting harder to protect us. and Roger said “We want to stay.” Then he said if you want to get out you have to get out now.

Someone tried to steal my backpack, but I tapped a cop on the shoulder, and said “Hey, that’s my bag.” and he got it from him and gave it to me. Others weren’t so lucky. Probably half our team got their jackets stolen.

Eventually, as the crowd was getting more and more uncontrollable, the cops were afraid for our lives, so they escorted us to our van. (The cops were very nice to us from start to finish.) Our van was parked pretty far because it was hard to find parking that day. As the cops escorted us, the mob followed us, until the cops formed a line, and held off the people so we could drive away. We took the long way home, just in case anyone tried to follow us.

When we got home, we prayed and sang more, and then prayed over each-other.The whole experience made me love, and brought me closer to God, and my friends, and the people in the Castro, as well as the church in general, and the lost in general.

Please know my heart. All of what we do is for the Love of Jesus Christ, and the love for those in the Castro. The Bible says to love God, and then love people. We can only love because He loved us first. We can’t hate the people because they are just broken and blinded by the spirit of this age. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities and Powers. It’s not a political thing, we just love the people. We don’t want to convert gays to straight people. We want them to know the Love of Jesus Christ. Even if someone never becomes attracted to the other sex, they can still love Jesus Christ with all their heart, mind, and soul.

As the mob raged, all I could pray was “God have mercy.”. It really is all about God’s mercy. He desires mercy over judgment. He desires for all to be saved.

One of the things that I remember them chanting was “Shame on you.”. One of our girls later pointed out how, in some weird way, it’s a privilege for us, because we know that Jesus bore all our shame, and all our transgressions on the cross, so it’s kinda like taking on their shame, so we can cast it onto Jesus.

This is the raw footage of the walk from 18th and Castro Street to our car. It was only the very tail end of the night and says that we were all about prop8… when in reality we had nothing to do with prop 8 this night.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/17986914/detail.html

May the Holy Lord God Almighty, Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is To Come, be glorified, now and forevermore. Amen. -Daniel-

Thank you for praying for us, and more for this people in the Castro. We have found ourselves even more broken over them. We love you!

Missy

Posted in News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , ,

November 18th, 2008 by M. French

Editor’s Note: More information concerning our sources for this story can be found here: Kingdoms in Conflict Followup

A group of homosexual protesters turned violent on Friday, Nov. 14th when an outreach team from the Justice House of Prayer gathered together to worship on the streets of the Castro District in San Francisco. These young Christians had been meeting to worship and reach out to the Castro community on Friday nights for months, with this being their first time in the community since the passing of Proposition 8 in California, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and has sparked nationwide protests from the GLBT community.

While the outreach team sang worship songs, the homosexual protesters became erroneously convinced that the group from JHOP was there to protest the “No on 8” Campaign that the GLBT community has been promoting throughout the country. A crowd gathered around the JHOP team as they sang “Amazing Grace”, and as tensions mounted, the crowd began shouting vulgarities and taunts at the Christians, eventually throwing hot coffee, alcohol, and soda at the group, and according to some at the scene, even spitting on them, all the while blowing whistles inches from their ears. As the scene progressed, the team was also shoved, had their personal belongings stolen, and were hit and kicked, requiring them to call the police. Eventually, a riot team was called in to protect the victims as they worshiped. One victim said that when one of the homosexuals was confronted by a young woman for stealing her Bible, “he responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her.” When asked by the police if she wanted to press charges, she declined, choosing to extend forgiveness to her attacker instead.

Violence and verbal abuse weren’t the only things they had to endure however, as perverse acts of molestation also took place. According to one of the victims, individuals in the crowd touched and grabbed them, tried to remove their pants, and even made attempts to penetrate them anally with foreign objects.  Following this, the police had to surround the outreach team to protect them from the mob, and confront a man who threatened the team leader with death. The police asked the outreach group to leave for their protection due to the violence of the crowd, despite the police presence. They escorted the group during the long walk back to their van, followed by the mob who continued to shout, chant and blow whistles. The press only arrived in time to capture some of their walk back to the van, and you can view the raw footage of this here (YouTube version posted below).

Incredibly, the article published by the news team from KTVU in San Francisco has many of the facts of the event wrong, but with the only interviews performed being from the homosexual community, rather than representatives from both sides or even the police who were called to protect the victims, who should be surprised? The group who went from JHOP to the Castro area was not “marching” to support Proposition 8, nor did they blatantly “confront” anyone from the homosexual community on Friday night. And despite the aggressive nature of the mob, KTVU fails to mention it in the least, and even quotes a homosexual man who says “Their rights were respected…They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood.” (emphasis mine) They also quote another homosexual man saying “It’s not religious. It’s not a racial thing. It’s about hate. We’re trying to send a message across the world that we’re standing up and we don’t want this to go on anymore.” But they print not a word from a police officer or one of the victims of the attack.

“Their rights were respected?” As hot coffee and other things are thrown on them, their belongings are stolen, and they are physically and sexually assaulted? “It’s about hate?” Since when is praying and singing hymns classifiable as hatred? Emotions are running very high within the GLBT community, but the actions of some of the protesters have overstepped the laws of the nation as well as the “tolerance” and “equality” that they themselves demand of those who believe in God’s design of marriage between a man and a woman. The victims from JHOP attacked in the Castro district would have been well within their rights to press charges, but instead they chose to love and forgive instead of meeting hatred with hatred, or even seeking justice from the laws which protect members of both sides of the issue.

The heart of the group who was chased out of the Castro district is this:

We don’t want to convert gays to straight people. We want them to know the Love of Jesus Christ. Even if someone never becomes attracted to the other sex, they can still love Jesus Christ with all their heart, mind, and soul. As the mob raged, all I could pray was “God have mercy.”

Every one of us stands in need of the mercy of God, without exception. Let us pray for God to have mercy on the GLBT community, that they would have a true encounter with the Spirit of God who is the very embodiment of love, holiness, and truth, and that we may be able to reach out to them with a heart of compassion for the heavy struggle facing those who deal with this issue which lies at the very core of the way they identify themselves. Which one among us has not needed God to redefine core beliefs about who we are/were? The transformation must be accomplished by the Spirit, not the strength of men. We must cry out to Messiah Jesus to have mercy!

Posted in News, Sexuality & Gender Tagged with: , , , , , ,

November 15th, 2008 by Michael L. Brown

IS THERE A “CIVIL RIGHT” TO GAY “MARRIAGE”?

By

Michael L. Brown, Ph.D.,

Director, Coalition of Conscience, www.coalitionofconscience.org

November 15, 2008

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 TalibanBan BigotsMajority 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.

We shall not be moved!

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