I have been communicating over and over that the purposed hate crimes legislation was unnecessary because laws are already in place to prosecute hate crime in all 50 states. Finally someone who is much more articulate has written a terrific and very clear article on this subject. Please read Dr. Gagnon’s article below.
Hate crimes legislation is not about hate crimes; it is a political agenda to normalize homosexuality at the same status of equality in our society as heterosexuality. Hate crimes legislation is a gay political agenda to stealthily bring civil rights status to homosexuality. This legislation makes homosexuality and many other sexual practices equal to gender and race. This is very bad news for ministries like the one I am involved. There are politically motivated gay activists whose sole existence is the demise of any ministry that proclaims freedom from homosexuality. Is President Obama and/or the Democrats really naive as to the intention here of gay political activists or are they very calculated? I believe the later. I believe President Obama, and you should too; when he said he desired to not merely bring change, but REMAKE AMERICA. He desires to make this a different country. I am not sure we can recover from 4 years of Obama policies fiscally and/or morally.
Dr. Robert Gagnon has written another well thought out excellent article on this subject. I plead with you, please read this article; do not be naive as to the intention of this legislation. This legislation, if passed, is destructive to our country. Please call your Senator’s now and say NO to Hate Crimes!
Why a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity “Hate Crimes” Law Is Bad for You
Promoting hatred of people opposed to homosexual practice and transgenderism
by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D. May 28, 2009
The so-called “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act” (H.R. 1913), passed by the U.S. House of Representatives along party lines on Apr. 29 and introduced into the U.S. Senate shortly thereafter by Ted Kennedy (S. 909), is improperly named. The bill is really a hate-promotion bill as regards the inclusion of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” among the groupings slated to receive special protection.
Supporters of this bill who rightly believe homosexual practice to be unnatural and sinful have been duped into thinking that this bill is primarily about protecting homosexual and transgendered persons from violence. They hear the rubric “hate crimes” and think: Who can be for violence toward homosexual and transgendered persons?
The real objectives of the “hate crimes” bill (hint: it’s not about crime)
Supporters of this bill who believe homosexual practice to be immoral rarely stop to consider that all necessary laws are already in place protecting everyone from violent physical attacks or verbal threats to do bodily harm, including persons who engage in homosexual and transgendered behavior. Even homosexual columnist Andrew Sullivan has recently commented: “The real reason for hate crime laws is not the defense of human beings from crime. There are already laws against that—and Matthew Shepard’s murderers were successfully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in a state with no hate crimes law at the time.” There is absolutely no evidence that state prosecutors are systematically ignoring genuine crimes against homosexual and transgendered persons, once reported to law enforcement officials.
So why pass “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” so-called “hate crime” legislation? The reason has more to do with foisting an expansive homosexualist agenda on the nation than with concerns about crime. The bill serves the following vital aims of that agenda:
- It gets the federal government to enshrine in federal law “sexual orientation” (i.e. homosexuality and bisexuality) and “gender identity” (i.e. transsexualism and cross-dressing) as identity markers worthy of special protection and promotion alongside racial and gender diversity.
- This in turn gives federal backing to hatred of all persons who express opposition to homosexual practice and transgenderism as the moral equivalent of racists and misogynists (sexists), no matter how loving that expression of opposition may be.
- It also lays the foundation for a litany of future “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” bills that will markedly abridge the civil liberties of all who express moral disapproval of homosexual practice and transgenderism.
The foot in the door
This “hate crimes” bill is the proverbial foot in the door or camel nose in the tent that makes possible—indeed inevitable—all future laws involving “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” By simply placing “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” alongside of “race,” “color,” “national origin,” “gender,” and “disability,” this “hate crime” bill does most of its damage. It ensconces in federal law the principle that homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality are as benign as race, gender, and disability—an aspect of human diversity that must be affirmed and celebrated. Those who refuse to go along with this principle then become encoded in law as hateful, discriminatory bigots.
Note that while “religion” (an identity marker involving choice) is one of the protected categories of this “hate crime” bill, the bill mainly makes a connection between “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” on the one hand and a host of benign innate conditions on the other (i.e. the five other protected categories of the bill). I’ve never heard an advocate for homosexual practice and transgenderism make the connection between these behaviors and religious belief. The analogy is always made with race and gender.
The thought crime of “prejudice” against homosexual and transgender behavior
Make no mistake about the fact that this is an Orwellian thought-crimes bill. Suppose a young man and a 70-year-old grandmother push each at roughly the same time. The man does so after shouting out “You bigoted homophobe!” while the grandmother does so after responding “Well then, you are a sexual pervert!”
This “hate crime” bill would apply only to the grandmother and would do so solely on the basis that she believed that homosexual practice was a perversion of the natural sexual order. For the bill establishes this conviction to be a “prejudice,” stating that the federal government can intervene when “a crime of violence … is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived … sexual orientation [or] gender identity … of the victim” (emphasis added). The bill effectively (but wrongly, go here) declares this conviction to be a hate that society must prosecute vigorously by enhancing penalties and calling for massive federal intervention.
However, the bill shows no concern for classifying as hateful prejudice the alternative conviction; namely, that advocates of a male-female requirement for sexual relations are hateful, ignorant bigots. Rather, the bill promotes this alternative conviction to society at large. It essentially declares to all sectors of society that it is “open season” on hating and ostracizing persons who find homosexual behavior and transsexualism to be morally repugnant, much as society hates and ostracizes members of the Klu Klux Klan or skinhead Nazi groups.
Recent cases in point are the widespread intimidation tactics employed by homosexualist opponents of California’s Proposition 8 against its supporters (for example, go here, here, here, here, here) and the smear campaign against Miss California, Carrie Prejean, for daring to disagree with a homosexual pageant judge’s affirmation of “gay marriage” (note that the point holds whatever Prejean’s deficiencies may be as a role model for Christian sexual modesty). Why shouldn’t those opposed to homosexual practice or transsexualism get special protection from the federal government? The reason is simple: They’re bigots.
The analogy of other sexual orientations
This bill thus goes beyond protection of homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered persons (who are already protected) to promotion of hatred—hatred toward those opposed to homosexual and transgendered behavior. If you have any doubt about that, consider whether adding pedophilia (‘pedosexuality’) to the list would imply promotion of pedophilic behavior by the state and antagonism by the state toward perceived opponents of pedophiles. Surely it would.
Sadly, this may not be the best example since Rep. Steven King unsuccessfully introduced an amendment to the “hate crimes” bill in the House that would have excluded pedophilia from the definition of “sexual orientation.” If you can believe it, the Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee defeated the amendment along party lines, 13-10. To be sure, the Democrats are right that both “pedosexuality,” sexual desire for children, and “polysexuality,” sexual desire for more than one person concurrently, are “sexual orientations.” Where the Democrats err is in failing to recognize that this is a good reason for not having a “sexual orientation” provision.
Conclusion for part 1
So don’t fall for the line that, if you really love “gay,” lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, you will support this “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” “hate crime” bill. No, support for this bill does not mean that you oppose hateful, violent acts against persons who self-identify as homosexuals, transsexuals, and cross-dressers. Existing laws already make that point. Rather, it means that you support stigmatizing, marginalizing, and penalizing people who, lovingly or not, oppose homosexual practice and transgenderism. This is a hate-promotion bill.
Proponents of the current “hate crimes” bill before the U.S. Senate argue that it is a lie that this bill will abridge in any way free speech protections for those who publicly express opposition to homosexual practice without causing, or attempting to cause, bodily harm. This claim is both irrelevant and inaccurate.
The first step of getting “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in federal law
It is irrelevant because, as noted in Part 1, this bill does most of its damage in creating, for the first time in federal law, the special legal-protective categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The first hurdle is the biggest: getting the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” on the books. A “hate crimes” bill functions as—no double entendre intended—the Trojan horse of an aggressive gay/transgender lobby, offering to the public the “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” law least likely to meet with massive public resistance.
Once the Trojan Horse is within the city walls, the rest of the task is relatively easy. If “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are special civil rights categories in federal law, then many other “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” laws must be passed if society is going to turn back the “homophobic hate” and “discrimination” that makes bodily crimes against homosexual and transgendered persons possible in the first place. President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress have already indicated their eagerness to advance this agenda (go here, here, here, and here).
Removing the explicit free-speech protection in the bill
The claim that this bill will not lead to an abridgement of free speech is not only irrelevant but also inaccurate. It is inaccurate, first, because the bill itself does not provide much in the way of protection of free speech rights. When it was first introduced into the House the bill contained this provision:
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. (bold added)
Democrats in committee removed the material in boldface so that what was voted on by the full House no longer contained the explicit mention of free speech and free exercise. The remaining phrase “expressive conduct protected …by the Constitution” begs the question about what “expressive conduct” is protected. No piece of legislation could abridge the Constitution anyway so the phrase is useless. The issue is what constitutes abridgement and that is not spelled out in this bill.
U.S. Code stipulating that inducement is as liable as commission
Second, it is inaccurate to claim that free speech will not be abridged inasmuch as other existing legislation requires an extension beyond actual physical violence.
United States Code Title 18, Section 2, stipulates that “whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.” Statements that “abet,” “counsel,” or “induce the commission” of bodily injury are thus not protected by the Constitution.
The omission of “any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses” makes it that much easier to prosecute strong statements against homosexual practice as abetting or counseling violence or as inducing its commission. There is nothing in this bill that explicitly prevents any homosexualist-activist judge, of which there are many, from ruling that calling homosexual acts a grave “abomination” by appeal to Levitical prohibitions constitutes an inducement to violence.
The existence of state and local “hate crimes” law that include mere disturbance
Third, this “hate crimes” bill puts free speech in jeopardy because some state and local “hate crime” laws already make simple assault or intimidation prosecutable offenses.
For example, the Illinois Hate Crime Law permits prosecution for mere assault (i.e., a threat or action that puts a person in apprehension of bodily harm prior to any actual harm), property trespass, “disorderly conduct,” or “harassment by telephone” or “electronic communications.” “Disorderly conduct” is defined in Illinois law as a person who “does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace” (emphasis added).
In 2007 two 16-year old girls from Crystal Lake South High School (Ill.) were arrested on felony hate crime charges for distributing about 40 fliers on cars in the student parking lot of their high school. The fliers contained an anti-homosex slur (the media have not reported what precisely the slur was) and a photo of two boys kissing, one of whom was identified as a classmate. The fliers contained no threats of violence. One of the girls was apparently getting back at a boy with whom she had once been best friend.
Assistant state’s attorney for McHenry County, Thomas Carroll, commented: “You can be charged with a hate crime if you make a statement or take an action that inflicts injury or incites a breach of the peace based on a person’s race, creed, gender, or perceived sexual orientation.” Another assistant state’s attorney, Robert Windon, said: “We do not feel this type of behavior is what the First Amendment protects.” State’s attorney Lou Bianchi insisted: “This is a classic case of the kind of conduct that the state legislature was directing the law against. This is what the legislators wanted to stop, this kind of activity.”
The girls spent 18 days in jail (a juvenile detention center) and appeared in court for their hearing with shackles on their ankles. They were ordered by the judge to remain in home detention on electronic monitoring until the court sentenced them some months later. Relieved that they would be allowed to return home for the time being, the girls sobbed uncontrollably in court. Prosecutors eventually dropped the felony hate-crime charge in exchange for a plea bargain, in which the girls pleaded guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest (the girls fled the scene when a police officer arrived; they did not strike an officer).
The girls were sentenced to one year of probation, ordered to write letters of apology for distributing anti-gay fliers to the boy and the arresting officer, required to do 40 hours of community service, and given a two-week suspended sentence in the McHenry County Jail (to be implemented if the girls violated probation). The girls told the court that the whole matter was a joke that they took too far. State Attorney Louis Bianchi told the press that he still felt the hate crime charge was justified, while acknowledging that the plea bargain was fair for juveniles.
Conclusion of Part 2
Claims that the homosexual and transsexual “hate crimes” bill soon to be voted on by the U.S. Senate will not lead to an abridgement of free speech rights and other liberties are both irrelevant and inaccurate.
They are irrelevant because the primary purpose of this bill is not to reduce “hate crimes” against homosexual and transgendered persons (laws against violent acts are already in place) but rather to establish “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as specially protected classifications in federal law. This establishment will make possible—indeed, inevitable—an avalanche of other “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” laws that in turn make “hateful bigots” of anyone who opposes homosexual and transsexual behavior.
They are inaccurate because (1) the bill has already had stripped from it explicit free-speech protection; (2) the U.S. legal code already stipulates that verbal “inducement” of a crime makes the inducer “punishable as a principal”; and (3) the federal “hate crimes” law will work in tandem with state and local “hate crime” laws, some of which already make prosecutable any “alarming” or “disturbing” of another.
In Part 3 we will look at other instances where “sexual orientation” laws have led to the curtailment of civil liberties and explain why religious exemption clauses are worthless.
Many proponents of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” legislation contend that “sexual orientation” legislation will not endanger civil liberties in the United States—in Europe, Canada, and Brazil, but not in the United States. The evidence to date suggests otherwise.
An example of hate-speech prosecution in Philadelphia
In Part 2 I cited the example of two teenage girls being prosecuted for sexual orientation “hate speech” under Illinois law. Another example occurred in Philadelphia a few years ago. District Attorney Lynne Abraham prosecuted a small group of Christians who were peacefully demonstrating at a homosexual parade in Philadelphia in 2004 (go here for video). The group comprised eleven persons from an organization called “Repent America,” including two grandmothers and a 17-year-old girl. All eleven spent 21 hours in jail. After a preliminary hearing Judge William Meehan ordered four of the eleven to stand trial on three felony charges and five misdemeanor charges (a fifth person, the teenage girl, was required to stand trial in juvenile court). The three felony charges were “ethnic intimidation” (proclaiming that homosexual practice was a sin), possession of instruments of crime (a bullhorn), and inciting a riot (reading from the Bible passages dealing with homosexual practice). These four Christian defendants faced up to 47 years in prison and fines of $90,000 each.
Although Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe subsequently dismissed the criminal charges (after comparing the Repent America group to Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan), had the prosecutor Lynne Abraham been the judge (or perhaps had Judge Meehan been the judge instead of Dembe), the verdict would have been quite different. That the prosecution was undertaken at all indicates that some legal authorities already believe that peaceful speech against homosexual practice is prosecutable. Expect judges to side with city prosecutors as the homosexualist agenda gains greater ascendancy through the passage of national “sexual orientation” legislation. Of note is the fact that in 2007 U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel ruled that the city of Philadelphia had a right to “exclude persons expressing contrary messages” from the vicinity of the “Outfest” parade even though the event was a admittedly a “public forum” conducted in a “public place” (namely city-owned streets and sidewalks; go here).
Other instances where “sexual orientation” legislation has already led to an abridgement of civil liberties
Certainly infringements of speech liberties have already taken place in all other Western democracies that have “sexual orientation” “hate crime” laws. In Canada, for example, among those fined thousands of dollars and threatened with imprisonment for repeat offenses of speech 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; for a video go here).
The argument that free speech protections in the U.S. Constitution will prevent such abuses from taking place rings hollow in view of the inducement to violence provision in Title 18.2 and in view of the fact that even U.S. Supreme Court justices have taken to citing precedents in foreign law (e.g., with regard to the Lawrence sodomy decision). Moreover, we already have instances in the U.S. where “sexual orientation” laws have led to abridgements of other liberties in three main areas:
- Mandatory indoctrination of children in public schools. Owing to state and local “sexual orientation” laws, children in many school systems throughout the country now face compulsory indoctrination, from first grade on, regarding the acceptability of both homosexual practice and transgenderism. Teachers are forbidden to say anything critical about any “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” and must undergo “sensitivity training” that normalizes such practices. Curricula are at all levels are required to celebrate the homosexual and transgendered life. Provisions for parental notification and child opt-out provisions are refused on the grounds that the state has already declared “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to be specially protected legal classifications. For examples go here, here, here, here, and here.
- Terminating employees critical of homosexual practice. In 2008 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 op-ed in a newspaper saying that homosexual behavior should not be compared to being black (go here). In 2007-8 a community college professor in California, June Sheldon, was fired for leading a brief discussion on the nature vs. nurture debate as regards homosexuality. Rolf Szabo, Richard Peterson, Kenneth Gee, Annie Coffey-Montes, and Albert Buonanno are previous examples of persons fired from their corporate or government jobs for not wanting to “celebrate” at their work station “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” diversity. For details go here, here, here (pp. 10-17).
- Forcing people against their conscience to promote the homosexual agenda through goods and services. The New Mexico Human Rights Commission just this past year ordered a female photographer to pay over $6000 to a lesbian couple for declining to photograph their commitment ceremony on the grounds that it violated her Christian beliefs. A national Christian dating service (Harmony.com) was dragged into several years of litigation by the state of New Jersey for not providing services for homosexual partnering, until finally, out of financial desperation, the company capitulated to the state a couple earlier this year. 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 a doctor was sued for declining to artificially inseminate a woman in a lesbian relationship. In Georgia a counselor was fired just for referring a lesbian woman to another counselor for relationship advice. The Boy Scouts in Boston were no longer allowed free use of city facilities as a result of their policy against having scout leaders attracted to the same sex; they now had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to use the same facilities for which they previously paid not a cent. In New York City a school of medicine under Orthodox Jewish auspices was forced to rent married housing to homosexual couples under a “sexual orientation nondiscrimination” law, while in California a Lutheran high school was sued for expelling two girls in a lesbian relationship. Catholic Charities of Boston had to get out of the adoption business because it did not want to place children with persons engaged in a homosexual relationship. For details and further examples, go here, here, here, here, here, here, here (2nd half), here, here.
Even legal experts who support homosexualist causes such as Eugene Volokh (UCLA) and Chai Feldblum (Georgetown University) have acknowledged that sexual orientation laws and their inevitable corollary, “gay marriage,” will ultimately force the end of “discriminatory” practices against homosexual persons by even “private entities, including Boy-Scout-like organizations, churches, religious universities, and other institutions” (so Volokh; go here and here).
Don’t be fooled by “religious exemptions”
Even if religious exemptions were to be added to any piece of “sexual orientation” legislation, they would be of little help, for two reasons.
First, religious exemptions are used as bait-and-switch tactics. As homosexualist forces tighten their hold on political rule expect such exemptions to be whittled away and ultimately eliminated. Just these past few weeks the New Hampshire House initially balked at providing the religious exemptions asked for by the governor in connection with a “gay marriage” bill. Eventually the House had to compromise with the governor to get the bill passed. The point here is that if homosexualist forces had the votes, they wouldn’t even have considered the exemptions. As culture continues to change, they and other legislative bodies will have the votes to refuse exemptions or overturn existing exemptions.
Second, in the interim let’s not forget that religious persons overwhelmingly work in secular venues where “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” laws and policies coerce their conscience and marginalize their existence to the equivalent of racists.
What does the future hold?
What else can we expect for the future? Religious institutions that “discriminate” against homosexual and transgender persons, including churches, will probably lose tax-exempt status. Religious schools will likely lose, in addition, federal grant money, access to student loans, and accreditation. Certainly these penalties already apply to religious institutions that discriminate on the basis of race (so the case of Bob Jones University). “Sexual orientation” laws equate sexual orientation with race as benign congenital conditions. Therefore we should expect the same rules to apply to religious institutions when they “discriminate” on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” All employers will have to subsidize homosexual relationships. Professional licensure for lawyers, mental health workers, etc. will require affirmation of homosexual unions and transgenderism. The list goes on and on.
Final – Conclusion
Don’t believe anyone who claims that this “hate crimes” bill, with its special protections for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” won’t lead down the road to an abridgement of civil liberties for those who disapprove of homosexual and transgender behavior. All the evidence suggests otherwise. If you are tired of fighting these battles, just tell yourself that you haven’t seen anything yet. If this bill passes, the situation will continue worsening, not only for you but also (and especially) for your children. Is this an important issue, even a litmus test issue for determining which candidates for political office you will vote for? Well, can you think of any other religious belief that you hold for which you and your children could some day be ostracized, fined, fired, or worse? I can’t.
Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D. is associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon Press) and co-author of Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views (Fortress Press).
Esther is the 17th book in the Bible. Carrie Prejean entered the pageant world at age 17. Esther was a winner of beauty contest to be a queen, and Carrie Prejean was in a beauty contest. I am not trying to communicate that Carrie’s stand for righteousness is equal to an Esther. I am amused by God using the simple things in this life to confound the wise and even religious. Isn’t interesting how God used the incredible life of Esther to save the Jews from destruction. Esther actually won an ordered line-up-beauty-contest to see who would be the king’s wife. Esther was born “for such a time as this” to bring salvation. (Es. 4:14). Could it be that Carrie Prejean lost her Miss USA crown to gain another crown? Perhaps a crown of righteousness? Perhaps to lead the way of courage and wake up many other Christians to stand up for the truth! There are many pastors and Christian leaders who could learn courage from this woman. I am not writing this because I think Ms. Prejean is perfect, we all have a past, but it is about the present and being courageous. Mean people will dig up her past to use it against her. Yet, with political-correctness opposition, gay marriage promoters, and hate crimes legislation to potentially arm gay activists to stop Christian speech, perhaps Carrie Prejean has been used of God to defend marriage and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for a call to others to follow. Perhaps it takes a little 21-year-old young-woman to speak the truth. Truly God has a bigger crown than Miss USA for Carrie Prejean. We must seek God’s approval and not mans’ approval and Carrie Prejean was good example of this truth. I am very proud of this 21 year-old culture-warrior.
Carrie Prejean has said nothing wrong; she merely took a stand for her belief about marriage and it cost her. God gave Carrie His word as she traveled to New York the next day after the pageant for her first interview. Carrie was asking God, “why?” And her Bible opened to “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” 2 Tim. 3:12 This is true for all those who desire to follow Christ. Carrie had no idea what was going to happen. Listen to this interview “No Compromise: Standing Firm On Your Faith” and be encouraged.
Carrie’s Pastor – Miles McPherson interviews Carrie about the behind-the-scenes story. This is an excellent interview and a wonderful word of encouragement, especially for those of us who are under attack by cruel and hateful people. We must STAND strong for the truth!
Here are Pastor McPherson’s message points “STAND” from the interview:
1) S – Stare Down Courage ~ we must have “stare down courage!” We must put our lives on the line for The Truth! We cannot be intimidated by angry gays or those who are politically correct.
2) T – Trust in The Truth and never a lie! We must base our lives on the truth of God’s word. If we always tell the truth we don’t ever have to wonder what should be said, we will be speaking God’s truth.
3) A – Accept God’s Sovereign Provision – God will provide our needs even when it seems like everything comes crashing down for those who live according to HIS principles. God will give you courage, wisdom, help, strength and physical provisions. (This point really blessed me today!)
4) N – Never Fear Man! “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” Our God is holy and we must love and obey Him rather than please man. The fear of man is a snare to our soul. When we walk in the holy fear of God our motives will be made right by His Spirit, but when we fear man it will lead us into deception.
5) D – Die to Yourself – We must be true to ourselves; by having a life devoted to Jesus Christ as Lord.
Carrie Prejean ended this interview by thanking the gay community. A very classy and kind woman, not that I agree with her assessment that most of the gay community is kind towards her beliefs. As a former homosexual, I am very doubtful about the majority of the gay community’s sentiments with Carrie’s belief. Again this just shows Carrie’s willingness to be kind in the face of such hate! “We overcome evil by doing good.” A Biblical truth foreign to the homosexual community. I actually do agree with Carrie that there are civil minded homosexuals that actually realize that Carrie isn’t a bigot to believe in God and the Bible, unfortunately they are few.
Pastor Miles McPherson was interview on The O’Reilly Factor this evening, May 5, 2009. This was his answer to Bill O’Reilly concerning the pastor’s belief about gay marriage:
“I find it very offense that someone would equate their behavior to my ethnicity, I know a lot of people who USED TO be gay. I don’t know any body who USED TO be Black. I don’t see the similarity between those two things. I am offended by it. We are talking about behavior and someone’s ethnicity and there is no comparison between those two things. What is the evidence that God makes people that way (gay)? There is no evidence (science) of that. And does the Bible affirm that God made people homosexual? (No) Which He doesn’t. I would say where’s your evidence? If people feel one way, that’s one thing, but to say that God did (make people gay) that’s a whole other thing, I think we have to go to the Bible and look at what HE says.”
Pastor Miles McPherson made it very clear that he does not believe that people are created by God to be homosexual, and communicated in the interview that we must believe the Bible! Thank God for another pastor willing to stand for the truth, and who continues to stand for Prop. 8.
Today at my church home, Bridgeway, our pastoral leader, Alex Absalom shared a message on being a Person of Peace bringing influence into our world. The Lord used this message as a reminder of His mandate on those who wish us harm. We overcome evil by doing good. Pastor Alex didn’t share this particular verses found in Romans 12:20-21. His message was the “Definition of a Person of Peace” and his text was Mark 5, and Acts 10 a look at Cornelius’ life. You can listen to this message by downloading it from the Bridgeway Church web site or iTunes, key search “Bridgeway Church Podcasts” and there you will find several excellent messages.
Pastor Alex’s message: “Definition of a Person of Peace” was: 1) shows Receptivity – (be friendly and outgoing, make a way), 2) has a good Reputation – (being relational to influence the surrounding community) and 3) having Referrals – (a life of peace will manifest a testimony by where people in your community will see real help, lives changed, God’s grace & mercy poured out, answers to prayer and the miracles of God). Anyone living in the context of these three R’s will have no problem with evangelism.
Pastor Alex then brought the challenge! How do we make a difference in these economic challenging and chaotic times? What sacrifices are we willing to make as individuals and in our church community? Good question!
He challenged us to make a difference in sacrifice by asking us to consider prayerfully more soul-searching questions: What preferences are we willing to lay down? What desires need to become secondary to others? What fears do we need to overcome about certain individuals, like people who are sworn faithful to fundamental Islamic beliefs? What expectations must we lay down, and what should our expectations be?
My Personal Challenge
I was personally challenged by the Holy Spirit to look at the fruit of kindness. I immediately thought of the verse about overcoming evil by doing good (Romans 12:20-21) and being kind even when certain individuals and groups of people are hell bent to make your life miserable. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not communicating a boundary-less existence, on the contrary, overcoming evil is to have godly boundaries, but with a gentle meek and kind heart. Those who know me well, know that I am a very direct prophetic choleric personality type and do not back down from a conflict. Conflict doesn’t scary me, I can even create it to bring a healthier relationship if I believe it is helpful.
However, I am excited about the grace of God today being poured out to overcome evil by doing good through His love. This takes asking the Lord about where people are from His perspective. Perspective can be everything. If we can see the deception and brokenness from God’s perspective and what the possible outcome of where a person will end eternally, the heart can be graced into Christ-like compassion and kindness. Attitude is 90% of the victory, as God gives us the victory by faith (or attitude) in Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 John 5:4-5) & (1 Cor. 15:57). I thank God for ministering to my heart with His grace and challenge today. May HIS perfect Ways found in the Holy Scriptures, HIS Truth and HIS Life be yours!
I originally posted this on Saturday, April 5th, 2008 after I read and listened to Proverbs 5. I could not stop thinking about it. It was an unusually experience. I read it in eight versions of the Bible. I was in my car listening to the audio in the NET version of the Bible. My spirit was stirred and the Lord gave me the following for me personally, but also for anyone who reads this, especially for those entangled with debating those in opposition to the Gospel. (Read Proverbs 5 first).
My dear friends, you are like my child to me. I have the Father’s heart in speaking with you. I am gravely concern about you. Please listen to me very closely, make your ears to hear what I have to say. I have a warning from God. This warning comes from ancient wisdom, God’s Spirit; therefore this wisdom is from the mind of God. If you will heed my warning then you will operate in discretion and you will have God’s wisdom. Beware of the soothing words of the immoral person. The deceived person’s words can feel so good, just like soothing oil. The immoral man or woman speaks with words that are kindly seductive. They will manipulate you, trying to draw you into sexual immorality. They are corrupt. They secretly hope for your down fall. However, when they fail at drawing you into sexual immorality, they will draw you further into controversy. Their deceptive goal is to snare you into sin; the core sin of unbelief. They are deceived by their own trickery. They are so deceived they have no understanding. If you remain in the counsel of the immoral, before you know it; you will compromise the wisdom of God. The immorally deceived person says, “bitter is sweet, and sweet is bitter.” Beware my child! The end thereof in listening is worse than wormwood. It is poison. Their words are like a two-edged sword, it will destroy you. The path of the immoral will actually lead you to the door of hell; they are ever drawing you to violate your relationship with King Jesus. They sow discord between you and your other brothers and sisters. I beg you my child, meditate on the wisdom from above, on the very word of God. Do not be enticed by worldly debates and human intellect; those soothing words of the immoral. It is very harmful. It will steal your life away. It will take your strength and your wealth. Your wealth will be taken from you and given to another. Beware of these immoral people and their false teachings. It will alienate you from God. You cannot be a friend of God and a friend of the world. Friendship with the world and immoral people is spiritual adultery. Do not let human compassion and the soothing words of the immoral deceive you. They will accuse you falsely. They will say all manner of evil against you. They will betray you. They will ironically accuse you of the very thing they are doing. They will say, love is hate and hate is love. Beware! If you listen and are attached to the immoral you will have your life strength removed. You will be the one mourning in the presence of the King. You will have rejected the King’s reproof. This poison of compromise can ruin you life. I passionately want to spare you my child, because I love you.
I am blessed and sobered by this warning. What about you? I realize that I can only try to please the Lord. When I am trying to please Him, I will please some people, some of the time, but I will never please everyone. Jesus is enough, to Him be all the glory!
Watching Bill O’Reilly on the Factor tonight this story broke on his policing the Internet segment. Who is tracking Proposition 8 contributors with an interactive GoogleMap online database? This is very disturbing!
Financial contributors to campaigns are a part of public records and are there for accountability, as they should be. But, what is the purpose of the anonymous person and/or group who developed the Prop 8 Maps site, with Google’s help to post this information with contributors names, the location of the contributors addresses and the dollar amounts given? What could possibly be the motive?
Isn’t this intimidation? Bullying? Where’s the tolerance?
What will be the end result of this information being accessed so quickly online? What could be the possible outcome of an enraged gay person or a sympathizer having this information at their finger tips? What might a person do in a fit of rage? What might a person do if they feel their neighbor caused the Proposition 8 victory and in their mind they believe that a “right” had been taken from them?
Could it be that this Prop 8 Maps site is about putting fear and intimidation into the Prop 8 contributors of California? There are also other contributors who gave large sums tagged in other states on this map. What happens to the large donor in the Washington, DC area where there is a very active and angry gay political community? What happens if one person is critically beaten, or a lot of property destroyed, or worse, what if someone is killed? (God forbid!) Who all might be held responsible? What about a group of these contributors realizing that this Prop 8 Map web site has actually put their lives and families at risk –what might this group do legally to protect themselves? Could this become a class action lawsuit? If I were the site owners and organizers, GoDaddy, Inc. who is providing the server, and Google, Inc. who has obviously prepared the interactive map; I would be calculating the real possibilities, culpablity and the liability.
We are living in new days, and CHANGE is here.
I personally don’t like describing myself as “ex-gay,” however; it communicates a quick sound bite of the reality and a direction of many. So while others might be disturbed by the term, “ex-gay” I feel it is a waste of time to wrangle over words that work in concisely communicating. Yes, folks I am “ex-gay” though I do not find my identity in being “ex-gay.” I am also very concerned that there are many great stories of “ex-gays” which are being browbeaten into silence.
I have been made aware of the growing hostility towards ex-gays in the past couple of years in the media, and recently on many blogs. Even the very popular Bill O’Reilly (here’s an article here where Bill wanted to sue an ex-gay minister) continues to communicate snide chuckles on his program at the idea of ex-gays. Fox News is somewhat fair and balanced to Judeo-Christian values, yet they do a better job with conservative political news. I like and watch Fox News, and even watch O’Reilly a lot, because most of the other cable news outlets are very hostile to the idea of Christian values, never-mind the idea of ex-gays. Our culture is completely buying into the hoax of being born gay and has accepted the idea of being gay as normality.
The hostility is really growing to the message of leaving homosexuality behind. It could actually become illegal in the near future to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ in helping people find freedom from of homosexuality. Even well-meaning Christians scoff at the idea, perhaps they should view the documentary: SPEECHLESS – SILENCING the CHRISTIANS. Perhaps we should remember our history of Nazi Germany. We should at least read the recent news from our Canadian neighbors to the north. In Canada it is illegal to speak out that homosexuality is sin. It is now legislatively considered hate speech and prosecutable; a topic worth Googling. Perhaps well-meaning, well-educated yet misinformed Christians wouldn’t scoff at this knowledge.
I came across this article yesterday “Ex-Gays Afraid to Come Out for Fear of Persecution” and thought this would be a good post in light of this discussion. Ex-gays are in fact, afraid to make themselves known. I have met with MANY people who are influential in my community and others who have church communities that would make it very difficult to talk about their recovery from homosexuality. Yet there is even a larger and growing threatening group of gay activists who are fueling the fire of fear and oppression in our culture. They wish to silence the freedom of choice when it comes to leaving homosexuality. The idea of leaving homosexuality is very threatening to their gay insecure existence and their political agendas. Wayne Besen, a self-proclaimed activist, is one of these very loud voices, he is cruel and mean-spirited. These groups are receiving too much attention, just like the school yard bully or another picture that comes to mind, it’s like the elementary kid throwing himself down on the floor throwing the hissy-fit. I know what I want to do to that kid, but Dr. Spock wouldn’t like it! Yet our culture is deceived by Darwinian-ism and humanistic beliefs. Our society is vacillating from being increasingly afraid of these bullies or being in love with them!
There are growing numbers of political gay groups that are very disturbing to me. They are actual GAY hate groups who wish to silence the voices of ex-gays. These groups are like the brazenly named “Ex-Gay Watch” and their club of bloggers who use hatefully sarcastic words in addressing ex-gays. There are even more radical groups that are extra hateful with their narcissistic sarcasms which reveal vicious vitriol fueled by people like Wayne Besen. I have had my own personal encounters with these groups. These people have actually posted ideas of how to stalk and harm ex-gay ministries and their leaders. They sarcastically mock and hope for the demise of any ex-gay ministry leader. They write books and plays applauding, scoffing and laughing at any relapse of any individual leaving homosexuality. If someone did this with other addicts like alcoholics or other human weaknesses the media would crucify them and then completely dismiss them as cruel hateful people, like Rev. Phelps and his gang; not so for gay activists.
A very successful attorney friend of mine recently told me he felt it was like 1933 in Nazi Germany for Christians and Exodus type ministries in the USA. He seriously joked with me and said, “Stephen it is like 1933 and your last name isn’t Black, but Bernstein. Your ministries will be on the front-line of the next demonic wave of an anti-Christ movement in history. It is coming.” WOW! It was a sobering moment.
One merely need to lightly read over blogs like the “Ex-GAY WATCH” and/or Wayne Besen’s blog and you will know we are living in very dark days. In the news just yesterday, at WorldNetDaily, Wayne Besen is revealed in an article that exposes his tactics and lies. The article by Bob Unruh describes Wayne Besen “as the Fred Phelps of the left.” Pretty scary!
It is sad how many people are afraid of gay activists, liberal gay blog bullies and the liberal gay anti-Christ media machine. They are silencing their great stories about overcoming homosexuality.
Yet in closing, we need to have hope, as Charles Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” and so shall it be right before the great and terrible day of the Lord. He is coming and HE will set things STRAIGHT!