November 17th, 2009
Yesterday a collection of the nation’s most obnoxious anti-gay activists showed up in Washington DC to have a showdown with the government. They were there to defy the new law criminalizing preaching against homosexuality and to be arrested for preaching the gospel. (Christian Post)
Conservative pastors rallied outside the Justice Department on Monday to test the limits of the newly expanded hate crimes law.
Calling the new law – which broadens the definition of federal hate crimes to include attacks based on sexual orientation and gender identity – a clear threat to religious liberty, the group sought to defend their freedom to proclaim biblical truths.
They were certain that preaching against homosexuality is now illegal. And they were there to be martyrs for their faith.
But there were no arrests. No one had to join the Apostle Paul and Martin Luther King by writing from the jail cell to proclaim God’s glorious truth.
Police were present, just as they are at all such public demonstrations. But, as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post noted they had better things to do:
Anything other than sex “between a male and his wedded wife,” announced the Rev. Paul Blair, “is a perversion, and the Bible says that homosexuality is in fact an abomination.”
No arrest was made.
The Rev. Rick Scarborough, quoting Scripture, listed “homosexual offenders” along with thieves, drunkards, swindlers and idolators as those unwelcome in the kingdom of God. “To fail to call homosexuals to repent of their sin and come to Jesus is the highest form of cowardice and sin,” he said.
No charges were filed.
“Had people listened to our plea, there would be tens of thousands of people who had not died of a dreaded disease,” contributed the Rev. Jim Garlow. “This breaks our heart to see people die of AIDS.”
No hands were cuffed. In fact, the few cops in attendance were paying no attention to the speakers, instead talking among themselves and checking their BlackBerrys.
And, indeed, the cops were not interested because no crime was being committed. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act does not infringe on religious liberty or ban preaching against homosexuality or anything else they fear. The only time a minister need fear the law is if he is actively instigating violent attacks on gay people.
But this reality is wasted on these activists. Even though their bait drew no bite, they remain convinced that Christianity is being criminalized. (Citizenlink)
Gary Cass, president and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, said pastors who preach from the Bible could be held accountable if someone hears their sermon and then commits a crime against a gay-identified individual.
“It puts the burden on the minister to have to read the minds of the people that are listening to him and be able to predict the future,” he said. “It has a very chilling effect on the minister’s speech, because the safest thing is to just say nothing.”
And Janet Folger trumpeted her warning on WorldNetDaily
Unfortunately, it’s too late for our freedom of speech, as so-called “hate crimes” legislation already passed Congress and was signed by Barack Obama into law as a part of the defense budget. That is why I stood with pastors like Rick Scarborough of Vision America, Mat Staver and Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, Oklahoma Pastor Paul Blair, San Diego Pastor Jim Garlow, Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Bishop Earl Jackson of Stand America, and others on the steps of the Department of Justice yesterday afternoon speaking out against the law that has already laid the foundation for the Criminalization of Christianity, as I warned about in my book by that same title.
It can be difficult to understand exactly why these activists ignore the opinions of legal scholars who assure them that no such arrests will be made. It is odd that Christian voices calling for reason are ignored. It seems incomprehensible that a simple reading of the Constitution and the language of the law itself (which specifically excludes anti-gay preaching and teaching) would not assuage their fears.
But then something began to seem familiar.
You see, I’ve tried to have a conversation with a crystal methamphetamine addict who hadn’t slept in days. He explained why there was tinfoil over the windows and even the shower vent. He was worried that there might be a man hiding behind the stereo which was flush with the wall. Even though on a conscious level he knew and could sheepishly admit that his fears were baseless, the meth in his system compelled a paranoia which he simply could not ignore.
With him, there was a logical reason to explain his irrational thinking. It was chemically induced.
But why are these anti-gay activists convinced, against all evidence to the contrary, that preaching against homosexuality is now illegal? How do we explain their irrational thinking and baseless paranoia?
Surely they aren’t all meth-heads.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
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