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Posts for June, 2011

Chuck Colson v. Warren Throckmorton on preventing homosexuality

Timothy Kincaid

June 10th, 2011

In an ironic bit of timing, Watergate felon turned conservative Christian commentator Chuck Colson has recently been informing the readers of Crosswalk, a webzine for evangelical Christians, about how fathers cause their sons to be gay and what can be done to prevent it. He began his series with a now-familiar scenario:

A little boy I’ll call “Stevie” was a beautiful, healthy child. But by age five, his parents suspected something was wrong. Stevie loved Barbie dolls, the color pink, and dancing around like a ballerina.

His parents took Stevie to see Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist who specializes in gender disorders. Nicolosi listened as they described their son’s fascination with feminine activities, which had begun when he was three. Nicolosi confirmed that Stevie was a “prehomosexual male.” Without intervention, Nicolosi said, Stevie had a 75-percent chance of growing up homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.

Colson’s articles provide a rather simple narrative about homosexuality. “Stevie” failed to adequately link with his father. Jessica had been molested by an uncle and “viewed her mother as weak.” Colson even assures us that liberals don’t really believe what they say “because deep down, most people recognize there is a moral order to the universe.”

And he knows all of this because Chuck Colson has read Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.

And, yes, that would be the same Dr. Joseph Nicolosi who was on AC360 last night claiming he had no recollection whatsoever of former patient Ryan Kendall (a rather fascinating claim considering that Kendall testified in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial). And, yes, that would be the same A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality that refers to George Rekers over 20 times, and gives special emphasis to the “Kraig” case study.

Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College, an evangelical Christian university, has to a large extent assumed the burden of correcting much of the inaccurate information about homosexuality that is promoted within the Christian community. Although a defender of the conservative sexual ethic, Throckmorton does not believe that the debate is enhanced by foolishness, deceit, or baseless assertions.

On June 2, several days before we broke the truth behind George Rekers’ famous “Kraig” study, Throckmorton reminded the Crosswalk readers,

Fighting a political agenda is not a good reason to promote questionable theories. There is currently no scientific consensus about why sexual orientation takes the direction it does. Homosexuality is not strongly related to genetics but that does not mean that parenting is the only alternative non-genetic factor. Other prenatal factors, such hormonal variations during prenatal development, are being investigated and might be a part of the picture. The jury is out with much more research to be done, but what has been done on parenting does not inspire confidence in the claim that distant fathers and smothering mothers create gay men.

After the research by Box Turtle Bulletin and CNN was revealed, Dr. Throckmorton returned to Crosswalk to warn evangelical Christians that theories on preventing homosexuality are not strongly based and may even harm their children.

In their book, A Parent’s Guide, the Nicolosis refer to Kirk as an illustration of Rekers success story. The following description is from Rekers 1974 paper on Kirk’s treatment:

When we first saw him, the extent of his feminine identification was so profound (his mannerisms, gestures, fantasies, flirtations, etc., as shown in his “swishing” around the home and clinic, fully dressed as a woman with long dress, wig, nail polish, high screechy voice, slovenly seductive eyes) that it suggested irreversible neurological and biochemical determinants. At the 26-month follow-up he looked and acted like any other boy. People who view the videotaped recordings of him before and after treatment talk of him as “two different boys”. (p. 38)

Rekers built his career on cases like Kirk’s and others like Nicolosi have used these studies as evidence for the efficacy of their recommendations to parents. As the reports point out, what the doctors reported was at odds with what the family recalls, and may, in some cases, have adverse effects. At the least, parents should exercise caution and ask for additional evidence and get other opinions when considering how to respond to children who display gender non-conforming actions and preferences.

I think it might be fair to say that Colson may regret the timing of his series. And those readers here with a faith background could hardly be faulted for humming the 1771 hymn by William Cowper, “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”

Manhattan Declaration Authors Criticize Aspects of Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill

Jim Burroway

December 12th, 2009

The three principle authors of the Manhattan Declaration, a conservative Christian manifesto in support of bans on abortion and marriage equality, have published a letter to the “beloved brothers and sisters of Uganda” to criticize two principle features of the Anti-Homosexuality Act that has been introduced before Parliament.

In a letter written by Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview; Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, and Dr. Timothy George, Dean and Professor of Divinity at Samford University and published on Mirror of Justice, a Catholic legal theory group blog, the three criticize the two main features of the Anti-Homosexuality Act — namely the death penalty and lifetime imprisonment provisions for those convicted of homosexuality. The authors takes great pains to make clear that they consider all aspects of homosexuality to be a sin, and they clearly don’t approve of LGBT people who do not “struggle to live chaste and holy lives.” And they do not address the larger issue of criminalization of homosexuality or the broader aspects of this particular act. Instead, they offer this weak criticism:

We are all tempted by the lure of sin, be it in the domain of sexuality or in other areas of our lives. And none of us is perfect in resisting temptation. All of us from time to time fall short of fulfilling God’s intention for us, and we therefore stand in need of the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness. Surely, no one guilty of a single act of homosexual conduct (or fornication, adultery, or other sexual offense) should spend the remainder of his life in prison as a consequence of his sin. Such harshness, such lack of mercy, is manifestly contrary to the example of our Lord and cannot be given the support of those who seek to follow Christ. In response to a proposal to punish consensual sexual crimes with such extreme penalties the Christian must surely echo the words of Jesus: “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.”

We recognize that the scourge of AIDS has been devastating to the people of Uganda. Measures must be taken to encourage faithful marital love and to discourage sexual immorality of every type. It is critical, however, that these measures be shaped in a just and Christian manner, and not in a punitive spirit. Harshness and excess must be avoided. Those who experience homosexual desire and yield to it should not be singled out for extreme measures or for revulsion. Homosexual persons, whether they struggle to live chastely or, alas, do not, are human beings. They are children of God made in His very image and likeness. They are our brothers and sisters. Christ loves them as he loves all of us. We must love them, too, even as we encourage them and all men and women—precisely because of our love for them and concern for their well-being—to avoid sexual sins and lead lives of virtue and dignity.

As this letter only addresses two aspects of the proposed legislation, the authors’ position on any imprisonment of LGBT people remains vague. In a statement issued by Saddleback pastor Rick Warren this week, he was unequivocal: ““I oppose the criminalization of homosexuality. The freedom to make moral choices is endowed by God.” In an earlier letter by Exodus International addressed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the authors say, “we believe that deprivation of life and liberty is not an appropriate or helpful response to this issue.” Colson, George and George do not take a position on criminalization of homosexuality. In 2003, Robert George argued in favor of criminalizing homosexuality as author of an amicus brief on behalf of the Family Research Counsel and Focus On the Family supporting Texas’ anti-sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas.

The letter doesn’t offer any advice except that “harshness and excess must be avoided.” Beyond that, the authors appear to tacitly approve of jail terms for LGBT people by their silence. They are also silent on the other heinous aspects of the Anti-Homosexuality Act:

  • Expand the definitions for homosexual acts, making conviction easier.
  • Criminalize “attempted homosexuality” with imprisonment of seven years.
  • Criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda with fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years.
  • Criminalize the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.
  • Add a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment of up to three years.
  • Penalize landlords and hotel owners with five to seven years imprisonment for renting to LGBT people.
  • Add an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.
  • Void all international treaties, agreements and human rights obligations which conflict with this bill.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of the past year’s anti-gay developments in Uganda.

A review of the Manhattan Declaration

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Timothy Kincaid

November 20th, 2009

A group of conservative Christians released today their manifesto of their agreement across lines of faith and tradition. Entitled Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience, this document lays out areas in which the signatories declare commonality of purpose.

Who they are

First, let us say what this document is not. It is not, as the NY Times described it, a situation in which “Christian Leaders Unite on Political Issues“. Indeed, this is but a segment of Christian thought, claiming the mantle of Christian history and tradition but excluding broad segments of the faith.

One need only glance at the signatories to know the nature of the alliance. Present are some who are well known names in the political culture wars who have long striven to impose their religious views by force of law on the unbelievers: Dr. James Dobson, Chuck Colson, Gary Bauer, and Tony Perkins. Some are religious leaders who have been recently shifting their realm of influence away from faith towards secular domination: Ravi Zacharias, Dr. Albert Mohler, and Jonathan Falwell.

But this is not just broadly social conservatives. There is, instead, a concentration of those who focus on “opposing the homosexual agenda”. There are a few religious activists who seem dedicated and committed (obsessed, one might think) to fighting equality for gay people: Ken Hutcherson, Bishop Harry Jackson, and Jim Garlow. And then, inexplicably, some who are not religious leaders at all but social activists whose primary occupation is in seeking the political institutionalizing of inequality to gay people: Maggie Gallagher, Frank Schubert, and William Donohue.

Perhaps the most difficult to explain, and by far the most troubling name present, is The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, Primate, Anglican Church of Nigeria.

There is no explanation provided as to what relevance Akinola has on what is a uniquely American collection. But his participation is not accidental. And, as I will discuss momentarily, his is perhaps the key that explains the true nature of this manifesto.

This could be seen as nothing more that “the usual suspects”, a rehashing of the Moral Majority or the Christian Coalition or any other of the loose groupings of religious authoritarians, were it not for one import inclusion. There are nine Catholic Archbishops who signed on to this document.

Ideologically as dissimilar as possible, these two Christian extremes – one whose doctrine is based in tradition, liturgy, and hierarchy, the other whose doctrine is based in reform, spirit-led worship, and direct divine revelation – have set aside ancient hostilities and theological beliefs that doubt the other’s right to be considered “Christian” and have now joined in a common purpose: denying your rights.

But as important as who is present, is who is absent.

Among the signatories I was unable to find any members of the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Friends (Quaker), Disciples of Christ, Unitarian Universalists or American Baptists. There was one United Methodist minister.

In short, a whole branch of Christianity, Mainline Christianity, was missing, including many who no doubt would agree with the goals of banning abortion and forbidding same-sex marriage. This exclusion is, I believe, integral to understanding the true purpose of this manifesto.

The agreed upon issues

While this alliance is one that does not reflect the face of Christianity, it also is not a declaration of a new-found position of agreement based on shared Christian teaching and ideology. There is no mention of shared faith in creeds or teachings, no virgin birth, no resurrection, no divine redemption.

Rather, this is a statement of political purpose by an alliance of socially conservative activist who oppose abortion and marriage equality. Indeed, although the document speaks in lofty terms of Christian tradition and religious freedom, the only commitments it makes are to oppose legal abortion (some day down the road) and the immediate attack on the ability of gay people to avail themselves of civil equality.

This is, in short a political alliance. It is a pact and a threat.

What it means

While on the face of it, this manifesto purports to be a rededication to fight two specific political issues, I think that this is but surface dressing for a deeper meaning.

This is not a war over civil marriage definition – nor, indeed, has that ever been the real motivation behind anti-gay marriage drives. Rather, this is a war over religious domination, a fight over who is “really a Christian” and an effort on the part of a long-suffering religious subset to spite those who have long had what they coveted.

Political power in the United States had long been in the hands of what is now called Mainline Christianity. Our presidents have included over a dozen Episcopalians (as is the National Cathedral), about ten Presbyterians, with most of the rest being Methodists, Unitarians, Disciples of Christ, and Quakers.

There has been exactly one Catholic. There have been four Baptists, of whom the two Southern Baptists were Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. There have been no Pentecostals and no members of mega-Churches. In fact, though some Republican presidents have been religious and conservative, there has never been a President of the United States that was both denominationally and ideologically within the fold represented by the signatories of this Manhattan Declaration.

And now they want theirs. And, not content at the rise of their own political power, they will not be happy unless they can diminish those denominations whom they seek to replace.

Note the presence of the second signatory, Peter Akinola? He is the Nigerian Anglican who has been missionizing the United States in an effort to hurt the Episcopal Church. His inclusion is a very clear message sent to the EC that they are a target for the Catholic Church and the evangelical churches who will use whatever political power they may wield in the future to thwart her position in the nation.

This manifesto is, I believe, less a declaration of war on gay people and those with unplanned pregnancies than it is a declaration of war on other Christian faiths.

One absence that seems to confirm this alliance is a denomination that one might have expected to be quick to affirm its commitment to the right to life and protection of the family. But there are no representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). The exclusion of this church, considered by most conservatives to be “NOT Christian”, suggest that this manifesto has less to do with social goals and more to do with Christian definition.

This manifesto says, in effect, “We are the Christians. We are the ‘heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s word’, and we alone will speak for the faith.”

What the manifesto reveals

In addition to highlighting the division in the Christian body, there are also some clues as to future items on the agenda of this newly affirmed political alliance. Here is how I translate some of their declarations.

we note with sadness that pro-abortion ideology prevails today in our governmenttruly Christian answer to problem pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for mother and child alike

Only lip service will be paid to the shared objection to abortion. Little time, money, or political capital will be spent on this already lost goal. However, should opportunity ever swing in their direction, they will stop at nothing short of a full ban on all abortions without any consideration of rape, quality of life, or the life of the mother.

But absent the abortion issue, these allies have but one other shared issue: attacking you and your life.

Around the globe … take steps necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS

The situations in Nigeria and Uganda are not accidental nor unrelated to the efforts of conservative Americans. Although virtually all of the spread of AIDS in Africa is related to heterosexuality, this will be an excuse to pass draconian laws seeking to repress, incarcerate, or execute gay men and women.

In addition to being a slam against the Episcopal Church, the inclusion of Akinola announces that pogroms against gay Africans will have the endorsement of both the Catholic Church and conservative evangelical churches.

We should not expect the calls for criminal prosecution of gay people to be limited to foreign soil. Should such a fervor be fostered internationally, it is unquestionable that this will lend support to efforts to reinstate or bolster oppression here.

It is no longer a matter of curiosity that the Catholic Church has not spoken out against the Kill Gays bill in Uganda. Nor had Dr. Mohler or Dr. Dobson. Nor, indeed, has any signatory of this document.

The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships … there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships … Some who enter into same-sex and polyamorous relationships no doubt regard their unions as truly marital … the assumption that the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships

The Manhattan document does not in any place refer to same-sex relationships without simultaneously mentioning multiple-party relationships. This will no doubt translate to a new commitment on the part of the signatories to try and tie the two together in their political campaigns.

Frankly, I wish them godspeed in that decision. Americans have, I believe, moved beyond the point in which gay couples are viewed as identical to polygamists.

as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.

This probably tells us nothing but the extent to which these people are self-righteous and truly deeply smarmy. They are willing, lovingly, to sacrifice your life and freedom and equality, not their own. Oh how loving. Oh how Christ-like.

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.

There are, as we all know, no requirements for any churches or ministers to act contrary to their faith. We have long since debunked their claims of oppression and shown them to be nothing more than a retraction of special privilege when the religious groups in question wanted to use taxpayer dollars to discriminate against gay taxpayers. There are no instances in their recitation in which religious groups were forced to compromise in any areas of faith in the administration of their own funds or time.

That is of no consequence. Liars lie. We expect the morally bankrupt to behave without integrity.

But what I think we can anticipate, based on their conclusion, is a concerted effort at political stuntery. A dedication to dishonesty. And an ongoing campaign of lies.

As a Christian, it distresses me to see the name of my faith and the mantle of its history usurped by those who have no respect for its greater principles but instead gleefully glom onto its darker bloody history. Rather than exalt in the liberties that have evolved from Christian thought, they seek to equate the faith with its most prejudicial, superstitious, exclusionary and dictatorial moments.

But perhaps something good may come of this.

It is possible that out of this declaration of war, the moderate and liberal branches of the faith may find common cause, if nothing else in defense of their own good name. Perhaps they will decide that they have a purpose and meaning in modern America and will let go of residual guilt and angst and take up the mantle of protector of the oppressed and champion of justice and mercy.

Let us hope and pray that they do.

Colson, George Awarded Presidential Citizenship Medal

Jim Burroway

December 12th, 2008

President George Bush awarded Presidential Citizenship Medals yesterday to twenty-four recipients, among them Charles Colson and Robert George.

Charles Colson is the famous Watergate co-conspirator who once hatched a plan to firebomb the Brookings Institution. He served time in prison for his connection with Watergate, and has since then become a darling of the religious right.

In the process he has emerged as a staunch anti-gay activist. He has mischaracterized the proposed Federal Hate Crimes legislation as “thought crimes” while skewing FBI statistics. Even though the proposed hate crime legislation only touches on criminal activity (and we’ve reprinted the text of the bill many times so you can see it for yourself rather than take our word for it), Colson lied about what the law would do:

If this dangerous law passes, pastors who preach sermons giving the biblical view of homosexuality could be prosecuted. Christian businessmen who refuse to print pro-gay literature could be prosecuted. Groups like Exodus International, which offer therapy to those with unwanted same-sex attraction, could be shut down. In classic 1984 fashion, peaceful speech will be redefined as a violent attack worthy of punishment.

Which, of course, is nonsense. Religion and race are already protected by existing Federal hate crimes law, and yet Nazis, the Klan, skinheads and other hate groups still have their freedom to protest, march and spew their vile hatred — all because no law can rescind the First Amendment.

But if it’s not hate crime Laws which threaten “persecution of the Church,” Colson has another looming threat: same-sex marriage:

It is all about equal rights, the gay “marriage” lobby keeps telling us. We just want the right to marry, like everyone else. That is what they are telling us. But that is not what they mean. If same-sex “marriage” becomes the law of the land, we can expect massive persecution of the Church.

…The coming persecution of Christians is one more reason why we need to get involved with efforts to pass laws at the state and federal level defining marriage as a legal relationship between one man and one woman.

Colson is also a staunch advocate on behalf of Lisa Miller, of the Miller-Jenkins custody dispute. Miller, who is essentially violating the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act by refusing to adhere to the custody agreement worked out between herself and her former partner, Janet Jenkins, when the state of Vermont dissolved their civil union. The Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case — for the fifth time.

But it’s not just us gays he’s concerned about. He also wants the world to know that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aren’t Christians. During the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Colson reminded his fellow Evangelicals that “Mormons are not Christians, despite the hype”:

“Mormonism either affirms historic Christianity, or it doesn’t. Since it doesn’t, it can’t call itself Christianity –- a fact that all the good will and public relations in Utah can’t change.”

And he reiterated that point again on his radio program in 2005, saying, “While Mormons share some beliefs with Christians, they are not Christians.” “I respect Mormons and work with them,” he added,” but we can’t gloss over our fundamental differences.”

Another Presidential Citizenship Medal honoree is Robert George, of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is the architect of the Princeton Principles against same-sex marriage. When he spoke at the Voter Values Summit in 2006, he warned the crowd that the “forces arrayed against the conjugal conception of marriage are very powerful … And they will strike hard.”

In 2000, George denounced “Just the Facts,” a booklet sent to teachers to educate them on issues surrounding homosexuality. George complained that the booklet didn’t include the usual faked-up “science” often promulgated by anti-gay extremists equating the so-called “gay lifestyle” with promiscuity:

If it’s ‘Just the Facts,’” he said of the booklet, “…why are we not told about how people who enter the gay lifestyle, or others who are sexually promiscuous, expose themselves to disease and disillusionment?”

TWO Calls Out Becket Fund in Full Page Ad

Jim Burroway

December 10th, 2008

We’ve already talked about the full-page ad placed by the Becket Fund in last Friday’s New York Times which falsely characterized the peaceful protests against California’s Proposition 8 as “mob violence.” And we also provided evidence of some of that ad’s cosigners’ undisguised hatred against gay people.

Tomorrow, Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out will counter that ad with a full-page ad in the Salt Lake City Tribune. TWO’s ad calls attention the the Becket Fund’s ad demanding an end to “anti-religious bigotry” against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

“Beginning today,” they wrote, “We commit ourselves to opposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry, against any faith, on any side of the cause, for any reason.

TWO responds by including some rather shameful anti-religious sputterings by three of the Becket Fund ad’s cosigners:

“Hollywood is controlled by secular Jewswho hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.” – Bill Donohue, Catholic League

“Mormonism either affirms historic Christianity, or it doesn’t. Since it doesn’t, it can’t call itself Christianity – a fact that all the good will and public relations in Utah can’t change. …”While Mormons share some beliefs with Christians, they are not Christians.” –Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship Ministries

“Most evangelicals still regard Mormonism as a cult.” — Rich Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals

Here is the TWO ad. (Click on the image to see the full-size version.)

The Protectors from “Anti-Religious Bigotry”, in their Own Words

Timothy Kincaid

December 8th, 2008

Below are listed a few choice comments by those who oppose “mob veto“. These do not encompass all that they may think on the subject and some, like Ron Sider, may have views that have evolved over the years. But, nonetheless, these are statements that hardly add credibility to the position of the Becket Fund and it’s coaltion of indignant objectors to gay protestors.

Ronald J. Sider – Evangelicals for Social Action

We cannot ignore this general truth when we come to the issue of AIDS. If the Bible teaches that homosexual practice is wrong, as I think it does, then it is right to suppose that violating God’s law in this area will have negative consequences.

This is not to say that the AIDS virus is some supernatural divine creation to punish homosexual practice; have emphasized that I reject that view. But I refuse to bow to today’s widespread relativism and deny and ignore the clear biblical teaching that some actions are wrong no matter what Hollywood or Greenwich Village says. Ignoring the moral order of the universe has consequences.

As a citizen. I insist on the right to say that and to seek to shape public policy in ways consistent with that belief without being called a bigot. [Emphasis added]

Chuck Colson – Prison Fellowship

It’s these attitudes, and the worldview that produces them, that have fueled the gay-rights movement. It rolls on because it resonates with what many Americans believe. And that means that the only way to slow it down is to change the terms of the debate: to once again establish that we are not lower than the animal species, that sex is not for recreation-it is for procreation.

This is why, for example, we need to pass a federal marriage amendment. If we do nothing, we are going to be facing the same future that Christians in the UK are facing: a future in which preaching the truths of the Gospel is against the law.

Dr. Alveda King – civil rights activist

God hates racism and God hates homosexuality.

Add to this Mr. Obama’s unprecedented support for homosexual rights and anti-procreative marriage legislation, which includes his promise to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and which would unleash a storm of sexual immorality such as America has never seen: then we can see which way the wind is blowing.

That’s what we’re facing today in the debate over homosexual rights. Homosexuals can either choose to be victims, or choose to make a change.


William J. Donohue – Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah.

Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.

Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style. There are certain things that the left won’t tolerate. They are censorial at heart.

Marvin Olasky – The King’s College, New York City

Last week’s Washington tempest blew in when Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said that if the Supreme Court in a pending case rules that homosexual practice is constitutionally protected, “then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

Instead of being defensive, Republicans who are both wise and shrewd will go on offense. They should ask gay interest groups and Democrats to respond to Santorum’s challenge: Make a constitutional argument that will differentiate the right to consensual gay sex from a right to bigamy, polygamy, incest, or adultery. … As Santorum knows, once we move off that ["developmental spec sheet" that God has given us], anarchy reigns.

But what happens when individuals or their churches believe that homosexuality is wrong? Gays need strong governmental action to keep people from speaking out against it. They need criticism of homosexuality to be declared “hate speech.” They need government to force religious organizations to hire gays or facilitate adoption by gays.

Roger Scruton – writer and philosopher

The propaganda that has tried to rewrite heterosexuality as an “orientation” is really an attempt to persuade us to overlook the real truth about sexual union, which is that it is, in its normal form, the way in which one generation gives way to the next.

This truth is recognised by all the great religions, and is endorsed in the Christian view of marriage as a union created by God

Equally novel is the loss of the concept of normal sexual desire. In 1963 we still saw homosexuality as a perversion, even if an enviably glamorous one. We still believed that sexual desire had a normal course, in which man and woman come together by mutual consent and to their mutual pleasure. We regarded sex with children as abhorrent and sex with animals as unthinkable, except for literary purposes. Thanks in part to massive propaganda from the gay lobby, in part to the mendacious pseudo-science put out by the Kinsey Institute (whose charlatan founder has now been admitted to the ranks of saints and heroes), we have abandoned the concept of perversion, and accepted the official view of ‘sexual orientation’ as a natural and inescapable fact.

Armando Valladares – former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission

[If Obama wins] more than ever, our society will be in great danger. One of his objectives is the dissolution of the family and its values. Obama supports marriage between same-sex partners. He wants to bring it to the Constitution. Obama is in favor of the adoption of children by gay couples. Rather than favoring prayer in schools, he advocates the distribution of condoms.

Not all signatories have expressed views that are so undisguisedly hateful or in opposition to equality, but by joining forces with those who expound views that are inarguably bigoted they are tainted and their argument loses all moral authority.

Homosexual Mob Violence?

Timothy Kincaid

December 8th, 2008

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty published a full page ad in the New York Times today decrying the “violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or ‘Mormon’ church” by opponents of Propostion 8. Those signing the missive included:

  • Kevin “Seamus” Hasson – the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
  • Nathan Diament – Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America
  • Rick Cizik – National Association of Evangelicals.
  • Ronald J. Sider – Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Chuck Colson – Prison Fellowship
  • Chris Seiple – Institute for Global Engagement
  • Dr. Alveda King – civil rights activist
  • William J. Donohue – Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
  • Robert Seiple – Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
  • Douglas Laycock – University of Michigan Law School
  • Marvin Olasky – The King’s College, New York City
  • Roger Scruton – writer and philosopher
  • Armando Valladares – former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission

Although the signatories claim to “differ about a great many important things” including “the wisdom and justice of California’s Proposition 8”, I find little evidence of this assertion.

The chief signatory, Kevin “Seamus” Hasson is, on the surface, neutral. However he has on several occasions stated his opinion (and that of his organization) that marriage equality is “very expensive in terms of religious liberty”, has an impact that is “severe and pervasive”, and that he opposed the court’s actions legalizing same-sex marriage.

Some others on the list, including Alveda King, Chuck Colson, Roger Scruton, and William Donohue, represent the extreme of anti-gay activists – those who not only oppose marriage equality but any rights or freedoms granted to gay persons. Armando Valladares and Nathan Diament, while not outright haters, are on record in opposition to gay marriage as well as other rights and freedoms.

Others are lesser known and some are liberal on environmental or economic issues. Douglas Laycock advocates for the separation of religious and civil recognition. And Marvin Olasky advocates that “same-sex marriage be opposed only in ways that treat gays as still possessing human dignity”. Rick Civik supports some civil unions recognition.

But I was unable to find a single instance of anyone signing onto this list that was either directly effected by Proposition 8 or opposed to its passage. The range within the signatories is from “I oppose gay marriage” to “I really, really, really oppose gay marriage and anything else that would benefit gay people in any way.”

Now let’s examine this “mob violence and intimidation” against Mormon Churches and their members and see if it merits a full page of condemnation.

Becket and Pals listed a grand total of one objectionable event, so we’ll look at it first:

  • “Thugs sent white powder” to two Mormon churches.

It has never been determined just who sent the powder or why. That, of course, doesn’t deter those who think that gay people should quietly accept a second class status from making the baseless accusation.

The other incidences of “violence” (if you really stretch the word) through November 24th have been itemized by the Salt Lake Tribune. They consist of:

  • Disruption. A group called Bash Back! disrupted services at an Evangelical church in Lansing, Michigan.
  • Vandalism: There have been windows shot out with a bb gun, walls spray-painted, and glue poured into the locks of LDS churches. A Pentecostal church was peppered with eggs and toilet paper.
  • Minor Arson: A Book of Mormon was set on fire on a LDS church doorstep and a plastic plant lit on fire at a University. Someone tried to burn a Yes on 8 yard sign.

In addition to the items listed by the Tribune, I also know of:

Incidents of physical violence seem to have been limited to two, one on each side, and both before the election:

  • A man was hit why trying to protect Yes on 8 signs outside a church in Modesto.
  • An opponent to the proposition was attacked by a supporter and hit with a Yes on 8 sign in Torrance.

But from the language of Becket and Pals, you’d think that buildings were aflame and hospitals full from the victims of rampaging homosexual mobs terrorizing the nation:

Regrettably, some public voices have even sought to excuse the threats and disruptions simply as “demonstrations” that got out of hand. Perhaps that’s true in some cases. Far too many, however, seem never to have been demonstrations in the first place, but more nearly mobs, seeking not to persuade but to intimidate. When thugs send white powder to terrorize any place of worship, especially those of a religious minority, responsible voices need to speak clearly: Religious wars are wrong; they are also dangerous. Those who fail to condemn or seem to condone that intimidation are at fault as well. Consciously or not, they are numbing the public conscience, which endangers us all.

I condemn the behavior that is listed above. I do not, by any means, seek to justify or excuse vandalism. It is not appropriate to break someone’s protest cross even if she is seeking to insult and offend. It is absolutely not acceptable to trespass onto a church property in order to disrupt services.

But the sole instance that could even remotely be considered “nearly a mob” was the instance in the Castro. And while one incident may be “far too many”, this language is intended of obfuscate rather than clarify.

I have to conclude that this ad had nothing to do with violence against Mormons. Rather it is a way of demonizing gays and using insinuation to portray a community as violent and aggressive.

UPDATE:

Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out lists some examples of the religious bigotry spouted by some of these very signatories.

Prop 8: The End of the World

Jim Burroway

October 27th, 2008

If California’s Proposition 8 fails, it’ll be Armageddon, and all that — according to Charles Colson and Tony Perkins:

“This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon,” said Charles W. Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries and an eminent evangelical voice, speaking to pastors in a video promoting Proposition 8. “We lose this, we are going to lose in a lot of other ways, including freedom of religion.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobby based in Washington, said in an interview, “It’s more important than the presidential election.”

“We’ve picked bad presidents before, and we’ve survived as a nation,” said Mr. Perkins, who has made two trips to California in the last six weeks. “But we will not survive if we lose the institution of marriage.”

Why the doom and gloom? Prop 8 proponents are now raising the scare tactic that Prop 8′s passage will mean that churches that refuse to marry same-sex couples will be sued, or ministers will be jailed if they preach against homosexuality.

This, of course, is not possible in the United States because of the First amendment. Christian Identity churches are free to preach White Supremacy and anti-semitism, and fundamentalist protestant extremists are free to call the Pope the Anti-Christ. Nobody gets thrown in jail for any of that. And the Catholic Church has been free to refuse to marry anyone who has been divorced, no matter how many divorce papers or civil marriage licenses a couple can waive in front of the priest.