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07/25/2009

God's 'better' way? Forgive us if we see it as 'bitter'!

by Jeremy Hooper

Did you have a lovely Saturday with your partner/boyfriend/spouse/gay best friend? Are you thrilled with your life's trajectory? If a religious person, do you feel like God has smiled upon you in ways that you could've never imagined? Overall, would you say that you're happy?

Well if you answered yes to any of the above, and you're gay, pro-gay, or a member of any faith (or non-faith) that doesn't accept Jesus as the Messiah, then you're completely wrong about your own self-assessment. It doesn't matter how well-adjusted, highly educated, socially conscious, or prosperous you may be. Unless you subscribe to one certain view of non-inclusive Christianity, then you could never, ever be good enough.

No, no, no -- don't argue with this. The case is closed, the key buried. You're wrong about yourself, and that's just final. And in fact, you're SO wrong, that it's not only your religiosity that is going to be pooh poohed -- it's also your civil freedoms and liberties that this church-state-separated nation needs to roll back. Because if you have accepted gay people and/or failed to subscribe to the myopic beliefs of far-right evangelical Christianity, your life is displeasing to God and all that is holy.

At least that's the message that a group of anti-equality, anti-gay North Carolinians spent the day delivering to anyone who would listen. Here, see it for yourself. The following comes from today's protest of the Charlotte, NC, gay pride parade, which the "pro-family" set ever-so brazenly branded as the "God Has A Better Way" rally. Fully digest whatever food might be in danger of rising back up, then go have a looksie:

STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA, JULY 25, 2009

GOD HAS A BETTER WAY RALLY, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

DR. MICHAEL BROWN, DIRECTOR, THE COALITION OF CONSCIENCE


We are here today to reach out and resist - to reach out to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community with compassion, as neighbors and friends and fellow-workers, and to declare God’s great love for GLBT people. And we are here to resist the gay activist agenda and to send a message to the nation.

As followers of Jesus, we first confess our own sins - our lack of ardent love for homosexual men and women, our lack of compassion for their struggles, our adding to their sense of rejection through insensitive words and deeds. We acknowledge the fact that homophobia is alive and well in some churches, and we renounce and repudiate that hateful and destructive attitude.

Our love also compels us to speak the truth, and we do not believe that all sexual orientations should be celebrated. We do not celebrate the fact that some people believe they are women trapped in men’s bodies; we do not celebrate the fact that two men or two women cannot reproduce their own unique offspring and that same-sex families guarantee that a child will never have either a mother or a father; we do not celebrate the fact that some people choose to surgically mutilate their God-given organs and must take hormones for the rest of their lives just to be at peace with themselves; we do not celebrate the sexual confusion that exists in many young people today, to the point that they can only identify themselves “as genderqueer”; we do not celebrate the pain and brokenness that exists in the lives of many of those attending Pride Charlotte today - completely apart from societal rejection - and we proclaim to our GLBT friends that God has a better way, that there is a place of wholeness and transformation to be found in Jesus. And we are here for the long-term to help them on that journey.

And because of our sense of justice and rightness, we take strong exception to the gay activist agenda. We watch its trajectory, we see where it has gone and where it is going, and we say, “It stops here in Charlotte.”

Since gay pride events have been rallying points for GLBT activism, we take our stand here today and declare:

We don’t believe that elementary school children should be taught to find their “inner-trannie” (meaning their inner transgender identity) as advocated in GLSEN’s training materials

We don’t believe that it is in the best interest of our society to seek to eradicate gender or to multiply it exponentially.

We completely reject the Los Angeles Unified School District Reference Guide when it states that Gender identity “refers to one’s understanding, interests, outlook, and feelings about whether one is female or male, or both, or neither, regardless of one’s biological sex.”

We don’t believe it is good or right for four-year-old children to have their preschool teachers read them books like One Dad, Two Dads, or to be lined up by sneaker color rather than gender so they don’t feel “boxed in.”

We don’t believe in “Queering Elementary Education,” to use the title of a well-known book.

We believe it is outrageous when an African American woman is fired from her university position of vice-president of human resources because she writes an editorial objecting to the concept that sexual orientation is equivalent to skin color.

We believe it is outrageous for the media to cover up the gay identity of a sexual predator who repeatedly raped his adopted, five-year-old African American son and offered him for sex through the internet - for fear of making homosexual couples look bad.

We believe it is outrageous for the mayor of San Francisco to welcome warmly a public fair featuring nude, sado-masochistic displays, and to do so in the name of “diversity.” And what does it say of our country today when our president, in the White House, could say “We are very proud of you” to a man who leads an organization devoted to making harder core pornography more readily available and who says that bestiality is fine as long as the animal doesn’t mind?

We don’t believe in fining a Christian photographer in New Mexico for politely declining to shoot a lesbian commitment ceremony, or punishing an Anglican bishop in England for choosing not to hire an openly gay youth worker, or for putting a lifetime ban on Christian leaders in Canada, forbidding them from expressing the biblical teaching on homosexual practice and threatening them with imprisonment.

We don’t believe in laws that could jail the owner of a Christian bookstore for choosing not to hire a cross-dresser as a receptionist.

We don’t believe in a Hate Crimes bill that is so flawed that even the ACLU is concerned that it could restrict freedom of speech.

We don’t believe it is right for major Charlotte-based companies like Bank of America and Wachovia and Duke Energy to pour tens of thousands of dollars into a radical organization like the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that has stated that supporters of male-female marriage are “right wing extremists” and that mandates that businesses must have special bathroom accommodations for employees undergoing sex-change surgery.

We are saddened by the fact that some of those who came out of the closet forty years now are now trying to put conservative Christians in the closet.

We don’t believe in tampering with the foundations of human society - male-female marriage and family - and creating a new institution previously unknown in human history.

We utterly reject the new theologies that advocate “Queering Christ” and writing “Queer Commentaries” on the Bible, and we say to Charlotte and the nation, “By God’s grace, it stops here.”

So, we say “Enough is enough” to the destructive goals of gay activism, and we say to the GLBT community, “Jesus loves you and God has a better way!”

God Has a Better Way: Official Statement to the Media ["Voice of Revolution"]

Is anyone else totally turned on right now? Perhaps it's time to go see God in a "bed her/him" kind of way.

**SEE ALSO: A local news report: Christian groups protest Charlotte Pride Festival [News 14]

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Your thoughts

Where to begin?
Well, there's their ignorance about transgendered persons, but that ain't gonna change for at least another 40 years.
The repeated lie about hate crimes laws threatening free speech.
The claim that there was a media "cover-up" regarding the Frank Lombard case, although I learned about it from a pro-gay website. If anything, homophobes have been making a point of calling attention to Lombard'sa sexual orientation for the sole purpose of villifying all LGBT people (Maggie Gallagher comes to mind as one example.)
The over-the-top paranoia (When has anyone EVER gone to jail for refusing to hire someone for a job?)
The general tone of the thing, which boils down to, "We love you, yes, we really do. Now that we've gotten that outta the way, allow us to parrot the same B.S. we always do. But we're only condemning everything about you because we care. Really. Honest. Hey, where are you going?"

Posted by: Bill S | Jul 25, 2009 8:44:13 PM

So despite his soothing tones to try and deceive us, Michael Brown has revealed himself to be yet another religious right talking head who relies on anecdotes and public events taken out of context to imply gay boogeymen are trying to take over America.

The only thing that separates him and Anita Bryant is that I don't think she had the temerity to talk so damned much. Brown is obviously trying to maneuver himself into some public prominence at our expense. It ain't going to happen.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jul 25, 2009 10:29:31 PM

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward." (Matthew 6:5 NAB)

Posted by: Thom | Jul 25, 2009 10:29:49 PM

". . .we say to Charlotte and the nation, “By God’s grace, it stops here.”

In your dreams Bud. In your dreams.

Posted by: Jon | Jul 25, 2009 10:31:03 PM

Well, the bigots did manage to get upwards of 500 (mostly elderly and grotesquely overweight - I'm assuming??) hatemongers out there to protest. Only one of the Pride celebrants deemed it necessary to counter protest the homophobes. I don't know what they think they are accomplishing by interjecting their poundage into public celebrations - though I could suggest that the fresh air, sun, and a little exercise is probably good for them.

It's always important to point out their overly ambitious goal of (re-?)instituting an iron-fisted theocracy of old, white, self absorbed, xenophobic morons (similar to the Cheney/Rove administration). But, aside from additionally keeping a close eye on the one-indigestion-induced-"vision"-away-from-becoming-suicide-bombers, I think it is best to just ignore the would-be authoritarians.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 25, 2009 11:36:24 PM

First of all, as a Christian gay man, I've already accepted Jesus--long ago. And guess what? I'm still gay and God has always loved me and the Holy Spirit has led me to the conclusion that being gay is just fine with God. This has happened with thousands and thousands of gay Christians--men and women. So this premise that Jesus will change us into heterosexuals if we accept Him is a lie.

The problem with the statement from this militant anti-gay group is that like all radical pro-homophobia advocacy groups, they start out telling us how much they really love us. (To assuage their own guilt.) Then the majority of their statement is meant to insult, defame, revile and dehumanize us. These actions are not "love." If the actions are not loving, they are bad "fruit." And the Bible warns us that "Bad fruit cannot come from a good tree." This is why we need to reject such wickedness. Had they come up to me in Charlotte and began spewing their counterfeit "love," my response would have been a firm and loud, "Get thee behind me Satan!"

Posted by: Michael | Jul 26, 2009 4:43:08 AM

"We believe it is outrageous for the media to cover up the gay identity of a sexual predator who repeatedly raped his adopted, five-year-old African American son and offered him for sex through the internet - for fear of making homosexual couples look bad. "

I hope no Catholics helped him write this denouncement of how evil it is to cover up for child molesters.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Jul 26, 2009 12:51:07 PM

Michael, I am also a gay Christian. I feel that God made me Christian. For me to try change the way God made me would be to defy God.

I will commend the GHABW group for being non-confrontational. I'm certain they have convinced themselves that they are acting out of love, but they don't know the LGBT community. They have a lot of so called "insights" about the community, but those insights are based on material they have read or heard. They know nothing first hand about us. If they get to know us, are they afraid they might be influenced by us, or are they more afraid that they will will discover all their strongly held preconceptions are wrong?

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jul 26, 2009 2:37:42 PM

Would it be "outrageous" to fail to disclose the race or religeous persuasion of a child molester too?

Posted by: Bill S | Jul 26, 2009 3:18:44 PM

"Would it be "outrageous" to fail to disclose the race or religeous persuasion of a child molester too?"

They like to suggest that there is something inherently (or god forbid, genetically) different about gay persons when they discuss child molestation. But they also want to have it both ways so that (in almost every other discussion) they can say that being gay is just a choice - or that gay people are exactly like everyone else, they just choose to be gay. And the reason, obviously, is that the "choice" makes a good, politically expedient case for denying us equality.

So that's why they want to link any child molested by a gay person with the inherent (genetic/biological) gayness, because it makes all gay people look despicable, worthy of disdain, and very hateable. But, if being gay were merely a choice, then the religion (which is purely a choice) of the pedophile would matter, because every choice of that despicable subhuman would matter. So, damn the illogical nature of it, they need to have it both ways.

Their hatred (as evidenced by this duplicity) has no bounds when it comes to us. Of course, they also never mention the fact that almost all child molesters are of the hetero persuasion.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 26, 2009 5:42:44 PM

"Well, the bigots did manage to get upwards of 500 (mostly elderly and grotesquely overweight - I'm assuming??) hatemongers out there to protest. Only one of the Pride celebrants deemed it necessary to counter protest the homophobes. I don't know what they think they are accomplishing by interjecting their poundage into public celebrations - though I could suggest that the fresh air, sun, and a little exercise is probably good for them."

Why would you assume that most of the participants were elderly and obese (to use a much less offensive term than your "grotesquely" overweight)? It seems like that paragraph implies both groups are somehow more likely to be homophobic, and takes potshots at the overweight that do nothing to advance your point. Moreover, I find them sadly ironic in a post decrying the bigotry of others.

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Jul 26, 2009 11:38:52 PM

I like how it starts with them saying they are against homophobia, then how they decend into it soon enough.

I just showed a straight friend I have over, he can't believe these people still exist. Neither can I.

We need to have a "It's time to grow up" parade, as well as/instead of a Pride parade.

Posted by: Corvidae | Jul 27, 2009 3:22:37 AM

I can barely get off the floor from my laughter.

"We don’t believe it is right for major Charlotte-based companies like Bank of America and Wachovia and Duke Energy to pour tens of thousands of dollars into a radical organization like the Human Rights Campaign..."

HRC, Radical?
that's hilarious.

Posted by: Joshalot | Jul 27, 2009 4:36:59 AM

Well, Rachel, I am not hoping to sway the opinion of the religious bigots. That simply is never going to happen. They don't use logic or even coherent thought to make their choices. And, if you look at the crew of homophobes that actively attack my civil rights, they tend to be decrepitly aged and/or grotesquely overweight. Could just be that those are the only ones that I see when I look at them, but they are pretty hard to miss.

So, they take my rights away, they will never change their minds, and I call them funny and possibly cruel names... who is the bigger asshole in that sentence.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 27, 2009 10:04:31 AM

Dick, as an overweight American, I was not objecting to your comments about the religious right, but to your unfair, cruel, and yes, bigoted comments about the elderly and the overweight.

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Jul 27, 2009 3:43:32 PM

Well, Rachel, to the overweight and elderly who are not actively seeking to strip my rights from me, I apologize. It was not my intention to target my comments toward anyone other than those hate filled factions that revel in their attempts to control my life. I am truly sorry if I offended you, and will try to be more considerate in the future.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 27, 2009 5:14:02 PM

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