28 April 2007

Four Evil Kings

Legislation that would add crimes against Gays (sic) and Lesbians under Federal hate crime law has come under fire from a collection of African-American leaders and a group that claims to cure "unwanted same-sex attraction" through faith . . . Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr, Pastor Marvin Winans (a member of the Gospel-singing Winans family), Bishop Larry Brandon and Bishop Liston Paige, Jr, were joined (by Exodus International's Alan Chambers) at a Washington news conference on Tuesday to denounce adding Gays (sic) to the hate crime bill. The Black pastors said sexuality cannot be equated to race and Civil Rights. "We stand today with many in the African-American community who also recognize that one's sexuality can be changed, but one's skin color cannot," said (Mr. Chambers, President of) the largest of the so-called "ex-Gay" groups. "We call upon Congress to promote legislation that affirms authentic equality and protects our religious freedoms," he said, adding that the legislation "says that we, as former homosexuals (sic), are of less value and worth less legal protection now than when we were living as homosexuals" . . . the African-American and "ex-Gay" leaders also said they oppose Federal legislation barring discrimination based on sexuality in the workplace.

from the website 365Gay.com, dateline: Washington, DC, 24 April 2007

My friend, Dr. Jerry Maneker, calls this story "unimaginable, surreal and heartbreaking." I call it disgusting, depraved and outrageous! The Matthew Shephard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is named for the Wyoming college student whose identification as Gay was a factor in his 1998 beating death and mock crucifixion. This law would impose stiffer penalties on the perpetrators of such heinous acts. It would also send a strong message that the assault and murder of LGBT folk won't be tolerated at the Federal level. Who in their right mind could oppose such a law? Obviously, people whose demented obsession with sexuality has caused them to lose their minds! What a colossal sin these men commit by attempting to hide their insanity behind Christian doctrine!

Let's take a closer look at what the good Mr. Chambers and his "minister" friends were actually saying at their news conference. They were saying that:

1. Sexual behavior and sexual orientation are the same thing.

To be sure, they are not! There's a difference between what you do and what you are. An LGBT person may be sexually active or not. That's irrelevant to the issue of hate crimes! Very few victims of heterosexist violence were engaged in the act of having sex when they were attacked. Often, they suffered merely because they were perceived as Gay.

2. Homosexuality, or homosexual orientation, can be changed at will.

That sexual behavior can be changed is evident from the actions of people like Alan Chambers, who claim to be "ex-Gay", and people like myself, who observe celibacy for long periods of time. On the other hand, the notion that so-called sexual orientation can be changed is something that has never been proven, and it never will be!

3. The Bible supports the idea that homosexual orientation can be changed at will.

Those preachers should have been challenged on doctrine. How I wish I'd been at that news conference! I would've demanded that they show me where such support exists in Biblical texts. Sexual behavior is the only thing Old Covenant texts address; Nothing in any part of the Bible says sexual orientation can be changed! In fact, both Gnostic Christian scripture (specifically, the Gospel of Philip) and Bible scripture (the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew) exist which indicate the exact opposite: Such change is impossible, because sexual orientation is gender-based, and determined by God!

4. Homosexual behavior should be changed.

The four preachers no doubt used Bible verses to justify this contention; but as I explained in my previous essay, "Why The Children Are Free, Parts One and Two", there is no such justification in the Christian Bible! For Scripture that supports change of this kind, you have to go back to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). You have to cite the litany of Levitican law that both Jesus Christ (in the Gospels) and the Apostle Paul (in the Book of Galatians) preached against!  Levitican law doesn't apply to Christians! Its prohibitions against male same-gender intimacy only applied to the ancient Israelites, and furthermore, based on the wording of the law (You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female), I believe they never applied to those men Jesus Christ called "eunuchs from birth." A eunuch was the ancient equivalent of what we'd call a Gay man today. As I also explained in my previous essay, there is no condemnation of female same-gender intimacy to be found in the Bible!

5. The only people who deserve Civil Rights protection are those liable to face discrimination because of skin color.

This is one of the most idiotic ideas I've ever heard of! That it enjoys the currency that it does speaks to the failure of our educational system. This premise not only invalidates the Gay Rights struggle, but also the Women's Rights movement, the Disabled Rights movement, advocacy on behalf of children and the elderly, and any other equality movement not based on skin color. So Conservative Black preachers want to put racial limitations on Civil Rights? Neat trick, if they can pull it off . . . for the sake of our Constitution, both Gay and Straight Americans had better make sure that they can't!

6. If people could change their skin color at will, they should be required to do so instead of having legal protection from discrimination.

Yes, that's the gist of Alan Chambers' argument. How's that for activist jurisprudence? I daresay even Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia would choke on this screwball concept!

7. Religious beliefs can justify opposition to hate crimes protection for Lesbians, Gay men, Pansexual and Transsexual folk.

Isn't religion supposed to teach love and charity? What kind of religion teaches that a designated person or group of people should be subjected to physical harm? Christianity does that? Jesus Christ died on the cross so that his followers would believe that? How dare someone even imply such a thing! As a Christian, one who has studied Scripture extensively, I find such an "interpretation" of the Gospel blasphemous and abominable!

8. Conservative religious folk should have the right to impose their beliefs on people who don't share them.

This idea is particularly rampant among Muslims and Christians, not only in the United States but in many other parts of the world. Self-described believers need to realize something: When they force their Scriptural interpretations down the throats of non-believers by way of ballot initiatives and other legal restrictions, it's not Christianity that they're practicing . . . it's fascism! What's more, it's the same kind of fascism that led to the torture and murder of our Savior, Jesus Christ!  At the urging of religious orthodoxy, Governor Pontius Pilate allowed the citizens of Jerusalem to decide whether the Christ or Barabbas the murderer would suffer the death penalty (Matthew 27: 15-26); now, if that wasn't the ancient equivalent of a ballot initiative, then I don't know what is!

9. Validating LesBiGay identity with legal precedent will cast doubt on the validity of "ex-Gay" identity.

In this case, I agree with Alan Chambers! What he says is absolutely true. This argument, in a nutshell, is really why he opposes legislative protections for LGBT citizens so vigorously! It's about promoting his crazed "ex-Gay" agenda at the expense of all Gay people. He needs for us to suffer and die so that his twisted concept of Biblical truth gets affirmed! For him, and monsters who think like him, hate crimes amount to a manifestation of Divine will, bloodstained proof that God wants us to "renounce homosexuality."  Revolting!

10. If you're a LesBiGay person who doesn't ascribe to anti-Gay religious beliefs, and you refuse to be "cured" of your homosexual orientation, you deserve whatever atrocity a psychopathic bigot wants to visit upon you. You deserve to lose your job, too!

There's nothing even remotely Christian about anyone who harbors this attitude! This is a sick, sick, Satanic belief system that poisons the heart and makes a mockery of Jesus Christ's Gospel of Grace. Show me a man who subscribes to it, and I'll show you a man who worships a different god than I do! My God doesn't approve of rape! My God doesn't approve of torture! My God doesn't sanction murder and mutilation! My God doesn't bar people from earning a living! Seems to me Pastor Winans and his disgraceful band of brothers have gotten God confused with Satan. How did that happen?

For the last five years or so, news conferences like theirs have been staged all over the country. Urged on by Pat Robertson and other leaders of the radical Right Wing, reactionary Black ministers are ignoring the myriad of problems plaguing their communities (among them, drug abuse, crime, unemployment, teen pregnancy and substandard education) in order to crusade against Gay Rights. This tragic development pits the beneficiaries of racial equality activism against another group sorely in need of equal recognition under the law. The two groups overlap, of course, but you wouldn't know it from the bizarre arguments some Black bigots have advanced to justify denying Gay people their Civil Rights!

Check out what comedian (???) DL Hughley said last year at HBO's Comedy Relief benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The quote comes from Jasmyne Cannick, specifically, her blogpost of 13 December 2006, and I warn you, it's raw:

As I snuggled into bed and turned on the television to HBO, what do I see? Comedian DL Hughley comparing the Black Civil Rights movement to the Gay Civil Rights movement and using the analogy that "taking d*ck and picking cotton" are two very different struggles.

The filthy language is bad enough, but what's really nasty is the mentality that led Hughley to think it was OK to spout such ignorance. It's the same mentality that led a delegation of religious hatemongers to stage that travesty of a press conference! Somehow, this sorry episode in our nation's Capitol reminds me of another, very different delegation that traveled to another seat of power several thousand years ago:

MATTHEW 2: 1-2, 9-12
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the East and have come to worship Him" . . . the star they had seen in the East went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, and of incense, and of myrrh; and having been warned in a dream not to go back to (Jerusalem), they returned to their country by another route.

The aforementioned press conference was a perverse and appalling re-enactment of this Holy event! Let me re-interpret it for you: A star of Justice rose up and shone brightly over the United States Congress. It was spied from afar by four evil kings, and by Mephistopheles, the vilest of demons from Hell! Disguised as ministers of the Christian Gospel, this unholy band traveled to the star's point of origin with the purpose of trying to extinguish it.

They dredged up foul hatred, shameless hypocrisy and reeking bigotry from the bottom of their corrupt hearts, and with all their collective might, they hurled it at the star. They rejoiced as its brilliant light began to falter, and as they carried out this obscene assault on Justice, they also committed blasphemy. They claimed to all within earshot that it was God's will that the star cease to shine! Then they laid hands on the Bible in a gesture of mock piety, and those pages which contained the sacred words of our Savior burned to ashes at their wicked touch.

Now, I don't have the power to send dreams to designated individuals. However, I do have the power to convey a warning through this blog! Here is that warning, which I send to the demonic Alan Chambers and to the four evil kings he traveled with: Do not return to your kingdoms bearing the same vicious malice you carried to Washington, DC! Do not return to your people and resume spreading false prophecy among them! Quit the practice of distorting the Gospel! Destroy those stumbling blocks you lay in the paths of innocent souls who trust you. Pray for God to cleanse your own souls of Satan's unholy influence! The Lord can give you the wisdom you need to put aside prejudice, and to live at peace with things you fear and misunderstand. His star is a star of Redemption, and its revealing light can yet shine on you.

However, you must stop doing the Devil's work! Open your heart, Bishop Jackson! Humble yourself, Pastor Winans! Seek for guidance, Bishop Brandon! Embrace God's truth, Bishop Paige! Repent of your sin, Mr. Chambers! Repent straightaway, all of you, or the Old Testament judgment you flirt with so brazenly will surely overtake you and strike you down!