There is a lie, circulating in America today, that the homosexual activists simply want equal rights. Upon closer examination, the truth becomes clear... that the "gay agenda" is actually sexual terrorism. Homosexual activists realize their agenda cannot succeed until religious liberty is destroyed in America. The battle lines have been drawn. The gay agenda is targeting God's concepts of marriage, family, the church, and our nation's laws. They are committed to nothing less than total victory, at our expense. Christian America must rise up, unite, and become politically active to preserve our way of life according to the gospel of Jesus Christ! Ian Rowlands has written an insightful, yet compassionate article, about the strategy and six pillars of those who seek to end our Christian expression in the United States. - Bob Brown, One Nation Under God U.S.A.
Christians, America, And The Gay Agenda
Recent consideration of sex education by the Collier County School Board has been associated with concerns about whether the "Gay Agenda" is being promoted. I think we should be careful about asserting any direct connection - that might be to do the board members a grave injustice. At the same time, we should recognize that the wording proposed derives from wording favored by many organizations - including those promoting homosexual "rights", freedom of abortion, and other initiatives which run contrary to "traditional" family values. As we consider how to react to the influence of homophile organizations on public discourse, it would be well to be clear about where Christians stand on the general issues raised by homosexuality, on what the gay agenda is, and on how we should react.
I'd like to start by asking that we admit our problem. Christians, and the church, are perceived by many today as being homophobic - hating and intolerant. The problem is well discussed in "UNChristian" by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. They identify a current perception - that "Christians show contempt for gays and lesbians" and a target "new perception" that "Christians show compassion and love to all people, regardless of their lifestyles". If they are correct, we need to repent! We need to have the mind of Christ regarding those who have homosexual inclinations, those living a homosexual lifestyle, and those pursuing a political agenda seeking to create an environment which supports homosexual lifestyles -- and we need to recognize that that those may be distinct (though overlapping) groups.
The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that there are 8.8 million gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons in the U.S based on the 2005/2006 American Community Survey, an extension of the U.S. Census (Gary J. Gates, 2006, "Same-Sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey"). Most churches fail to acknowledge the existence of such a population.
How then, should we respond? Let's start by considering those who have homosexual inclinations, but are neither living a homosexual lifestyle nor supporting a gay agenda. Such people are to be commended! The Bible is clear - it is not the temptation, but the acting out, which is sinful. We should be lovingly open to recognizing the underlying issues which cause same sex desires - the failure of key relational attachments, hurts in the heart that have not healed, and needs for love that have not been met.
What of those who are practicing a gay lifestyle? Despite attempts by apologists such as John J. McNeill, D.Sherwin Bailey, John Boswell, and others, the Biblical position seems clear - indulgence in homosexual activity is sin. So our question must be, "faced with those practicing this sin, how would Jesus react?" We must deal with this sin as we would any other sin - help find the underlying hurt, anger, loneliness or tiredness and bring the sufferer to where he or she can find the relationship with Christ that will provide healing. At present it seems (and I speak to myself as much to anyone) that we come dangerously close to casting stones .
What though, of those promoting a gay agenda? We'd better start by defining our term. Interestingly there are those who deny any such agenda exists (at least in any formal sense) and call the term "pejorative" (for example, see the Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_agenda). Despite the denial, I think it's clear that such an agenda does exist, and that it has a history.
In 1956, The North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO) was organized. By 1960 they had become a coalition of about two dozen gay groups. A delegate from Columbia University said that their activities were organized: "much as civil-rights groups worked through the first half of the Sixties: through education, legal action, and voter education, through winning over the straight majority by appealing to their consciences, through building a 'good public image,' through lobbying with Congress and State legislators, through 'respectability." At that meeting a radical faction called for a change in tactics and produced a manifesto - perhaps the earliest sign of the "agenda". During the 1960s the existing groups were displaced by more radical Gay Liberationists and the homosexual agenda crystallized: -- to gain equal "rights" for gays and lesbians, and to end special "privileges" given only to heterosexuals. Fast forward to November 1987, and Marshall Kirk and Erastes Pill published an article
(see http://library.gayhomeland.org/0018/EN/EN_Overhauling_Straight.htm) entitled "The Overhauling of Straight America'' in Guide Magazine (and expanded it to a book in 1990). The article begins "The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights. To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion. Ideally, we would have straights register differences in sexual preference the way they register different tastes for ice cream or sports games: she likes strawberry and I like vanilla; he follows baseball and I follow football. No big deal." It then lays out the need for a large-scale media campaign to accomplish the objective. The campaign had the following 6 pillars:
1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible.
2. Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers.
3. Give protectors a just cause.
4. Make gays look good.
5. Make the victimizers look bad.
6. Solicit funds
In 1992, The term "the gay agenda" seems to have gained currency when the Family Research Council (A conservative Christian think tank and lobbying organization established by Dr. James Dobson) published a video series called The Gay Agenda as part of a pack of materials campaigning on homosexual issues and the "hidden gay agenda".
There is a gay agenda. It has reached the White House.
On June 29th, President Obama
attended an "LGBT PRIDE MONTH RECEPTION" (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) in the East Room of the White House. In his remarks (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-LGBT-Pride-Month-Reception/ ), The President said "We have made progress and we will make more. . I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration." He pointed to changes already made by his administration:
- Signing a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows.
- Called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country.
- Urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full renge of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children.
The President also identified a commitment to "rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status." and declared his view "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't contribute to our national security.
There is sufficient evidence that a gay agenda does, in fact, exist. There is sufficient evidence that it is being aggressively promoted. How then, should we react, in One Nation under God?
We must be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves", combining wisdom and integrity, combating the gay agenda with all the tools at our disposal but never with discourtesy, dishonesty or disparagement.
First, we must know - with absolute clarity - what our goal is, and never waver from it. I propose a goal that says we seek to establish an America that follows God's laws for marriage and the family while providing an environment that leads those with homosexual tendencies to a place of safety where they can accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and allow Him to heal their hurts.
Second, we must know the ground. We cannot dispute the proponents of the gay agenda by repeated reference to a few verses of scripture! We must understand the arguments related to homosexuality and genetics, and homosexuality and psychology. We must be prepared to refute the arguments that seek to rebut scriptural truth. When necessary - but only when necessary, and when our ground is rock-solid - we must be prepared to be controversial. Our opponents have taken the trouble to be experts, and had the courage to argue their case long and loud - so must we! And to quote Campus Crusade for Christ staff member Doug Pollock in his book "God Space", "Our message rarely gets through because what they hear is 'my worldview is better than your worldview, so let me tell you why I'm right and you're wrong'."
Third, we must be strategic in intention. The gay agenda was at least 30 years in the making and its followers have been pursuing it for almost another 30 years! In defeating it, we must be prepared to struggle just as hard, just as long. Remember how long range God's planning is - "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." We must never give up - we must know our goal.
Fourth, we must know our "audience". More precisely, we must understand that there are multiple audiences, and that they need approaching differently:
- Political decision makers need to be convinced that supporting the gay agenda is neither good public policy, nor conducive to reelection.
- Older Christians need to be convinced that "nice" disapproval is not an adequate response.
- Younger Christians need to be convinced that rejecting the gay agenda is not being disloyal to their gay friends.
- Non-Christians need to be convinced that the gay agenda is bad for them, and is bad for America - not just something homophobic Christians are opposing because of religious bigotry!
Fifth, we must be tactically smart - turning the tactics of Kirk and Pill upside down:
1. Turn any talk about gays and gayness to focus on freedom of speech and religion.
2. Portray Christians as the victims, not as homophobic bullies.
3. Give Christians a just cause.
4. Make Christians appear (and be!) what they should be - the most open and loving responders to gays and lesbians.
5. Make the victimizers look bad.
6. Solicit funds - to support a long running and sophisticated media campaign, exploiting print, electronic arts and new social media.
We must be prepared to respond separately to each issue that arises as part of the gay agenda, arguing each case on its merits. We must be prepared to reframe the issues - the proponents of the gay agenda have shifted the discussion from one of morality to one of their "civil rights". We must reframe the arguments to be about the character of God, and about our freedom to educate our children, exercise our religion, and benefit from freedom from discrimination against Christians! For a review of these issues, see Brad Bright's brilliant book, "God is the issue".
Sixth, we need to organize. Again, consider the example of our opponents - they coalesce!
There are Lesbian and Gay coalitions. How do we pull together the family friendly organizations to provide a consolidated front?
How do we bring to bear the political weight that our numbers should be able to command?
So much for strategy and tactics. We need, however, to return to the issue I started with. How do we create - and live up to -- that perception that "Christians show compassion and love to all people, regardless of their lifestyles". How do we, in the love of Christ, reduce the number of people developing lesbian and gay inclinations because of the heart wounds caused by broken or missing relationships? It starts in the home! Husbands and wives must model covenant marriage. Fathers and mothers must be consistently loving and accepting of their children. Never should any Christian parent show - or feel -- anything but loving kindness to their children's homosexual friends. It continues in the church - where the honest teaching of God's word must be combined with an equally honest admission that the sexual baggage carried by gays and lesbians is no worse than the sexual baggage carried by many heterosexual Christians. The ultimate objective should be to have everyone - no matter what their sexual temptations - to recognize that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the loving key to avoiding sinful lifestyles. If we do not pursue this as our true intent, our strategy and tactics cannot succeed.
If we achieve our ultimate objective, the gay agenda will be recognized as irrelevant - and we will not need our strategy and tactics. Wise as serpent and meek as doves, let us love the gay agenda into oblivion! - Ian Rowlands
[Ian and Myra Rowlands are part of a Campus Crusade for Christ Ministry -- FamilyLife® -- dedicated to helping husbands and wives live marriages and lead families God's way. They are raising their support so they can report to their assignment, and we invite you to take a look at their website http://therowlands.cccministry.org/ to see if their family-centered focus in One Nation Under God U.S.A. is one you feel you can help with. Ian is a regular contributor to One Nation Under God U.S.A.'s website (www.onug.us), covering the interaction between faith, family and freedom.]
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