“Pastors Fight to Not Protect Gays”

Yes, this is the actual, unintentionally hilarious headline of a Richmond Style Weekly article.

Is this really what pastors are supposed to be doing? Fighting to make people vulnerable to unfair treatment, special taxes and violence? Something seems not quite right about that.

The “pastors” to which the headline refers are a new subsidiary arm of the “Virginia Family Foundation” (more accurately known as the Some Families Foundation), created in anticipation of the November 2007 election. That didn’t go particularly well for them, so now “Pastors for Family Values” has its weapons trained on hate crimes and employment nondiscrimination legislation.

Interestingly, Family Foundation president Victoria Cobb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the subgroup “grew out of last year’s successful campaign to amend the Virginia Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.” One would think that having secured the most far-reaching “marriage” amendment to any state constitution in the nation, our jittery friends would feel satisfied that they had “protected marriage.” But, no. “Marriage” appears as one of the top concerns in the mission statement of “Pastors for Family Values.” And at their inaugural summit back in September, the spawn of Jerry Falwell exhorted the group to “protect marriage.”

You may recall that during the amendment campaign, Victoria and her friends insisted that they were strictly interested in “protecting the definition of marriage,” and that this had nothing, nothing at all, to do with wishing harm on the GLBT community.

I don’t want to be mean, but it sure does appear that they were lying.

If they were not lying, if their intention was not to interfere with the free exercise of contract rights, then why oppose legislation that allows the free exercise of contract rights? HB 865, introduced by Delegate Adam Ebbin, “allows coverage under a group life insurance policy to be extended to insure any class of persons as may mutually be agreed upon by the insurer and the group policyowner.”

If they were not lying, if their intention was not to do harm to GLBT individuals and our families, then why oppose the same protections from hate violence for GLBT people that other people enjoy on the basis of their religious beliefs? There have been no bills introduced in Virginia addressing hate crimes, but heaven forbid that should stop “Pastors for Family Values” from repeating the same silly talking points that have discredited our very own Loudoun AGI. “Pastors” – please, by all means keep insisting that Swedish and Canadian law trumps our First Amendment. Oh, and please, please follow the lead of these monsters in New Jersey, who claim, incredibly, that transgender people do not “need” protection from hate violence. We can always use more material with which to expose your utter moral blindness. Especially when you claim to be “Christians.”

Will the monstrous, immoral hatred of the Some Families Foundation be on full display this year, or will they have developed enough healthy shame to closet it just a bit? Will they fabricate some improbable reasoning to oppose even the creation of a registry for advanced medical directives (because, you know, in addition to the vast majority of Virginia residents who are straight, it might grant a little peace of mind to a gay person somewhere, and you can’t have that). It remains to be seen.

To follow the progress of this year’s legislation, see our 2008 Legislative Session page, and please sign up to join us for Equality Virginia’s Lobby Day and Legislative Reception on Thursday, January 24. It’s up to us to educate our legislators about our lives and the lives of our loved ones, and to show them that we pay attention to what they do. Those who want to do the right thing need to know that they will have our support, and those who don’t – well, they are learning too. It seems that Delegate Matt Lohr thought better of once again introducing his disingenuous bill attacking student Gay-Straight Alliances. He told the Daily News Record that “it’s not worth going through and making that a central piece of legislation knowing it’s not going to get out of the Senate committee.”

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14 Responses to “Pastors Fight to Not Protect Gays”

  1. Jonathan says:

    I liked this quote from pastor Joe Ellison:

    “We’re not homophobic, but we have the right to hire the people we want in our churches,” says Ellison, who will lead the group’s lobbying efforts at the Capitol. “The government should not be involved.”

    Does he really believe that his church’s hiring decisions are in jeopardy? I think I’ll ask him.

  2. John G. Doud says:

    Will his church hiring be affected? Dunno, but what was all
    that lawsuit about forcing the B.S.A to accept homosexuals into
    its ranks as counsellors? The GLBT and like groups previous
    actions are suspicious to me.

  3. David says:

    Hi John,

    The lawsuit(s) filed by the Boy Scouts are actually about public funding. The BSA has for many years been the beneficiary of free (or at nominal cost) use of public facilities for which other private groups would be charged thousands of dollars.

    As a private organization, the BSA of course has the right to determine its criteria for membership and employment, under the freedom of association clause, and that right has been upheld by the courts. The problem is that they want to be treated as a private organization when it comes to freedom of association, but at the same time be treated as a public entity when it comes to public funding. They can’t have it both ways. As we said in this post,

    We’re sure there are many private groups that would like to lease acres of parkland for $1 per year, or get the free use of a marina, but the rest of us don’t get Special Rights handed to us.

    Private standards = private funding. Public funding = including all of the public. Pick one, guys.

    The actions of the GLBT community in terms of political advocacy are simply to secure equal treatment for everyone under the law, as our Constitution promises. It isn’t complicated. The talk about interfering with religious freedom is just a red herring. Nobody’s religious freedom is threatened (unless they claim as “religious freedom” the right to tell those under their influence to go forth and commit violence – that is in fact illegal, for anyone.) These anti-gay folks were even claiming that churches would be “forced to perform same sex marriages” against their will during the 2006 amendment campaign. When you stop and think about it, this is an embarrassingly obvious violation of constitutional rights that would no more happen than would forcing Orthodox Rabbis to perform mixed marriages. It’s idiotic. This is just one example of the ridiculous hyperbole to which these folks will lower themselves.

  4. Crystal says:

    Homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God. However, so are things that straight people do that are against God’s judgement. Wrong is wrong. It is important to know…My God is a God of love. The bad part is, that is all people want to focus on. If He is so loving, then why does he let bad stuff happen? What we all need to realize is that God is a righteous God. A jealous God. He is the jury, the judge, and the executioner. In all our wickedness He still loved us enough to give Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Why? Because we are ALL sinners. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we can be forgiven. All of us. I can’t judge you, but I can love you. I love you enough to tell you of Christ. Do yourself one favor…seek Him. You don’t have to accept Him…that is up to you. Just seek Him for knowledge sake. You might be surprised. Don’t judge him based on “mankind” or “Christians”. You won’t be able to blame the so-called Christian who became your stumbling block on judgement day. Look around you. Look to the Middle East and then study the Bible prophecies. Don’t be deceived. Do a reality check before it is too late. In Christ’s love, I pray for you.

  5. David says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I’m glad that your God is a God of love. So is mine. What “knowledge” tells us is that some people were created to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. We are ALL intended to live up to our full potential, with honesty and integrity. That means no pretending to be something we are not, and no truncating our lives to satisfy the desires of our misguided fellow humans.

    God doesn’t make mistakes, but some people do. They mistake the customs and traditions of a tribal people in first century Palestine for something other than what they were. They elevate some of those customs above the message of Jesus, which is a message of radical and uncompromising inclusiveness. Calling the loving relationships of GLBT people “an abomination” is no different from the sins of the Pharisees, who clung to their dogmas and prejudices in opposition to the will of God. I will pray for you also, and it will all turn out ok.

    You might want to do some wider reading: Try What the Bible Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality and Bishop John Shelby Spong as a starting point.

  6. Mark says:

    David says What “knowledge” tells us is that some people were created to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

    The truth (knowledge = God’s word) about false teachers:
    1. Mark them and Avoid them – Romans 16:17
    2. Rebuke them – Titus 1:13
    3. Have no fellowship with them – Ephesians 5:11
    4. Withdraw from them – 1 Timothy 6:5
    5. Turn away from them – 2 Timothy 3:5,7
    6. Not receive them into our homes -2 John 10
    7. Reject heretics – Titus 3:10
    8. Separate from them – 2 Corinthians 6:17
    9. Try them – 1 John 4:1
    10: Be aware of them who preach “ANOTHER” Jesus, “ANOTHER” Gospel, and “ANOTHER” spirit – 2 Corinthians 11:4

    As far as your implication that same sex attractions are biological, I submit to you more words of God
    Psalm 51: 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    And in sin my mother conceived me.

    We are indeed born sinners. Repent and stop making your own idols (gods).

    1. 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.

    2. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

    3. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

    4. 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    It is you my friend that is misguided.
    Not to tell you that would be hate.

  7. David says:

    Sorry, Mark. You have been blinded by false teachers who have made a few Bible passages whose historical context they don’t understand into idols. That is precisely the problem I’m talking about.

    To repent means to change your way of thinking or of seeing things. That is what you need to do for this conversation to be of any use. I suggest that you start by taking the Bible seriously rather than literally. I’ve already provided some links as a starting point.

  8. David says:

    I have briefly visited Mark’s blog, and found that his mind-numbingly predictable comment here is just a cut and paste job of his argument with a much more knowledgeable and articulate (and patient) advocate of reason than I. So I shall turn it over to Pastor David at Beloved Spear to address the doctrine of scriptural inerrancy that drives poor Mark to say such things.

    The greatest presenting challenge for literalists is the constant struggle they must wage against the witness of creation. To maintain the integrity of their approach to Holy Scripture, battle must be waged against physics, astronomy, biology, and all of the other ways in which human beings have come to understand the depth and complexity of God’s creation.

    This is an odd thing, as the the hard sciences seem to only deepen our awareness of the vastness of what God has wrought. For all of our sophistication, the intricate immensity of spacetime is not lessened by scientific insight.

    There is much, much more; this is just one installment of a multi-part series on inerrancy, and there’s one on homosexuality (starting here) which I look forward to reading. So thanks to Mark for leading me to this very interesting resource on Christian scholarship.

    When Holy Scripture stops being viewed as the rule of life and faith, and instead gets mutated into a schematic diagram of the mechanics of the universe, suddenly Christians are obliged to engage in all sorts of absurdity.

    There it is.

  9. Mark says:

    To repent means to change your way of thinking or of seeing things.

    Is this a biblical defintion?

    God’s complexity is what you use as your flesh inspired detour from God’s absolute authority. The clarity of God’s word is what offends you and Pastor David.

    I suggest that you start by taking the Bible seriously rather than literally

    You provide no scripture and I am accused of not taking it seriously?

  10. Mark says:

    The bread of life, God’s word:

    For you know what commands we gave to you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God: your holiness, that you abstain from sexual immorality (porneia) . . . [and not live] like the Gentiles who do not know God. . . . because the Lord is an avenger regarding all these things. . . . For God called us not to sexual uncleanness (akatharsia) but in holiness. Therefore the one who rejects [these commands] rejects not humans but the God who gives his Holy Spirit to us. (1 Thess 4:2-8)

    Or do you not realize that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s kingdom? Stop deceiving yourselves. Neither the sexually immoral (the pornoi), nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor soft men (malakoi), nor men who lie with males (arsenokoitai) . . . will inherit the kingdom of God. And these things some of you used to be. But you washed yourselves off, you were made holy (sanctified), you were made righteous (justified) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:9-11).

    There is no historical, biblical, translational or context issues here.

  11. David says:

    There is no historical, biblical, translational or context issues here.

    Of course there are. Please don’t pretend to be unaware of this when it was addressed by Pastor David on your own blog. Thanks again for providing the links.

    Readers can refer to the Beloved Spear site referenced above.

    Mark, in case I wasn’t clear, any arguments you make from the perspective of scriptural inerrancy are a complete waste of time, for reasons already alluded to. If you want to have a conversation here, please use reason and be respectful of the fact that you are a guest in our house.

    Thanks.

  12. Mark says:

    You gave me no reasons. But I will take that to mean the Bible is not God’s word in your opinion, and an opinion is all you have. I make no such claim, I have the truth, God’s word and it’s utter clarity.

    2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    One of the clearest statements in the Bible that affirm Paul is writing scripture. The NT apostles just as the OT prophets were aware they were writing the word of God. See Th 2:13 13For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

    I respectfully submit to your readers, your god does not exist. Even Pastor David argues using the scripture. Perhpas you didn’t spend enough time over there.

    Thanks for being a gracious host.

  13. David says:

    Even Pastor David argues using the scripture.

    Well, he is after all a pastor, and his site is an explicitly Christian one. This blog is not primarily about religion, let alone about Christianity specifically. We do post entries under the category “faith” where appropriate – and generally these entries have something to do with the fact that there is not one singular faith position on questions of human sexuality. We have readers of many faiths, and of no faith. In other words, we look like America.

    You’re right – I haven’t cited scripture to explain why scripture isn’t the only, or an “inerrant,” source of knowledge. While you’re pondering that, look up “tautology” in the dictionary 🙂

    When it comes to matters of faith (otherwise, the word is meaningless), none of us really has anything other than our own opinion. Like it or not, that is what you have expressed here.

  14. Mark says:

    none of us really has anything other than our own opinion. Like it or not, that is what you have expressed here.

    At lest you have been honest, your God is a personal god and there is no right and wrong, just opinions.

    I, however disagree. God’s word equals truth, not opinion.

    Have a relative redundant great day, eh! 🙂

    PS I think you would do well to learn more about presuppositions before using a personal brand of logic in meaningless circles. I took your advice.

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