NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–In his classic 1946 book, “Animal Farm,” George Orwell coined the phrase: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” That statement, which is now more than 50 years old, sums up the legal objectives of the homosexual activist movement regarding the religious civil liberties of all Americans.
Their prevailing attitude toward religious freedom is succinctly summed up in the following statement by radical homosexual activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in their manifesto for the “gay” rights movement, “After the Ball”: “[In regards to those] who feel compelled to adhere rigidly to an authoritarian belief structure that condemns homosexuality … our primary objective regarding die-hard homo-haters of this sort is to cow and silence them.”
The homosexual activist movement is driving an agenda that will severely limit the ability to live and preach the uncensored gospel, whether it is in the boardroom, classroom, halls of government, private organizations and even in places of worship. In their relentless attempts to obtain special rights — rights that no other special interest group has — they are in the process of redefining the family, demanding not only “tolerance” (which really means the intolerance of any viewpoint that does not accept or promote homosexual behavior) but “acceptance,” and ultimately seeking to marginalize, censor and punish those individuals who stand in the way of their multiple goals.
To achieve this goal, radical homosexual activists have targeted the church, the family, the schools and corporate America.
Our Schools and Homes
One of the essential elements of religious liberty is the freedom to pass along one’s faith and values to one’s children. Unfortunately, millions of Christians are totally unaware of the indoctrination their children are receiving from radical homosexual activists, urging them to reject their parents’ beliefs regarding homosexual behavior.
At a 1999 conference held by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network (GLSEN), their director of communications said: “If we do our jobs right, we will raise a whole generation of children who will reject the claims of the religious right.” A representative from the National Education Association added: “The fear of the religious right is that the schools of today will be the governments of tomorrow. And you know, they’re right.”
GLSEN, working with lesbian activists and filmmakers Helen Cohen and Diana Chasnoff, has created a video titled “It’s Elementary” for schoolteachers and administrators. The video openly promotes homosexual behavior and not only ridicules Christianity, but also accuses Christians of persecuting homosexuals. Featured in the video are many real scenes from elementary school classrooms. In one such scene, a fifth-grader who has been thoroughly indoctrinated states: “Some Christians believe that if you’re gay you go to hell, so they want to torture them and stuff.”
In another scene, a fourth-grade girl is asked to read to her classmates an essay about her lesbian parents. When she gets to the section about people who have biblical objections to homosexual behavior, she says: “Some people believe in a version of the Bible that says what my mommies do is wrong. I think that is just stupid.” The teacher goes on to explain that the essay won an award. Could you imagine calling an individual or a group of people “stupid” when you were in school and what the consequences would have been? Yet, day after day, radical homosexual activists are instilling this religious bigotry into impressionable children.
At a “hate crimes” conference at George Washington University in 1997, former President Bill Clinton told the audience that basically parents were at fault for their children’s “bigotry” and that children had to be re-educated. He stated: “Children have to be taught hate” — the buzzword used by radical homosexual activists and the media for anyone with legitimate opposition to the promotion of homosexual behavior. “We want to teach them a different way. Don’t you think you almost have to have an organized effort to do it? There would almost have to be some kind of club or organization at school … because if you think about it, your parents are pretty well separated.”
Their strategy is working. A recent Zogby poll of U.S. high school seniors found that nearly two-thirds surveyed said homosexual marriages should be legal and 68 percent said homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children.
On university campuses, ministries such as Campus Crusade for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship are having to fight for their very right to exist. In early 2000, the InterVarsity chapter at Tufts University in Massachusetts was banished from campus for refusing to allow a practicing lesbian to hold a leadership position with the group. To do so would have violated the group’s biblically held beliefs on homosexual behavior. They were finally allowed to include adherence to biblical teachings as a qualification for leadership and allowed back on campus, but only after a public backlash.
Nevertheless, the leaders of the chapters were subjected to campus “tolerance” education, leading to this observation by Gregory Fung, the president of the InterVarsity chapter: “We did what they asked us to do. We went to their tolerance classes. You would think the institutions that teach tolerance won’t turn around and bite you. But they do. We thought the people who taught all the classes would be tolerant. No way. They were determined to cure us of our intolerance.”
InterVarsity’s former president, Steven Hayner, noted the increasing hostility to religious freedom on university campuses when he said: “We have had more challenges to our basic right to exist on campus settings during the past two years than in the previous 55 combined. It’s not just us — this is hitting Catholics and Muslims and others. What we are seeing is a growing challenge to religious freedom, period.”
In addition to the constant attacks on religious freedom, radical homosexual activists are relentless in their drive to redefine the family. This past January, activists in California attempted to launch their most aggressive effort yet when they introduced AB1338, which would have created “civil unions” that were the legal equivalent of marriage. The bill specifically stated that “a spouse in a civil union will have all the same rights, protections, benefits, and responsibilities under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative, or court rule, policy, common law, or any other provision or source of law, that are granted a spouse in a civil marriage.”
There was no religious exemption in the bill. Therefore, a Christian employer or ministry could find themselves sued for “discrimination” if they did not recognize an employee’s civil union in the same manner they would recognize a traditional marriage.
This bill proved that the pretense of tolerance was over. Radical homosexual activists were now seeking total acceptance, with Christians expected to bow at their feet.
AB1338 died in the State Assembly but only after a public outcry from pro-family citizens. California Gov. Gray Davis has created a task force to “study” the issue of civil unions, despite the fact that California voters passed a constitutional amendment affirming traditional marriage by a 62-38 percent margin in 2000.
Homosexual activists have also targeted corporate America as a key player in implementing their agenda. Companies such as Xerox, Proctor and Gamble, Ford Motor Company, Kodak and IBM, among others, were identified as sponsors of the 2001 “Out and Equal Conference,” which is a springboard for homosexual corporate activism. At one workshop at the conference, “religious values” were identified as an obstacle to overcome by barring religion from the workplace, erecting another substantial barrier to evangelism.
Xerox and Lucent Technologies, for example, have instituted the “Safe Spaces”TM program. Employees are encouraged to place pink triangles, the sign for homosexual activism, on their cubicles to show their support for the homosexual agenda and to identify those who don’t agree by their failure to post the triangle.
Another way that radical homosexual activists have used corporate America is to create domestic partner policies. They readily admit that by convincing corporations to provide benefits for the sex “partners” of homosexual employees, it will increase the pressure on federal, state and local governments to do so as well.
In some cases, the reverse is happening. In San Francisco, the County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance, currently being challenged in federal court, that required all corporations doing business with the city to provide domestic partner benefits. The result? According to the homosexual advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, of the 4,000-plus employers who presently allow such benefits, only about 1,200 did so voluntarily. The remainder did so because they wanted to continue doing business with the city.
So how far can this go? Let us finish with a few examples of what is happening elsewhere and is rapidly being imported into the United States:
— In Canada, serious limits have been placed on Christian broadcasters who take a biblical stand against homosexual behavior.
— In Great Britain, radical homosexual activists tried to challenge the charitable status of a Christian organization that spoke out against lowering of the age of consent from 18 to 16 (which the homosexual activists won). While the charitable status of the Christian organization was upheld, the ministry agreed to no longer “influence public policy.”
— In Holland, Dutch authorities pondered whether to prosecute Pope John Paul II on discrimination charges after he said that a homosexual advocacy march in Rome was “an offense to Christian values.” They eventually stated that the pope had “global immunity” because of his position as the head of the Vatican state, but the very thought of possible prosecution of a worldwide religious leader for his stance on homosexual behavior by another country demonstrates how far homosexual activists are willing to go to suppress religious speech and freedom.
Christians are called, above all else, to “love God and love their neighbor.” For the Christian, loving thy neighbor includes introducing them to the life-giving, saving grace of Jesus Christ. The radical homosexual agenda threatens the freedom to carry out evangelistic, charitable and social activities in order to fulfill the biblical mandate to love your neighbor and share the Good News with all.
For years, activists said all they wanted was “tolerance” but now the pretense of tolerance is over. Radical homosexual activists will use their financial and political clout to silence people of faith and the gospel. If God’s people and God’s church do not take a clear, uncompromised stand, the result will be that with each passing generation the freedom to live and practice Christian faith and the traditional family will become more restricted and become a remnant of history.
Alan Sears is president of the Alliance Defense Fund; Craig Osten is national director of Team Communications. They are presently writing a book on the homosexual agenda and religious freedom which should be available early next year. Reprinted from SBC Life, monthly journal of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.