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FIRST-PERSON: Newspaper should revisit pro-homosexual editorial

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)–It is the sort of thing you expect out of a publication like the New York Times.

The Times recently began publishing same sex unions on the same page with heterosexual weddings. What some people may not know is that The Times was beaten to the punch by about 70 other newspapers across the nation. The acceptance of homosexuality among the news media has grown exponentially in recent years and it is likely to get only worse as homosexuals flock to an industry whose most cherished virtue is tolerance — unless of course, you oppose them.

Homosexual influence — in newsrooms — is also growing. Homosexuals are among the editors who decide what and how stories are covered on the front page of The New York Times. The National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association’s (NGLJA) quest to secure domestic partner benefits for homosexual lovers employed by the news media recently received the full endorsement of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Journalism and Women Symposium held in April 2000 at the highly regarded University of Missouri journalism school gave its endorsement to the NGLJA’s cause as well. The NGLJA’s board of directors includes reporters and editors from such notable newspapers as the Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer, as well as from the prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.

The New York Times has made no secret of its affection for homosexuality, or its utter contempt for conservative Christian leaders who oppose it. It is pretty standard stuff when Times’ writers, like columnist Frank Rich, rant about conservative Christians like James Dobson of Focus on the Family, whom Rich once called “Godzilla” before mendaciously linking him to the Ku Klux Klan.

Here in Missouri, however, Baptists had not expected that sort of journalism from the Springfield News-Leader. A highly respected newspaper, the News-Leader published an Aug. 19 editorial endorsing Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s decision to accept homosexuals as mentors to children. Setting aside the carelessness of that view for a moment, it was just as outrageous for the newspaper to launch unwarranted personal attacks on Dobson and Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, both strong pro-family leaders.

“They talk an awful lot about Christian family values,” said the News-Leader, “but when it comes to helping actual kids in need, their proselytizing doesn’t touch the work done by Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

From a purely spiritual point of view, I disagree. Jesus, and that is really to whom the News-Leader is referring to when it mentions “proselytizing,” will give children something BBBSA can never give them — eternal life.

From a purely secular view, the editorial, unfortunately, offered no evidence to support its claim. That’s like an editorial stating that the Bugtussle Gazette has done more for its community than the News-Leader has for Springfield. How do you prove or disprove such a statement?

The News-Leader editorial continues with this: “Rather than roll up their sleeves, the leaders of these groups prefer to shake their fists and condemn Big Brothers Big Sisters for its nondiscrimination policy.”

Shake their fists? I think all conservative Christians can figure out what image the newspaper is trying to convey with such characterizations. I cannot imagine Dobson or Wildmon shaking a fist at anyone — other than maybe Satan.

The editorial went on to accurately quote Wildmon’s warning about BBBSA’s decision to allow homosexual mentors, that overnight it would become “a magnet for homosexuals who exploit opportunities to engage young, impressionable children with their unhealthy lifestyle.” It then accurately quotes Dobson declaring that “matching fatherless boys, starving for attention, with homosexual men is reckless and irresponsible, not to mention a recipe for disaster.”

The newspaper then went ballistic.

“Such rhetoric is as vile as it is ridiculous. Being gay does not automatically make someone a pedophile or in any other way dangerous to kids.”

Now I remind you this is the same news media that has basically refused to acknowledge that the current scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is not just a pedophile problem, but a homosexual problem.

Although homosexuals constitute only about 2 percent of the population, they represent one-third of child molesters, Leslie Carbone reported in June in the National Review Online. “The Gay Report, the 1979 work of homosexual researchers Jay and Young, revealed that 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed admitted to having had sexual relations with boys ages 16 to 19 or younger,” Carbone reported.

As far as the newspaper’s claims of discrimination against homosexuals, in which it offered no evidence, a survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation a few years ago found that 76 percent of homosexuals and bisexuals reported they feel more accepted by society today than a few years ago. A 1993 New York Times/CBS News Poll found that nearly 80 percent of Americans felt homosexuals should have equal opportunities for employment. Can you imagine more than 80 percent of Americans agreeing on anything, other than maybe leaving the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance?

The News-Leader closed its editorial with this parting shot: “Still, those who continue to preach hatred and intolerance will keep blowing hot air. Let them.”

I do not expect the News-Leader editorial board to provide their community with an exegesis of Leviticus 18:22 or 1 Corinthians 6:9, but I urge them to conduct further research on homosexuals and children before promoting such dangerous circumstances.

I also call on the editorial board of the newspaper to carefully examine their characterizations of Bible-believing Christians like Dobson and Wildmon. To disagree is one thing, to demonize is another.
Hinkle is editor of The Pathway, newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

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  • Don Hinkle