The religious right is reacting with the standard bullying technique it employs against anyone promoting tolerance of gays and lesbians. In response to the Faith In America billboard campaign in Indianapolis, Clean Channel Outdoor Advertising is being inundated with e-mails from the religious right demanding the billboards in Indianapolis be removed. As AI previously reported, two of the billboards which went up last week were quickly vandalized by person(s) who object to the message of explaining how certain passages in the Bible reaffirm that people are born gay, and that Jesus taught tolerance and acceptance of such people. The billboard messages have been purchased for a 30-day period.
Local religious right leaders deny responsibility for the vandalism, but they share the vandals opinion about the billboards. WRTV quotes the Indiana Family Institute's Curt Smith as saying, "I think homosexuals are noted in the Bible in a couple of key passages that were an example of sexual sin that is decried by God," Smith said. He insisted the Bible does not confirm the message of tolerance and acceptance promoted by the billboard campaign. The American Family Association's Micah Clark accuses the Faith In America Campaign of promoting a lie, which is the same word spray-painted on one of the vandalized signs. "Each misleading item is not too difficult to explain for people with a basic knowledge of the Bible, but in today’s post-Christian society fewer and fewer people have such Biblical literacy," Clark recently wrote on the AFA's website. "Just like the wolves in the flock, mentioned in Acts 20:29-30, those paying for these billboards know that they can lure some people astray with false doctrine and in so doing, weaken the primary obstacle still blocking the total fulfillment of the extreme homosexual political agenda," Clark added.
If you want to express support to the billboard's owner, Clear Channel, you can contact the company by e-mail by clicking here.
I have visited the website of the organization that has been posting these billboards. Even as a Christian who disagrees with them, I find the presentation of the information on the site compelling and tasteful.
However, I don't find their billboard campaign to be the same.
I understand that being provocative is the aim of this campaign. It has, however, crossed the line to being offensive. As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. Therefore I don't find the signs humorous or tasteful when they suggest that a number of "heroes of the faith" were gay (David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi).
I find the double-standard quite interesting. If this organization had erected billboards suggesting that Martin Luther King was gay, or Confucious, or Muhammad, there would be an outcry.
My neighbors are Sikhs. I attempt to understand them and love them. If this leads them to ask about my faith I will glady share it with them. What if I put a sign in my yard re-interpreting their scriptures? Not only would I offend them, but I would lose any chance to share my faith.
I am afraid that the MCC and their allies have lost that chance with me. They cannot mock me and persuade me with love at the same time.
Sadly Anon 4:11 gets it all wrong and lets his religion get in the way of logic and compassion for those different from him.
I didn't want to waste time responding to this character, but it was just too tempting.
He notes he is a "Christian who disagrees with them". Christians disagreeing with other Christians has been the fundamental reason for so much bloodshed over the centuries. It's the old "My god's righter than your god" and by god I'm prepared to kill you to prove my point.
In his brand of Christianity homosexuality is a sin. Well, goody for him. Live with it, but shut the hell up about it and stop trying to ram your brand of religion down everyone else's throat.
As for his "heroes of faith" being harmed, get over it. Look pal, you may not believe it but you actually know some gay folk, and they aren't only your little biblical heroes.
Putting a sign in your Sikh neighbors' yard would be offensive no matter what you said on it. What a red herring. Your ilk put up signs all over the place all the time pushing your brand of religion. And, hey, the billboards are not in "your yard" pal.
As for the MCC losing their 'chance' with you, who cares. It's bigots and closed minded homophobes like you who are unable to even consider that the world is different than your narrow-minded view of what it should be.
The good news is that these billboards will help open the eyes of those who may be questioning the dogma that you and your ilk have been spewing forth for centuries.
So, get back in your aluminum trailer home, flip on the overhead light/ ceiling fan and read more of your bible. Get lost in your security blanket and avoid the real world. Oh, and try not to trip over the bunched up threadbare throw-rug on your way to the filthy bathroom down the narrow wood-paneled hallway. You're most likely a typical white trash hillbilly bible thumper. :-) Or at least you sound like it.
Anon 4:43, I rest my case. I couldn't have made it better if I said it myself.
It's a double standard. You are all for tolerance except of the viewpoints of those who disagree with you. For they certainly must be "crackers" living in trailers, not deserving of your respect.
It is clear that both of you are jerks. Knock it off.
For the anonymous who says "I believe that homosexuality is a sin" try this: The billboards have Biblical interpretations behind them that you have a duty to investigate. If you are too lazy or threatened to look into the matter, then you are substituting your prejudice for what ought to be your faith.
To begin, if you don't buy it that Jesus once "affirmed a gay couple" then first look up the Bible reference, and then google the Greek word "pais" --- which probably has been translated in the Bible you use as "slave" --- and see what other possible translations you find. (MCC might fake it on the billboards, but they can't jury-rig the entire Internet.)
And to the second "anonymous" I ask: Please just be quiet. Your flimsy ad hominem attacks embarrass me. Whether a person lives in a trailer or a mansion has nothing to do with whether their viewpoint has merit.
Thanks to the final paragraph from 9:18, my own reaction to 4:43 is tempered. What an idiot. (Could it be Wilson, perhaps?)
Unfortunately, 9:18 really isn't much better. Contrary to what 9:18 has apparently done, I actually have read those passages. I have also researched that infamous word "pais." And if 9:18 had done the same, he or she would realize how idiotic these billboard statements really are.
Yes, there are some "jerks" on this site, but 9:18 is clearly not the best judge and jury of that characteristic.
4:43 is exactly the type of reaction I wish to avoid in my own thinking. In order to reach those we need to reach and win over, we need to stay on a straight and narrow that excludes being nasty and personally degrading.
How do I win you to my side, if I slam you? What kind of sick relationship would we have, if you actually responded to me being so personally attacking?
Look, there are many interpretations of Scripture-- hence the splintering of the Christian faith from the very beginning. The key here is whether the STATE is drawn into choosing one version over another.
Is it the prerogative of the State to decide and enforce through law or Constitutional amendment ONE brand or strain of the Christian theology? Jesus MCC and many otehr congregations of even the mainstream Protestant faith affirm gay couples and families. Do they lose their religious freedom simply because one side says they can't be Christian? How does the State determine that?
I actually want to reach out to 4:11. I think there is common ground in faith and understanding and compassion. But if you are at the same time praying for your Sikh "friends and neighbors" to convert from heathenism because you feel they are doomed, you really can't be afforded the luxury of having the state enforce that as well.
In the end, both church and state are corrupted when their powers and fiefdoms are intermingled. While it may be our ox that is gored today, YOU may be next. Remember Martin Niemoeller!
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