Chief Justice Roy Moore Meets With Soulforce Alabama Leader Regarding Homosexuality

Meeting Marks One-Year Anniversary of Concurring Opinion Forbidding Custody of Children by a Lesbian Mother

Soulforce Press Release: February 21, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592

The leader of Soulforce Alabama met unexpectedly with Chief Justice Roy Moore on February 19, 2003 in the State Supreme Courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

Rev. Felicia Fontaine, an ordained minister and leader of Soulforce Alabama, went to the courthouse with three other people to request a meeting with Justice Moore regarding his views and rhetoric about homosexuality after two previously mailed requests for a meeting had gone unanswered. Justice Moore arranged to meet with Rev. Fontaine immediately.

The four activists entered the courthouse on the one year anniversary of Chief Justice Moore’s special concurrence in a case involving custody of children by a lesbian mother, in which he laid out an extensive legal philosophy on homosexuality that used Biblical citations to justify legal persecution of lesbians and gay men, stating, "the lifestyle should never be tolerated."

According to Rev. Fontaine, the meeting was cordial and most of the discussion was of a personal nature. However, she did report that Justice Moore explained he was required to uphold the Alabama Code, and if the law in Alabama changed, then he would be bound to follow the law.

"I don’t believe his views changed in that one meeting, but it opened the door for further dialogue," said Rev. Fontaine. "People don’t think Roy Moore can change, but no one ever thought George Wallace would change either, and he did!"

Soulforce Alabama was formed last February, largely in response to Moore’s special concurrence in the custody case involving a lesbian mother. Soulforce Alabama is one of 20 licensed groups of Soulforce, Inc, a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people.

Soulforce Alabama was gathered at the courthouse to seek a meeting with Justice Moore, and announce the formation of an anti-hate campaign to address hate speech and crimes against lesbians and gay men in Alabama. Additionally, February 19 also marked the three year anniversary of the hate crime/murder of openly gay Billy Jack Gaither. A vigil, sponsored by Equality Alabama, was held that evening.

Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Soulforce employs the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.

Articles from Alabama press about this meeting can be viewed at:http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/NEWS/StoryAlabamagay20w.htm

Endorsing Organizations

The people of Soulforce sincerely appreciate the endorsement of the following organizations and groups as we confront the anti-gay teachings of James Dobson and Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, May 1, 2005.

Click here to learn more about how your organization can endorse the Soulforce direct action in Colorado Springs.

Endorsing Organizations

3 November Movement
www.3novembermovement.org

ACLU Colorado Springs Chapter
aclu.org

Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBT Concerns
www.umaffirm.org

Alliance For Tolerance and Freedom
www.alliancefortolerance.org

AXIOS Eastern and Orthodox LGBT Christians

Beacon Fellowship
hometown.aol.com/beaconohio

Capitol Hill United Ministries
oslcdenver.org

Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry
www.clgs.org

Christian Dissent – Blog and radio show
christiandissent.blogspot.com

Church of All Saints (American Orthodox Catholic Church Western Rite)
members.cox.net/allsaintschurch

Civil Rights Now
www.civilrightsnow.org

Clergy United for the Equality of Homosexuals
www.clergyunited.com

CLOUT Christian Lesbians OUT
www.cloutsisters.org

COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere)
www.colage.org

Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage

Colorado Pride Guide c/o Jim McNulty
www.GayColorado.com

Cornerstone Metropolitan Community Church
www.cornerstonemccchurch.com

Curry Club NYC
www.curryclubnyc.com

EagleVisionQuest Life Ministries – Building Faith in a Fear-Filled World
www.eaglevisionquest.com

Ecumenical Community of Julian
www.eojn.org

Emmanuel Metropolitan Community Church
www.emmanuelmcc.org

Equal Partners in Faith
www.equalpartnersonline.org/

Evangelicals Reconcilled
www.denver-er.com

Faith Voices for the Common Good
www.faithvoices.org

Family Evolutions
http://www.familyevolutions.com

Family Pride Coalition
www.familypride.org

Fellowship of Reconciliation
www.forusa.org

First Plymouth Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
www.firstplymouthchurch.org

First Unitarian Society of Denver
www.firstunitariandenver.org

Flame

Footsteps To Faith Church

Freedom Is Just A Buzz Word
www.freedomisjustabuzzword.com

Freedom to Marry
www.freedomtomarry.org

Fridae.com – Empowering Gay Asia
www.fridae.com

Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance, Inc.
www.gladalliance.org

Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta
www.gentlespirit.org

GLSEN Colorado
www.glsenco.org

Good As You
www.goodasyou.org

Hetero, trans , gay families Families For Jesus
groups.yahoo.com/group/heterotransgayfamilies/

High Plains Church, Unitarian Universalist
www.hpcuu.org

Human Rights Campaign
www.hrc.org

Humanist Action League
HumanistActionLeague.org

Integrity, Inc.
www.integrityusa.org

International Christian Community Churches
Intlccc.org

Judy Johnson Counseling & Consulting, LLC dba Capstone Recovery Program

Kashi Ashram
www.kashi.org

Lambda Rising Bookstores
www.lambdarising.com

Liberty Education Forum
www.libertyeducationforum.org/

Love Makes A Family, Inc.
www.LMFamily.org

Lynchburg PFLAG
http://www.lynchburg-pflag.org/

MCC Austin at Freedom Oaks
www.mccaustin.com

MCC Seattle
WWW.MCCSEATTLE.ORG

McPride
www.mcpride.org

Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities

Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies
www.mccrockies.org

Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka
members.cox.net/paulmcc/mcc/

Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)
www.MCCchurch.org

Metropolitan Communtiy Church of Pueblo

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
www.thetaskforce.org

National Organization for Women
www.now.org

National Youth Advocacy Coalition
www.nyacyouth.org

New Hampshire Progressive Caucus
groups.yahoo.com/group/PDA_NH/

Northern Illinois Council of PFLAG
www.pflagchicago.com

Oscar Wilde Bookshop
www.oscarwildebooks.com

other sheep
www.othersheep.org

Our Common Ground Interfaith Eco-Justice Mniistry

OUTreach Athens
www.outreachathens.org

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
www.pflag.org

People For the American Way Foundation
www.pfaw.org

People of Faith for Gay (GLBTI) Civil Rights
www.pfgcr.org

PFLAG -Columbia/Howard County
www.pflagmd.org

PFLAG Bellevue WA Chapter
www.bellevue-pflag.org

PFLAG Boulder County & Colorado Coalition of PFLAG Chapters
members.tde.com/pflagbldr/

PFLAG Denver
www.pflagdenver.org/

PFLAG Fort Collins/Northern Colorado
www.pflagftc.org

PFLAG Fredericksburg
pflag.communitypoint.org

PFLAG of Colorado Springs

PFLAG South Orange County, California
www.PFLAGSouthOC.org

PFLAG Transgender Network
youth-guard.org/pflag-tnet/

PFLAG Wichita Falls/Texoma

PFLAG, Grass Valley/Nevada County

PFLAG/Anchorage
identyinc.org

Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center
www.ppglcc.org

Q-Spirit
www.qspirit.org

Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing
www.religiousinstitute.org

RUMOLA (Reconciling United Methodists of the Lincoln Area)

Seattle Chapter, PFLAG
www.Seattle-PFLAG.org

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
www.sldn.org

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship Int’l Inc
sdakinship.org

Sign Of The Times…
www.jennifergroth@unimwebcenter.com

SoMA: A Review of Religion and Culture
www.somareview.com

South Florida Gender Coalition
www.southfloridagendercoalition.org

Southern Utah Diversity

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
www.saint-marks-episcopal-church.com

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
www.stpauldenver.com

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
www.stpauldenver.com

Student for Social Justice (Colorado Springs)
www.uccs.edu/~ssj

The Center (The Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Colorado)
www.coloradoglbt.org

The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus
www.dgmc.org

The Ecumenical Catholic Church
www.ecchurch.org

The Interfaith Alliance of Colo. (TIA-CO)
www.interfaithallianceco.org

The Liberal Store
TheLiberalStore.com

The Lighthouse; A Beacon of Hope, Inc.

The Oasis Project
www.gayhickory.com

The Open and Affirming Committee of First Congregational Church, UCC
www.fcucc.org

The Universal Anglican Church
www.uanglican.org

ThomasMc.com
ThomasMc.com

Tikkun
www.tikkun.org

Tolerance4All.org
www.tolerance4all.org

Unitarian Universalist Church of Pueblo
www.uupueblo.org

United Church of Christ – Health and Wholeness Advocacy
www.ucc.org/lgbt

Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) Board of Elders
ufmcc.com

University Baptist Church
www.ubcmn.org

Washington Park United Church of Christ, Denver
wpucc.org

Western SD PFLAG

Whosoever Magazine
www.whosoever.org

Wilde Roast Cafe
www.wilderoastcafe.com

Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
www.hers.com/water

Entertainment for "Coming Out and About in Lynchburg" October 11, 2003

FEMALE IMPERSONATOR – RAVYN VEGA from Lynchburg will perform "I’m Coming Out" by Diana Ross, "We are Family" by Sister Sledge, and other tunes.

MARCUS YOUNG – CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN SINGER from Indianapolis will perform a variety of songs click here for Marcus’ website

OPERA SINGER ARTHUR PEKAR from Delray Beach, FL will sing "Impossible Dream" from Man of LaMancha and "You’ll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel

SINGER/SONGWRITER SHANA SCUDDER, formerly of Lynchburg will sing songs from her album, "Shana Scudder" click here for a link to Shana’s website

POET LAURIE POLLACK from Philadelphia will read several pieces of poetry she wrote Laurie is one of the leaders of Soulforce Philadelphia

SINGER/SONGWRITER JUDY INSLY from Michigan will perform the song "Satyagraha" and others

JOE OSBORNE from Charlottesville, VA will jam with the sounds of electric guitar

POPULAR AND JAZZ-STLYE TROMBONIST BEN HUNT formerly of Lynchburg will play a variety of selections and improvisations

Route and Hotel Information for the 1000 Watt March, Vigil, and Concert


Full Screen Map

Pre-selected families from across America will participate in this week-long 65 mile "relay" style march from the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver to the entrance of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Each group of diverse families will take turns walking a 4 mile segment of the march during the week until we reach Focus on the Family on Saturday, July 22. The purpose of the march is to help America connect the dots between the false and defamatory rhetoric that flows from Focus on the Family and the assault on the civil liberties of LGBT people and same-gender families.

To submit an application for your family to walk a 4 mile segment between July 17 and July 21, 2006, please click here. The final 2 mile march from Rampart Park to Focus on the Family on July 22nd is open to the general public (everyone is welcome – individuals, families, couples, friends, and allies) and requires no advanced application.

A shuttle will take us to and from our starting and stopping points each day and our hotel will be the Hilton Garden Inn, Briargate Parkway, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Go to the Hilton Garden Inn website or call 1-719-598-6866 to make a reservation. Ask for the Soulforce rate.

The daily schedule for the march is still being designed and detailed information will be announced to those families who are selected.

Sponsors of "Coming Out and About in Lynchburg" October 11, 2003


THANK YOU TO THIS YEAR’S SPONSORS:

LAMBDA RISING BOOKSTORE- The vendor of Pride Merchandise for Coming Out and About in Lynchburg, 2003

Soulforce, Inc.

Al-Fatiha (GLBTQI Muslims)

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Arthur Pekar

BRIDGES – GLBTI Group from Randolph Macon

Bruce Evans

Catawba ValleyPFLAG

Dontamend.com

Family Pride Coalition

Fellowship of Reconciliation

First Christian Church (Lynchburg)

First Light Ministries

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation(GLAAD)

Equality Virginia

Human Rights Campaign

Interfaith Working Group

Log Cabin Republican Club of Virginia

Love Makes a Family, Inc.

Lutherans Concerned / North America

Lynchburg PFLAG

Marriage Equality – USA

MCC Charlottesville

New Beginnings Christian Church of Richmond

People for the American Way

Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge

Remnant Worship Group (Lynchburg)

Roanoke – 7

Virginia NOW

Virginia Organizing Project – Lynchburg Chapter

Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club

World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews

An Interview with Paula X (Christian Coalition Watch) on Lesbigay Radio

February 13, 1997

A letter to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune last month sounded all too dishonestly familiar.

It said, in part: "Like millions of others, Mr. [Pat] Robertson believes that homosexual behavior is morally wrong and violates the biblical principles fundamental to Christian belief. At the same time, however, that belief is balanced by the same love and compassion that Mr. Robertson has exhibited daily for 35 years through his international ministry. Mr. Robertson condemns violence aimed at anyone– including homosexuals. He told his national TV audience, ‘We abhor violence against homosexuals. We would counsel strongly in relation to homosexuality that you could hold your religious beliefs without beating people up and being violent.’ "

That letter was written by Gene Kapp, Vice President for Public relations of Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach, Virginia — in response to someone who had deigned to criticize "religious leaders like Pat Robertson, while at the same time distorting their deeply held religious beliefs about homosexuality."

Mr. Kapp, of course, left out a few very important facts.

Pat Robertson — founder, president and boss of the Christian Coalition, by the way — made that statement nearly two years ago! It was made under duress, as a way of ending a twenty-three day fast by MCC Minister of Justice and Reconciliation Mel White. Kapp was very much involved in that embarrassing incident and, like his boss, very happy when it was over. RING ANY BELLS, GENE?

We remember that two years ago, Dr. Mel White — formerly Robertson’s ghostwriter ("America’s Date with Destiny") — tried repeatedly to meet with Robertson to ask him to tone down the anti-homosexual pronouncements and programming on The 700 Club. To make a long story short, White finally showed up at Pat’s doorstep in Virginia Beach on Valentine’s Day and was arrested for trespassing. The MCC minister subsequently spent twenty-three days in jail, fasting and waiting for his former boss. When Robertson showed up for a brief jailhouse meeting, he agreed to renounce violence against homosexuals on The 700 Club. He did so — per the above infamous statement — on March 10, 1995.

A year later, absolutely nothing had changed. Mel White and others had monitored every single 700 Club broadcast and could prove that Pat Robertson’s campaign against lesbian and gay Americans continued unabated. White wanted everybody to see for themselves. To that end he put together a brilliant 30-minute video* that both illustrates the toxic rhetoric and responds to it with forthright truth, Biblical documentation, and loving grace. He and his life-partner Gary Nixon went back to Virginia Beach last February and — at their own expense — held a forum to show the video to the local community. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Over the past months, White and Nixon have shared that tape with numerous organizations and individuals — also dogging Robertson at the GOP convention in San Diego last summer and demonstrating outside of the Christian Coalition’s annual "Road to Victory" conference at the Washington Hilton in September. The good news is that many more people are now aware of the Pat Robertson agenda. The bad news is that gay-bashing is still a staple on The 700 Club.

On January 7, 1997, for example — the second day of a 2-week telethon called "Crisis of Confusion" — the target of the day was the all-destructive, "anti-orthodox" multiculturalism. Pat told his followers that the two biggest problems in America are homosexuality and abortion. There is a "malevolent force pushing this agenda" that is "perverse and evil." These are recurring themes on The 700 Club, where Robertson & Company spare nothing to create their distorted world of intolerance, fear and hatred.

But Pat Robertson has not heard the last of Mel White. And neither, for that matter, has William Jefferson Clinton.

Mel White and Gary Nixon spent Inauguration Day in Washington. They did not, however, dance at some inaugural ball or other high fallutin extravaganza put on by the proverbial "Gay Community." They spent January 19-20th at Dupont Circle leading a 24-Hour Fast and Prayer Vigil For Justice — and launching a four-year, nationwide Justice Candle Vigil.

"LIGHT YOUR JUSTICE CANDLE," White said, "that the President might see the light!" The event was "not a protest or a confrontation" against Clinton. Candles were lit "to honor your high office and to assure you that we understand the difficulty you have in serving all Americans fairly." Nonetheless, White urged the President "not to sacrifice the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Americans again in his second term for some ‘greater political Good’ — especially in view of the ongoing campaign by Pat Robertson and the other religious and political extremists."

Truth? Justice? Reconciliation? Rights? A four-year, nationwide, non-megafunded Justice Candle Vigil?

This guy Mel White and his partner Gary Nixon have one hell of a lot of nerve!

(And I wonder where they’ll be THIS VALENTINE’S DAY?)

Copyright 1996 Public-Spirited Enterprises. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. If it is quoted or referred to, please do give "c.c.watch" appropriate credit.

Lynchburg 2003 – Photo Album 4


Karen and Susanne receive blessing from Jimmy Creech and Pam Defusco

Susanne and Karen kiss!

Michael and Carolyn Glass kiss as Jimmy looks and Aaron sleeps

Gina, Beth, and their son Sam – this whole thing made possible by Gina and all her efforts to see it happen!

Beth and Gina share a kiss after having their family blessed

Bob and Connie Bradford from Virginia Beach

Dennis and Richard with Momma Lu

Communications Director, Laura Montgomery Rutt, speaks with Mel White

Jimmy Creech and Rev. Pam Defusco signing Blessing Certificates

Collen and Terri celebrate their blessing

Jimmy Creech and Pam DeFusco get ready to bestow blessings

Virginia Melloncott and partner kiss

Stephen and Jose, their first Soulforce action

A wonderful family from Lynchburg

Waiting for a blessing

Jimmy and Pam

Deb and Dixie

Sandy – all the way from Hawaii!

Beware the Fox

If you are interested in working with us on this negotiation with FOXFAMILY (or in being trained for a civil disobedience if it is necessary later on), email us: fox@soulforce.org


BREAKING NEWS
FOXFAMILY EXECUTIVES AGREE TO NEGOTIATE
March 24 Protest and Civil Disobedience Postponed


To prepare for your Soulforce training for that March 24 event:

  1. Read the entire memo that follows giving you important background data.
  2. Take the Four Step Journey into Soulforce.

NEW:

News Releases:


A BACKGROUND MEMO ON THE SOULFORCE CAMPAIGN:
"To Bring Truth To Pat Robertson and the Fox Family…"

We have launched "The COMMITTEE to Bring Truth to Pat Robertson and the Fox Family Channel" to protest Pat Robertson’s rhetoric of intolerance seen and heard across America three hours daily on the Fox Family Channel Network.

We are especially concerned with Mr. Robertson’s false and inflammatory attacks on sexual minorities. With all the gains made by thirty years of courageous activism since Stonewall, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Americans are still second-class-citizens in their own country:

  • denied the right to live and love openly by societal prejudice and the SODOMY LAWS,
  • denied the estimated 1,047 rights and protections that go with MARRIAGE,
  • denied the right to serve openly in the MILITARY ,
  • denied the right (in 41 states) to nondiscrimination in EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING,
  • denied the right (the current crisis) to ADOPT OR PROVIDE FOSTER CARE,
  • denied the right (a coming crisis) to retain CUSTODY of our own birth children,
  • denied the right to full membership, ordination, or marriage in our home CHURCHES,
  • denied the right to be a member or a leader in the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA,
  • denied the right to be included in national HATE CRIME legislation, even though we are among the primary victims of a still-growing siege of violence across the nation.

As a result, sexual minorities are ten times more likely to suffer from alcohol and/or drug ADDICTION. Young gay men are seven times more likely to commit or attempt SUICIDE. And a majority of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered sisters and brothers still live in closets of loneliness, self-hatred, guilt, and fear.

Because the Fox Family Channel broadcasts Pat Robertson’s 700 Club three hours daily, Fox Family has become a major source of the false and inflammatory rhetoric that leads to discrimination, suffering and death for sexual minorities.

In 1998, Pat Robertson sold his old Family Network to FOXFAMILY WORLDWIDE for a reported $1.9 billion with the conditions that he would become Co-Chairman of the new Fox Family Channel and that Fox would continue to telecast his 700 Club three times daily. That program has become one of the nation’s primary sources of misinformation about homosexuals and other minorities.

In 1999, Pat Robertson re-assumed command of the Christian Coalition. He is determined to use his 1.7 million volunteers, his vast personal wealth, and his powerful media empire to superimpose his fundamentalist, anti-homosexual views on our nation. Mr. Robertson’s 700 Club is the flagship of that media empire.

In his fundraising letters, his books and pamphlets, and especially on the 700 Club, Mr. Robertson regularly uses the "homosexual threat" to raise money and mobilize volunteers. The Fox Family Channel has become the number one carrier of this tragic anti-homosexual campaign into the homes of our nation. We believe that Fox executives are as concerned as we are about their unwitting complicity in Robertson’s rhetoric of intolerance, but are contractually in a bind. We want to help. However, our Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Mel White, spent seven years trying to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution directly with Mr. Robertson. He has refused to discuss the matter seriously.

Now, the Committee has spent eighteen months seeking to negotiate a friendly, off-the-record solution with the executives of the Fox Family Channel. They, too, have refused to discuss our concerns. On February 23, 2000, the Executive Committee of The Committed to Bring Truth To Fox marched on Fox Family headquarters hoping to meet with Richard Cronin, President and CEO. (See Feb 24 Press Release for details). Fox executives used security personnel to close down their headquarters rather than meet with us. On Friday, March 24, we invite you to join us on our second march to Fox. We are planning to close down Fox Family headquarters once a month until they take seriously our following demands:

  1. We ask that Fox Family arranges for our Executive Committee to meet with Mr. Robertson and Fox Family personnel to discuss our mutual concerns and to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution.
  2. We ask that until a mutually acceptable solution has been found that the Fox Family Channel places a brief Public Service Announcement before each 700 Club broadcast (not unlike the Surgeon-General’s warning about tobacco and alcohol). This PSA, produced as a public service by Fox, must state clearly that the views of Mr. Robertson and his guests do not necessarily express the views of other people of faith across the nation, nor of the Fox Family Channel or its sponsors.
  3. We ask that the Fox Family Channel offers us complimentary production and air time on a regular basis to respond to Mr. Robertson’s claims. But more than just a response to Mr. Robertson’s rhetoric, we would like to produce with the Fox Family Channel a program that provides a more positive and inclusive look at faith at work in all the beauty and diversity of our many faith traditions.
  4. We ask that the Fox Family Channel demonstrates to us that they do NOT reflect Mr. Robertson’s views of prejudice and exclusion in their own employment policies as they relate to gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

We cannot allow Mr. Robertson to continue bashing sexual minorities in his attempt to raise money and mobilize volunteers. The rhetoric is toxic, poisoning the national discourse, licensing hate crimes, leading directly to suffering and death. Today we are conducting this nonviolent direct action to confront the rhetoric and warn the nation.

The Clergy Committee has no desire to demean or embarrass Mr. Robertson or FOXFAMILY WORLDWIDE. We know that the First Amendment protects their right of free speech. But we are convinced that Mr. Robertson’s rhetoric has far exceeded the limits of truth and of responsible public discourse. We are equally convinced that Mr. Robertson’s rhetoric of intolerance has no business on a channel dedicated to family viewing.

It is our sincere hope that the executives at FOXFAMILY WORLDWIDE will meet with us on March 24 (or sooner at their convenience) to begin negotiating a mutually acceptable solution. If they continue to refuse, we will launch a national boycott of the Fox Family Channel and its sponsors through our churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques.

The Rev. Dr. James Lawson, Co-Chair

The Rev. Dr. Mel White, Co-Chair

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Why This Campaign to Bring Truth To Pat Robertson and the Fox Family Channel? Prepared by Dr. Mel White, Co-Chair, Soulforce, Inc.

QUESTION: Why are you so upset about Robertson’s 700 Club? Is he/it so bad?

ANSWER: Following this Q&A presentation, you will find sample quotes from Mr. Robertson’s rhetoric. Just read from those pages. Then, decide for yourself.

QUESTION: Is there any evidence that what Robertson says actually leads to suffering?

ANSWER: Mr. Robertson and other religious leaders are misusing six biblical passages to support their claims that homosexual orientation is a sickness and a sin. They have ignored all the scientific and historic evidence that "it is as natural to be gay as it is to be left-handed." Worse, they have created an imaginary "gay threat" that causes parents to reject and even discard their own gay sons and daughters. This deluge of misinformation about homosexuality and homosexuals leads to suffering and even death. And Pat Robertson’s 700 Club has become a primary source of that misinformation.

QUESTION: How can you be so sure that the anti-homosexual rhetoric of Robertson and the others leads directly "to suffering and death."

ANSWER: There are quotes enclosed from letters that we’ve all received that illustrate the terrible suffering of sexual minorities who are victims of this misinformation. Now, with the murder of a gay couple by the Williams brothers, we even have "a smoking gun." On September 22, 1999, in the Shasta County jail, Matthew Williams told his mother why he and his brother, Tyler, murdered Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, a gay couple in Happy Valley, California. "I had to obey God’s law rather than man’s law, "Williams said. "I didn’t want to do this. I felt I was supposed to…I have followed a higher law…I see a lot of parallels between this and other incidents in the Old Testament…They threw our Savior in jail. Our forefathers have been in prison a lot. Prophets…Christ…My brother and I are incarcerated for our work in cleansing a sick society. I just plan to defend myself from the Scriptures."

QUESTION: Even if Mr. Robertson’s rhetoric leads to tragic consequences, what can Fox do about it? They signed a contract with him. Now they’re just keeping that contract.

ANSWER: Sounds like a testimony from a war tribunal. "We’re just following orders, doing our duty, keeping our contract." Once Fox Family executives realize that they have become the #1 voice of misinformation about sexual minorities because of their contract with Mr. Robertson, it is their responsibility to act with integrity, to do what is right for the families they serve. The least they could do is give us a chance to respond to Mr. Robertson’s untruths.

QUESTION: Do you want to see Mr. Robertson censored or his 700 Club cancelled?

ANSWER: No, we want Mr. Robertson to have the courtesy and the courage to hear the other side of the story. He refuses to hear our case, to examine the scientific, historic, psychological, and pastoral evidence about sexual orientation. He even refuses to hear biblical scholars who are certain that the passages he uses to condemn homosexuals are being misused. We’re afraid that Mr. Robertson can’t afford to hear the truth, that he’s raising too much money on the imaginary "homosexual threat" to learn the truth about homosexuals.

QUESTION: Other channels carry similar religious programs that include anti-homosexual rhetoric in their programming. They even carry the 700 Club. Why aren’t you after them?

ANSWER: Because Fox Family broadcasts Pat Robertson’s 700 Club three hours daily, they have become the #1 VOICE OF FUNDAMENTALISM. Fox Family is literally the primary source of misinformation about sexual and other minorities. We’ll get to the minor players once the major players understand.

QUESTION: Doesn’t the First Amendment protect Mr. Robertson’s right of free speech and the Fox Family’s right to broadcast the 700 Club?

ANSWER: Absolutely, it also guarantees our right to protest. We aren’t trying to censor Pat or have his program cancelled. We just want him to sit down with us long enough to hear the truth about sexual orientation. The First Amendment may protect the right to lie, but it doesn’t keep us from relentlessly protesting those lies.

QUESTION: Isn’t your real problem with Robertson, not with Fox Family? Why pick on them?

ANSWER: Actually, we’re trying to get through to Mr. Robertson by way of Fox Family. He’s refused to see us for more than seven years. We’re hoping that this action at Fox will get his attention, that the public will apply pressure on Mr. Robertson to take our concerns seriously. If he refuses, then we are asking Fox Family to give us time to respond to Mr. Robertson’s false and inflammatory rhetoric with the truth as we see it. If they refuse, we will go directly to the viewers and the sponsors of Fox Family and ask them to end their support.

QUESTION: Pat’s 700 Club is broadcast at 10AM, 11PM, and 2AM. How can it be dangerous to children when children aren’t watching?

ANSWER: Our primary fear is not that children will watch the 700 Club (though we hate to think of the consequences if they do). Our primary fear is that children and adults (who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered) will become victims of prejudice and misinformation because their friends and families watch the 700 Club and believe Pat’s untruths.

QUESTION: Do actually believe that Pat will ever change his mind about homosexuality?

ANSWER: According to Gandhi, giving up on Pat and on Pat’s ability to change is an act of violence. Pat is our brother, like us, a child of the Creator, a member of our human family. We will not give up on Pat until we find some third position that satisfies us both.

QUESTION: You say you are willing to be arrested trying to bring your case to the Fox Family Channel, isn’t that just playing for the cameras? Isn’t there a better way?

ANSWER: Actually, risking arrest, having a police record, going to court, paying a fine, risking misunderstanding is not just "playing for the cameras." These symbolic acts of civil disobedience require extra time, energy, and money. None of us has any extra time or energy, let alone money. We have very demanding ministries of our own. But in our congregations are thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people of faith. This rhetoric causes them great suffering and we owe it to them and to our own consciences to help cut off that suffering at its source.

THE EXTREMIST RHETORIC OF PAT ROBERTSON
NOW SEEN 2-3 TIMES DAILY ON THE FOX FAMILY CHANNEL

"…acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of Gentile civilization."
Pat Robertson

"…The Bible says because of certain abominations such as homosexuality, a land will vomit out its inhabitants."
Pat Robertson

"I would warn Orlando that you are right in the way of some serious hurricanes and I don’t think I would be waving those [gay] flags in God’s face if I were you."
Pat Robertson

"Homosexuality is a sickness… We will wage a fierce battle against attempts by the nation’s sodomites to force their lifestyle into the schools, the military, the government, business, and the church."
Pat Robertson

On gay marriage: "…they might as well marry rapists and child molestors."
Pat Robertson

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It’s no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-biased media and the homosexuals who want to destroy all Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by an minority in our history."
Pat Robertson

"The homosexual agenda continues to make inroads into America’s public schools, and some are concerned that curriculums condoning and promoting the homosexual lifestyle will soon pervade our educational system."
Pat Robertson

"You were probably shocked as I was by the television pictures of the recent march on Washington by an estimated 300,000 homosexual and lesbian militants… If Christians and pro-family Americans fail to take a strong and united action today, we won’t recognize America tomorrow…an America that once honored God…"
Pat Robertson

"I am absolutely persuaded that one of the reasons so many lesbians are in the forefront of the pro-choice movement is because…these lesbians will never be mothers naturally, so they don’t want anybody else to have that privilege either."
Pat Robertson

"Some say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists…Nonsense! I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of anti-Christ."
Pat Robertson

MORE RHETORIC OF INTOLERANCE ON THE FOX FAMILY CHANNEL

Pat Robertson on Same-Sex Marriage [29 March 99]
"Why don’t they do services and ceremonies for rapists and child molesters…It isn’t a question about discriminating against certain [church] members. This type of union is not sanctioned by God…To make this in to a big civil rights issue is nonsense. This type of activity is sinful. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is…You’re asking God to bless [this same-sex union] and God isn’t about to bless it."

700 Club teenagers discussing homosexuality [16 April 99]
"It’s disgusting…Two guys get married and decide to adopt a little boy. Then two women get together and try to adopt a little girl…How are they born that way if they are introduced to this life style…All these gay people are getting all this attention…If we let down on our morals there…Gays are becoming too accepted…I wouldn’t want to be brought up in a household with two moms. I wouldn’t want my Mom sleeping with my other mom." (7:10)

Pat Robertson on Pedophilia and Homosexuality with "Dr. Laura" [19 April 99]
Trying to normalize pedophilia…American Psychological Association…Shocked and horrified…NAMBLA…Fascinating and shocking…Pedophilia is no longer considered a mental disorder. The same steps that quote normalized homosexuality unquote are being used to normalize pedophilia. We can’t look to the field of psychology for morality…Beat up the APA." (9:57)

Pat Robertson on the Power of the Homosexual Community [30 March 99]
"The homosexual community is extraordinarily organized. It has a strong influence in fashions, arts, motion pictures, the press, the communication media, the cutting edge technology of our society. And San Francisco seems to be at the center of a great deal of it. This blasphemous activity has been condemned by the Catholic League who is calling for some kind of boycott on San Francisco.

If Willy Brown, the Mayor, continues in this kind of activity, he may get a little mud on his Brioni Suits. It ill behooves the good folks of San Francisco to permit this kind of thing to continue. This is just horrible, outrageous. They are assaulting Jesus and assaulting God Almighty. They’ve been after me for a long time. Now they’re going after someone a lot more important. (11:45)

Pat Robertson’s stand against Hate Crime Legislation [11 March 99]
"Two people who were identified as gay killed and I deplore that kind of violence…But I don’t think there should be hate crime legislation coming out of Washington…We should do something to bring about a moral and spiritual revival so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. It keeps on happening because there’s so much rage building up in people. They are not under the control of the truth of the Bible. Any kind of so-called hate crime legislation is extremely ill advised. It has to do with state police powers and the states can take care of it very nicely…" (13:29)

Pat Robertson on the homosexual’s "Degrading Passions" [8 June 98]
"The Apostle Paul made it abundantly clear in the book of Romans that the acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of Gentile civilization. Whenever a civilization begins lesbianism and homosexuality as a widespread practice, that says, and I’m quoting the Apostle Paul… "Wherefore God gave them up…" and that’s to "degrading passions."

Pat on Gays and the Destruction of our Nation [8 June 98]
That is the word of the Bible so if the US wants to embrace "degrading passions", something the Bible says is an abomination against God. We’re not in any way, shape, or form hating any body. This is not a message of hate but of redemption. But if a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. If it will bring about terrorist bombs, if it will bring about earthquakes and tornadoes and possible a meteor. It isn’t something necessarily we should open ours arms to and I would warn Orlando that you are right in the way of some serious hurricanes and I don’t think I would be waving those [gay] flags in God’s face if I were you." (25:06)

Pat Robertson on Homosexuals going to hell [20 January 99]
"We cannot have the government advocating immorality. Cause you’re sending kids to hell. That’s what it amounts to. You don’t understand. We’re talking about their immortal destiny. So people engaged in homosexuality say well I’m going to have a parade, I’m going to put your face in effigy, I’m going to do all these things. Well you can do all that you want to but God still says if you don’t repent you’re going to hell. That’s the way it is.

So if you love somebody you’ll say "There’s danger ahead of you. We love you. Look out!" If they don’t want to listen that’s their business. You can say, "I want my rights." "I want a parade." "I want to do all my things out in the park out in Washington or what have you." Well you what you want all you want to. But just be aware that God almighty is the ultimate judge and you’re not going to snow him. And He’s not engaged in political correctness. You’re not going to take advantage of God. He will not be taken advantage of cause He holds the ultimate cards in His hands. If we just realize and we condone the use of condoms we’re sending kids to hell. That’s how serious it is, you know." (28:30)

Pat Robertson on Gays "Polluting" the Boy Scouts [7 April 99]
"This is a case the ACLJ is in the Court helping the Boy Scouts on. I was talking to Cardinal O’Conner some years ago about Georgetown University. The DC was forcing Georgetown to spend money for a homosexual group on campus, which went totally against Catholic policy…It was a Catholic school. Instead of appealing up the Supreme Court to get a good ruling. They knuckled under and accepted that and started funding this organization. I said to Cardinal O’Conner who is a brave man what would you have done. He said, I would have shut Georgetown down.

I believe that’s the way it’s got to be. If so called Lambda wins on this one I know it’s Draconian. I don’t think they’re going to win. But if they win it would be time to shut the boy scouts down. Rather than have them polluted by this mess and that’s what it is. It isn’t civil rights at all. It’s trying to introduce deviant sexual practices. As someone said Sodomy is not a civil right. It shouldn’t be. It never has been. To make it such is an abomination. It’s time we stand up and speak up on these things. It’s just wrong. The thing facing us now If this society is twisted in that direction, the only thing we have looking down the road is the awful judgment of God on America. It’ll effect everybody. If you stay quiet at home and say that’s not my fight. Don’t you believe it? It’s your fight for yourself, your family and your future.

CBN Commercial [11 March 99]
The facts of a story are important. They have to be clear. They have to be right. But it’s just as important to get to the heart of the story and show how it touches your life. Only one news source takes you from information to understanding. The 700 Club. Watch us right here. Or log onto our web site for more information. See the world from here.

"The more I get to understand the homosexual condition, the more I see it to be a deep seated developmental disorder. At first I thought it was just a sexual problem. Now I see it as an identity problem…I have never met a homosexual who had a loving, respectful relationship with his father. If the boy’s overtures to the father are ignored or rejected, the boy eventually detaches himself from his father and rejects his masculinity."
[One of Pat Robertson’s 700 Club Guests]

Link here to order a copy of the 30 minute video THE RHETORIC OF INTOLERANCE featuring Pat Robertson’s rhetoric and Mel White’s response.

Remember, If you are interested in marching with us on the Fox Family Channel, March 24, 2000, email us for more specific information: FOX@soulforce.org

Lynchburg 2003 – Photo Album 3


Karen and Bill and TRBC member

Getting ready

Steve and Jose

Mike and Pam

Jean meditating in the sun

Bill talks with members of TRBC

Beth holding her family

Getting ready to move out!

Silent vigil

In front of Thomas Road Baptist Church

Happy faces

Our banner, our message

Chuck and Gina watch couples getting blessed

Mel and Judy

What a cute kid that Sam!

Jake greets Thomas Road Baptist church member

Judy holds family picture

The vigil line

Blessing / Poem and Liturgy by Jimmy Creech

We Are Born To Be Lovers
by Jimmy Creech
October 2003

We are born to be lovers. We are not meant to be alone. Basic to who we are as human beings is the instinct to reach out from ourselves to care for, nurture, empower and protect those we love; and, it is basic to each of us to desire and accept the care, nurture, empowerment and protection from those who love us. To love is to be connected, to be in a mutual and equal relationship others. Out of such love grows intimacy, friendship, marriage, family and community.

Our love is embodied. Our sexuality is the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual capacity to give and to receive love. Having affectionate feelings for another is not enough. We cannot love intimately and truly without our whole selves, without our bodies. Love must be physical as well as emotional, intellectual and spiritual.

The capacity to love is not just a gift from God, it is God’s presence alive and active in our very beings. We embody God when we love. To be a lover is what is meant when we say we are created in God’s image. To be a lover is to know God. There is no such thing as an unholy love.

Love knows no boundaries, no barriers, no limits. It is the nature of love to push us out of selfishness, fear and ignorance to overcome boundaries and barriers in order to love another person.

Love is free without restraints. Loving someone intimately is a human right that cannot be regulated by law, religion or culture. There is no government, no religion, no cultural custom that has the authority, the power to tell us who we must love intimately. And, there is no government, no religion, no cultural custom that has the authority, the power to tell us we cannot love someone intimately because of her or his race, ethnicity, religion, class, family or gender. To love someone intimately is to be connected to that person on a deep and spiritual level that defies and ignores all social categories and classifications of people.

Let no one tell you that your love is unnatural, immoral, unhealthy or sinful because your love does not conform to their prejudices and fears. Love between persons is more than normal, more than wholesome: it is divine.

Trust you love. Believe in it. It is love that makes a marriage and a family, not government and not religion. Honor your love as precious and innately holy. Don’t wait for others to honor it. Your love does not depend upon someone else’s approval or acceptance. And, the more you honor your love, the more others will understand your love and honor your love.

Trust your love. Believe in it and you will change the world!


Blessing Liturgy:

Greeting (to all)

Holy and beautiful people, we’ve come together in the presence of God to celebrate the marriages and families you have created and sustained by your love and mutual trust in spite of prejudice, resistance and denial.

You are testimonies to the power of love to do good even in the face of evil, to create life even in the shadow of death.

You truly are blessings to the world.

So, today, we offer our blessings upon you with immense gratitude for your witness: for who you are, for your courage and dignity,
and look forward to that day when all the world will join us in honoring and blessing your marriages and families as holy.

Blessing (upon each couple/family)

(Names), as God has blessed you with love for one another and with the life you share together as a family, we joyfully celebrate with you your marriage of hearts, minds and bodies.

We pray God’s continued blessings of peace and joy on your home all the coming days of your life together, so that the love that you have for one another will grow and deepen in intimacy and richness.

We pray that in the days of trial and hardship, you will be blessed with confidence and strength to endure and prevail together.

We pray that in the days of happiness and good fortune, you will be blessed with compassion and charity to share with a hurting world.

Be strong of heart. Hold each other close. Trust your love.

Amen.