Letter to a Critic: Will You Respect and Defend OUR Freedom to Disagree?

mario_bergner.jpgHope for Homosexuals: Rev. Mario Bergner, founder of Redeemed Lives, once practiced homosexuality, but is now happily married to wife Nancy and the father of five kids. Through Redeemed Lives, Bergner helps others overcome sexual sin patterns through a relationship with Jesus Christ. In his article, “Go and Sin No More,” he writes, “The most loving thing we can do for anyone caught in the grips of sexual sin is to help them bring their sin to the Cross of Jesus and there find forgiveness, redemption, healing and hope for a new beginning.” For more information on Redeemed Lives, based outside Boston, Massachusetts, click HERE or call 978-356-0404.

I sent a version of the following letter to Jeff, who wrote Americans For Truth in February urging us to respect the “civil rights” of homosexuals (who he believes are born that way). Jeff’s letter is beneath mine at bottom. — Peter LaBarbera:

Peter LaBarbera’s Letter to Jeff:

…Jeff, I doubt the accuracy of your numbers (I believe 1-3 percent of the population is homosexual), but did you know that there are many men and women who once identified as “gay” or “lesbian” who left that lifestyle and are now living happy lives free of homosexuality?  I respect them and their choices; do you? Have you ever met a former homosexual or read one of their testimonies?  If not, here’s a website for you to visit: www.exodus.to.  (Keep in mind that homosexual activists like Wayne Besen (www.truthwinsout.org) relentlessly demean, ridicule and even harass former homosexuals and the whole idea of “ex-gays” — strange conduct from a group that demands tolerance and respect from others.)

We disagree on the morality of homosexual practice, it’s that simple. I don’t ask you to “respect” all my decisions and behaviors — or my arguments — but I do ask you to respect my freedom to live according to my conscience, in a nation founded on religious freedom. And though as a Christian I respect the dignity of all human beings (who are made in the image of God), I will never respect the choice to embrace homosexual/bi/trans behavior — any more so than I would respect people self-identifying by any other sexual sin. (Of course, there are no Adultery Pride Parades.)

That said, speaking as a sinner myself, I have no use for people who hate homosexuals — who need the hope and grace of the Gospel like everyone else.  Rather, I would ask people practicing homosexuality to consider the possibility that they are wrong about this behavior (and their “gay” self-identity), and to be open to the possibility of leaving it through a relationship with Jesus Christ. (Of course, people can leave homosexuality and other sinful patterns without God, but I have found that the most satisfied ex-gays are those who have embraced Christ; see http://www.redeemedlives.org/index.asp, a ministry led by another ex-gay, Mario Bergner.)

So the gist of this debate is: do I and others like me have the right not to approve or subsidize behavior we consider immoral and changeable — or will that right be stripped from us in the name of “LGBT rights”?  Should a small businessman, say an Orthodox Jew with 25 employees, be required by the state to subsidize the homosexual relationships of his employees against his will?  You see, this is far different from traditional civil rights — based on unchangeable skin color — which perhaps explains why African Americans are the strongest sub-group in opposition to “same-sex marriage.”

Besides, the science isn’t in on the supposed “gay gene” so why do you assume it’s fact? (Check out the American Psychological Association’s recent retreat on the alleged innateness of homosexuality: http://www.washblade.com/2009/7-10/news/national/14849.cfm.)

Since you “care about freedom,” will you stand up strongly for the liberty of all Americans to live by their moral and religious beliefs, even if you don’t agree with or understand them?  I hope so.

Thanks for taking the time to write, and sorry for the late reply. We get thousands of emails a month and many are not as respectful as yours.

Sincerely,

Peter LaBarbera
President
Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
www.aftah.org

July 17, 2009

——————————————————————————–

Jeff’s Letter to AFTAH:

From: Jeff H. [mailto:——–]
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:59 PM
To: americansfortruth@comcast.net
Subject: introduction

Hi,

I am a straight man, married for 30 years. As an entrepreneur and capitalist I have created thousands of jobs. I am no “left wing” radical.

About 5% of the people of the world are gay or lesbian, one out of twenty people. Just as you and I didn’t pick our sexuality, they didn’t pick theirs. Their “agenda” is the agenda of civil rights. It is also my agenda and the agenda of everyone who cares about freedom.

It would be great if you were to respect all humans regardless of what their genes are, and fight for human rights for everyone.

Thank you for your time.

– Jeff


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