Beyond America

AFTAH’s LaBarbera Searched and Detained Again by Canadian Customs Agents – Russian Documentary ‘Sodom’ Confiscated as Potential ‘Hate Propaganda’

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

LaBarbera allowed provisional entry into Canada for ‘Mischief’ trial Oct. 30 stemming from April protest at public university

Canadian Border Services document

Canada’s “Hate” Police: Above is an excerpt of the Border Services Agency  document issued against Peter LaBarbera when he was originally denied entry into Canada in April on the basis that he and AFTAH “incite hate” in violation of the nation’s Hate Propaganda” law. LaBarbera was subsequently allowed into the country, but later arrested at a peaceful pro-life/pro-family protest at the University of Regina. Click to enlarge.

By Peter LaBarbera

UPDATE from author: After a short meeting in Regina with a Border Services official this morning, I was allowed to travel and speak in Canada until the completion of my trial Thursday upon agreeing to these two provisions:

“While in Canada:

  • “If I am on private property, and am asked to leave that property by the owner for any reason, I must leave the property immediately;
  • “If I am issued a direction or command by a police officer or other person in authority, follow that direction immediately.”

REGINA, Saskatchewan, Canada–Customs agents detained this writer (AFTAH president Peter LaBarbera) and did an intense search of my phone, laptop and belongings–as I arrived at Calgary International Airport late last night on the first leg of a trip to Regina, Saskatchewan for my trial on “mischief” charges October 30.

The mischief charges were filed against me and Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott after Whatcott, and then me, refused on free speech grounds to abandon a peaceful protest April 12 against abortion and sodomy at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, a public university. [See AFTAH article HERE and LifeSiteNews article HERE on how I was almost refused entry into Canada on the basis of AFTAH’s alleged “hate.”]

The Calgary Border Services agents confiscated a DVD copy of a new Russian documentary called “Sodom” as potential “hate propaganda” in violation of Canadian law banning material or people who could potentially “incite hate” based on “sexual orientation.”

Ironically, “Sodom”–which I have yet to watch–is available and easily accessible in Canada (and worldwide) on YouTube. Whatcott told me that he had already shared the documentary with his network of Canadian supporters across the country. “Sodom” features an interview with American pro-family leader Scott Lively of Defend the Family International. Lively, who received AFTAH’s American Truth-Teller Award on 2011, is currently running for governor as an independent in Massachusetts.

If the Russian film is deemed “hate propaganda” by the government’s “Prohibited Importation Unit” in Ottawa, it will be destroyed, two border agents informed me. If “Sodom” does not meet that designation, it will be mailed back to my home in Illinois.

Either way, the seizure of the film would make it impossible for me to view and/or present it to others in Canada–were it not easily accessible to everybody with a web connection on YouTube. Such is the folly of state censorship in an Internet age.

Customs hearing today

Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott and AFTAH's Peter LaBarbera.

Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott and AFTAH’s Peter LaBarbera.

Despite my two-and-a-half hour detainment in Calgary, agents ordered me to attend another hearing today (Tuesday) with Immigration officials in Regina at 11:00 A.M.–for “further examination” on my “admissibility” into Canada. Nevertheless, Border Services agents told me that I would be able to attend my “Mischief” trial in Regina on Thursday and that I am “innocent until proven guilty” under Canadian law.

A border agent named Shane Paul (I called him “Paul” because that was on his uniform and I presumed that was his first name) asked me questions about a small speaking engagement I was to have with Whatcott and others this (Tuesday) evening. I was unsure of the location of the meeting, as the venue has been changed three times already–because skittish Canadians pulled out from hosting the event fearing leftist protests. You can read about one cancellation in the Regina Leader-Post HERE (Note: not included in the story is Whatcott’s assertion that the prospective host, Greg Kulak, was not telling the truth when he claimed NOT to know the nature of the event.) By the way, Whatcott distributed thousands of fliers advertising the event–which Kulak’s cowardly pullout rendered meaningless by abandoning the listed location for it.

As an American, let me say that it is remarkable how far official political correctness – enforced and encouraged by sometimes fanatical left-wing activists and abetted by an anti-conservative media – has not only shut down conservative speech in Canada but succeeded in punishing people who run afoul of various liberal ideologies—not limited to pro-homosexualism. For example, the Canadian owners of a conservative website, “Free Dominion,” shut it down after 13 years of operation in January after losing a defamation lawsuit to “human rights” legal activist Richard Warman. They were fined a total of $107,000 and ordered not to print anything negative about the leftist Warman—effectively censoring them as a public forum [See LifeSite article HERE].

In the two years that I have worked closely with Bill Whatcott, I have seen the extraordinary harassment and soft (and hard) tyranny he has had to endure in his quest to get out biblical truth and facts about homosexuality and abortion. Whatcott, who distributes tens of thousands of fliers door-to-door every year, was found guilty of Canada’s “Hate Propaganda” law by Canada’s highest court. Earlier this year, he was denied service by Aaron Rubin, a computer shop in Weybourn because the owner did not like Bill’s views; Whatcott sued under the “human rights” laws and won and–in a demonstration of Christian grace–did not push for a big financial judgment but instead asked Rubin to do volunteer service for a local pro-life group. Rubin opted not to do the service and paid a mere $200 to have it done.

Recently, Whatcott tried to submit a simple ad for his event tonight (where I am to speak) to the Regina Leader-Post newspaper. The ad’s innocuous headline was “Bringing the Light of Christ to Our Culture”–but that did not matter; it was refused anyway. He could have another “human rights” victory in store if he sues the liberal paper for anti-religious discrimination. (Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms ostensibly protects religious freedom.) But even if the ad had run, Whatcott would have been chased out of the venue for the event.

With such relentless leftist pressure led by a few fanatics like Warman, it is only the rare, brave soul like Whatcott who fights on for Truth in Canada, while so many others fall away in fear. (Note that in the Chicago area, AFTAH, too, has been chased out of venues after the leftist activists with the Gay Liberation Network wielded their spurious “hate group” accusation against us.)

Searching my phone, laptop, books and papers–again

Anyway, I cooperated fully with the Border Services “investigation” of me at the Calgary airport, as I did in April at the Regina International Airport. Agent Paul and another Agent with the last name of Meehan went through—as in April—my:

  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • Books (including Dr. Michael Brown’s “Can You Be Gay and Christian?”; his book, “Something Queer Happened to America”; Robert Reilly’s book, “Making Gay OK”; and Frank Turek’s “Correct, Not Politically Corrrect: How Same-Sex  Marriage Hurts Everyone”)
  • Tracts: I brought a bunch of ex-“gay” Stephen Bennett’s tract “I WAS ‘Gay’”; and
  • Papers

When Shane asked me about Westboro Baptist Church (with its “God Hates Fags” message), I told him that AFTAH has always condemned Westboro, as has every other pro-family group I have worked with. I told them that AFTAH has long condemned violence and genuine hatred against homosexuals or anyone, for that matter.

At one point in the search, Shane asked me if I had children and then I asked him if he had children. He asked me as if offended: “Why do you ask that?” and then said, “I’m gay.” I told him I meant nothing by it and that I ask a lot of people that question. I told him my five children are a tremendous blessing and he said he may want to adopt children some day.

Once Shane’s “gayness” was out in the open, it was almost easier to have a conversation about my work and the larger homosexual issue. I told him that disagreement with homosexuality does not equal “hate,” despite the best efforts of LGBT activists to conflate the two. He and Meehan laughed when I told them that I couldn’t be a “homophobe” because if I truly “feared” homosexuals, I could not do AFTAH’s work, which requires me to be around many homosexuals.

Despite the awkwardness of the situation, it helped this time, compared to my April airport search in Regina, that Shane and Meehan, the two fellows handling my entry at Calgary, were actually interested in my explanation of what I and AFTAH do. They appreciated my defense of civility in the “gay” debate and I think Shane was satisfied that I didn’t hate him or homosexuals in general. I thanked him for his professionalism.

Shane asked me if anything i would present on Wednesday could be construed as “hateful.” I told him no, but explained that they’re is a lively debate going on in the culture about what constitutes “hate” on this question. I explained, and he agreed, that we could have a civil discussion about homosexuality and yet agree to disagree.

Paul discovered in my belongings the Human Right Campaign report, “Exporting Hate,” with its highly unflattering graphics of me and Michael Brown, and Mat Staver. (Others are targeted in the “Hate” booklet, but I only taken copies of the pages with the shadowy images of myself, Brown and Staver.)

He asked me about this quotation accurately attributed to me by the HRC “Export of Hate” hit-piece:

“Kids would ‘be better off in a single-parent household [compared to a homosexual-led household]…because you’re not modeling homosexual behavior. When you have two men raising a young child, that child grows up learning, basically, dysfunction and a sexual perversion as normality.” (Alan Colmes Show, 1/7/14)

Shane seemed especially concerned about my use of the word “perversion” and suggested in so many words that there is no religious (biblical) case for that word. I explained that historically the word has been used in association with homosexuality and that we also make the case that Natural Law opposes homosexuality.

Stay tuned for updates. Please pray for my meeting with Immigration officials today, and for our meeting (if it happens) this evening—and lastly, for Bill’s and my trial Thursday in Regina on the ridiculous “Mischief” charge leveled against us for defending life and sexual morality at—of all places—a public university.

Will Free Speech Prevail in Canada? LaBarbera/Whatcott Trial Scheduled for October 30

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Under Canadian law, espousing Judeo-Christian morality on homosexuality is an “Incitement of Hatred”

Canadian Border Services document

Calling Moral Speech “Hate”: Canadian Border Services document last April declares AFTAH’s Peter LaBarbera “inadmissible” to Canada on the basis that his actions had “incited hate,” thus violating the country’s pro-homosexual anti-”hate-speech” law. LaBarbera appealed the decision and was allowed into Canada, only to get arrested a couple of days later with Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott–as they both refused on principle to heed a police demand to cease a peaceful pro-life and pro-family protest at the University of Regina. Whatcott and LaBarbera go to trial Oct. 30 on a criminal “mischief” charge surrounding the arrest. Go HERE for original AFTAH story on the arrest.

By Peter LaBarbera

Two days after AFTAH’s annual banquet featuring Dr. Michael Brown on Oct. 25, I will be heading off to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to stand trial with my friend and Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott. We hope to be exonerated from the criminal “mischief” charge that led to our arrest and incarceration April 14–after we resisted a police order to abandon our peaceful pro-life/pro-family protest at the University of Regina. [See AFTAH’s original story on our arrests HERE.]

At the protest, I held one of Bill’s sign that said, “Sodomy Is a Sin,” as well as a large placard showing an unborn baby. Who can blame the University of Regina and Canadian cops for cracking down on such unbridled and sinister HATE?! (Meanwhile, Muslims, a significant portion of whom follow shariah law—whose punishments against homosexual acts include the death penalty by stoning–are welcomed into Canada as students at U-Regina. Such is the folly of political correctness.)

After our arrest, U-Regina provost and vice president Thomas Chase was quoted in the newspaper as saying that our materials were “graphic” and “disturbing.” Among them was my one-page flier on some of the “Homosexual Health Risks.” Dangerous propaganda, that. Said Chase:

“The materials, we felt, could harm members of this campus community who we have a duty to protect and support.”

Leftists like to use government and institutions to control others, and they often fear a robust and free exchange of competing ideas. This explains U-Regina’s censorship and squelching of a debate that actually would have benefited its students. (We had friendly discussions with some young adults before the arrest.) Such bureaucratic speech “protection” dishonors students, who by the time they reach college should be able to hear all sides of every issue and make decisions for themselves on what they believe.

Almost banned from Canada

Prior to our protest, I learned the hard way that Canada is no longer a truly free country. Arriving at the Regina International Airport on a late flight, and after all the other passengers sailed through Customs, I was detained and questioned by Border Services agents for hours. Agents sifted through all my belongings–including my cell phone and computer–searching for evidence of alleged potential “incitement of hatred.” “Hate” propaganda on the basis of “sexual orientation” is banned in Canada, and the country has forced self-censorship of incoming broadcast transmissions dealing with homosexuality–e.g., broadcasts from Christian ministries like Focus on the Family–for years.

At times the airport investigation of yours truly was as comical as it was surreal: one of the images in my smart phone was of a colorful Nazi swastika. One of the Border agents queried me about it, thinking he might have discovered some compelling proof of “hate.” Perhaps Bill and I were planning a secret rendezvous with the Regina Neo-Nazi Brigade! Alas, I explained to the agent, this particular photo was one that I took at a hateful “gay” activist event in San Francisco’s homosexual Castro district, timed to mock Easter. It falsely equates Christians with genocidal Nazis. The agent didn’t really show much interest as he continued to go through my luggage and papers, book by book and piece by piece.

Ultimately, I was informed that I would be formally denied entry into Canada on the basis that my activities through Americans For Truth violated Canada’s anti-“hate” propaganda law.” You can see the official notice above from border agent Darren Banick. It reads in part:

Peter James LaBarbera….

Is a person who is: A foreign national who has not been authorized to enter Canada and who, in my opinion, is inadmissible…on the grounds of criminally committing an act outside of Canada that…if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament….

Mr. LaBarbera….if allowed in to [sic] Canada he may commit and acts [sic] which would be against the criminal code of Canada. Section 319(1)CC Public Incitement of Hatred. 

Section 36(2)(C) of IRPA [Immigration and Refugee Protection Act] states in that there are reasonable grounds to believe is a foreign national who is inadmissible on the grounds of [criminality] for committing an act outside Canada that is an [offence] in the place where it was committed.

Read the rest of this article »

‘Gay’ Hate Watch – Mark Barnard

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

AFTAH received this lovely little note yesterday. It refers to my upcoming trial October 29 with Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott, as a result of our arrest at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan–for engaging in a peaceful protest against abortion and homosexual activism. If I had a quarter for every nasty note like this sent to AFTAH, we’d raise some serious money for our Truth ministry! I replied to this fellow (whose name is probably not “Mark Barnard”), but he did not reply back. God bless. –Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

P.S. I will be returning to Canada for the trial Oct. 29. But even if we lose the case, which is all about freedom of speech and religion in Canada with its odious “hate propaganda” law, it is highly unlikely that I will receive jail time, although Bill certainly could.

_______________________________

Mark Barnard

12:14 AM (15 hours ago)

 markbarnard@comcast.net
to me [AFTAH]

 The following message was sent from the Americans for Truth Web site:


If you go to jail, just say nothing. If you are compelled to say something, you are likely going to be made an example of. Use larger and larger objects in your anus. This will make it less painful when they play with you. They will be heterosexuals penetrating you. The guards will have a good laugh at their dinner break. I get the sense you might be looking forward to it. Mark

 

Whatcott and LaBarbera Get a Trial Date – Oct. 29 – for Canadian Free Speech Test Case

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

My friend Bill Whatcott–the leading pro-family activist in Canada fighting the aggressive LGBT Lobby–just sent out this notice:

Whatcott and LaBarbera get a trial date

By Bill Whatcott » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:10 pm

Dear Friends,

I just talked with our lawyer Michael Weber (part of Tom Schuck’s NSWB lawfirm). The trial date for Peter LaBarbera and I for witnessing at the University of Regina will be October 29, 2014. We were charged with Mischief after we set up abortion signs and one sign saying “Sodomy is a sin,” on the public walkway at the University of Regina back on April 14th. Approximately 20 or so pro-abortion and pro-homosexual protesters set up a counter protest across from us. Notwithstanding that I have two Court of Queen’s Bench decisions affirming my right to protest on public university campuses, Peter and I were arrested and charged and the pro-abortion/pro-homosexual protesters were allowed to continue with their demonstration unmolested.

Open Letter to Google About its Pro-’Gay’ Russian Olympics Image–By Former Homosexual Dean Bailey

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Ex-”gay” author Bailey chastises internet giant for hypocrisy

We at AFTAH certainly agree with Dean Bailey about Google’s latest bit of pro-homosexual pandering. Note that the colors match the homosexualist “rainbow flag.” (How tragic that a Sin Movement stole the rainbow–which in Scripture holds powerful symbolism regarding divine judgment and man’s sinful rebellion.) Bailey, a former homosexual, is author of Beyond the Shades of Grey: Because Homosexuality Is a Symptom, Not a Solution, which we encourage you to purchase [go to Amazon.com or the publisher's page -- or Bailey's Facebook page].Strange how so many who advocate for “gay rights” show no interest in — or even deny the existence of — ex-”gays.”

Also, this is the first I’ve seen of the statistic that 24 percent of human sex trafficking victims are boys and young men–obviously disproportionate to the tiny percentage of homosexual men in society. International “sex tourism” by (relatively) wealthy Western homosexual men (can I call them perverts?) creates a demand for underage boys and young men, who become exploited tools for sodomitic gratification. –Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

Google-Olympics-Graphic-English-Cropped

Google creates pro-”gay” image as part of its radical commitment to promoting the homosexual activist agenda. Here the Google home page copies the homosexualist “rainbow flag” colors to indict Russia, which passed a law prohibiting homosexual propaganda toward minors. Click to enlarge.

_______________________________________

By Dean Bailey

An Open Letter to Google Inc:

I noticed late yesterday that you are once again showing your normal, homo-fascist attitude by shoving a pro-homosexual image in the face of everyone who uses your search engine. You accompanied the image with this quote:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

Just one problem with your gay-pandering manipulations, Google… Russian law does not prohibit homosexuals from participating in the Olympic sporting events. They are there! It simply prevents them from propagating their lies and blatant immorality to the public, and more specifically, to children citizens of Russia.

You, Google, on the other hand, violate the very quotation you posted there, each and every time you discriminate against the Christian viewpoint of hope that offers people freedom from homosexual sin and behaviors. There is absolutely no “mutual understanding” from you, or from the homosexual activists that you pander to in that regard… NONE WHATSOEVER!

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Gay’ UN Speech Promotes Homosexuality in the Name of Human Rights

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Hillary falsely compares race to homosexuality

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has used the office to promote the acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism abroad.

To read AFTAH’s press release on the new Obama/Clinton policy of using U.S. aid and power to advance homosexuality-based “rights,” go HERE. That link also contains a YouTube of Hillary Clinton’s UN speech.

Hillary Clinton’s “Human Rights Day” Speech

By Laurie Higgins, reprinted from Illinois Family Institute; originally published 12/8/11

On Dec. 6, 2011 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in honor of International Human Rights Day which is celebrated on Dec. 10, the date in 1948 when the United Nations formally adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But as we should have expected from a representative of the fervently pro-perversion Obama Administration, Clinton used the occasion to promulgate unproven, liberal assumptions about homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

With the usual cunning of the Left, Clinton begins her speech by referring to the “beating, terrorizing, and executing” of homosexuals, but then with some skillful bait-and-switch rhetoric, she starts talking about undefined “discrimination.” Such a speech would be justified if Clinton were actually concerned only with real human rights abuses such as draconian laws that call for the execution of homosexuals or for acts of violence ignored by police. But anyone familiar with the incoherent world of “progressivism,” understands that moral disapproval of homosexual acts becomes “discrimination” which ineluctably results in “bullying” or “terrorizing.”

Clinton’s repeated use of the absurd comparison of race to homosexuality reveals that intelligence is no guarantee of wisdom. Even really smart people often hold ignorant and foolish ideas. Whereas race is 100 percent heritable, in all cases immutable, and has no behavioral implications that are amenable to moral evaluation, homosexuality is not biologically determined, is in some cases changeable, and is constituted by volitional acts that are legitimate objects of moral evaluation. Someone should ask Clinton to explain the ways she believes race is analogous to homosexuality.

Read the rest of this article »

VIDEO: AFTAH Says Obama’s and Hillary’s International ‘Gay Rights’ Push Will Only Alienate Nations Who Reject America’s Moral Corruption

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

TAKE ACTION: Read this WorldNetDaily article featuring AFTAH (reprinted at bottom) and AFTAH’s press release below — and call your elected representatives to urge them to strip out language from the DoD authorization bill that would repeal the military’s existing ban on SODOMY and BESTIALITY (we’re not kidding). The Pentagon bill was just passed overwhelmingly by the Senate.. Call 202-225-3121 for the House and 202-224-3121 for the Senate. Or go to www.Congress.org.

_______________________________________________

Contact AFTAH: americansfortruth@gmail.com

In America, homosexual perversion like this (recast as “gay” identity) is celebrated by liberal eliites. Now the Obama administration wants to promote the normalization of homosexuality to the world. The above graphic is an online ad for an HIV vaccine study involving homosexual men. For decency’s sake, we blocked the male-to-male kiss — which itself would be considered a “homophobic” act by Western “gay” activists who want to expose people to homosexual acts to desensitize them to this aberrant lifestyle.

Americans For Truth Press Release, December 8, 2011.

AFTAH Says Obama’s and Hillary’s International ‘Gay Rights’ Push Will Only Alienate Nations Who Reject America’s Moral Corruption

CHICAGO – Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s announcement Tuesday of a campaign to link American foreign aid to the promotion of homosexuality-based “rights” abroad [a YouTube of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton's U.N. speech follows] :

With their new escalation of promoting homosexual behavior to other nations through U.S. foreign policy, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have raised America’s defiance toward her Creator to a new level — while needlessly alienating nations less morally compromised than our own.  Not content to keep our decadence between our shores, the United States – through aggressively pro-“gay” Democratic administrations – now demands that other countries sink to our level by embracing homosexuality as a “human right.”

Who knew that when President Ronald Reagan spoke idealistically about America becoming a “shining city on the hill,” that city would turn out to be Sodom?  Hillary earned plaudits from the Left with her U.N. speech on international “gay rights,” but her words were an affront to our Declaration of Independence, which appeals to “Nature and Nature’s God.”

By redefining “human rights” to include the normalization of same-sex behaviors and gender confusion, Obama and Clinton have turned God’s natural moral order on its head.  There are many countries – including Muslim-dominated nations and major powers like Russia – that reject homosexuality.  By pushing sexual deviance on these nations, we only confirm their perception of America as a corrupt and declining – and very arrogant — superpower.

America, rooted in the Bible, historically embraced anti-sodomy laws, but now we are in the grip of an unprecedented moral and spiritual crisis that blackens our reputation worldwide.  As one Muslim tweeted in reaction to Obama’s international “gay rights” plan: “There is a great divide between the Founding Fathers and the pro-gay regime ruling America [today].”

Aberrant sexuality is not a fundamental liberty, and defending morality is not hateful “bigotry.”  Hillary claims, “Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality.”  But homosexuality is about changeable behavior – not intrinsic, innate identity – as evidenced by countless men and women who now live happy lives apart from homosexuality, despite once considering themselves “gay” or “lesbian.”

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Warren Throckmorton Exploits C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Grove City College Professor Warren Throckmorton

Throckmorton asserts that proclamations of truth constitute a “considerable offense” [against people practicing homosexuality]. Someone should ask him if he thinks Paul’s “vilification” of homosexuality constitutes a “considerable offense.” – Laurie Higgins

__________________________

By Laurie Higgins, for Americans For Truth

Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton has written a self-serving and exploitative analysis of Letter # 7 in C.S. Lewis’ classic The Screwtape Letters, which Throckmorton correctly sees as a warning to Christians not to allow cultural issues to supplant the central message of the Gospel.

The problem is that Throckmorton uses Lewis’ prescient warning to chastise only those Christians who work tirelessly to counter the spate of lies spewed by the culture on the topic of homosexuality, lies which even our public schools have been recruited to disseminate.

Throckmorton writes as follows:

Screwtape encourages his apprentice to foster devotion to a cause. This then takes him further away from the real encounter with God and the faith relationship. Indeed, if Wormwood’s human “patient” can put movements and organizations and crusading ahead of all else then he is of no real threat to Screwtape.

I think this passage provides caution to those who believe fighting the culture war is Christian ministry. When fighting the culture war becomes more important than a witness to the gospel, then the mischief really begins. Specifically, in the past several years, I have seen people who are so concerned with the “gay agenda” that they overlook cult involvement in people because they are “ex-gay.” Some here in the US who are willing to tolerate the very unChristian stance of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill because, in Lou Engle’s words, ”Uganda has become ground zero” in the fight against the gay agenda.…

Some might argue that I am just as guilty because of my advocacy against the Uganda bill. And I would not take that criticism lightly. My view is that freedom of conscience is necessary for the Church to have the greatest impact. Advocacy for that position is important business but it is not the main business. I doubt that such advocacy will lead anyone away from the redemptive business of the church. On the other hand, my great concern is that culture warring lulls people into feeling that that the cause justifies the considerable offense that comes with vilifying those the church yearns to reach.

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