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The Gay Community’s Strategy: Will it Backfire?

I’ve been following the massive repercussions on the Proposition 8 vote in California – which amended the state constitution to protect traditional marriage.  Since the vote passed by a significant margin on November 4, the gay community has organized protests across the state, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed that the “fight isn’t over” (call me crazy but I thought a governor was sworn to uphold the law), and the LA Times (who supports the protests) has reported the huge web organizing on the issue.  The question becomes, will the violence, protests, blacklisting, and more, end up hurting their cause?

I’ve already mentioned the theater director, Scott Eckern, who resigned amid a flurry of protests after gay activists exposed his support of traditional marriage.   And the blacklisting continues.  The Los Angeles Times reports today that gay activists are targeting studios, film festivals, and distribution companies.  Richard Raddon, the director of the LA Film Festival has been personally targeted as well.  It’s been amazing to hear leaders in the homosexual community demand that people should be fired and marginalized because of the their support of traditional marriage.  A protest is even planned at the Sundance Film Festival.  Although the gay community’s historic position has been about “tolerance,” I have to admit not seeing a lot of it in their post-election strategy.

The question is – by reacting so strongly – including staging major protests outside of Catholic and Mormon churches, blacklisting entertainment professionals, plus, the complete repudiation of the electoral process, will this create a backlash against support for the gay community?

One thing I’ve learned is that extreme measures like boycotts, protests, and sit-ins, can backfire very easily.  I caution that these measures should be a “nuclear option” only, when all other possibilities have failed.  But the interesting thing here is how quickly the gay community has gone negative.  It’s as if they were completely ignorant of the thousands of years that people of faith have valued traditional marriage.

Another development is how the gay community has marginalized the African-American and Hispanic communities who hold traditional marriage as something very precious.   They’re even blaming them for losing the vote.

Strategy matters – no matter what side of the issue you’re on.  I’m thinking the gay community has misfired and will regret this direction.  What do you think?

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  1. I think it just might.

    The gay community worked diligently to put a friendly happy face on themselves…and achieved that with great success. It's no longer weird or odd to talk about, to watch movies about, to have friends that are a part of the gay community. 

    In fact they did such a good job at it that a side effect was to make those who did not support a gay lifestyle look like idiots. We looked like the bully…because we weren't "tolerant".

    Then they went after marriage.

    They lost.

    So now where's their "tolerance?" I find it almost amusing that we are always the ones that need to be tolerant of other's beliefs but the same isn't said for the other side.

    Don't get me wrong…we do plenty of things to earn the title of bully, and shame on us. But don't point fingers at the Christians who boycott a movie as "intolerant" and then do the same thing yourself and call it righteous.

    Of course, I guess that could be said about both sides.

  2. I agree that this could cause a major backlash against them, and their protests may well be aimed at the wrong target. Given the statistics that less than 8% of Californians attend ANY type of church, their must have been broader swaths of California voters than Christians, Mormons and Catholics to get Prop 8 passed.  Of course this is not up for consideration, because this fight, ultimately, is not about Prop 8. It's about attacking followers of Christ.

    I believe this is why the anarchists have shown up and turned this violent.

    The big question for believers is how do we live out the Sermon on the Mount in this situation. How do we show the love of Jesus in this situation? He told us persecution would be coming, but he told us to love our enemies and to turn the other cheek. Powerful words, but how do we do it?




  3. Great point Tal…imagine, just imagine what would happen if one church got some refreshments, donuts…I don't know sushi, and served those that are picketing, etc. Not to support them, but to simply love them.

  4. Firstly, with regards to the California governor, I would submit that he is doing exactly what he should be doing: upholding the law. Specifically, the 14th amendment. So, I give him kudos for that, especially considering his party affiliation. Of course, the pessimist in me knows that Maria Schriver has total control over who sleeps in the doghouse.

    Political spin aside, Tal and Michael bring up an excellent point. I think I have heard Phil mention before — and I know my Pastor has — about the idea of giving bottled water. Imagine the "good PR" we Christians could receive if, instead of shouting at Anti-Prop 8 protestors or carrying big signs with biblical messages directed at them, we attended the protests and handed the protestors bottled water… even better, if we hand the water while wearing "Jesus loves you" t-shirts and keeping our traps shut with a nice, loving smile.

    I like it.

  5. I love the idea of getting out and serving the community during a protest. 

    Sadly, I brought this topic up for discussion on my radio show (Sunday nights on Sirius Satellite Channel 161, 9PM EST-6 PST) and many believers suggested that we fight back, and get physical if necessary. Here, we see in microcosm, how religion is used to start a war.  

    If we allow ideology to trump our theology, we're all in trouble.  

    Rob, how about adding "and we do too" to the t-shirt?

    I pastor a very different church, at least for Birmingham, AL. We've become one of the safe places for homosexuals to come for worship. It's interesting to me, but they very often will come to me after worship and the conversation usually goes like this:

    Visitor: Hey, just wanted to say this was my first time here. I just thought you should know that I'm gay.

    Me: That's great! I'm Tal.

    Visitor: (chuckle) Yeah, but what do you think about me being gay?

    Me: It doesn't matter what I think about it.

    Visitor: Really? Most pastors really tend to think it matters…

    Me: I know, and I understand where they're coming from, but here's how I look at it – I didn't make you, I didn't die for you, and I'm not the one who ultimately judges you – makes my opinion pretty immaterial right?

    Visitor: Cool. Ummm, so what do you think God thinks about it?

    Me: Now that's a much better question. Tell ya' what – do you have a Bible? We've got one for you if you don't, but if you do, I would love for you to read these passages. Not these few words of one or two verses, but these sections of Scripture – and if you'll do that – I'd love to take you out for coffee or a drink to hear what YOU think He says about it.

    I love it when they take me up on it. We have fantastic conversations. Yes it's tense, but I've yet to have any gay or bi-sexual people sit down and say, "He's cool with it."  It does lead to some difficult conversation about the lifestyle and the whole genetic vs. choice debate.

    I believe we will always lose that battle – people believe what they want to be true. I try to keep it to how the Bible defines sexual immorality. This way I can tell them about my own failures as a recovering porn and sex addict (24 years enslaved). Sexual immorality is sexual immorality – man, woman, dog, cat, corpse. Who or what you have sex with doesn't change the fact that sex outside of God's design is immorality.  Do we really think God's going to be willing to cut a break to the guy having sex with a woman outside of marriage over the guy having sex with another guy? Hardly. 

    There's no point scale for sin, and we're all sinners. We're all equally offensive, it's just some of us have received God's gracious forgiveness.

     We should ask for forgiveness for how we have treated this segment of society and show them the love of the Gospel. Read the parable of the Good Samaritan and imagine that the victim in the parable is homosexual. Pretty accurate commentary for our current times.

    Let's get out and show them the love of the Gospel, and pray that Jesus will love them through us.

    Sorry to be so long – just pretty passionate on this one after the show this week. Stunned that so many believers are ready to physically fight.  How can we expect someone who doesn't know Jesus, to act like him?

  6. Excellently put. I love the way you discuss this topic so well and practically. Thank you for the wisdom and grace that you have displayed and I pray that many of us will take this as a good example – well I personally have seen what you have shared as a very good way of engaging people without being physically or verbally confrontational. Thank you very much. Continue in the grace and mercy of God and may He continue to bless with His wisdom.

  7. Just wanted to respond to the argument of a gay lifestyle being a matter of genetics or choice. There is a scriptural truth that is a great answer when this comes up. We don't have to argue against it starting at birth. Because we are ALL born into sin and once you exit the womb, the sin nature actually IS in effect. But that's what Christ came to set us free from – that sinful nature that has us ALL captive from birth.

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