By Melanie Nathan, September 11, 2012.
While religion ought to be freely expressed, Scott Lively, the fervently anti-gay pastor, seems to be mixing it up with politics, He has introduced a project via his website which he names The KING JOSIAH PROJECT. His biblical literalist tirade exudes an hysteria bordering violence. He announces an event to publicly ‘indict’ President Barack Obama, for the President’s support of marriage equality under the civil laws of the United States. He then attempts to verbally escape the underlying intent of this event.
A voice for the s called “ex-gay movement,” lively is the president of Abiding Truth Ministries, a conservative Christian organization located in Temecula, California. Lively has called for the criminalization of “the public advocacy of homosexuality” as far back as 2007. He is also directly cited as instigating the pending “Kill the Gays Bill” in Uganda, which would, if passed, make homosexual conduct punishable by a lengthy prison sentence or death.
Lively, who is currently being sued by the Ugandan community for inciting the persecution of LGBTI people in that country, announced on his site this week:
“The Reading of a Spiritual Indictment of President Barack Obama for his Open Embrace of Homosexuality in the Official Policy of His Administration.
September 15, 2012 at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, Washington DC, 10AM to Noon.
I will be among a diverse group of pastors and Christian activists from around the nation who will be gathering to Pray, Protest and Preach against the homosexual agenda of this administration. My part in this event will be the reading of the indictment.”
And maybe Scott Lively thinks you are stupid enough to believe this part of his announcement -
“This indictment is NOT a political statement. I do not support any of the candidates who are running for president. This is NOT a call to violence of any sort. I thoroughly repudiate any such actions or incitements to such actions. This is purely a SPIRITUAL WITNESS against the choice of our president to reject God’s truth, and a VINDICATION of God for bringing judgment upon America.”
He then invites:
“You are invited and encouraged to attend, and also to donate in support of the King Josiah Project at …… Unless otherwise designated, all online donations in September will be dedicated to this project. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.”
Noted is this highly offensive attempt of Lively to use church to infiltrate civil rights of LGBT Americans, under the pretense of religious freedoms. It is my assertion that while Lively is perfectly at liberty to exercise his religious freedoms, to use the Bible to denigrate gay and lesbian Americans’ right to civil equality, is yet another attack on LGBTI America and a futile attempt to refute our rights to secular equality. What he does not realize is all he is doing is separating religion from fundamentalism.
Lively pretends this is not a political action and that he is not taking political sides. Perhaps he understands just how bad for Romney Ryan America sees his form evangelical hate – yet he cannot escape the association he and his fellow pastors have created- and his anti-gay prayer and indictment day will forever be associated with the Romney Ryan anti-gay campaign.
My message to Lively is that there is indeed a “homosexual agenda” and that agenda is for equal rights under the laws of the United States while at the same time we all get to be as religious as we choose to be – under whatever religion we choose, if any! These, the inalienable rights to which all Americans are perfectly entitled.
Actions such as this touted by Lively and the other Pastors help shed light on the fundamentalist agenda. Most Americans understand that one can be supportive of equality for gay, lesbian and transgender America and still embrace and exercise one’s religion. The fundamentalist way is plain wrong and seeks to infiltrate our understanding of G-d and Jesus. This is not the way to assert true freedom of religion – it is restrictive and seems to place religion in a light that is exclusive. Many Americans are able to embrace religion while accepting equality. Fundamentalist such as Lively are determined to destroy religion as most of us know it.
Americans stand by President Obama’s respect for civil and human rights and admire the President’s administration’s ability to separate church and religion from state and civil rights. If anything Lively’s actions and call ought to further energize the already fired up gay community, to go all out to reelect President Obama.