By Jennifer Riley
CBS reportedly told a gay dating site that its proposed Super Bowl ad would be reviewed for possible airing and would be considered if a spot becomes available.
ManCrunch.com submitted a 30-second commercial to CBS on Jan. 18 and, as of Jan. 22, CBS reportedly said “the spot hadn’t been officially approved yet” by the network standards and that all spots for the big game on Feb. 7 had been sold out, according to Fox News. But CBS agreed to consider running the ad if an advertiser dropped out.
The ad involves two men watching the Super Bowl when their hands touch as they reach into a chip bowl. The two men then begin to kiss each other as another man sitting nearby watches in shock.
In response to the purported ad, a spokesperson for the conservative pro-family group American Family Association said it would be “totally irresponsible” of the network to air the ad during the most watched TV program of the year.
“CBS should not put parents in the position of answering embarrassing and awkward questions from their children while they’re just trying to enjoy a football game,” said Tim Wildmon, president of AFA, in a statement Thursday. “CBS should quit dithering around and reject this ad out of hand.”
In addition to pressure from pro-family groups, CBS is also coming under fire from pro-choice groups for approving an ad featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mom, Pam.
Though the exact content of the ad has not been revealed, many are speculating that it will recount Pam Tebow’s refusal to have an abortion while she was pregnant with Tim despite having suffered from a life-threatening infection at the time.
Focus on the Family, which produced the ad, said earlier this month that Pam Tebow would share a personal story centered on the theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”
“The Tebows said they agreed to appear in the commercial because the issue of life is one they feel very strongly about,” Focus on the Family reported.
“Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive,” added Focus on the Family president and CEO Jim Daly.
Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl ad, which still needs to receive final confirmation, will be Christian group’s first Super Bowl commercial.
Super Bowl broadcasts are typically viewed by over 90 million people each year.
This year’s Super Bowl, which pits the Indianapolis Colts against the New Orleans Saints, will kick off at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 7.
The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback says he stands up for what he believes. Even so, the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad against abortion threatens to politicize ‘Super Sunday’ and turn some fans and NFL coaches against him.
By Patrik Jonsson
In a historic career at the University of Florida, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow has kept his faith and his convictions confined mostly to a few square inches beneath his eyes: Every Saturday, he would write a Biblical citation on his eye black.
Now, at the very moment when his hope of becoming a pro football quarterback hangs in the balance, Tim Tebow is taking on perhaps the single most divisive topic in America – abortion – in an advertisement set to air during the single most-watched television program of the year: the Super Bowl.
For a handsome and humble young man, who has become revered throughout much of the South for his devoutness as well as his on-field skill, it is an astonishingly bold decision. In the 30-second ad against abortion, he will speak from his own experience of how his mother did not abort him despite medical advice to do so.
Abortion-rights groups are already calling for the ad’s removal, saying that the group behind the ad is “anti-woman” and “anti-equality.” Online chatter is expressing an unease about Tebow’s willingness to infuse Super Bowl Sunday – an apolitical American rite – with politics. And, perhaps most concerning for Tebow himself, pro football teams already skeptical of his ability to transition to the National Football League might see this as further reason to avoid him on draft day.
“I do stand up for what I believe,” Tebow told Sports Illustrated last summer. “And at least you can respect that.”
Raised on a farm outside Jacksonville, Fla., by the son of an evangelist preacher and a mom who home-schooled him, Tebow is an amalgam of charismatic leader, world-class athlete, and devout Christian Southern boy. His faith resonates among fans in the Deep South.
But by targeting the Super Bowl, his “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad ranges far beyond the familiar confines of the conservative South. Fans and coaches in the NFL might resent him for pushing a cultural message on a day usually reserved for quarterback matchups and halftime extravaganzas.
“We’re going down a road here that is filled with potholes, moral and otherwise,” writes Orlando Sentinel sports columnist George Diaz, suggesting that the ad could lead to more advocacy ads, which Super Bowl broadcaster CBS has said it will consider.
The ad, funded by the Focus on the Family organization, is expected to tell the story of Tebow and his mother, Pam. Ill while pregnant with Tim, Pam refused suggestions to abort her son. Those who have seen the ad describe it as “uplifting.”
“I asked God for a preacher, and he gave me a quarterback,” Tebow’s dad, Bob, has famously said about the trying pregnancy.
The appropriate venue?
But various groups, including the National Organization for Women, have called for CBS to withdraw the ad. They say that both the ad’s advocacy content, as well as the group behind it are unacceptable. So far, CBS has said it intends to run the ad.
“This un-American hate doesn’t have a place in this all-American pastime,” Kierra Johnson, executive director of Choice USA, told Fox News.
Tebow has for years had to walk the line between the conviction of his faith and open proselytizing. But the ad comes at a crossroads for Tebow. Professional scouts have said Tebow’s throwing motion and skill-set are poorly suited for the NFL, and his preparations for the upcoming Senior Bowl, which offers coaches a first up-close look at college prospects, haven’t gone well so far this week.
“The anti-abortion ad that he’s in that will possibly run during the Super Bowl will likely create an uproar for him as well that some teams might not want to get involved in,” writes Mark Miller on Yahoo! Sports.
Yet it is the timing of his ad – and not necessarily the content – that could knock Tebow down a few notches among NFL fans. Indeed, a May 2009 Gallup poll found that, for the first time since the poll began in 1995, more Americans are anti-abortion than pro-abortion rights. But timing is everything.
“There are going to be about 100 million of us who won’t be happy for 30 seconds of the Super Bowl,” writes CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel. “I’m not complaining about the ad because it’s anti-abortion and I’m not. I’m complaining about the ad because it’s pro-politics. And I’m not. Not on Super Sunday.”
Outspoken Christian Quarterback Kurt Warner announced his retirement from the National Football League on Friday, thanking God for the opportunities he received both on and off the field.
“As always, as it started in 1999 when I was up on the podium holding up a trophy, the first thing I want to do is give thanks to God,” Warner said during a press conference in Tempe, Ariz., referring to his widely-heard shot out to the Almighty following his Super Bowl win with the St. Louis Rams.
“My Lord Jesus brought me here. I know he brought me here for a purpose. And it’s been an amazing ride,” he added.
Though Hall of Fame-bound Warner stands out as one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history – with an impressive list of achievements that includes three MVP awards, a Super Bowl win, and the second-highest completion percentage in NFL history – Warner is most noted for his King David-esque rise to stardom, which was twice witnessed.
Not only did Warner go from stocking shelves at a grocery store in 1994 to a winning a Super Bowl in 2000, he also returned to the spotlight after his time appeared to be up, leading the Arizona Cardinals to the franchises’ first-ever Super Bowl in 2009.
“I don’t think I could have dreamt out that it would have played out as it had. But I’ve been humbled everyday that I’ve woke up for the last 12 years and amazed that God would choose to use me to do what He’s given me the opportunity to do over 12 years,” Warner said Friday.
But the one-time Super Bowl MVP made it clear that the opportunities he was given were not only on the football field. For him, it’s not just about the successes and the Super Bowls and the wins and the losses.
“[I]t’s also been the opportunities that He (God)’s given to me off the football field,” Warner stated.
Since his rise to stardom, Warner has been a featured speaker across the country for numerous churches, non-profit organizations, men’s conferences, and corporate events.
Warner’s work both on and off the field, meanwhile, resulted in him being awarded the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2008 and the Muhammad Ali Sports Leadership Award in 2009. Warner was also selected by USA Weekend as the winner of its annual Most Caring Athlete Award for 2009 and, just last month, topped a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players to name the best role model on and off the field in the NFL.
First Things First Foundation, a non-profit public charity that he and his wife established in 2001, has been involved with numerous projects for causes such as children’s hospitals, people with developmental disabilities and assisting single parents.
“So I hope that when people think back over my career – maybe it’s just over the next couple of weeks as they reflect on it or maybe it’s years to come – that that’s what they remember more than anything else,” Warner said Friday.
“Not the way I threw the football, not particular games that I won. But that they remember that here’s a guy that believed, that worked hard, and – although things didn’t always go in his favor – he continued to press through. And with his faith in himself and with his faith in God, he was able to accomplish great things,” he concluded.
As for his future plans, Warner said earlier at the press conference that he’s just as excited about the next 12 years as he has the past “12 unbelievable years – 12 of the best years of my life.”
“I’m excited about what lies in front of me. I’m excited about spending more time with my family and seeing what God’s going to do next,” he reported.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Warner will keep his charitable foundation going, perhaps do some speaking, writing, ministry work, and maybe some football analyst work on TV or radio.
First Things First Foundation, which draws its name from Warner’s famed post-Super Bowl response in 2000, is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities “to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people seek to put first things first.”
The charity’s guiding principle is Matthew 6:33, which states “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
A Ugandan legislator who proposed the highly contested Anti-Homosexuality Bill insists the measure is being misconstrued.
“There has been a distortion in the media that we are providing death for gays. That is not true,” ruling party MP David Bahati said on BBC. “When a homosexual defiles a kid of less than 18 years old, we are providing a penalty for this.”
The bill, which is currently being debated by a parliamentary committee, has drawn global attention from gay rights advocates and religious leaders alike, many of whom are condemning the legislation for promoting hatred and handing down severe penalties against homosexuals and their family, friends, and even pastors. Punishments range from a fine and a three-year imprisonment to life imprisonment and the death penalty.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda and can be punished with life imprisonment. But the anti-homosexuality legislation was designed to “fill the gaps” in the provisions of existing laws and “strengthen the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.”
Bahati told BBC that homosexuality is neither a human right nor is it in-born.
“It is a behavior learned and it can be unlearned,” he said on BBC.
Some religious leaders in Uganda are backing the legislation, but many more within and outside the country are gravely concerned.
“Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God’s children worthy of respect and love,” said a group of U.S. Catholic, evangelical and mainline Protestant leaders, in a statement Monday.
Most recently, on Thursday, evangelical Pastor Rick Warren released a video to Ugandan pastors detailing his opposition to the bill and correcting media reports that state otherwise.
As a pastor, he said it is not his role to interfere with the politics of other nations, he said it is his role to speak out on moral issues.
Warren called the Anti-Homosexuality bill “unjust, extreme and un-Christian” toward homosexuals.
Passing the bill would have “a chilling effect” on the HIV/AIDS ministry of churches in Uganda, the southern California pastor added. With the proposed legislation threatening to penalize those who provide counseling to someone struggling with their sexuality and work with people infected with HIV/AIDS and who do not report the homosexual within 24 hours of knowledge, fewer people who are HIV positive will seek care from the churches out of fear of being reported.
“You and I know that the churches of Uganda are the truly caring communities where people receive hope and help, not condemnation,” the megachurch pastor said in his video message.
While affirming that marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman and that all sex outside of marriage is not what God intends, Warren also stressed, “Jesus also taught us that the greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Since God created all, and Jesus suffered and died for all, then we are to treat all with respect.
“The Great Commandment has been the centerpiece of my life and ministry for over 35 years.”
According to Bloomberg, a refined version of the bill is expected to be presented to Parliament in two weeks. Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, minister of Uganda for Ethics and Integrity, told Bloomberg that the draft bill will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays.
Before the changes, which have not yet been made, the measure stated that persons who commit the offense of “aggravated homosexuality” – where the offense is committed against those below the age of 18 and where the offender is living with HIV – shall be liable on conviction to suffer death and to imprisonment for life. Another provision nullifies international treaties, protocols, and declarations that are “contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this act.”
Evangelical author Josh McDowell takes on theology of media icon
DALLAS, Texas – “One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way to live, and we don’t accept that there are diverse ways to being in the world. There are many paths to what you call God.”
Oprah Winfrey said it. And when she did, many Americans who love Oprah believed it.
But one of the best-selling living evangelical authors, Josh McDowell, is not about to sit back and let that statement go unchallenged.
The result is a very unusual book – both in Christian publishing and in the world of secular literature.
It’s called “O God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality” – and its official debut in bookstores nationwide comes tomorrow.
“As Christian apologists who believe that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone, we wanted to create a fictional, almost Socratic dialogue that would cover many of the themes of Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual teaching in recent years,” explain McDowell and co-author Dave Sterrett in their preface.
Rather than pile on Oprah with Bible verses to contradict her casual New Age proclamations, McDowell and Sterrett use a fictional conversation – or series of conversations – between two female graduate students, both seeking spiritual truth.
The book comes out as Oprah is very much center stage in the news world.
Even in her bid with first lady Michelle Obama to land the Olympics in Chicago, her rhetoric took a markedly spiritual tone.
“I love this city, because this city has been so great to me and I know what this city has to offer,” Winfrey said. “My message is really about my love for Chicago and … the spirit that we know the games will bring and the spirit that the people of Chicago will bring to the Games.”
Oprah is also lending her name to a new movie about abusive relationships called “Push,” for which she serves as executive producer.
“Push” is about an abused, obese teenager in Harlem who is pregnant with her second child and how a teacher at an alternative school tries to pull her out of her situation. Winfrey was inspired by the message of hope that the book and film present.
“What struck me is that you can live in those circumstances and still find hope,” she said. “You can’t do that on your own. Somebody has to show it to you. For me it was teachers.”
It is Oprah’s compassion that lures millions to her TV show and her magazine and the persona that has become an industry. Yet, McDowell and Sterrett explore the possibility that misguided compassion, based on human emotions rather than divine revelation and God’s law, can lead people in dangerous directions.
“If you are a Christ follower who believes, as we do, that God’s salvation is only through Jesus Christ alone, perhaps this book, ‘O God,’ will inspire a conversation with friends who are asking you questions,” they write. “How do you respond when a friend at your work, school, book club, gym or family reunion brings up Oprah Winfrey’s teaching or a form of new spirituality? Do you know how to speak and live the truth in love? This book probably won’t provide every single answer to all your questions about God and spirituality, but we hope it will provide some. Our desire is that ‘O God’ will create friendly and perhaps robust spiritual conversation about the most important things in your life.”
McDowell has authored or co-authored more than 110 books with more than 35 million in print worldwide. His classic “More Than a Carpenter” alone sold more than 15 million copies.
Many gay rights activists think Obama isn’t doing enough. But he’s in no rush on same-sex marriage or the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.
Does that kind of clearly dominant constituency — one that’s more politically-attuned than the rest of the electorate — come with any political obligation regarding gay rights? You bet it does, and this weekend Obama is acknowledging the debt.
So far, his is a mixed record.
While Obama remains opposed to marriage among same-sex couples, in June he extended some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees. And he has taken steps to include among his administration openly gay officials.
John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, is the government’s highest-ranking gay official. David Huebner, chief lawyer for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has been nominated ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Mr. Huebner would be just the second openly gay US ambassador. (The first was appointed by Bill Clinton.)
Marriage and the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay men and women in uniform remain the toughest issues for the nation — and especially for Obama.
The Pew Research Center reported Friday that while most Americans favor civil unions for same-sex couples, they remain opposed to gay marriage.
It’s an issue that transcends government policy to an unusual extent, carrying significant moral and religious overtones. Pew finds that “nearly half of the public (49 percent) says homosexual behavior is morally wrong, while 9 percent say it is morally acceptable and 35 percent say it is not a moral issue.”
Meanwhile, the armed services for years have wrestled with the Pentagon’s policy regarding gay service members — a policy which senior retired officers (and even some on active duty) increasingly have spoken out against at a time when the troops, like the relatively young cohort of Americans they’re part of, don’t see the point in discriminating against gay men and lesbians.
Many gay rights advocates are losing patience with Obama who (unlike Bill Clinton) has no inclination to jump right into the military issue.
“Eleven months after his election, he has failed to deliver on any of his commitments to gay Americans, but even worse has been his refusal to engage around these issues,” Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton’s administration on gay and lesbian policy, told the Associated Press.
“What he needs to do now is engage and deliver,” said Socarides. “Spend some of his political capital on ending the gay military ban, a hugely symbolic issue. And with no intellectually sound arguments left against it, come out squarely for gay marriage equality.”
Obama also is being nudged to retire today’s military policy by many members of Congress. Led by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) of Pennsylvania (the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress) 176 House members have signed on to a bill doing away with don’t ask, don’t tell.
Obama is eager to sign the new hate crimes law. And White House officials push back against the notion that the president is dragging his feet on gay rights.
“The president has been very clear. He’s not hiding, he’s not avoiding [the gay and lesbian] issue,” Melody Barnes, the president’s top domestic policy adviser, told the Washington Post. “He has walked into a range of different communities as well as looked into the eyes of those in the GLBT community and been very clear about what he supports and what he wants done and the way he thinks it’s practical to get it done.”
THE SUNDAY TIMES
Advances in artificial intelligence are bringing the sci-fi fantasy dangerously closer to fact
A ROBOT that makes a morning cuppa, a fridge that orders the weekly shop, a car that parks itself.
Advances in artificial intelligence promise many benefits, but scientists are privately so worried they may be creating machines which end up outsmarting – and perhaps even endangering – humans that they held a secret meeting to discuss limiting their research.
At the conference, held behind closed doors in Monterey Bay, California, leading researchers warned that mankind might lose control over computer-based systems that carry out a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting on the phone, and have already reached a level of indestructibility comparable with a cockroach.
“These are powerful technologies that could be used in good ways or scary ways,” warned Eric Horvitz, principal researcher at Microsoft who organised the conference on behalf of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
According to Alan Winfield, a professor at the University of the West of England, scientists are spending too much time developing artificial intelligence and too little on robot safety.
“We’re rapidly approaching the time when new robots should undergo tests, similar to ethical and clinical trials for new drugs, before they can be introduced,” he said.
The scientists who presented their findings at the International Joint Conference for Artificial Intelligence in Pasadena, California, last month fear that nightmare scenarios, which have until now been limited to science fiction films, such as the Terminator series, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Minority Report, could come true.
Robotic unmanned predator drones, for example, which can seek out and kill human targets, have already moved out of the movie theatres and into the theatre of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. While at present controlled by human operators, they are moving towards more autonomous control.
They could also soon be found on the streets. Samsung, the South Korean electronics company, has developed autonomous sentry robots to serve as armed border guards. They have “shoot-to-kill” capability.
Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at Sheffield University, warned that such robots could soon be used for policing, for example during riots such as those seen in London at the recent G20 summit. “Is this a good thing?” he asked.
Scientists are particularly worried about the way the latest, highly sophisticated artificially intelligent products perform human-like functions.
Japanese consumers can already buy robots that “learn” their owner’s behaviour, can open the front door and even find electrical outlets and recharge themselves so they never stop working.
One high-tech US firm is working on robotic nurses, dubbed “nursebots”, that interact with patients to simulate empathy. Critics told the conference that, at best, this could be dehumanising; at worst, something could go wrong with the programming.
The scientists dismissed as fanciful fears about “singularity” – the term used to describe the point where robots have become so intelligent they are able to build ever more capable versions of themselves without further input from mankind.
The conference was nevertheless told that new artificial intelligence viruses are helping criminals to steal people’s identities. Criminals are working on viruses that are planted in mobile phones and “copy” users’ voices. After stealing the voice, criminals can masquerade as a victim on the phone or circumvent speech recognition security systems.
Another kind of smartphone virus silently monitors text messages, e-mail, voice, diary and bank details. The virus then uses the information to impersonate people online, with little or no external guidance from the thieves. The researchers warned that many of the new viruses defy extermination, reaching what one speaker called “the cockroach stage”.
Some speakers called for researchers to adopt the “three laws” of robotics created by Isaac Asimov, the science fiction author, that are designed to protect humanity from machines with their own agenda. Each robot, Asimov said, must be programmed never to kill or injure a human or, through inaction, allow a human to suffer. A robot must obey human orders, unless this contravenes the first law. A robot must protect itself, unless it contravenes either of the first two laws.
While many scientists fear artificial intelligence could run amok, some argue that ultrasmart machines will instead offer huge advances in life extension and wealth creation.
Some pointed out that artificial intelligence was already helping us in complex, sometimes life-and-death situations. Poseidon Technologies, the French firm, sells artificial intelligence systems that help lifeguards identify when a person is drowning in a swimming pool. Microsoft’s Clearflow system helps drivers to pick the best route by analysing traffic behaviour; and artificial intelligence systems are making cars safer, reducing road accidents.
Homosexual former San Francisco leader Harvey Milk
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says he’s uncertain if the briefing material given to President Obama when he decided to award Harvey Milk a presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously included Milk’s well-documented advocacy for the late Jim Jones, the leader of the massacred hundreds in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978.
The issue came up during a White House press briefing the day after President Obama included Milk, a homosexual leader in San Francisco who was victim of a murder, among those listed for the president’s Medal of Freedom awards.
“Is the president – concerning the Medal of Freedom awards, is the president aware of Harvey Milk’s strong support of the Rev. Jim Jones?” asked Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House.
“I don’t know if that was in the briefing material,” Gibbs said. “I can tell you the president is opposed to Jim Jones, how about that?”
Jones let a cult to the “Peoples Temple Agricultural Project” in the 1970s in Guyana after an extended career leading the religious organization in San Francisco.
The poisonings, including those of many children, followed by hours the murders of five people by Temple members at a nearby airport. One of the victims was Congressman Leo Ryan, the only member of Congress ever to die in the line of duty. He was investigating complaints about the cult.
Kinsolving, a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner during Jones’ ascent to power and influence there, shortly before he moved his cult to Guyana, recalled in a column just weeks ago the relationship between Jones and Milk.
His writing concerned the Sean Penn movie, “Milk.” Kinsolving cited columnist Dan Flynn’s concerns about “how Gus Van Sant could have made a film about Harvey Milk without casting a ‘Jim Jones’ role.”
The Flynn column accused Harvey Milk and “the San Francisco left” of allowing Jones to conduct his “criminal enterprise in San Francisco with impunity.”
“When veteran journalist Les Kinsolving penned an eight-part investigative report on Peoples Temple for the San Francisco Examiner in 1972, his editors buckled under pressure from Jones and killed the report halfway through,” wrote Flynn. “Kinsolving quipped that the Peoples Temple was ‘the best-armed house of God in the land,’ detailed the kidnapping and possible murder of disgruntled members, exposed Jones’ phony faith healing, highlighted Jones’ vile school-sanctioned sex talk with children and directed attention toward the Peoples Temple’s massive welfare fraud that funded its operations.
“Unfortunately four of the series of eight articles were jettisoned after Jones unleashed hundreds of protesters to the San Francisco Examiner, a programmed letter-writing campaign and a threatened lawsuit against the paper. The Examiner promptly issued a laudatory article on Jones. … ” wrote Flynn.
Kinsolving’s column revealed reports that after Milk was killed, all mention of connections between Milk and Jones “were intentionally obscured.”
Cited was the fact Milk “was a strong advocate for Peoples Temple and Jim Jones during his political career, including the tumultuous year leading up to the Jonestown tragedy. Milk spoke at the Temple often, wrote personal letters to Jim Jones…”
In another question, Kinsolving asked, “Does the president expect Israel to wait until they are nuclear bombed by Iran before they go after Iranian nuclear weaponry?”
Responded Gibbs, “Well, I think the president has said that countries make security decisions for themselves. All involved, led by the United States and others, are trying to do whatever is possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That’s our focus.”
Homosexuals planning for tomorrow’s Pride Charlotte festival in Charlotte, N.C., are enraged because the Coalition of Conscience has set up a Christian event, called “God Has a Better Way” nearby at the same time.
Michael Brown, who is director of the Charlotte-based coalition, said hundreds of people from area churches are coordinating the rally that will be unique.
“Nothing like this has ever been done in conjunction with a gay pride event in any city before, and those who join together on this day will be part of history in the making,” he said.
Brown told WND that when his ministry moved into Charlotte several years ago, his goal was to reach out to individuals with compassion and resist homosexual activism with courage.
But homosexual activists apparently aren’t listening.
At the pro-homosexual TruthWinsOut.org, a commentary said, “Brown has since launched an online initiative titled ‘God Has A Better Way,’ in which Brown claims that his agenda is ‘Spirit-birthed’ – a statement of sheer, unapologetic blasphemy.”
The website’s attack continued, “Brown refers to his crowd’s ‘biblical convictions’ but his ‘convictions’ in no way resemble the message of the Gospels or, for that matter, much of Hebrew Scripture. Brown appeals for gay people not to be mean-spirited – but he fully intends to remain as mean-spirited and warlike.”
Another site, InterstateQ, said, “This time, Brown’s twisted logic won’t be enough to save him from his own words. The disturbed and maniacal history of his verbally violent, militant and extremist rhetoric serves as its own ironclad indictment. He can no longer hide or run from this history, and neither can he sweep it under the rug.”
Sarcasm ruled on Lavender Liberal, which wrote, “‘We understand, of course, that in your eyes, our biblical convictions constitute hate, and it is hurtful to us that you feel that way.’ Awwwwww! It’s ‘hurtful’! Mikey’s dainty little feelers are hurt!“
The commentary continued, “If there is a god, or a thousand gods, or no god, you know nothing of the ‘love’ you have twisted, corrupted, and aborted from that Holy Book of yours. Your ‘message’ no more resembles that of your fabled Jesus than Pat Boone resembles Big Mama Thornton.”
Several of the condemnations of the Christian rally went further, too:
On the BoxTurtleBulletin site, “jimmy” said, “I will have my pepper spray, spring loaded baton and taser if these nutcases even get near me! I have used them before and will use them again on these nutjobs!”
Another comment on the “joemygod” site was, “Nail them all to crosses and let the corpses rot as a warning to other Jesus-pig people.”
Brown told WND that his event is supported by Lou Engle, the national director of “The Call to Action,” seeking to bring cultural change through prayer and fasting.
He also said other national ministries are looking at the model being used in Charlotte.
Brown said his “God Has a Better Way” rally will require participants to sign statements affirming, “I will not engage in hate speech, name-calling, or angry rhetoric; I will seek to befriend those who oppose me; I will seek to overcome bad attitudes with good attitudes; I will seek to be a living example of Jesus; I will not violate the law.”
“We have great love for the gay and lesbian community,” Brown said, “and have always treated them with dignity and respect; at the same time, we take strong exception to the gay activist agenda and will be sending a message to the city and the nation that God Has a Better Way.”
Rally participants will meet at Charlotte’s First Baptist Church at noon and will talk together to the Pride Charlotte rally. The group has a permit for an event on property across the street from the homosexual celebration.