Last night, on the organization blog, Exodus International denounced recent statements by Bradlee Dean and You Can Run International regarding the morality of gay executions. The post by Exodus VP, Randy Thomas, begins:
I was alerted to Dr. Warren Throckmorton's post about Bradlee Dean's (pictured) public comments saying that Muslim countries who call for homosexuals to be killed are more "moral" than American Christians. I listened to the segment of Mr. Dean's radio program and was shocked. Click here to visit Warren's blog and listen to Mr. Dean's comments.
We called our contacts in Minnesota and apparently Mr. Dean is somewhat known in Christian circles there. They have run into him a couple of times but have not appreciated his strident tone. They were as upset by his statements as we are. I would imagine he will be getting a few phone calls.
What might those phone callers say? More from Exodus' Thomas (in italics):
Using Old Testament scriptures to condemn a person to death is not "loving" … it is incomplete theology and powerfully irresponsible. To say that murderous actions are more "moral" than tolerating free will is to completely ignore that Jesus did not call for the deaths of sinners. He died and paid the price for all of our sin, including those of us who have or do struggle with homosexuality. He paid that transcendent price and still left us with the free will to believe in Him or not. That's what makes faith in Him authentic and not coerced.
Putting down the stones of condemnation and serving others with humility, dignity and respect is the Christlike response. According to Jesus Himself, selfless sacrifice has much more moral authority than the false piety of humans judging other humans guilty of breaking the law and deserving of social stigmatization and/or death.
Yesterday, one of those churches in Minnesota, Living Word Christian Center, made a statement in response to the You Can Run controversy:
Statement Regarding You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministries
Living Word Christian Center (LWCC) did host You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministries on March 25, 2009 in our Senior High School Youth department. The speaker was Jacob MacAulay the chief operations manager of their ministry, his topic was on the influences of pop culture in our society. LWCC does not support financially or in any other manner, nor is an affiliate ministry of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministries. Our faith community at LWCC believes it is the love of God who draws all men (people) to Him, not condemnation or judgment.
Earlier this month, Bradlee Dean made inflamatory statements about Muslim nations being more moral than the US because they are calling for us to execute gays. You can listen to the exchange here and read a summary from the Minnesota Independent (in italics below the YouTube video):
But recent controversial statements by Dean — that Muslim countries calling for the execution of gays and lesbians are "more moral than even the American Christians" — have drawn the ire of some both within and outside the party.
"Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America," Dean said on YCR's May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. "This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination."
"If America won't enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that," Dean continued. "That is what you are seeing in America."
"The bottom line is this… they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator," Dean said, before going on to make a claim that has no basis in fact: "On average, they molest 117 people before they're found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?"
The statistic he quotes — 117 children molested — conflates pedophiles and homosexuals. It may not be accurate even about pedophiles. I have tried to find the source of it and the closest I can come is a website and book which sources it to a 1988 NIMH publication (not in newer editions) but with no specific study. Even if the stat has a legitimate source, it relates to pedophiles and not gays. It is possible I suppose that Dean is so misinformed that he believes his rhetoric. One wonders if he would change his position if he could be convinced that his view of gays was wrong.
Homosexuality seems to bring out the inner-Moses in a lot Christians these days. Calls to harshly criminalize homosexuality based on Mosaic law leave lots of questions about what other actions would be included in the long arm of current law (e.g., adultery, parent cursing, bearing false witness). The Exodus and LWCC statements depict accurately the heart of Christ toward those who were shunned by the religious leaders in His society. It is sad to see Christian radio stations use their platform to call for aggression instead of redemption.
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About Dr. Warren Throckmorton
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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