Americans for Truth is reporting on 2 Christian men who went to Chicago’s gay pride to hand out bible messages condemning homosexuality. Then men portray the “torture” they got for doing this and make the claim that the police refused to defend their right to free speech. (The same tactic used by the philly 11).
The one Christian reports:
While talking to her, several things began to occur. First, I remember the most sinister laughter, mocking and jeering I have ever heard. The crowd despised Joe’s preaching. People from the crowd were yelling out at us and moving closer to us. Someone from a balcony up above us threw some kind of bottle — I think it was plastic - and hit Joe on his left shoulder. Another man came up and tried to light the banner with his cigarette lighter. While trying to do this someone sprayed beer on both of us and another man poured beer on Joe. At about this point it crossed my mind that we might just be casting our pearls before swine.
Lets start with me saying that the gays and lesbians at the parade should have channelled their anger into love using creative nonviolence. I will continue to spread the word about this and hope and dream it happens. If Gandhi could do it, If King could do it, then I should damn well try my best to get the word out. Any bloggers that want to help spread the message of new and more peaceful ways to respond to hate, please send them to SoulForce or here to me, but we will never get the rights we seek when we are pouring beer on the heads of our adversary or lighting them on fire. Rather than making new allies in the fight for rights, we only make enemies.
Now, back to this create the victim status:
These guys went to a gay event to condemn gay people. Should anyone be surprised that they were not welcomed with open arms? The showed up with a banner that read:
Lied, Stolen, Lusted? Homosexual, Fornicator, Drunkard? Repent and call on the Lord Jesus to Escape Hell and at the bottom burningheartsoutreach.com
I am sure if a KKK neo-nazi showed up at the pride parade of any non-white minority saying they would go to hell oe some other statement that said group would find offensive or inflammatory, that would get ugly too! What made these guys think this was going to “bring people to Christ”. From the sounds of this, their actions were not only poorly thought out, but more about them then any real care for GLBT folk’s salvation. If they really cared about our “salvation” they would have used a tactic that speaks to us, not offends us.
More from the man’s account:
We got our banner back. I asked the police to defend our free speech rights. He said, “Let’s be practical. There are 400,000 of them and only a handful of us.” He said the banner was inflammatory and that the police could not control the crowd if Joe continued preaching. If he continued preaching he would have to arrest us. I think he was thinking of his duty to protect us.
The police told these men to stop preaching or they would arrest them. As far as I am concerned the police had every right to do so in light of public safety. Free speech does not provide a platform for speech. Protesters are regularly sectioned off for public safety. They too would be arrested if they ventured outside of the area given to them to exercise their free speech rights. These men were inciting what could have become a riot. The police have every obligation to respond to that for the sake of public safety.
I feel bad these guys were treated so badly. I would hope GLBT folks would learn to just ignore them or respond to their hate with love, but that doesn’t overshadow the fact these men created the events that happen. They should not have gone to a pride event, where people were not in a position to listen to them. If you want to reach gay people, start by not offending them from the start. Going into the crowd of drunk homo’s and proclaiming they are going to hell isn’t going to bring anyone to god, it turns them away from god, pisses people off, and brings people to a bad place. These two men knew that. They have seen the news of the Philly 11, and other events and knew exactly what they were doing and here are my thoughts:
More and more I see the need for GLBT folks to follow in the true spirit of the Civil Rights Movement of King. Their successes came from the use of nonviolence in response to hate. We as a whole community need to work on this response.
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"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
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