It’s probably just a public relations stunt, but an Illinois ministry offering help to those who choose to leave the homosexual lifestyle says a new complaint a “gay” activist has filed with the state attorney general has to be taken seriously.
The complaint was filed by activist and columnist Wayne Besen against Americans for Truth, a group set up by Peter LaBarbera to confront the homosexual agenda and provide alternatives for those who feel trapped in their choices.
“We’re getting to the point where ‘gay’ legal activists are going to try to shut down pro-family groups,” LaBarbera told WND in an interview. “That speaks to the impulses of the other side.”
The complaint centers on a video that Americans for Truth advertised as available on its website, which included the story of Michael Johnston. He is a man who came out of the homosexual lifestyle to work with a Christian ministry. But, LaBarbera said, he fell back into sin and lost his ministry before seeking help to regain his footing on the “straight and narrow.”
The attack is the result of the homosexual advocates wanting to shut down or shout down any message but their own, a “totalitarian” approach to conflict, LaBarbera said.
“They’re going to harass conservatives, use their well-funded legal arms. We’ll probably see a rising threat of litigation,” he said. “These guys play hard-ball.”
He said in the current complaint, the facts weren’t checked, and the demand for an apology and other action because of the video Americans for Truth was “selling fraudulently” simply is without foundation.
“We never sold the video,” he said.
But the larger threat remains: of activists targeting Christian ministries with complaints about their actions, and their alleged violations of the so-called “hate crimes” laws that have been instituted in various localities.
“We’re not changing anything because of Wayne. If we need help we’ll ask for it. But the threat of a lawsuit can have a lot of pastors thinking ‘I don’t want to be sued like this guy got sued,’” he said.
In a column about the recording, Besen wrote, “The anti-gay groups American Family Association and Americans for Truth should be immediately shut down for committing wanton and craven acts of frauds. They are unabashed con artists duping their own members by selling a product both groups have admitted was misleading.”
In his complaint to state prosecutors, Besen seeks an order to “require a written apology from LaBarbera that he must post prominently on his website and that refunds be offered to dissatisfied customers.”
But the complaint about the video “It’s Not Gay” and Mike Johnston’s role leaves out the facts of the case, LaBarbera said.
“Now Wayne and his friends think they have a new scandal because Americans For Truth is promoting an American Family Association (AFA) video (‘It’s Not Gay’) featuring an interview with ex-’gay’ Mike Johnston, who lost his ‘ex-gay’ ministry several years ago by falling back into homosexual perversion.”
LaBarbera said Johnston, whose Kerusso ministries was closed after his return to the homosexual lifestyle, has since then worked with Pure Life Ministries on his road back from sin.
“In their zeal to crush AFTAH, Besen and other homosexual activists missed a wonderful story of one man’s redemption and his rescue from deep spiritual hypocrisy and sexual sin,” LaBarbera said.
He told WND that there are failures in Christian ministries when they are reaching out to people and trying to help them leave sin.
“Besen and his fellow homosexual activists have everything invested in the politically correct idea that people are naturally (born) ‘gay’ – and that ‘sexual orientation’ (another misleading term inspired by homosexual activism) is unchangeable,” LaBarbera said. “They are downright cruel in hoping for and exploiting failures in the ex-’gay’ movement.”
“Rather than applauding overcomers, the fanatics in ‘Wayne’s World’ champion the failures – people who tried to walk away from homosexuality but gave up, or – even better, lost their ministries like Ted Haggard in scandal,” he said.
The campaign has been too effective, he said, because the general media now applauds homosexuals like former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who left his wife for another man, but that same media generally views as frauds anyone who leaves the “gay” lifestyle.
Certainly, a lengthy homosexual lifestyle is hard to leave behind, but “so is drug addiction, pornography, compulsive lying and other sinful habits. How many drug abusers have relapsed back into that dangerous lifestyle, but don’t we still celebrate the man or woman who comes clean and save their life from destruction?” he said.
“There is right and wrong, and homosexual practice will always be wrong. Leaving it will always be right,” he said.
The complaint with Attorney General Lisa Madigan “erroneously” accuses the group “of ‘selling’ false information because we put up a link on our website for an American Family Association video called ‘It’s Not Gay’ featuring former homosexual Mike Johnston,” he said.
“I spoke with Mike … and he described the deep heart transformation that has taken place in his life through Pure Life,” LaBarbera said. “He is now a humbled man at peace with God and himself, who fully owns up to the foolish pride that allowed him to be in public ‘ex-gay’ ministry while living a double-life as a homosexual.”
“Mike is a former homosexual just as a man who escaped his pornography addiction (despite having a serious falling) can no longer be a ‘porn user,’” he said.
Finally, the AFA stopped selling the video in 2003 when the scandal was revealed. It began reselling it after officials there met with Johnston and were convinced of his genuine departure from the homosexual lifestyle, he said.
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