You cannot find a better example of selective outrage and character assassination than the Jan. 5 New York Times editorial, “Hate begets hate.”
This humdinger of a self-descriptive screed has it all: wild, unsubstantiated charges; villains; hysterical calls for action; and a smug, holier-than-thou tone that would put “Saturday Night Live”‘s Church Lady to shame.
At issue is Uganda’s proposed law criminalizing homosexuality. But the editorial’s real focus is crucifying Christians who had given talks in Uganda and any part of Christendom that has not bowed its knee to the gay gods.
The Times notes that “three evangelical Christians, whose teachings about ‘curing’ gays and lesbians have been widely discredited in the United States, helped feed this hatred.” The editorial names Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer, who “gave a series of talks” last March that “claimed that gays and lesbians are a threat to Bible-based family values.”
I don’t know Mr. Brundidge, but I do know Mr. Lively and Mr. Schmierer. Both are honest and courageous men who, out of Christian compassion, dare to tell the truth about homosexuality. For this, the Times brands them as hatemongers.
While Mr. Lively has written perceptively and passionately about countering the homosexual activists’ political and cultural agenda, there is no evidence of “hate.” Trying to steer someone away from destructive, immoral, changeable behavior is an act of love, not hate. And it is beyond absurd to label as a bigot a man like Don Schmierer, who supports AIDS ministries and reaches out to sexually conflicted people with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Casting the gentle, soft spoken Mr. Schmierer as a “hater” is like calling Mother Teresa a foul-mouthed harpy.
These men discuss sexual behavior and its consequences for individuals, families and societies, and the blessings of God-given hope. As is typical for a fully owned subsidiary of the homosexual activist movement, the Times falsely claims that the Christian leaders oppose the people themselves. The Times has bought into and promoted the media-fed fiction that people are born gay, cannot change and therefore their volitional sexual behavior is synonymous with identity. In gay parlance, it’s “who they are,” not what they do.
This is nonsense. If we are defined by our sexual behavior, then men addicted to pornography are nothing more than “pornophiles.” It is homosexual activists who have insisted on making sexual desire the be-all and end-all of personal identity. They did this to hijack the moral capital of the black civil-rights movement, equating “sexual orientation” with immutable characteristics like skin color or ethnicity. One big problem remains for them, though. Skin color and ethnicity are morally neutral. Sexual behavior is fraught with moral, social and physical consequences and has been regulated by every society since time began.
The Times ignores the Christian men’s pointed criticisms of the proposed Uganda law and says, “We don’t have much hope that they will atone for their acts.”
Well, we don’t have a whole lot of hope that the Times will atone for its many portrayals of Christians as hate-filled bigots whenever the “gay” issue surfaces. They are following the playbook of “After the Ball,” a gay strategy manual from 1989 that instructs activists to “jam” opponents into silence through threats of guilt by association, outright smears and phony “scientific” claims that go unexamined. The strategy has worked brilliantly, as even conservative voices have been frightened into silence or into steadily ceding moral ground, circling the wagons only around the word “marriage.”
The Times is not alone, of course, in its relentless pursuit of homosexual orthodoxy. On Jan. 7, the Washington Post ran an editorial about Uganda entitled, “A barbaric proposal.” The Post editors, at least, did not engage in Christian bashing, and stuck to very real problems with the proposed law. They did repeat a gay mantra, however: “Being gay is not a choice.”
Science has by no means settled the issue. None of the highly publicized studies by gay researchers in the 1990s has been replicated, and several have been discredited. Then, too, there is the inconvenient existence of many people who engage in homosexuality for years and later embrace the straight life. The “ex-gay” movement is large and growing, but the media are keeping it one of the best-kept secrets out of deference to militant gay activists in the newsrooms.
Uganda has been in the cultural elites’ hot water before by bucking the U.S.-backed condom crusade in Africa and slashing its AIDS rate with campaigns for abstinence and fidelity. The current homosexuality bill is seriously flawed. It contains such overreaches as jail terms for people who do not report homosexual activity and life imprisonment for people who engage in the behavior. But the Times and the Post go beyond criticizing the harsher aspects of the law and attack the underlying concern of Ugandans to defend marriage and family, avoid the corruption of their children and put the brakes on AIDS and other diseases.
The Times and the Post warn that Uganda will become a “pariah” nation “shunned globally” if the law is passed. That may be so. But it might behoove the press to take a closer look at some other countries in Africa whose governments, in the grip of Muslim extremism, routinely cut off people’s heads merely for changing religions. Some nations, such as Egypt, have governments that look the other way as young Christian girls are abducted, raped and forced into Muslim marriages. Do these nations qualify as “pariahs”?
The Times’ editors need to come to terms with their knee-jerk spasms against evangelical Christians and others who defend family values. They routinely depict pro-marriage Americans as motivated solely by hatred and prejudice, never by genuine, heartfelt concerns.
In their editorial’s own words: “You can’t preach hate and not accept responsibility for the way that hate is manifested.”
If this is so, the next equipment the Times should order for its newsroom is … a mirror.
Robert Knight is senior writer and correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries and the author of “Fighting for America’s Soul” (Coral Ridge 2009) and the upcoming book “Radical Rulers.”