The chaplain of a prominent evangelical university in Southern California promoted a resolution adopted by the state Assembly on Monday that called on religious leaders to affirm homosexuality and “transgenderism” and accept that Christian efforts to help people with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion are “ineffective, unethical and harmful.”
Kevin Mannoia, Azusa Pacific University chaplain and the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals,
testified in favor of the resolution before the Assembly judiciary committee.
In a letter submitted to legislators, Mannoia wrote: “On behalf of some Christian pastors and church leaders, I write to express various levels of support for the Resolution ACR 99 dealing with Conversion Therapy and LGBTQ persons.”
He expressed a commitment to “ministry in the name of Jesus Christ rooting in the Bible as God’s Word.” But he didn’t explain how Christian beliefs conflict with the resolution.
The non-profit legal group Liberty Counsel said Mannoia
“has become a prop for the LGBT agenda by directing pastors and counselors to reject biblical views of sexuality and deny counseling for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.”
The resolution was authored by gay Assemblyman Evan Low, who sponsored a bill last year that would have established government-enforced censorship of counselors who want to provide therapy for people with unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior or gender confusion.
The bill also sought to ban sales of printed materials and books expressing the viewpoint that unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion can be reduced or eliminated.
Low withdrew the bill on the last day of the legislative session.
More than two dozen doctors, counselors, former homosexuals and other Christian leaders signed a letter condemning the resolution passed Monday, Liberty Counsel said.
The letter said religious leaders “have the constitutionally protected right to teach religious doctrine in accordance with their faith, and politicians have no right to tell clergy what is moral, dictate the content of their sermons, or instruct them in religious counseling.”
“Religiously traditional parents, pastors, faith-based ministries, and therapists are uniquely able to assist individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender incongruence,” they said. “Politicians should not take away the freedom to obtain their help.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said it’s “appalling and a disgrace for a so-called Christian leader like Kevin Mannoia to encourage pastors to deny God’s authority for sexuality and support a resolution that refutes talk therapy for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction and behavior.”
“The hypocrisy of Mannoia to testify that he lives according to the Bible yet supports a resolution that is contrary to God’s Word is astonishing,” said Staver.
WND reported in December two members of Azusa Pacific’s board of trustees resigned, contending the institution had “drifted” from its foundation and mission, making it at odds with its written policies, statement of faith and the Bible itself.
Raleigh Washington, a prominent pastor known for his leadership of the Promise Keepers men’s movement, and Dave Dias, a Sacramento-area business executive, spoke to WND after submitting letters of resignation to the board of trustees.
Washington, a trustee for 15 years, explained that he had constantly confronted the board over the previous six years with abundant evidence that the administration and a substantial portion of the faculty were promoting a progressive ideology that clashed with the institution’s statement of faith and core principles.
Asked for a response at the time, APU’s public relations office provided WND only with a statement to the “APU Community” by David S. Poole, the chairman of the board of trustees.
Poole, without naming the board members, wrote in December that Dias and Washington cited “a personal belief that APU has drifted from its orthodox principles.”
“We respectfully disagree with their assertion that the board is not committed to APU’s Christian foundation and focus,” he said. “We are grateful for their friendship and many years of generosity and faithful service.”
But Washington told WND that members of the board have “admitted to both Dave and myself, and to others in private, that virtually everything both Dave and I have said is true.”
“That’s duplicity in the highest order,” he said.