Three fundamental concerns are driving the formation of the new citizens organization:
I. The negative impact of special rights initiatives on all businesses and property owners, with a particularly negative impact on faith- based and faith-inspired businesses and property owners.
II. The negative impact of special rights initiatives on every citizen's constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.
III. The negative impact of the practice of homosexuality on the individuals who practice it and on the rest of the society.
The main multifaceted emphasis of the group is to defend Traditional Marriage as 'between one man and one woman', to respond to the controversy at the University of Notre Dame regarding homosexual activism at several levels, to respond to 'special rights for homosexuals' ordinances as they come forward in the Region and to facilitate help and ministry for those suffering from the ill effects of the homosexual lifestyle.
Letter to Michiana Point of View - South Bend TribunePatrick Mangan
March 19, 2005
While proponents of an initiative to change the City of South Bend's Human Rights Commission's antidiscrimination statement to include 'sexual orientation' may be well intended, they are misguided. Everyone is covered by current civil rights legislation that Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. championed. What is being proposed now is that special status and special rights be given to individuals based on their chosen homosexual sexual practices. However trying to equate sexual 'orientation' with an intrinsic characteristic like gender, ethnic heritage or race, or trying to equate sexual 'preferences' with something as sacred as our faith is deeply flawed.
The central issue of debate, which by the way is far from settled in our nation, is in fact whether or not homosexuality is the result of behavioral inputs, a psychological disorder, a choice, a natural state of being or an abomination. The answer to the question is in no way available as a scientific conclusion. It is a philosophical, theosophical, theological, moral belief . As soon as the government imposes sanctions against those who believe and express that homosexuality is sin, our whole nation loses the first amendment right to believe and publicly express their deepest convictions based on the sacred writings of their faith. The current persecution of the 'Philadelphia 11' (the eleven peaceful Christian demonstrators recently arrested at a homosexual rally in Pennsylvania and charged with several felonies at the urging of a few homosexual attorneys at the Justice Department) shows just how dangerous this slippery slope is.
Why should over a billion Catholic, Protestant, & Orthodox Christians in the world be subject to legalized harassment and persecution in this country, for simply holding to the sacred teachings of both the Old and New Testament of the Bible? Why should homosexuality -- a form of sexual sin as it is clearly identified in the Bible -- be given a protected status here or anywhere?! In Rick Leers' recent letter on this subject he criticized those who oppose special rights for homosexuals based on the Bible. He specifically accused them of skipping Jesus' teaching that 'those who are without sin should cast the first stone'. It appears that Leers is guilty of the very thing that he has accused others of -- namely of skipping the rest of Jesus' teaching in the same passage he quoted. While it is true that Jesus stopped the public execution of the woman caught in adultery (another form of sexual sin) by making the hypocritical crowd ponder their own sins, He also gently commanded her to "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11, KJV) and clearly did not justify her sexual behavior.
For people of Faith opposing sinful acts as defined in God's Word - the Bible, is a matter of intellectual honesty and holiness. Extending the promise of mercy to those willing to repent is the highest expression of God's Grace and Love.
The Founding Fathers (and Mothers) of our Nation fought a revolution to ensure religious and economic freedom for all and to prevent just such a State-sanctioned persecution of people of Faith. In fact they established over 100 Bible Societies and used thousands of biblical quotations and references to God in their writings and in our most treasured national historical documents. Why should a church or a faith-based service organization, or a faith-based hospital or a faith-based school or a faith-based day care, or a faith-based college or university, or even a faith inspired business for that matter be forced to compromise their beliefs and place the opinion of the South Bend City Council, or Human Rights Commission, or any government body above the sacred teachings of their faith? The founders of our republic would find such an attempt to be the height of arrogance and moral tyranny.
Principles like religious freedom and freedom of expression are important in our nation and it would do contemporary politicians well to remember just how important those principles are to the citizens they are sworn to serve and the nation they are sworn to protect. At present both the current and immediate past Human Rights Commission Board Chairs, Ray Thomas and Ed Henry respectively are opposed to adding sexual orientation to the non discrimination statements of the Commission. Dr King, as a Christian Minister himself would be standing precisely where these two African American ministers and community leaders are today. They are to be congratulated for their leadership and should be supported by all profamily citizens of all races and creeds. If such a proposal ever makes its way to our City Council it should be defeated unanimously.
This is not an issue of tolerating what people do in the privacy of their own home. This has become an aggressive attempt to force the moral acceptance of homosexual acts as normal on the entire population. That is why every citizen of Faith should actively oppose these attempts to legitimize homosexuality and the attempts to punish anyone who dares to disagree with these radical activists. At the same time every citizen of Faith should be learning how to reach out to those who have become addicted to homosexuality and who are suffering the consequences of this dangerous, destructive lifestyle choice.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. understood the unique place that the Church and people of Faith have in our society. He said "The church must be reminded that it is not the master of the state or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and critic of the state. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority". I ,for one, do not believe that giving special rights and special legal status to those who are to be identified by their desire for homosexual sex acts would honor Dr King's memory or the cause he gave his life for that ultimately birthed forums like the Human Rights Commission. Like Dr King's youngest daughter Bernice King who recently helped lead thousands of people in an Atlanta march opposing the radical gay agenda, we should all say no to the special rights for homosexuals activists.
Mr. Mangan is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and is a pro-family Management & Public Policy Consultant whose clients have included The Christian Coalition, The White Ribbon Against Pornography, The United Way, and Citizens for Community Values among others.
PO Box 552, Notre Dame, IN 46556
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