Newsweek's Line: 'Christ's Voice' Found in Rejecting 'Religion-based Bigotry'

Newsweek has clearly sided against the social conservatives on the gay agenda. When he published a cover on "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage" last December, editor Jon Meacham dared conservatives to protest, since it was useless: "History and demographics are on the side of those who favor inclusion over exclusion."

Nevertheless, Newsweek is still pushing the gay agenda on its website, touting a link to how an "Evangelical Explains Why He’s for Gay Rights."

Brent Childers, executive director of a group called Faith in America founded by gay furniture magnate Mitchell Gold, was the author. Strangely for a group with this name, their mission statement proclaims: "Our organization is not a religious organization. It does not take a theologian or religious background to understand that religion-based bigotry and prejudice brings condemnation, discrimination and violence to bear on its victims."

Childers wrote for Newsweek that he was marching in Washington this weekend at the "National Equality March" to proclaim his version of Christianity, where "Christ’s voice" is found urging acceptance of the gay lifestyle:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are a diverse, extraordinary, resilient, and passionate group of forgiving men and women. I wouldn't be standing beside them demanding full and equal treatment under the law and speaking out against the harm caused by religion-based bigotry at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11 if I thought they were not created in God's image the same as myself, same as my family, as we all are-we are all God's children.

And I know better than anyone, since six years ago I was one of those bigots. At that time it would have seemed abominable to even consider attending a "gay-rights" event. To me, these would have been the people tearing apart the very seams of our culture and our country.

Today, it is a natural expression of who I am. Some might call that a miracle.

So what it is that would bring someone from a place where he once declared himself a "Jesse Helms Republican," a man who condemned homosexuality as a threat to children and society, told his own son that being gay is a ticket to hell, to travel from Hickory, N.C., to the West Lawn of the Capitol building on Oct. 11, 2009? How can one travel from the seemingly impossible road of bigotry to one of acceptance and love for our LGBT brothers and sisters? The answer is one that I hope religious leaders such as Pat Robertson and James Dobson (and most importantly, their followers) will hear.

It's because something deep inside told me that I needed to step out in faith onto a bridge of knowledge and understanding. I didn't know where this bridge would take me but something was telling me it was a path I needed to walk. My own mother challenged me in 2003 to look at my beliefs and the true intent behind the teachings I held in blind faith. "Do you think your views are Christ-like?" she asked me. Her question was dead on: once I walked away from the Church's teachings of rejection and condemnation, my relationship with God transcended to a higher spiritual plateau. I realized an unparalleled sense of spiritual clarity when I opened my heart and mind to a genuine expression of love, compassion, and acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

This new voice -- Christ's voice -- became the core principles of my faith: love, compassion, and respect. That voice I now realize was desperately wanting to be heard, a voice no longer comfortable with the place in which I had chose to confine it for so long -- a place of bigotry, prejudice, fear, and misunderstanding.

The walk across that bridge wasn't very strenuous but it was at times painful. The pain came as I began to realize for the first time that I had been using my faith to bring harm to others. That's not a pleasant realization for anyone who marches under a Christian banner of love, respect, and compassion.

But it wasn’t enough for Childers to claim that he was one hearing the voice of Christ, and all the social conservatives relying on God’s word were wrong. They were also causing violence and death to gay Americans:

During the past four years I have looked into the faces of those I once caused harm to with religion-based bigotry and prejudice. And while I may have never inflicted a physical blow, I know today that my words indeed caused deep wounds-perhaps at some point deeper than I care to dwell upon.

They are the faces of individuals like young Sean Kennedy, who died in Greenville, S.C., in 2007 after being struck by a person who considered Sean a "faggot"; Pat and Lynn Mulder of Auburndale, Fla., whose gay son also died as a result of a hate crime; Jared Horsford of Texas who carved derogatory words into his flesh because he thought it would help control the demon he was told lived there; Nicholas White who was relentlessly berated by fellow 4-H peers at camp this summer as other 4-H campers stood behind the tormentors in silence; or the mother I met recently in North Carolina who grieved over her dead son-a child that had been rejected because he was gay and thought peace could only come through suicide.

There are many, many others I have met in my work with Faith in America, as we try to bring awareness and understanding to the pain and trauma caused to LGBT people, especially youth, when church teaching is misused to justify and promote a societal climate of rejection, condemnation, and discrimination. This environment fosters suicide, hate crimes, an epidemic of antigay bullying in our schools against all kinds of children gay and straight...

Childers has been helped by liberal media outlets before on these issues. His biography reports "Childers worked with one of the organization's supporters in proposing a question about religion-based bigotry that was selected to be asked in the first CNN/YouTube debate in July 2007 in Charleston, S.C."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis