Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When faith crosses the line

From all accounts, what happened resembled a scene from a John Wayne movie. “I haven't lost my temper in 40 years; but, Pilgrim, you caused a lot of trouble this morning; might have got somebody killed; and somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won't. I won't. The hell I won't," Wayne howls before belting Leo Gordon in the mouth in the movie McLintock.

I’m told a group of Christians deserved to be punched in the mouth after storming into the office of Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford) and forcing his Legislative Assistant to become the focus of a prayer meeting. After attempting to lay hands on him, I’m told, they prayed for his deliverance. He was left baffled and disgusted by the assumption made by those on a mission to set him free of his affliction.

The missionaries were in Raleigh to support the band of legislative homophobes consumed with a plan to place a ban of same-gender marriage in the state Constitution. On last week, The Rev-elution reported on the actions of the group led by Donald Fozard of the Mt. Zion Christian Church in Durham. In that blog (“Black Pastors Stand to Ban Gay Marriage: What Up With That”) it was reported that Fozard continually called Brandon, the state’s only openly gay legislator, a liar after Brandon brought attention to a poll that shows 61% of African Americans living in North Carolina oppose an amendment that would ban same-gender marriage.

The group left the press conference and headed to Brandon’s office. Once there they confronted the Legislative Assistant by accusing him of being gay. Once they announced the evil within him that led him to work with Brandon, they compelled him to pray. They surrounded him like a lynch mob from the sitcom “Gunsmoke” and prayed for the demon of homosexuality and his support for the rights of the sodomites to depart.

“It’s a shame what they did to him,” an assistant from another legislator told me. They embarrassed him. They singled him out due to their disdain of his boss’s agenda. They transformed the building into a Pentecostal revival and, by doing so, crossed that line separating church and state. What they did reflects my greatest fear related to the efforts to place a ban of same-gender unions in the constitution. It’s not good to force all citizens to walk down the same street. Doing so denies people the beauty of the landscape on the street on the other side of town.

Those holy folks rolled into Raleigh and knocked that door of separation down. They took advantage of their time on the stage and used it to make another point-they were there to do more damage. They were there to identify all of the enemies to their faith and to cast that devil out of them-one person at a time. This was not lobbying, it was the Inquisition reaffirmed. They stormed into that office to defeat the heretics fighting for same-gender inclusion.

In doing so, they made a major blunder in judgment. They failed by assuming the sexual preference of the person they prayed over. I suppose the gift of prophesy went array on that front. The person they prayed over isn’t gay. I know him well enough to know this to be true. I know him through a mutual relationship with a person I love and respect. My daughter.

My Daughter, Krista Kenney, and that Legislative Assistant have dated since she was a freshman in college. That Legislative Assistance has eaten food from my table. He has loved my daughter when she was sick. He has respected me, but more than any of that, I love him like my own son. I love him because of the way he loves my daughter.

When Krista called me upset, I got upset. That’s what daddy’s do you know. We stand by our children. When you mess with one of my kids prepare to get slapped in the face. So, back off with your duplicitous prayers and efforts to save the world from the spirit of homosexuality. Back off with your scolding of those who live the faith the best they can. Stop your pretentious battle to substantiate that your God is bigger than their God.

In the words of John Wayne, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people. I require the same from them.”

Step back Pilgrim and spend some more time reading that big book you call the Word of God.

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