Sunday, July 01, 2007

The right to alert against homosexuality: for how long?

The right to alert against homosexuality: for how long?

Julio Severo

Freedom of speech entitles us to say that drugs are harmful. Although human laws decriminalize drugs, those concerned about the health of young people will continue warning them of their dangers.

When tobacco use was cool and trendy, it was fashionable in the upper classes and entertainers to smoke a cigarette openly, but some churches made an effort to help those imprisoned in tobacco addiction. The value of measures to discourage smoking has only recently been recognized, but many forget that the banner against tobacco had already been raised in many churches a long time ago. I remember that I myself used to distribute, in my teen years, evangelistic tracts against tobacco, when there was no state effort against that addiction. As ever, the secular forces, especially the State, always arrive late.

Therefore, many decades before government efforts against smoking, ministers and churches were alerting people to the danger. Church members were strongly advised to abandon that addiction.

Deliverance services aimed at people in need of solution and restoration in problems as alcohol, cigarette, adultery, drugs, homosexuality, etc. In the deliverance services of a Baptist church, my own mother was healed from a serious disease and delivered from her smoking addiction.

No cigarettes or alcohol manufacturer has ever intimidated, sued or persecuted any evangelical church for its radical positions against those addictions. No motel or condom manufacturer has ever intimidated, sued or persecuted any evangelical church for its radical positions against sex outside of marriage. No television network or publisher has ever intimidated, sued or persecuted any evangelical church for its radical positions against immoral soap operas and pornographic magazines.

Yet, the homosexuality promoters, advocates, propagandists and sympathizers brazenly threaten, with total state support, to do what no cigarettes, alcohol, immoral soap operas, condoms and pornographic magazine manufacturers have never done against Christ’s followers and their churches. They want nothing less than total and unrestricted freedom for the homosexual sin.

Christ’s followers are in the vanguard of the most important ethical and social issues and they have good reasons to educate their congregations and the general public regarding each one of those issues. In the Bible, everything that damages the human body is seen as harmful, because the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And as Christ’s followers and citizens, we have all right and freedom to point out evils and addictions, and also the solution — which is in Jesus Christ, as the Gospel presents.

Jesus Christ came to the world to save sinners and deliver them from their sins. Without that essential truth, the Gospel is turned into a distortion of God’s grace, where Christ would be presented just as a good man or a good Master. But, for Christians, he is Savior, because only he can save human beings completely from oppressions and illusions that imprison the heart.

Christ’s followers are free, whether the secular State accepts or not, to say that Christ delivers men from adultery, pornography, drugs, alcoholism, cigarette, homosexuality, etc., and to establish religious services, groups and healing centers for each one of those sins. They have every right to say that those choices, although consecrated in law, are wicked and destructive. And the public is entitled to hear that message

Even though the Bible doesn’t condemn cigarettes directly, the opposition of Christians is based on the belief that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And the current government opposition to the tobacco addiction just confirms that Christians are ahead the State in important moral and ethical issues.

With good biblical, medical, psychological and social reasons, Christ’s true followers believe and teach that homosexuality is sin, perversion and abnormal. They have always believed and taught this way. However, the same government that has arrived late in responding to other threats to public moral, corporal, mental and spiritual health now creates hindrances to Christ’s followers that are committed to alert the public to serious threats to health.

Continuing in a long track of initiatives, programs and bills that combat those that reject the homosexual sin, the Lula administration, in one more hostile gesture against the eternal values of the Bible, is manifesting itself against an evangelical campaign of information on homosexuality.

VINACC (Portuguese acronym for National Vision for Christian Conscience), an evangelical association based on Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil, had begun a June campaign to alert the population on the risks of an anti-homophobia bill in the Brazilian Congress, using billboards, addressing a subject that has been an obsession in the society, government and media: homosexuality. The VINACC billboards just said: “Homosexuality: And God made male and female and he saw it was good”. Many homosexual groups protested, and the federal government issued an official declaration condemning the VINACC campaign. The same government that uses the excuse of the secular State to block the inclusion of the Christian values in the public-square issues now issues an official declaration condemning an evangelical campaign that only states that homosexuality is not God’s ideal for human beings. And the campaign did not even refer to homosexuality as a sin!

Newspapers and TV news services throughout Brazil reported the campaign. Then a local female judge ordered VINACC to remove its billboards, to not have its public meeting in defense of family, and to remove its manifesto from the VINACC website. VINACC complied.

According to its detractors, VINACC billboards, the public demonstration and the online manifesto promote homofobia. In a TV interview, the president of the NGO National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS said that the federal Ministry of Health sent them message directing them to take legal measures regarding the case. The Ministry of Health, the judge and the homosexual groups accused the campaign of violating human rights and offending the Brazilian Constitution!

The VINACC campaign aimed to inform the society of the perils of an anti-homophobia bill in the Brazilian Congress (See the article The criminalization of homophobia in Brazil and the Christian churches). Homosexual militants and state authorities in Brazil assure us that its approval will not criminalize Biblical opposition to homosexuality. Yet, the Bible-based VINACC campaign in billboards and Internet was forbidden for crime of “homophobia”. Furthermore, a Brazilian minister has been recently sued for the same reason.


4 comments : said...

Efforts to ban your site have been noted here:

Anonymous said...

I found this story from the Tongue Tied blog. I also remember an article that many may find interesting here, and found it again:

Definitely some history that some would rather be forgotten.

Unknown said...

Dear Julio,

Thank you again for some brilliant reporting. How can one contact VINACC in Campina Grande, Paraiba? Are there any similar organisations in Rio or São Paulo?

Rio de Janeiro

Anonymous said...

This actually does shock me. I can't be a fool into thinking I'm going to go to church some day, and hear the priest say, "Stacy you may have sinned all week, but don't worry God understands." No, I need someone to say I need to repent for my sins. I need the guidance on what is right and wrong. I need to pray, and someone to pray for me, to help me do what is right. God is my creator, I know he loves me. But I also know he wants me to do the right things in life, and punish me if I don't. Just as any of us would expect it of our children. Keep you head up high, and I'll pray for you.