April 28, 2015

IRD: Never Compromise Convictions According to Tide of Popular Culture

Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release
April 28, 2015
Contact: Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org

“Marriage does not need to be compromised; it needs to be cherished with courage.”
-Chelsen Vicari, Director of IRD’s Evangelical Action Program

Washington, DC—Institute on Religion and Democracy Evangelical Program Director Chelsen Vicari spoke today at the Rally to Stand for Marriage in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. The rally was a multi-organizational effort coordinated by Alliance Defending Freedom from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time, coinciding with oral arguments before the Court.

Large crowds were gathered outside of the Supreme Court building, with a diverse demographic and opponents on both sides of the marriage argument represented.

IRD Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari commented:

“Today we pray that our leaders do what is best for the health of society, the welfare of children, and the protection of freedom of conscience. But no matter what our nine Supreme Court Justices decide come June, as Christian citizens we must never compromise our convictions according to the tide of popular culture.

“Whatever decision the Supreme Court makes will have very serious consequences for our Christian convictions on our campuses, at our jobs, and in our private lives. We face losing friendships, garnering hostility from schoolmates and perhaps even family members all because we refuse to compromise and water-down the Gospel. But Praise God, because we are not alone in our stand for marriage!

“Remember that Christ was criticized and crucified by the popular culture of His day. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t get burnout. And don’t be silent. Silence does not spread justice nor truth.

“Most importantly, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, don’t be afraid, for the Lord promises He is with you. Don’t be discouraged, for He is your God. He will strengthen you and help you. He will hold you up with His victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

“Marriage does not need to be compromised; it needs to be cherished with courage.

“Never lose your compassion, but never ever abandon your convictions!”


18 Responses to IRD: Never Compromise Convictions According to Tide of Popular Culture

  1. the_enemy_hates_clarity says:

    Amen, Miss Vicari, amen.

  2. brookspj says:

    “But no matter what our nine Supreme Court Justices decide come June, as Christian citizens we must never compromise our convictions according to the tide of popular culture.”
    Too late. No fault divorce is already legal in all 50 States and the vast majority of Christians have done neither to stop it or discourage it. American Christians by and large held little to no concern for the health of society, the welfare of its children, or even following Jesus’ own teachings on marriage until they were asked to let gays and lesbians share the same benefits and rights as them. Now they claim to care, but their claims ring empty somehow.

  3. brookspj says:

    “We face losing friendships, garnering hostility from schoolmates and perhaps even family members all because we refuse to compromise and water-down the Gospel.”
    What hypocrisy is this? How many teenagers and young people who came out to “God-fearing” families have been rejected and abandoned while your churches and their leaders remained silent? How many students have been bullied, shamed, outed, and in some cases even killed because of their sexuality while conservative Christians have opposed every bill and statue to combat this type of bullying in schools in the name of “religious freedom”? How many people have been fired because of their sexual orientation even as it had no bearing on their ability to do their job? And how many of you have defended the right of employers to do it? What are really trying to do? Protect yourselves from persecution or insure your continued ability to persecute others?

    • Paul Hoskins says:

      Christians are not persecuting homosexuals, unless you think that refusing to supply a cake for a sham wedding is “persecution.” Two lesbians in Oregon targeted a Christian baker, and a judge has awarded them $135,000, from the pockets of the “persecuting” bakers. I think an objective observer would say that the victims in this episode are two nice people having their livelihood taken away from them by two vindictive lesbians who claim they got their feelings hurt – very expensive feelings, at $135,000. you sound like you have bought into the false narrative – Christians gather together on Sunday to plot the many ways we can persecute the innocent gays. I can assure you, having been an evangelical most of my life, there is zero hate coming from Christians but a tidal wave of hate coming from homosexuals. I don’t know any Christians trying to shut down gay-owned businesses, but the news is full of gays targeting Christian businesses. you are correct, there is lots of bullying going on, but it’s the Christians who are the victims. In a sick society, decent people going about their business are targeted. This is just plain wrong.

      • brookspj says:

        During the 1980s many Christians pastors including Jerry Falwell called AIDs the “gay plague” and suggested it was God’s punishment on homosexuals. Many have suggested such claims might explain why many Christian organizations and conservative groups were sluggish at first in responding to the epidemic.

        As late as 2003 there were still Sodomy Laws forbidding homosexual behavior on the books in some states, laws which several professed Christian organizations (and sponsors of the Rally for Marriage I might add) supported including Family Research Council and the Culture and Family Institute. Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council said as recently as 2010 that he would be in favor of reinstating those laws.

        Tony Perkins (also of Family Research Council) keeps claiming homosexuals are more likely to be child molesters (despite lacking any hard evidence to suggest this and having been discredited by the American Psychological Association and American Pyschiatric Association).

        Franklin Graham blamed “the gays” when Hurricane Katrina hit. James Dodson did the same thing when the Sandy Hook Shootings occurred.

        As recent as 2012 a Baptist Pastor in Maiden, North Carolina says in a sermon that gays should locked behind an electronic fense (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/22/nation/la-na-nn-pastor-wants-to-put-gays-lesbians-behind-electrified-fence-20120522).
        The past year a man in California submitted a ballot petition to shoot gays in head which he claimed was in accordance with the Bible (http://www.salon.com/2015/03/03/california_lawyer_proposes_punishing_homosexuality_by_shooting_people_in_the_head/).
        And Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries (which has been promoting all manner of wild conspiracy theories about homosexuals for years) is being charged for his role in the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Ugunda, which makes being gay a capital offense. He was only one of many American evangelical pastors working in Ugunda at the time the bill was being crafted and voicing support for harsh measures against homosexuality.

        • mikeg says:

          I think the reason he called it “the gay plague” is because gays gave it go gays. and you’re still doing it.

          Calling it “the straight plague” would’ve been pretty stupid.

          You guys are the biggest crybabies on planet earth. Honestly, all that self-loathing must be rooted in the contempt that any man feels when he acts like a woman. You will not get genuine self-respect by passing laws against Christians, you get self-respect by acting like men instead of 4th grade girls.

          • brookspj says:

            Wow name-calling. That’s the mark of a respectful and mature debate. How am I the 4th grader if you’re the one using elementary school insults? Also I’m actually a heterosexual, not that should have any bearing on our conversation or my points which you seem intent on ignoring.

          • Aron says:

            Neat little dodge there. You were upset at the term “the gay plague,” but mikeg pointed out the obvious fact that it IS a gay plague. The prophesied “heterosexual AIDS epidemic in America” has never happened, never will. Gays kill each other with AIDS, then whine because Christians won’t bake them a cake. They are fools.

          • brookspj says:

            I’m sorry for you.

          • Aron says:

            I’m feeling just fine, thanks, I don’t run around spreading lies because it is not ethical to push your agenda with a pack of lies. Shepherd’s death was no hate crime, as is now well established, neither was the killing of Harvey Milk, that was purely a political assassination. To post a phony list like that and say “This is what you monster Christians do to homosexuals!” is a vile slander. Why should Christians feel guilt because some young druggie got murdered by two other druggies? We are not responsible for what a bunch of promiscuous, drugged-out hedonists do to each other. People who behave themselves and lead decent lives don’t get into that kind of trouble.

            Like all homosexuals, you never address the thousands of deaths caused by AIDS, passed from one gay man to another. In terms of sheer numbers, the CDC data is pretty clear who the killers of gays are. Facts are stubborn things. When you face God, there will be much to answer for, using God’s creatures as sexual objects and not caring if they die.

        • Namyriah says:

          What is Ugunda?

    • mikeg says:

      That is not correct. No gays are being killed in America. the story of Matthew Shepherd has been thoroughly debunked as a hoax, it was no anti-gay hate crime, he was a young druggie killed by two other druggies, the whole story having been reported by a gay journalists. Also, the line about “gays being fired for being gay” is another hoax, no substance. Christians do not need to feel guilt about fictional crimes. Here’s a great link reporting the hoaxes perpetrated by gay activists.


      • brookspj says:

        Really? Here are names of others gay, lesbian, or transgendered persons killed because of their sexuality. And this list only goes up to 2008.

        Bernard Milk (1930-1978)

        Moscone (1929-1978)

        O. Howard (1961-1984)

        Wright (1959-1988)

        Zappalorti (1945-1990)

        Broussard (1964-1991)

        Teena (1972-1993)

        Lambert (-1993)

        DeVine (-1993)

        Amedure (1963-1995)

        Ellis (1942-1995)

        Abdill (1953-1995)

        Hawthorne (-1996)

        Uzunyol (-1996)

        Shepard (1976-1998)

        Winchell (1977-1999)

        Dykes (1972-1999)

        Child (1999)

        Moore (1968-1999)

        Whittington (1985-1999)

        Matson (1949-1999)

        Mowder (1959-1999)

        Fenrich (1981-1999)

        Overstreet (-2000)

        J.R. Warren (1974-2000)

        Webster (1959-2001)

        Araujo (1985-2002)

        Morris (1955-2002)

        Richie Phillips (1967-2003)

        Johnson (1986-2003)

        Coleman (1985-2003)

        Kopitske (1966-2003)

        Eddy (1974-2004)

        Morley (1967-2004)

        Antonio Paris (2001-2005)

        Gage (1976-2005)

        Sandy (1977-2006)

        Duncanson (1987-2007)

        William Kennedy (1987-2007)

        Lawrence King (1993-2008)

        • mikeg says:

          You’re a liar. Matthew Shepherd is on that list, and his murder was not a hate crime. Harvey Milk was shot by a jealous colleague. So you are obviously not averse to lying to make your point.

          It was a gay report who uncovered the Shepherd hoax, so you can give that one a rest, we’re not as uninformed as you think.

          Btw, “killed for their sexuality” is pure speculation. If A killed B, and B was gay, to you that is proof of “killed for their sexuality.” People are killed for all kinds of motives. In your fantasy world, gays never do anything wrong, they just sit around waiting to be “killer for their sexuality.”

          We like facts here, so the propaganda won’t fly.

        • Namyriah says:

          There are 40 names on your list (if you count “unnamed child” as a person), I can assure you that much more than 40 Christians have been killed for their faith just in 2015 alone, probably in the past month. You have a severe case of tunnel vision – the lives of homosexuals matter, the lives of others don’t. I don’t know if you were aware of it, but this is a Christian blog, so, taking the wider view of things, this is probably not the ideal venue to post your phony list of “hate crimes,” with names like “Unnamed child” and the discredited Matthew Shepherd. Even if these were genuine hate crimes, why should that concern Christians? We aren’t doing the killing. Numerically, lots more Christians are being killed than gays, so your attempt at guilt-tripping is a FAIL.

          • brookspj says:

            And none of those deaths were at the hands of homosexuals or persons advocating for their rights, so I fail to see the connection. None of these have happened here in America. The subject of this post was gay rights and the church in America. I hate what’s happening to Christians in the Middle East right now. I pray for them and the Yazidis, and the Kurdish Muslims, and the moderate Syrian rebels and everyone else who’s suffering at the hands of ISIL or putting their lives on the line to fight them. I also pray for the souls of the disturbed individuals who are committing these crimes against humanity. My comments and concerns in this post were directed toward American Christians specifically and their lot and behavior.
            And at least some of these killings have been at the hands of professed Christians. Milk’s killer considered himself a God-fearing man. But my point was not as much to lay blame for their deaths as draw attention to the fact that the very types of things Chelsen thinks Christians may suffer for their stance on gay rights are the very things many gays have suffered often either at the hands of Christians or with their silent approval.

          • brookspj says:

            And why should the suffering of people other than “like-minded fellow Christians” not concern them? The world needs to see that we don’t just show up when our own are trouble. Part of our witness to the world is a concern for all people and belief that all lives matter.

  4. Fran Brunson says:

    Chelsen, it is so inspiring to see young people like yourself take a stand for godly living. We have a core group of teens and young adults in our congregation who have committed themselves to the full gospel the apostles preaching, including the necessity of a strict sexual ethic, and they agree that this ethic is not repressive, on the contrary it’s liberating not to go along with crowd, not to be at the mercy of one’s impulses. There’s no doubt that so many young people will reject this message (and their elders haven’t exactly set a good example). God’s standards are what they are, the way to eternal life is narrow and difficult, but it is the only route to life.

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