Group braces for costly fight against gays
Church must be passionate in fight against homosexuality, says pastor
BY INGRID BROWN Associate Editor -- Special Assignment firstname.lastname@example.org
A group opposing homosexuality in Jamaica is adamant that it will not let up on its stance against the gay agenda and is prepared for a costly battle in order to prevent the erosion of family life and the ultimate destruction of the nation.
The group — the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) — comprises individuals and institutions that act as watchdogs for the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health of the society.
Vice-president of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals Reverend Peter Garth, who is closely aligned to the Coalition, said he has already called on the evangelical community to set aside funding for this uphill struggle.
"I have been saying to the evangelical community that our ministers are going to be dragged in and out of the courts and we had better begin now to set things aside," Garth told the weekly Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange of reporters and editors at the newspaper's head office in Kingston yesterday.
Adding that this will be a costly affair, Garth said the evangelical community must be prepared to pick up the slack.
"It is going to be costly to deal with it and the Church must be prepared to deal with that, which is why we are saying we are going to need funds because they (the gay community) have the funding," he said.
According to Garth, homosexuality is a threat to family life and an issue which he will continue to speak against, regardless of the consequence.
"We are not going to let down or to give up. I am not afraid. I am not afraid to lose my visa; take it away. I am not afraid to lose my life; take it away, but I hold on to my sovereign position and when I speak, one of the things which is amazing to JFLAG (Jamaica Forum of Lesbians All Sexuals and Gays) and others is that I am not quoting biblical scriptures," he said.
Garth said he examines the homosexual issue from a moral, biblical, medical and social point of view.
"I take off my religious hat and put on my psychology training hat where I deal with these matters because I am not only going to be pushing scriptures," he said.
Garth said the Church has to be passionate in its fight against homosexuality when it examines the proclamation of the homosexual manifesto which was entered into the US Congressional Record on February 15, 1987, and which reads in part: "We shall sodomise your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theatre bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together.
"Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.... All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.
"All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically, and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.
"If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies."
According to Garth, the gay community has been instructed to talk about gays as loudly as possible and to portray them as victims, not as aggressive challengers and to make them look good and the people opposed to them look bad.
As such, Garth said the Church is trying to influence others to look at the structure which provides value for our nation.
A former member of the gay community, Rev Dennis Jernigan, said that community has all the creative, financial and intellectual power.
According to Jernigan, an American citizen, the gay community gives more than the 10 per cent tithe that Christians give to the church, as they are very adamant about their agenda.
"If I was still in that group and was still a part of that agenda, of course I would take that as my battle cry and I would do everything in my power to bring it to pass," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Wayne West, founding member of JCHS, said the intention of this Christian think tank is to present research findings to the society to come up with solutions in the public arena.
"People are asking for you to justify your position, not simply to say that this is how it should be, so we thought it important to form a group of persons who would be willing to do some of the legwork and come up with solutions which we plan to put in the public domain for debate and consideration," he said.
The Coalition, he said, will be putting differing worldviews to Jamaicans for them to decide what will inform the laws.
One such view, he explained, is that everything is permissible and the only real important value is autonomy of the individual to do whatever they wish to and tolerance of the community to allow them to do it.
Laws, he argued, would have to be changed to recognise and facilitate the consideration that human beings have no control over their actions as these would be determined solely by chemical reactions. As such, to hold people accountable for what they do would be unfair, and there would be no such thing as morality.
"If at the end of the day Jamaicans feel they will define marriage as between any number of persons of any gender, and throw in Rover or a pig or horse or two... this is what this country is facing, and same-sex marriage and the rights for people to have sex as they choose are really the leaves of a very big tree and we need to expose that tree to the people of the country," he said.