On Tuesday, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a report documenting an 8% increase of violent attacks across the United States against gays and lesbians. This increase in attacks came during a period where gays and lesbians were often vilified during political campaigns. Over 2,000 violent incidents were highlighted in the report. Religion News Service reports that one well know gay rights activist knows just who should be blamed:
"The literal blood of the thousands of gay people physically wounded by hate during 2004 is on the hands of Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Tony Perkins and so many others who spew hate for partisan gain and personal enrichment," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
He issued the statement Tuesday (April 26) in response to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs that showed a 4 percent increase in crimes against gays and lesbians from 2003 to 2004.
Falwell, the chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., joined Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson in a "Mayday for Marriage" rally on the National Mall last October that opposed same-sex marriage.
Ron Godwin, president of Jerry Falwell Ministries, called Foreman's words a "false representation" of the biblical convictions held by Falwell and other leaders.
When you preach hate there are consequences and violence against others can be one of them. Those on the religious right who preach hate dishonor God. Seattle preacher Ken Hutcherson deserves to be on this list. So do all those who comment on this blog that they “love the sinner but hate the sin” and then rush to the voting box to endorse anti-marriage amendments and to vote for candidates who have made opposition to hate crimes legislation a center piece of their campaign. Jesus must weep each and every time violence occurs against gays and lesbians – God’s own creation – and every time preachers distort the Gospels into lessons of hate and prejudice.
Related Link: United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns
Related Post: Homosexuality and the Bible