Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Posted on: April 25th, 2015 by feyadmin

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Educational institutions must not sanction hostility toward minorities

Posted on: January 17th, 2015 by feyadmin

Immediate Release
January 17, 2015

Duke University and Maiden High School
have bowed to different forms of bigotry

Faith In America today expresses its deep disappointment in Duke University’s decision not to allow a Muslim prayer to be broadcast from its campus tower and stands with students who would like the prayer call broadcast weekly at the school.

The university had planned to sound the Muslim call to prayer, or adman, from the Duke University Chapel’s 210-foot bell tower for the first time yesterday. It was called off Thursday in the face of criticism from some powerful Christian voices – Rev. Franklin Graham in particular, who opposed the move because of violence associated with Muslim extremists.

Instead, the call to prayer, or adhan, was sounded in Arabic and English on Friday from a small portable speaker set up on the chapel steps. Students who gathered there reportedly condemned the university’s bow to pressure and asked for religious inclusiveness.

“Faith In America joins those students who understand American democracy and religious freedom far better than Franklin Graham,” said Brent Childers, executive director of Faith In America. “When it comes to criticizing religious extremists, I hope Franklin Graham will pause and take a look in the mirror. I can promise you that there are many in the LGBT community, as well as many of their family members and friends, who view him as a religious extremist because of the harm, derogation and other forms of hostility that he has justified and promoted in the past toward them.”

Childers said that Muslim individuals living across America awake each Sunday morning to the sound of Christian church bells ringing and no American Muslim organization apparently has tried to oppose such acts designed to bring positive public awareness to the Christian faith. In fact, church bells ring on the Duke University each Sunday morning, according to reports.

“If bells can ring out from Christian churches on Sunday morning, then no one should expect that in America other religious groups would be prevented from producing acts designed to bring positive public awareness to their religion,” Childers said.

Childers said conservative Christian leaders who seek to diminish the Muslim faith also have been the ones who often have sought to diminish the lives of gay and lesbian people.

“There is a difference between Franklin Graham’s religious bigotry and the religion-based bigotry toward gay people that he has promoted in the past,” Childers said. “Religious bigotry targets a person with hostility because of that person’s religious belief while religion-based bigotry targets the individual because of the person’s skin color, gender or sexual orientation.

“Franklin Graham should be ashamed, both as a Christian and as someone who should know a little something about religious freedom in America, for his display of religious bigotry toward Muslims. He should fall on his knees and repent for the violence and death his religion-based bigotry has fostered in the lives of countless gay and lesbian individuals.”

Childers said religious bigotry and religion-based bigotry toward minorities often appear parallel in socially conservative Christian faith communities.

He said a local Christian pastor in western North Carolina recently lobbied for the cancellation of a high school play, “Almost Maine”, that had a gay scene in it. The pastor, Rev. Mark Ivey of Christ Alive Church in Newton, N.C., has publicly promoted homosexuality as sinful behavior and the notion that those who support gay marriage are defiling the nation.

Ivey has also compared Islam to Nazism. In one recent sermon, he recounted a trip to a community where the Muslim call to prayer is broadcast and in that sermon warned his congregation that Islam was coming to their community in Catawba County.

“So here we have Rev. Franklin Graham on the national stage espousing religious bigotry toward Muslims and we are all familiar with his condemnation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Childers stated. “Then we have small-town America pastor Mark Ivey promoting religious bigotry toward Muslims in his community and his religion-based bigotry as evidenced by his condemnation of gay people.

“Pastor Mark Ivey was successful in getting the play Almost Maine canceled at Maiden High School and Rev. Franklin Graham was successful in getting the Muslim call to prayer quashed at Duke university.

“It’s truly a terrible day in America when this nation’s educational institutions sanction any form of bigotry – whether religious bigotry toward Muslims or religion-based bigotry toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”

Faith In America is a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the harm to LGBT youth and families when religious teaching is misused to justify and promote stigma and hostility. Brent Childers, who once aligned himself with the anti-gay religious industry, serves as executive director.

More about high school play cancelation here: wfae.org/post/almost-maine-goes-without-school-support
More about Duke University decision here: www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-duke-muslim-prayer-controversy-20150116-story

Posted on: October 7th, 2014 by feyadmin

Posted on: October 7th, 2014 by feyadmin

Faith in America Dialogue

Posted on: January 12th, 2014 by feyadmin

Wilmington Dec. 17 2013

Posted on: December 22nd, 2013 by feyadmin

JOIN US IN WILMINGTON, N.C.TUESDAY, DEC. 17 

Posted on: December 13th, 2013 by feyadmin

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JOIN US IN WILMINGTON, N.C.TUESDAY, DEC. 17 

Posted on: December 10th, 2013 by feyadmin

Dear supporters,

There is something terribly amiss when a group of young people and their families are targeted with stigma, hostility and discrimination in this country.
 
As horrible as it sounds, it is happening in the Wilmington community by a private school which has adopted a policy that states it can reject gay youth, straight youth with gay parents or even those who simply support the full human dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
 
This must not be allowed to stand unchallenged because as you know there is much more at stake here than the language of such of a policy – its the religion-based bigotry that would allow such a policy to be considered in the first place. Worse, a new law in North Carolina means taxpayer funding could help promote such stigma and hostility.
 
Unfortunately, such a policy among private religious schools is not isolated to Myrtle Grove Christian School in Wilmington. A recent article in Rolling Stone magazine documented how similar policies have been adopted by private schools across the country, from Connecticut to Louisiana. Taxpayer dollars in these states also are funding these school’s anti-gay policies and the anti-gay messages they promote.

The Myrtle Grove Christian School recently announced it would not accept funding from parents who might be eligible for North Carolina Opportunity Scholarships – which they can use to fund their children’s private school education. But there are hundreds of private religious schools in North Carolina that will and many of those private schools promote stigma and hostility toward LGBT youth and families. As private schools, they certainly may have the right to teach whatever they wish but that doesn’t negate our obligation to make people aware of the harm certain teaching can have on not only LGBT youth and families but all of us as a society.

I was recently made aware of how one private religious school in North Carolina teaches African Americans shouldn’t marry whites or vice versa and it bases such a message on certain biblical text – much like the original district judge stated about Mildred Loving and Jeter Loving in the landmark 1967 Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia case. That church-affiliated school may be free to teach such a message but the vast majority of Americans, including people of faith, know how misguided such teaching is today – and how harmful.
 
So when a private school would rather deny its parents available state funding so that it can continue promoting stigma and hostility toward LGBT youth and families, that says something about how such animus is so entrenched and why awareness and understanding is greatly needed.

On Tuesday evening, Dec. 17, we hope you will plan on attending an event at the UNC-Wilmington Burnie Center to stand with others in the Wilmington community who want to promote a very different message to LGBT youth, their families, friends and the community.
 
Jane Clementi, mother of Tyler Clementi and co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, will be a special guest for this public forum. You will not want to miss her powerful story as a mother who tragically lost her son to suicide in 2010. Clementi has appeared on a host of major news outlets as she is using her family’s poignant personal story to stand against bullying of LGBT youth and against the type societal climate that places a stamp of unworthiness and shame on their very being.
 
Join Jane Clementi and Faith In America and let’s be Upstanders for LGBT youth and families.

We’re publishing the following ad in the Wilmington Star today to announce the event and to send a message to LGBT youth and families in the community – there’s a new faith perspective being promoted today. It is one that fully embraces you and your family and one that holds no animus toward LGBT equality.

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Wolf Blitzer Highlights

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 by feyadmin

Faith In America sponsors CNN’s Wolf Blitzer
for dialogue on Politics, Religion and LGBT Equality

Wolf

Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s awarding winning political anchor, speaking at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Blitzer

Left to right are Mitchell Gold, Rev. Dr. Jack McKinney and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, who joined Blitzer on stage as panelists.

Crowd Entering

The event was held at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s P.E. Monroe Auditorium in Hickory, N.C.

opposing pastors

Pastors with the American Pastors Network hold a press conference after the event.

As chief political anchor for CNN, Wolf Blitzer may often see in the stories he reports a convergence of political ideals and religious ideals. Any student of history, particularly American history, recognizes the dialogue about the intersection of politics and religion has been robust, sometimes contentious but always healthy as we as a society seek to further the free exchange of such ideals.

So it could not have been more appropriate that Faith In America and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings sponsor CNN’s widely acclaimed anchor to lead a very special dialogue at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. on Saturday. The university and Catawba County Pride were co-hosts.

The ideal of equality itself seems to serve as an intersecting point for the exchange of political ideals and religious ideals. The religious and political considerations behind the issue of abortion and women’s equality. Discussions of African-American equality often analyze the religious and political veins of that civil rights movement.

Certainly with the issue of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, dialogue about politics and religion are rarely separate and perhaps maybe even inseparable for many.

During the previous 30 years in American society, religious perspectives indeed have shaped a good portion of the national political dialogue about LGBT equality. Whether debating laws or legal decisions, the traditional religious perspective on homosexuality often has been used to justify opposition to LGBT equality.

The discussion during the dialogue with Wolf Blitzer on Saturday, Sept. 28, pointed to an inescapable truth that clearly is emerging – the intersection of politics, religion and LGBT equality is pointing to a different direction forward.

Panelists for the evening were Mitchell Gold and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, both of Hickory, N.C., and Rev. Dr. Jack McKinney of Raleigh, N.C.

Posted on: September 30th, 2013 by feyadmin 1 Comment

Faith In America sponsors CNN’s Wolf Blitzer
for dialogue on Politics, Religion and LGBT Equality

Wolf

Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s awarding winning political anchor, speaking at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Blitzer

Left to right are Mitchell Gold, Rev. Dr. Jack McKinney and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, who joined Blitzer on stage as panelists.

Crowd Entering

The event was held at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s P.E. Monroe Auditorium in Hickory, N.C.

opposing pastors

Pastors with the American Pastors Network hold a press conference after the event.

As chief political anchor for CNN, Wolf Blitzer may often see in the stories he reports a convergence of political ideals and religious ideals. Any student of history, particularly American history, recognizes the dialogue about the intersection of politics and religion has been robust, sometimes contentious but always healthy as we as a society seek to further the free exchange of such ideals.

So it could not have been more appropriate that Faith In America and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings sponsor CNN’s widely acclaimed anchor to lead a very special dialogue at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. on Saturday. The university and Catawba County Pride were co-hosts.

The ideal of equality itself seems to serve as an intersecting point for the exchange of political ideals and religious ideals. The religious and political considerations behind the issue of abortion and women’s equality. Discussions of African-American equality often analyze the religious and political veins of that civil rights movement.

Certainly with the issue of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, dialogue about politics and religion are rarely separate and perhaps maybe even inseparable for many.

During the previous 30 years in American society, religious perspectives indeed have shaped a good portion of the national political dialogue about LGBT equality. Whether debating laws or legal decisions, the traditional religious perspective on homosexuality often has been used to justify opposition to LGBT equality.

The discussion during the dialogue with Willf Blitzer on Saturday, Sept. 28, pointed to an inescapable truth that clearly is emerging – the intersection of politics, religion and LGBT equality is pointing to a different direction forward.

Panelists for the evening were Mitchell Gold and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, both of Hickory, N.C., and Rev. Dr. Jack McKinney of Raleigh, N.C.