Monday, 17 October 2011

Chicago Christian School Vandalized for Hosting Pro-family Event

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A Christian school in suburban Chicago was vandalized on the morning of October 15, just hours before it hosted an event sponsored by the pro-family group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). According to one local news report, when administrators for Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights arrived at the facility, “they discovered a number of broken windows and door panes on the east side of the building, which were shattered by bricks, Arlington Heights Police Capt. Nicholas Pecora said.”

While it is not clear exactly who was responsible for the vandalism, the report continued, a note was attached to one of the bricks “which referenced speakers scheduled for a Saturday night banquet at the school, said the Rev. Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty. The note read, ‘This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH,’ Lindstrom said.”

The banquet, which was not canceled, featured noted Christian speaker and author Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago’s famed Moody Church, along with Scott Lively (above left) of Defending the Family International, who was honored by Americans for Truth with its annual “American Truthteller” award.

Later in the day, an anonymous message was posted on the website of the Chicago Independent Media Center, implying that the attack was carried out by militant homosexual activists. “In the early morning hours of October 15th, we put two chunks of concrete through the glass windows and doors of the Christian Liberty Academy,” read the post. “We did this because at 6 p.m. today they will be hosting an event organized by the homophobic hate group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality that will be presenting an award to Scott Lively. Lively is an American preacher and founder of the hate group Watchmen on the Walls.”

The anonymous writer recalled that Lively was among the pro-family leaders who had traveled to Uganda to speak to that nation’s leaders about the dangers of normalizing homosexuality. The post blamed Lively’s appearance for the subsequent killing of Ugandan “gay rights” activist David Kisule, who “was murdered after being outed in a newspaper ad that listed names and photos of queer people in the community as a part of an anti-gay campaign that is a result of Scott Lively’s visit.”

The post also targeted Americans for Truth About Homosexuality as a “hate group” that had previously organized “day-trainings for youth anti-gay organizers on how to counter the ‘homosexual agenda’ at the Christian Liberty Academy.”

Peter LaBarbera, founder and president of Americans for Truth, said the vandalism was nothing less than a hate crime by homosexual activists against individuals committed to Christian values. “If this would have occurred at a gay church, there would have been a public outcry,” he said. He told “We see the homosexual agenda is becoming so arrogant in its growing power, but we’ve never seen this before, what we would call ‘homofascism’ being raised to the level of domestic terrorism.”

LaBarbera recalled that Christian Liberty Academy has hosted several events for Americans for Truth, including last year’s three-day Truth Academy, which prompted a protest by a Chicago-based homosexual activist group called the Gay Liberation Network (GLN).

In a posting on his group’s website, LaBarbera noted that the GLN’s Bob Schwartz had unsuccessfully pressured the Rev. Lutzer to cancel his appearance at the October 15 banquet, calling Lively a “vicious gay basher” and pointing out the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center’s condemnation of Americans for Truth. “Are these the kinds of organizations with which you wish to associate the Moody Church?" Schwartz asked Lutzer. …"[W]e take you at your word when you say you oppose violence against gays. We therefore assume that you would not want to be associated with those, like Lively and LaBarbera, who either support violence outright, or honor those who do.”

Concerning the vandalism, LaBarbera said that the “GLN has always targeted us, but right now we don’t know who did this. It could be just a rogue activist. It could be just one person. We don’t know, and I wouldn’t want to link the attack to any group unless we had evidence linking it.”

For his part, Lively vehemently denied the “hate” allegations against him, emphasizing that “I am a Bible-believing Christian who abhors violence against anyone, and have never advocated violence or hatred against homosexuals.” He recalled that 20 years ago he and his wife and kids took into their home a man dying of AIDS, caring for him until his death. He added, however, that while “I am compelled by Christ to love those who struggle with homosexual sin as individuals, I am also strongly opposed to the homosexual political agenda, which I view as an existential threat to Christian civilization around the world.”

Noting that he has received thousands of hate-mail messages and even death threats in his campaign against the homosexual agenda, he exhorted fellow Christians not “to be influenced by the propaganda nor intimidated by the harassment tactics of LGBT activists. It has always been the case that the cause of Christ is advanced only through selfless courage in the face of determined opposition.”

Added LaBarbera: “A lot of Christians cower in fear before the power and influence of the homosexual lobby. It’s not helpful. If you demonstrate you can be intimidated, you reward the bully. The ‘gay’ bully has been rewarded enough times, so many times they think they can get their way. We hope more churches will refuse to be bullied and will stand up to tell the truth about the homosexual agenda.”

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