I got an e-mail today from a man who sent me a link to the pastor’s blog on the Web site for Crossroads Christian Church in Grand Prairie. He was appalled at the blog posted Oct. 14 by Pastor Barry Cameron and titled “Change we can’t believe in.”
I, too, found the blog appalling. But not surprising. In fact, the first sentence sound more than a little reminiscent of a certain Oklahoma state legislator (Sally Kern, anyone?). Here’s what Cameron had to say:
“This past Sunday, I shared in my message that the #1 battleground for America is homosexuality. It’s not the war in Afghanistan or the ongoing conflict in Iraq.”
And later, he says: “Hebrews 13:4 says, ‘Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.’ As I shared this past Sunday, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 makes it clear anyone who, as the habitual, continual pattern of their life, lives in sexual immorality of any kind will not inherit the kingdom of God. In short, the Bible clearly says people who live like that and die like that are not going to Heaven. Instead, they’ve sentenced themselves to an eternity in hell.”
He then went on to note that President Barack Obama had just recently spoken at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, D.C., and castigated the president for saying that same-sex relationships are just as admirable as opposite-sex relationships, and that he supports equality in all areas for LGBT people.
Cameron was “concerned” because the president said LGBT people shouldn’t face discrimination in employment. The pastor warned, ” God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” and that “the work being done by the HRC and those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, warring against the traditional family and the biblical values that have shaped this nation for some 233 years, is not something God will ever bless.”
In a second blog post referenced by in the e-mail I received, Cameron noted that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon church) was the fastest-growing faith group in the country in the 1990s. That’s a problem, he said, because the Mormon church is “a faith based on fiction. A faith based on a fairy tale.”
Now, after what happened in California with Proposition 8 last year, I personally have a hard time scraping up any sympathy for the Mormon church. But this blog by Cameron is another perfect example of the kind of religious bigotry perpetrated by Cameron and others like him.
One of the founding principles of this country was religious freedom, and Pastor Barry Cameron has the right to believe anything he wants. Even though I find his beliefs ridiculous and hateful, as best, and, at worst, downright dangerous, I will defend his right to those beliefs because to do otherwise would undermine my own right to religious freedom.
But here’s the problem: Cameron is one of those people who thinks that his rights outweigh everyone else’s rights. He thinks that his beliefs are the only ones that are correct and righteous and therefore he has the right to impose them on the rest of us, that our government should be based on his religious beliefs.
And here’s the part that makes him and his beliefs dangerous: He tells his flock these things, and because he is their pastor — in other words, because he in effect controls their access to God and heaven — they are going to go along with him. I mean, they don’t want to endanger their chance at eternity in Heaven by thinking for themselves.
Go read Cameron’s blog. For that matter, read all his blog posts. And take the chance to post a comment, but please, be courteous. If we charge in there cursing and belittling the pastor or his congregation, they won’t take the time to even hear (read) what we have to say. Make your point, but do it politely enough that they might actually read it and perhaps start to think about it.
Because that’s the only way to defeat religious bigotry: By getting reasonable people to think for themselves.