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November 10, 2008

Protesters March in Front of Saddleback

Several Mormon churches and Rick Warren's Saddleback Church are taking heat for California's decision to ban gay marriage.

About 1,000 people protested in front of Saddleback, according to the Associated Press. Warren had endorsed Proposition 8 before it was passed with 52 percent of the votes cast last week.

The Mormon church has already been targeted after it contributed an estimated 40 percent of the individual donations made to the Yes on 8's $30 million-plus campaign, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Here are numbers from Matthai Kuruvila:

-- 84 percent of those who attend church weekly voted yes.

-- 81 percent of white evangelicals voted yes.

-- 65 percent of white Protestants voted yes.

-- 64 percent of Catholics voted yes. Catholics accounted for 30 percent of all voters.

A poll showed that weekly churchgoers increased their support in the final week from 72 percent to 84 percent, with Catholic support increasing from 44 percent to 64 percent. Kuruvila writes writes that the jump that accounted for 6 percent of the total California electorate, equivalent to the state's entire African American population combined and more than accounted for Prop. 8's 5 percent margin of victory.

Comments

I want to say thank you to all those who supported Prop 8. I cringe watching these churches take such heat for standing up for Judeo-Christian values. But I guess it has always been that way. The caricatures of believers being drawn by gay-rights activists are ironic -- thousands march, screaming to burn down churches and temples -- and we're the ones depicted as haters.

I also have seen stats, somewhere, that 70% of African-American voters supported Prop 8 and that the increased turnout for Obama actually increased support for Prop 8.

A lot of evangelicals are disappointed about the election.

But, how many are thinking about Romans 13:1? If God is omnipotent he must have allowed Obama to win for a reason.

Millions of the descendants of African slaves have been praying for a moment like this for generations. Millions of others have desired a nation where superficial outward appearances are overlooked in favor of the inner heart (Romans 7:22; 1 Peter 3:4). Now, millions of children will grow up in a nation where this is a given.

The evengelicals need to face the fact that the Lord has given us our hearts' desires; He has fulfilled the yearnings and thoughts of many (cf., Luke 1:35).

This is in fact something as important as seeing His will fulfilled on abortion and marriage. If not more so.

We have seen that nothing is impossible with God. The ramifications will ripple throughout eternity.

I welcome you to join the celebration in praising Him.

I for one believe there is going to be a growing persecution of both Christians and Mormons in this country. Whether or not you validate "gay rights" is already becoming a litmus test for being hired in various professions in the country, such as law firms.

Thank you church goers for showing us what jesus would not have done. Has the church really fallen so far?

It is an honour for a pastor to have taken heat from those who oppose homosexual marriage.

In Canada we are seeing the results of putting the government stamp of approval on "gay" "marriage"
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There is already a strenghtened move to promote in the public schools the teachling, in effect, that same-sex unions can be regarded favourably as equivalent to marriage of a man and a woman.

These protesters argue that this Prop 8 vote was nothing more than a new restriction on civil rights, equivalent in some way to slavery or the the many freedoms that black Americans fought for in the last century. Why then is it that virtually all the protesters are white and that 70% of Black Californian's voted YES for Prop 8?

I didn't hear anyone calling for burning down churches or temples.

I have heard a lot of people call for removing the tax exempt status of the Mormon church because of the excessive use of resources for a political campaign.

If churches are going to act as political machines, run businesses, and have atm kiosks in their sanctuaries, why should they be tax exempt? Why should they get special privileges in zoning cases?

What would Jesus do? What he did was run the moneychangers out of the temple, as I recall. I wonder how may of these megachurches really want Jesus to come back?

I'm not sure what the Associated Press saw, but I saw a gaggle of about 30 anti-8 people standing at the entrance to Saddleback Church on Sunday. There were about 25 sheriff's vehicles gathered with nothing to do. Doesn't surprise me that the press would beef up the numbers for a politically correct protest gathering.

Most of the African American and Hispanic American voters who voted for Obama also voted Yes on Prop. 8. This shows how out of sync the Democratic Party platform is with most folks who consider themselves Democrats.

I propose we act on the gay issue in a lawful but not legalistic way. The "gay" issue is a serious and important one and we must inspect the scriptures and get guidance from the Holy Spirit on this issue before we act in a legalistic way, so that we act in a lawful and Christlike way. By Christlike I mean we must act according to the words and actions of Jesus. Firstly we must realize that thievery and adultery are not "better" than homosexuality in the sense that we can associate with adulterers and prostitutes lovingly to convert them and associate lovingly with thieves and gangsters and murderers to convert them and then when we deal with homosexuals we act callously and without sensitivity. One of the things taught by the bible is that God does not act hastily and neither should we. It is better to act generously and lovingly and win someones favour in order to convert them rather than waving legalistic clauses at them. After all how long does it take a "married" gay couple to realize Christ-likeness? Maybe they will react instantly to the legalism of the cold Saddleback approach and straighten out immediately. Alternatively they might be welcomed in like Zaccheus and the Samaritan adulteress was welcomed into Christ's presence and then be overcome with joy and repentance. But to be honest, I do not think anyone at Saddleback would have the presence and character required to inspire anyone to repent like Zaccheus did in the presence of our Lord. So better they try the hard-nosed legalistic approach. I know they will fail, but like the Pharisees it will make them feel good about themselves.

God's blessings and congratulations to Rick Warren and Saddleback Church and the Mormon Church and the African-Americans who supported Proposition 8. All who supported this measure will be blessed by God and appreciated by all of us who do not live in California and could not vote in favor.

In a way, i'm glad that the Church is a target. It's been very much a target in many parts of the world to the point of total demolision by laws, burnings by mobs, murder by fanatics...etc. And as the Body of Christ stands up for the Lord in the US and sees resistance and ...persecution..disciples will be born and Gods Kingdom will be extended.
Keep shining in Truth and in Love.

I do not understand why opposition exists against gay marriage.

what you'll read from the associated press is that the organizer of the protest reports the protest was peacefull. what you won't read is that a woman walked into the crowd of protesters carrying a large cross. the protesters tore the cross from her hands, threw it on the ground and proceeded to stomp on it. This was witnessed by a local news crew who, after reporting this action, concluded that there was evidenced anger and hate on both sides (?). Further, I had been listening to the Laura Ingrams radio show (which is where I got this info) and she had a caller who attended Saddleback church last Sunday. As this lady still had a "Yes on Prop. 8" sticker on her car, protesters began throwing misc. items at her car. She stated it was harmless stuff like gum and paper, but the crowd had scared her children, who were in the car with her, pretty good.

I'm a commited Christian who opposed prop 8. Come on--our gay sisters and brothers want to have monogamous relationships that are loyal, faithful and loving. Where's the lack of family values? Even a cursory look through the Old Testament will show that marriage has been a changing institution that met the needs of the cultural context. And--in the NT, the only times Jesus really seemed to get angry was when people used religion to burden other people rather than love them. Being a minority who doesn't fit the "norm" (as we define it--not necessarily how their Creator defines it) is enough of a burden--lets be the face of Christ and let love guide our actions.

The irony here is that the proponents of same-sex behaviors and "rights" are also fervent proponents of free expression. However, when opponents exercise free expression, then such expression must be quelled through physical and verbal intimidation tactis. The Church has nothing to fear from these tactics. In truth, as the Church remains steadfast in her fidelity to Scripture and Spirit-led interpretation and application of Scripture, then we will witness the frustration and anger of Prop. 8 proponents spiral into the ugliness of verbal, legal, and physical abuse that comprise the armamentarium of those who have no experience of or desire for the grace Jesus. Then all will see that the ultimate goals of many who support same-sex behaviors are both the elevation of human choice and privilege to the status of irrefutable and irreducible rights, and the eradication of those who oppose such elevation.

The church should stay out of politics of this sort. What business is it of Christians whether or not the state recognizes or does not recognize this or that living arrangement.

Question--I've seen this figure about 40% of contributors being Mormon. Have you guys checked into how anyone knows this? It can't be based on any government reports--there's not check-box on reporting forms for "Are you LDS?" or anything. As far as I can find, one ABC affiliate reported it, and other media reported it without verifying it. Am I wrong about this? How do they know this? Who were the other 60%?

As a former Christian of 19 years, it's amazing to me how Christians spend so much energy demonizing gay people instead of seeing the tremendous opportunity to reach them. Congratulations Christians! Keep on preaching your hatred. Keep trying your best to keep gay people disconnected from God. Why would you ever want gays to know him. Don't let them into your exclusive club.

YOU are responsible for sending them away. You are the true demons.

Not sure we are called to stand up for values or standing up for Christ. The Pharisses did insist on the law and good values but they ended up killing Jesus.

Remember it was the barbarians who defeated Rome when the Gospel was not preached to them.... We have preached rejection instead of God's love and salvation...

Let us be Christ like and if we want to deny any rights, let us be our own rights that we may consider what would Jesus do first.

We are no longer "One Nation Under God." We are a nation divided against itself. The homosexual movement has labeled Christians as a hate-group and will continue to push forward their agenda.

I tell you, I don't know what Bible these anti 8 pastors are reading, but I can't find any passage ANYWHERE that endorses same sex marriage. NO WHERE. I do, however, see plenty of passages that don't support homosexuality and I also see several passages that talk about false prophets. So i say, let them protest all they want. Let the news media only cover their side of the story. Let them accuse Christians of lying, when it is SO OBVIOUS that they have done everything they can to hide the real truth when it is right in front of them. Let them beg and plead, let them insult us. Prop 8 passed anyway. So let them do it. Because the way I see it, the people who are on God's side and who support God's word will be the ones that will ultimately win. Bet on it.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake."

God is omnipotent but has always allowed us free will. Why do you think Israel was in and out of slavery for so many years? So to say that God choose to let someone be elected is not true, not that He can't work through it and with it but we have free will and we decide.

I heard one woman on the radio who described herself as a black lesbian say this about people who equate the gay marriage issue to the Black struggle for civil rights: "To African Americans, it is NOT the same! Can a gay person go into any eating establishment he chooses and expect service without the fear of reprisal? Can a gay person attend any school he chooses without fear of being turned away because of his homosexuality? Are gay people regularly denied jobs for which they are clearly qualified only to watch those jobs go to LESS qualified candidates of another race? And once gay people have those jobs, are they the ones most likely to be let go for no particular reason at all? This is what the African American civil rights struggle is/was about!" I'm paraphrasing her here, but this was the gist of her statements. She also went on to point out that the African American civil rights struggle is/was deeply rooted in the Black church (and I, for one, say it SHOULD be) and for gay rights activists to equate that struggle with their "struggle", when everyone knows what the Bible has to say about such things as homosexuality, in the eyes of the African American community, it was just wrong. That's why most African Americans voted yes to Prop 8. And I am glad they did. I think for the gay rights activists to equate their agenda with the African American struggle for civil rights, the most basic of human rights, is a slap in the face to African Americans! As John Hagee put it: "I have been asked, 'Do you support civil rights for African Americans?' and when I say, 'Yes, I do', I am then asked, 'If you support civil rights for African Americans, why don't you support civil rights for gay people?', and my answer is simple: I have known many former gay people but I have NEVER known a former black person."

I think the whole church community would do well to read a copy of "The New Testament and Homosexuality" by Robin Scroggs,(Fortress Press) one of the best resource books available on the question of what the New Testament does or does not say about homosexuality.
Then maybe we can all speak/vote out of an informed scriptural understanding.

The issue of same sex marriage and opponents of Prop 8 is wrong on so many levels. Politically it has now been approved by voters in California (a very liberal state)twice and a total of 30 states have passed propositions and/or amendments defining marriage between one man and one woman. Biblically there should not be an argument if you believe in Scriptural truth--amazing how many of our "religious" citizens think otherwise. Through out 5000+ years of civilization, in all cultures, governments and religions there is no precedent for same sex marriage-- and we are the ones who are radical. Finally, would you really want your children being taught this in elementary school without your knowledge or approval (and no legal need for it) as we saw in Massachusetts. Or by attending an wedding of same sex couples--under the guise of "a teachable moment (as we saw in San Francisco). How soon would it be until our pastors are asked to perform a same-sex wedding or lose their tax exempt status--or more importantly their freedom to preach a sermon on sexual sin (as is happening in Canada). Gays have every "right" every other American has. They can even get married --just not to a member of their sex. That is the same right I have. This would be a special right. To top it off, hitching their wagon to the plight of the civil rights of Blacks is quite despicable. The Black community suffered through slavery, discrimination in employment and housing, social justice and various other slights for many years. Many states banned interracial marriage... quite different than being gay. Demographically, Gays may be one of the most affluent groups in America in terms of income, and standard of living. How ironic that the huge turnout of Blacks on election day to vote for and elect our first Black president also positively affected the "Yes on 8" victory. Do we have a "just" God or what?

I find this whole demonstration behavior very tragic. Tragic because they just don't understand the democratic process.

The matter matter went to a vote of the people. The results are in and the people have spoken. But, they did not like what the people as whole have decided. Therefore, they stage protests at anyone they think caused them to lose.

I am not happy about they way the presidential election turned out, or for that matter several of my state races. But, the people had a choice. They made it. Now we all have to live with that, good or bad.


Wow, so many people here are totally crazy. So you do not even want to learn about why people are wanting gay 'marriage'?

It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the rights offered to people who are joined legally by the state. Get the 'marriage' word out of your head. Heaven knows the government keeps God out of their civil, legal unions. All they want is a fair shake from the government. Equal treatment that is offered to everyone in the US regardless of race, orientation or RELIGION. The gay and lesbian group is not asking for Christian acceptance. They are asking for fair treatment by the government which frankly has nothing to do with your religion.

This country was founded by people who sought freedom from persecution. Freedom to worship as they chose. Christians have become some of the most intolerant people I have ever met. Hateful and unloving of people who do not share their views and it makes me SAD. It also, at times, makes me ashamed to call myself a Christian.

I have to constantly remind myself that TRUE Christians would never behave in such and unloving and unacceptable way. Sadly, that means most Christians in America AREN'T REALLY CHRISTIAN. Don't think I'm not including some of you in that statement. You may claim to do God's work but in the end all you're doing is furthering the work of satan by spreading your hate. You all do an excellent job rejecting people from your cloistered 'perfect' vision of who is allowed to be faithful to God. No wonder so many people treat 'Christian' as a negative term.

It is none of your business how the government handles the union of two individuals. Keep them out of your church, keep them out of your lives but don't claim you have any right to dictate how this country should deal with freedom. Your ancestors once faced the same issues when practicing a religion others didn't agree with. You were granted that freedom here and now you have the audacity to try to remove it from someone else.

Hypocrites.

It's interesting that there are those who claim they are Christians who are ashamed of Christians who are anti-homosexual and than keep saying you, you, you. That tells me they are claiming to be Christians to get their point across. The government is a republic and therefore ruled by the majority, the voter. The government by Prop 8 is not being given the right by the voter to change the meaning of marriage which is what a group of people want to do. And it is not about rights or freedom, it is about sex, period. If it was about rights or freedom than the person marrying a child would have the right of marriage, the murder of the unborn would have been put before the voter and not made into a legal law by the government under the influence of those wanting the murder of the unborn. The government is not always right, it approved slavery didn't it, until the voter or the people said no through war. These homosexuals are clinging to being equal with blacks because they destroyed the women's rights movement when they joined it to supposedly strenghten the movement but in reality had their own agenda. They took over the women's rights movement and destroyed it, now they are using people's colors to cling to and to advance their demands. African-Americans get this while there are those who don't want to get this subversive activity of the gay rights movement. And it's all over sex not Christianity. Christianity says get control of yourself and clean up your act, that's what homosexuals are against, anybody committing sin doesn't want to get control of themselves. They want to continue the sin and want you to say whatever makes you happy, baby, do it. Well, I want to have sex with many guys but I have control over myself because I know God will demand that of me when we finally meet again and He says "And what did you do in your life and should have changed but didn't? I guess you didn't really believe in me enough to correct what you were doing." Well, we will all answer someday. And, the word gay was changed by homosexuals, by the way, it really means extremely joyful personality, not how you do sex, and now they want to change the word marriage.

Thanks for the information! These protesters argue that this Prop 8 vote was nothing more than a new restriction on civil rights, equivalent in some way to slavery or the the many freedoms that black Americans fought for in the last century. Why then is it that virtually all the protesters are white and that 70% of Black Californian's voted YES for Prop 8?