Gay-Rights Campaign Invokes Religion in the South

The nation’s largest gay advocacy group launched a faith-based campaign in Mississippi in mid-November

The campaign is part of HRC’s Project One America, an initiative announced this spring to win support for the LGBT agenda in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC is spending $8.5 million on the project and says All God’s Children will cost an initial $310,000. A study commissioned by HRC and cited in their campaign fact sheet concluded “a faith-driven, Christian values-focused message is the most effective way to boost support for LGBT equality in the South.”

 

(WNS)–The nation’s largest gay advocacy group launched a faith-based campaign in Mississippi in mid-November.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) says the initiative, called “All God’s Children,” plans to use ads, face-to-face conversations, and mailings to bolster gay rights support and same-sex marriage legislation in Mississippi, the most religious state in the U.S., according to Gallup.  The messaging targets Christians, references the Bible, and highlights the Golden Rule. “We are all God’s children. It is only for God to judge, not us. We need to treat everyone with respect,” says the campaign website.

The campaign is part of HRC’s Project One America, an initiative announced this spring to win support for the LGBT agenda in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC is spending $8.5 million on the project and says All God’s Children will cost an initial $310,000. A study commissioned by HRC and cited in their campaign fact sheet concluded “a faith-driven, Christian values-focused message is the most effective way to boost support for LGBT equality in the South.”

The campaign’s first TV ad, aired in November, is an interview with Mississippian Mary Jane Kennedy, a 61-year-old mother of two gay sons. Kennedy starts the ad saying she is a “Bible-believing, born-again Christian.” She tells the story of her two sons coming out as gay, saying she wants to “open the arms of Jesus Christ to people who have been pressed out of the church.”

HRC announced that future ads will highlight other Mississippians who support gay rights, including a Baptist pastor, a church-attending state legislator, a transgender university student, and an openly gay Iraq War veteran. In addition to TV ads, the campaign will “soften the ground” in Mississippi with door-to-door visits to over 10,000 homes, telephone meetings, direct mail pieces, online ads, and billboards.

“The strategy is using a veneer of southern civil religion to sell the Human Rights Campaign’s vision of human sexuality,” said Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. “I don’t think that this is going to work because the vision of sexuality presented here is at odds with the Bible and with 2,000 years of Christian tradition.”

Moore, a Mississippian, said the danger of HRC’s tactic is it “confronts Bible-Belt spirituality mixed with biblical illiteracy.” He said pastors and churches cannot assume their communities already understand and aspire to biblical marriage and sexuality.

“Pastors need to preach the Bible the way Jesus did—full of truth and grace. There must be a whole gospel to all people that includes both a call to repentance and an offer of mercy,” Moore said. “The gospel really is at stake here.”

© 2014 World News Service. Used with permission.