Dear Marriage Supporter,
Many people still have their head in the sand when it comes to the damage that the US Supreme Court's illegitimate ruling redefining marriage will eventually mean for religious liberty and people of faith. Let me just say it directly, this is what is coming:
Your pastor or priest could be arrested and jailed for preaching the gospel.
Think I am exaggerating? Think again: A high ranking Catholic Bishop, His Excellency Vitus Huonder, Bishop of Chur, Switzerland, is now facing criminal charges brought by a homosexual advocacy group that could result in him being incarcerated in prison for three years because he publicly defended the Church's teaching about marriage.
We're going to eventually see this kind of persecution here in the United States unless we pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) to protect ministers, churches, religious organizations, nonprofit groups, individuals and small businesses. We need your immediate financial gift of $25, $35, $50, $75 or $100 or more to pass this critical legislation.
Bishop Huonder's 'crime' was to speak at a conference on marriage entitled "Marriage: Gift, Sacrifice and Commission." He explained that Christian moral teaching squarely rejects the idea of homosexual unions, citing among other scriptural references two passages from Leviticus (Lev. 18:22, 20:13) to support his proposition that, "There is no plurality of models for marriage and family. To even speak of such is already an attack on the Creator, as well as on the Savior and Sanctifier, that is, on the Trinitarian God."
The homosexual advocacy group Pink Cross claims this amounts to sowing hated and inciting violence because a later passage of the Leviticus verse mentioned by Bishop Huonder says that anyone who has homosexual relations should be put to death. (The same chapter of Leviticus calls on the people of Israel to put to death adulterers and those who have sex with family members.)
By quoting this passage from the Bible, Pink Cross says that Bishop Huonder crossed a "red line" because as a senior church official his words "could be followed obediently" leading Christians to kill gay people.
How preposterous! The Pink Cross charge ignores the fact that Bishop Huonder went out of his way to make clear that Christians have an obligation to minister to people with same-sex attraction to provide a "source of comfort." In short, he didn't call for murder, he called for ministry, and for love.
But this doesn't matter. Now that the charge has been filed, Bishop Huonder will be forced to defend himself before a secular state body, with a prison sentence hanging over his head.
This is what the future will look like right here in the United States unless we pass the First Amendment Defense Act to protect people of faith, churches and religious groups from persecution simply for standing for the truth of marriage. Your contribution of $15, $25, $50, $75, or $100 or more is urgently needed and will be put to immediate use to fight for your religious liberty, and that of every pastor, priest, church and nonprofit group in the country to act in concert with the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Some countries in Europe are a decade into this disastrous experiment with same-sex 'marriage' and this isn't the first time a European pastor has been criminally charged with a hate crime for preaching the Gospel. Rev. Ake Green of Sweden was previously sentenced to jail for preaching against gay unions. Only a procedural ruling saved him from being incarcerated by Swedish authorities.
This is happening in North America as well. In Canada, another high-ranking official of the Catholic Church, Alberta Bishop John Henry, was hauled before a Human Rights Commission to defend himself against charges of hate speech for communicating the Church's teaching on homosexuality that he had expressed in a pastoral letter. Fortunately, he had the resources and public presence to mount an effective defense. Bishop Henry said of his experience, "Human right laws, designed as a shield, are now being used as a sword."
Indeed, Bishop Henry's warning is proving to be prophetic here in the United States. In the city of Houston, five pastors received subpoenas from the city government demanding that they turn over copies of sermons and other communications like emails and text messages that discussed efforts to repeal the city's so-called "equal rights ordinance." This is an ordinance that grants special legal protections to gays and lesbians and was pushed by the city's lesbian mayor. The city attorney said, "it's relevant to know what representations and instructions were given regarding [the] petitions" to repeal the ordinance.
Don't think that the effort to punish people of faith is going to be limited only to bakers, florists and photographers — people directly involved in the wedding industry. They are only the first targets. The real objective is to shut down and intimidate pastors, priests, churches and religious groups who have the courage to teach about God's commands for human sexuality, morality and marriage.
NOM has a five-point plan to achieve two overriding objectives:
- In the short term, contain the damage done by the US Supreme Court with their illegitimate, sham ruling redefining marriage; and
- Work to overturn this ruling over the longer term.
Enactment of the First Amendment Defense Act in Congress and at the state level is absolutely essential to contain the damage and protect people of faith. This is why we urgently need your financial assistance today.
Fortunately, some of our best donors have come together to agree to match anything you or others give up to a total match of $250,000 during the balance of the month. With the doubling of every donation there has never been a better — or more important — time to give to NOM.
Time is of the essence. Congress is in recess now and many members are back home hearing from their constituents that they want them to support the First Amendment Defense Act. We need to be prepared for a major Congressional push at the end of the month to demand hearings and a vote on this critical legislation. We've got momentum with over 42% of Congress already signed on to support the legislation, but we need a strong education and grassroots lobbying effort to push the legislation forward.
If you want to avoid a future in America where pastors, priests, bishops, ministers, churches, nonprofit groups and individuals can face charges of discrimination and 'hate speech' then please act today to help us push for the First Amendment Defense Act.
PS — Every donation you give to NOM over the next two weeks will be matched by some generous supporters to help us push for passage of legislation protecting the right of Americans to act in concert with the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Thank you for your support!